If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, as many of us here at The Geekiary are, then you possibly heard about Con of Thrones, the latest fan-run Game of Thrones convention to pop up.
Con of Thrones is getting a lot of press, which is fabulous. More power to fan-run conventions for aiming to provide a truly unique experience to fans! I myself have attended several (though not for GoT). However, it is being falsely reported by multiple outlets as both the first GoT convention as well as the first fan-run GoT con, and that simply isn’t true. It is important to let people know about new conventions (I love hearing about new cons!), but it is also important to let people know about current ones. Running a convention is not easy, and the people who do so deserve to be recognized for their hard work.
So let’s take a look at the history of Game of Thrones conventions and see if we can figure out where this newest one will fit in among those that have come before.
Throne Con (2012-2015)
The first Game of Thrones convention was Throne Con. The inaugural Throne Con was held in the UK in 2012 by Starfury Conventions. Throne Con was billed as a “three-day celebration of HBO’s epic fantasy series Game of Thrones”, but also honored other fantasy shows such as Merlin and Legend of the Seeker. While Starfury continues to hold many amazing cons (including an Outlander one and something called “Ultimates“, which seems to have a lot of comic-oriented guests), it sadly seems as though Throne Con IV, which was held in 2015, was the last one.
The final Throne Con hosted such guests as Carice van Houten (Melisandre) and Owen Teale (Alliser Thorne) and featured typical convention events like panels, autograph sessions, and photograph sessions, but it also had a costume parade, parties, and meet and greets. There was a party every night, each one with a different theme, and a costume competition.
Ice and Fire Con (2013-Present)
Next we have Ice and Fire Con, which is more like camp for GoT fans than a traditional convention. Rather than having actors from the show, the event is focused around special themed activities and discussions based on both the book series and the TV show. Founded in 2012 as the first GoT convention in the United States, Ice and Fire Con features events like arts & crafts, beer tastings, bonfires, combat classes, and a whole host of other fun things.
Ice and Fire Con has been held annually since 2013 and is still going strong. In fact, they recently had to move to a new location, as attendance grows every year. 2017 is the big fifth-anniversary celebration and tickets are on sale now! Please note that, unlike most other conventions, Ice and Fire Con is for ages 18 and up.
Con of Thrones (2017-?)
Now we come to the newly-announced Con of Thrones, which is a combined effort of Watchers on the Wall and Mischief Management. There is very little information so far because it was just announced, but from what we can gather it looks like it will be more like Throne Con (that is, a traditional convention) than Ice and Fire Con. You can expect celebrity guests, panels, and the standard autograph/photograph sessions when Con of Thrones hits Nashville next summer.
To be kept abreast of any Con of Thrones news, visit the website and sign up for their newsletter!
So it looks like Con of Thrones and Ice and Fire Con offer very different experiences, which is fantastic! It’s always nice to get a little variety in your convention-going. Also, it’s good to have conventions in different parts of the country for those who aren’t able to travel long distances.
If you want the more traditional experience – the chance to meet the stars of your favorite show – then you can check out Con of Thrones. If you want a convention with a more intimate feeling that gives you the chance to meet and interact with fellow fans, then you would want to make a point of going to Ice and Fire Con. Or, since Ice and Fire Con is in April and Con of Thrones is in June, you could do both, if you were so inclined!
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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