Con of Thrones

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Ginevra
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:48 pm

Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:17 pm

QueenofThrones wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:12 am
Hey Generva! Thank you for the pics and the info about the conference!! You look great! I Would be interested to hear about any controversial topics discussed, interesting audience back and forth, etc.
Thank you, Queen of Thrones! There were essentially two types of sessions: enormous stage presentations in the huge ballroom where it was really hard to see unless you had the Valyrian passes, which we didn't. And even then, I imagine it wasn't anything like the intimate experiences we got on the smaller panels.

I'll talk about some of the panels I have pictures for and there is one video, at least, with possibly one more to come. Ser Hunts filmed his panels, and here is his first. I was front and center for this panel because Anne was ferocious in getting us to the very front of the room for nearly every panel! But we are just at the edge of view on his camera, so you can't really see us. (Except the ballroom panels where the front was impossible.) Here is Game of Thrones: The Endgame, with (I'll try to do from left to right each time) Ser Hunts, Vanessa, Oz (note the beer), and Bex:

https://youtu.be/EJIgVFS00WA

Shrodinger's Stannis, with Tony Teflon, Emmett Booth, David Peterson (langauge creator, especially the Dothraki language, on GoT!!!), Vanessa (Watchers - didn't know her before but she seemed really nice and added a great deal to the conversations), and Brad Ausrotas.

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Oh, I forgot that I got to chat a wee bit with David Peterson, the language creator for the show! Tony Teflon was in love with Stannis, and he was such an amazingly entertaining and articulate presenter. And then David was all, I hate Stannis and you couldn't have a character who could possibly suck more than Stannis sucks! They were both terribly respectful, though, and so that was one of the very best panels. We had to miss the sound girl talking all about wonderful details to see that one, but I still think we made the right choice. David struck me as the quintessential nerd/geek who happened to be articulate and nice to boot.

Next, we had Motherhood and Power with Laura Stone (hilarious and awesome as expected!), Kate Dickie (there aren't words to express her awesomeness), and our Vanessa and Sue!!! Despite being in the Great Hall, this panel was able to convey an intimate feel and the content was spectacular.

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Next, we had The Prince that was Promised with Kim Renfro (INSIDER reporter), Michelle Jaworski, and A. Ron Hubbard (Bald Move). We discussed the usual stuff, but it was fun.

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A. Ron led the Red Wedding game the day before, and it was awesomeness! Twelve or so volunteers went up each time: two randomly assigned to be Freys and ten Starks. The Freys would get to open their eyes, see each other, see who the Starks were, and then choose which Stark to kill. Then all opened their eyes, with the Starks not really knowing who the Freys were, and all would have to vote on who they wanted to kill - with the Starks hoping to get the Freys, of course, and vice versa. These rounds were repeated until a Frey was killed or until five Starks had been killed off. I think the Starks won once but the Freys definitely won at least two rounds of the three rounds that were played. (I didn't get a photo of that one, unfortunately, but hopefully someone did.)

The next panel was the Watchers Live Podcast, but I don't know if y'all got to hear that live or not? Surely it will be somewhere at some point. The trailer was dissected, much as it has been on here, without giving spoilers away. It was great to see all of the Watchers: (top row) Axey, Petra, Luka, (bottom row) Sue, Bex, Vanessa, and Oz.

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And then we had the star-studded cast in The Ghosts of Westeros hosted by Joanna Robinson and David Chen (A Cast of Kings): (top row) Sam Coleman/Young Hodor, Kerry Ingram/Shireen, Miltos Yerolemou/Syrio, (bottom row) Iwan Rheon/Ramsay, Kate Dickie/Lysa, Roger Ashton-Griffiths/Mace Tyrell, and Aimee Richardson/First Myrcella. There are tons of articles written about this session.

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And here is Love: Westerosi Style with Sir Squinty, Luka, Axey, and Bex! We talked about our favorite ships, and the audience was very engaged. Someone kindly brought up the Stark/Mormont warging abilities in association with the Tormund bear-fucking theory that he was with Maege Mormont, I think. And that led to wargasms, which Axey wrote on the back of his nameplate and which 14-year-old Annie Pooh promptly stole after that panel. That night when we got home, I heard my 12-year-old say, what's a wargasm, and I was all, Anne!!!! I told you ****not**** to tell Emma!

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And then Axey caught us photographing him...

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And here we have The Brothers Black with Oz, Jim and A. Ron (Bald Move), Patrick Sponaugle, and Sue.

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Here is The Perils of Adaptation with David, Steve Love, Jessica Naftaly, and Petra.

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And the last pic I got was for Spoiling Game of Thrones with Joanna (A Cast of Kings), Sue, Laura Stone, Steve Love, and Sir Squinty.

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Ginevra
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Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:48 pm

Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:16 pm

And then after hearing all of these amazing, articulate, and vastly-more-knowledgeable-than-I-am panelists for two and a half days, I was all kinds of nervous for my own panel.

As soon as Zack announced on Watchers about Con of Thrones coming to Nashville - a hop, skip, and a jump from me - I knew that I wanted to submit a proposal or two. It seemed like the panel setup would be the most fun, and that turns out to be what nearly every single session was. And so I thought, who can I possibly convince to present with me? I do think I tried to drum up some support on here, but I just couldn't find anyone who said they were going before proposals were due. If Queen of Thrones or Ice Dragon had been able to come and present with me, that would have been amazing!

I knew my colleague and friend in the math department, Jennifer, enjoyed both the show and the books though she's not one to hang out and obsess over the fandom like we are. I convinced her to go in with me and lured her in with saying we could try to do a math-related talk so that it would count for her tenure stuff, which she is nearing. And we did try really hard to come up with a decent, math-related topic, but the best we came up with was a weak proposal that depended on something we might not have been able to access.

And so I convinced her that we needed a backup plan, and I convinced her that our backup plan should be one of my favorite theories about the possible emergence of a trio of anti-villains: Sansa, Dany, and Tyrion. Jennifer said that she'd love to moderate such a session but that she didn't feel comfortable speaking beyond the moderating part. But again, I wanted a panel and I really wanted someone who would make the case against me because I know there are a ton of Dany fans out there who wholeheartedly believe that Dany is AAR and the hero of everything. Many feel the same way for Sansa and Tyrion, as well. Tyrion is actually tied for my favorite character, and yet I can and do see the extreme potential he'd have as a villain. And I love Dany and Sansa as characters though I don't love them as people - I possibly like and certainly admire them for many of the things they've done.

And so I asked the biggest Dany fan I knew in my personal life, locally, my college roommate, Cindy. We've been Facebook friends, and she's moved back to Cookeville, which is just two hours from me, but we hadn't seen each other in about 20 years! It was amazing getting back together yesterday, just like old times, and we fell right into sync again. We've made a date to go hiking in Cookeville, something I've been trying to convince the girls to do with me for ages. And my husband, too, but Thomas hates nature, so I know he's a lost cause.

Because Cindy was nervous and was unsure of how much she would speak at first, I overprepared. Like ridiculously so. I'm embarrassed to admit how much so, but every minute of preparation was so much fun. And then I was even more nervous and embarrassed when I realized how laid back and relaxed the other panels were, filled with these wonderfully casual conversations without slides and with almost no audio-visual elements at all throughout the entire conference - a stark contrast to what we did! However, we did have at least a couple of folks tell us how much they appreciated our very different style, and so that was such an amazing relief. Of course, I'm sure some may well have preferred the panels of real experts, but I was thrilled that some were so happy with what we did.

Our abstract for The Rise of the Anti-Villain was this:
Daenerys. Tyrion. Sansa. Three beloved protagonists. Or are they?

Jaime, Theon, and the Hound. Our writers transformed these child-killers and would-be killers into heroes. From destroyers to saviors.

From saviors to destroyers. Tyrion saved King's Landing, Dany saved her slaves, and Sansa saved herself. Three little saviors. But will Sansa betray all things Stark and her brother-cousin? Will Tyrion, Khaleesi, three dragons, and the rape-mongering Dothraki leave Westeros in ashes?
And then here are my notes, though I didn't say half or perhaps even a quarter of the things on my notes, which was a very good thing because Cindy did feel comfortable speaking quite a bit with her expertise on Joseph Campbell and the hero, anti-hero, and anti-villain archetypes, and advocating for Dany and Sansa being heroes rather than villains or anti-villains. All of Cindy's points aren't in my notes, unfortunately. And we engaged the audience after partially discussing Sansa and again after partially discussing Dany. We didn't even have time for poor Tyrion, but I did have the least evidence for him.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ci7l0kgh5chvx ... n.pdf?dl=0

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Ginevra
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Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:48 pm

Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:40 am

Here are the first 20 minutes of the 50 minute Sandor Clegane panel. Ser Hunts, who recorded all of his panels, apparently didn't get prior permission from the folks running the Con before recording and publishing, though he did get permission from those presenting with him, I believe. However, since the Con, he has gotten permission to do the first 20 minutes. The Con has implied to him that they will be sharing some recordings on a platform that will likely require some sort of paid subscription but we don't have any details.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoCwnuVXfz0

I've always wondered if folks like Kim Renfro - and similarly avid fans - post in the fandom under pseudonyms just like the common folk. There is one long-time but not very often commenter who always is first with the news and very knowledgeable in the trade, but I can't recall her name. Rygritte comes to mind, but I think that may not be her but a name similar to that one.

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drownedsnow
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Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:51 am

Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:07 pm

Ginevra wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:38 am
Jack Bauer 24 wrote:
Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:31 pm
How was the attendance?
I really want to hear official numbers because I'm afraid I'm terrible at guessing. I went to an academic conference at the beginning of June with 1000 people in attendance, and I think that this conference far more than doubled that number. So at the very least 2000 were at the opening ceremony. But it could have been as many as 5000 and I wouldn't be surprised. And really, I wouldn't be shocked if it were even more than that but just not way more than that in the Great Hall at any one time. I'm not entirely sure if they had just Delta A with the corridor (where we entered), which has a capacity of around 3600, or if they had the entire Delta, which has a capacity of 7000. I really hate that I can't tell! I think they may have had the entire Delta for the opening ceremony and just Delta A for the rest, but I could be wrong. The room was about 80-90% full for the opening ceremony.

Of course, that wouldn't mark full attendance because a good number may have skipped the ceremony who were present that day, and there were many who were present only for one or two days.

I'm hoping that either Con of Thrones or Watchers will give us official numbers sometime soon. I'm sorry I wasn't more helpful.

I was thinking maybe 5,000 but it was so hard to tell. The latest I saw had the con organizers saying they sold over 4,000 passes. That's pretty good for the first year, with minimal publicizing.

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