Game of Thrones Final Season

Game of Thrones is all about the brutality of war and the bloodthirstiness of familial rivalries – a gore-soaked fest of violence, rape, incest, and any other carnal human unpleasantry. Which is why Con of Thrones – a 3-day convention celebrating the beloved series – is such a conundrum. Under the canopied domes of Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Resort, among vacationers in flip flops and rhinestones, was nestled a group of people so lovely, loving, and friendly that their blood-soaked cosplay was of no mind.

I’ve walked my fair share of convention floor spaces, but have never before left one with such a heavy heart. Con of Thrones wasn’t a massive or fully realized singular fan event on the scale of something like Star Wars Celebration, but it was a place where podcasters were a bigger draw than celebrities or where you might use the (gender neutral) restroom after a woman dressed as a statue, then go have a smoke with the actor who plays Syrio Forel. In contrast to the fluorescent halls of bigger cons, the fairytale setting of the Opryland – with its wild fauna and Disney-liked themed buildings – set the tone for an intimate, magical event. Every day felt like wading into the Dornish Water Gardens and drinking wine with friends.

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