tilly_stratford: (Fops with canes are teh sex)
So get this: I drew something... that isn't fan art!

I know! I, like, had an image in my head that wasn't rooted in my love for a comic book or a video game or a training app, and then I... I drew it! And now that I'm posting it I've spent several minutes fretting over the title of this entry because, okay, usually fan art is a suitable term for the things I do, regardless of quality. But art? Do I make art? That sounds like I expect it to go in the Tate gallery or something.

Anyway, some satyrs/fauns (traditionally there is a distinction between satyrs and fauns but in modern English the terms are used interchangeably so for once I'm not going to be a stickler for proper language) for the Tumblr Satyrday challenge.

All dressed up )

It's not very often any drawing of mine goes from idea to relatively finished product in just one day. Heck, usually I'm so paranoid about missing any obvious anatomical errors I force myself to wait another day to post it, just so I can look it over with fresh eyes. Yeah, I can spot of a few things with the satyr boys up there I could have cleaned up but sometimes it's nice to not spend days fiddling with an image.
tilly_stratford: (Blue & Gold)
I'm finally reading Justice League: Generation Lost (a.k.a. "oh God is there some way to salvage Infinite Crisis"). Yeah. Remember when I fell into the Infinite Crisis rabbit hole, desperately searching for some kind of in-universe fallout following the murder of Blue Beetle? Remember how there was none? That's what Generation Lost was for. Allegedly. I only started reading it today.

It's only five or so years old, which is shockingly current cape comic reading on my part. Of course, the storyline piggybacked on one of those huge unwieldy cross-title events I can't stand (Brightest Day). Basically a bunch of characters came back from the dead, including poor retconned Beetle-mudering Maxwell Lord. So Generation Lost is about getting the ol' Justice League International gang (well its few surviving members) back together to take him down again.


I adore this cover. Just a cute callback to JLI #1, except Booster is starting to realize something's wrong...

First issue was quite good in that kind of "whoa did shit hit the fan VERY FAST" kind of way, Lord broke both mine and Booster's hearts in one fell swoop. It's been going sort of downhill after that (both writing- and artwise) but luckily I get to read the concurrent Booster Gold issues (written by the original JLI creators) inbetween and it's fantastic so far. It deals with the fallout of the dramatic stuff happening in Generation Lost so well and asks all those questions I've been pondering about Infinite Crisis too:

How could Maxwell Lord go from morally grey but ultimately kind-hearted father figure to maniacal blood-thirsty supervillain overnight? If he was evil all along, why weren't there any signs?

There's also Booster passionately defending JLI as something more than a punchline. "We weren't a joke! We mattered!" I might have choked up a bit. Reading my garish super soap opera.
tilly_stratford: (Cat: Miyazaki handle with care)
I was so annoyed by hardly having drawn anything in December, so yesterday, with just a handful of hours of 2014 remaining, I told myself "You know what, just draw. Draw the first idea that pops into your head."

I already made a post about how much I like the Superman-villain-turned-fourth-wall-breaking-trickster-character called Ambush Bug. Besides, I've been drawing so many beefcake characters this year I quite enjoyed the slender simplicity of A.B. I even finished it in just a few hours, so for once I kept to a deadline with several hours to spare.

The teleporter must be broken )

As for looking back on 2014 -- I'd rather not. I'm gonna post my art progression through the year because I'm pretty proud of that, but as for everything else... 2014 was probably the worst year of my life. Complete shit. A downward spiral from beginning to end. I spend so much time crying about the stuff that happened in 2014 I see no reason to write it here while crying some more and then seeing the post later and crying about it again. It was a terrible, awful, no-good year and I'm hoping 2015 will be better, though to be honest I'm not very optimistic about it. Maybe things will change, I don't know.

But I did draw!

2014SummaryofArtsizey

(I'm Slett, it's become another one of my internet aliases these last few years and I couldn't be bothered to change the graphic.)

Okay so maybe I haven't pushed myself artistically or experimented as much as I intended to this year -- seeing a lot of busts and people in profile here. And I still don't draw enough so that you can clearly see a progression month to month. But you know what, I'm a better artist than I was a year ago, and there's this thing that has started happening when I draw, where I sketch something out, and I think "Jesus Christ this is looking better than I thought it would! I had no idea I could do this!" and I'm excited about drawing, about seeing my own skills improve. That's something right.

And I'm still so proud of that Blue Beetle image from May. The hardest I've ever worked on a drawing. And that eighth Doctor from July is looking better than I remembered it, I should definitely revisit that style again.
tilly_stratford: (Deadpool day)
Still not dead! Life is admittedly a little extra shitty these days, which means my dumb goofy escapism is all the more important to me. Whaddyaknow, I'm still weirdly stuck on this one sleazy miniboss from this one goofy hack-and-slash video game.

All those years ago when I first got a tablet pen I would draw exclusively in Photoshop and it was fine by me because I didn't know any better. Then I discovered Paint Tool SAI and after a bit of a steep learning curve I fell completely in love with it and its multitude of brush settings. Now I have found something to surpass even my beloved SAI and it's called... Manga Studio. You can select and manipulate several layers at once oh my God! There are a ton of other features but that alone is, gosh, completely amazing.

So this was gonna be a quick doodle to figure out Manga Studio without fiddling with any of the brush settings, but it kept on going even though adding and expanding a drawing without a sketch underneath is not how I usually work at all. It was a fun experiment though.

stop me if I ever imply I'm gonna draw another motorcycle )

I feel like nothing sums up where I'm at art-wise than me going "yes I'll meticulously recreate this RL polish logo" immediately followed by "ehh backgrounds, who needs'em".
tilly_stratford: (HB: Steampunk Bush)
Tiger & Bunny is a really good anime. I was gonna say "TV show" but I need to get over this weird misconception of mine that "I don't like anime" (I like several animes! Lupin III, Baccano!, Cowboy Bebop, most recently I fell completely in love with Space Dandy, the list goes on). I've been binge watching Tiger & Bunny this last week; I laughed, I cried (a lot), I fell completely in love with the universe and the characters.

A superhero buddy comedy/drama? Hey, I love superheroes! And I love superhero buddies!

Furthermore I love superhero stories that aren't just pale imitations of the DC and Marvel universes. Still, when I try to explain Tiger & Bunny to others I keep comparing it to those universes because hey, these are tropes I'm familiar with ("It's a bit like X-Men, people develop powers, but they use sponsorships sorta like Booster Gold, and the drama is quite like Infinite Crisis, except, well, it's actually competently told").

First, I fell in love with the concept -- superheroes are sort of like reality TV stars, and their sleek mechanical armours are covered with logos to earn those sweet sponsorships. Second, I fell in love with the protagonist Kotetsu, a.k.a Wild Tiger -- a middle-aged deadbeat single dad with a waning superhero career (he's been in the business so long he still wears a cape!), he's a complete loser and yet so sympathetic. All of Kotetsu's superpowered friends are great in their own way (not to mention his foil, Barnaby a.k.a Bunny), and most of them get spotlight episodes that are surprisingly non-annoying amidst the major plot developments.

tumblr_nb290q4D0a1qbfdx1o1_500

The thing about Tiger & Bunny as a show though -- and I'm surprised I didn't know about this considering this show was all over both LJ and other social sites when it premiered three years ago -- is that it's all fun and games with mostly self-contained episodes until the season is about halfway done, then plot threads you hardly noticed in the earlier episodes come together and it get's DARK and HEART-BREAKINGLY EARNEST. The change of direction was definitely thoroughly planned and elegantly executed, but it was quite a surprise.

In summary, Tiger & Bunny is a really good anime.

Gear shift

Nov. 2nd, 2014 02:36 pm
tilly_stratford: (Deadpool day)
I wore out my beloved running shoes, a pair of black Asics Gel-Kayano 20. It was a difficult concept for me to grasp, because to me "worn out shoes" means they're either coming apart or there are actual holes in the sole. These looked fine -- no bits flying off -- and when I put them on, they felt the same as they always had (I think). But I was suddenly injuring myself running in ways I recognized from the time before I got the Asics. I'd been using them for a year, which I later learned is pretty much the life expectancy of a pair of running shoes, particularly when you're not switching between several pairs.

I went to the super intimidating specialty running store, the one I usually feel too self-conscious to even browse in, because let's face it: I don't look like the people who are usually in there. I'm about twice as heavy as the other women in there, and probably most of the men as well. But I went in, I explained I needed a new pair of running shoes, and the clerk was helpful and supportive and professional. It was a great shopping experience! Fantastic, in fact -- she did a gait analysis of how I run, and I'm doing great! Keep in mind everything I know about running form I've only read about and then had to figure out how to implement... But apparently I've still managed to get rid of a ton of bad running habits even semi-professional runners might struggle with for years.

In the end I got a pair of blue (men's model, I'm SO SICK OF PINK RUNNING APPAREL for women) Saucony Omni 13. I'm still getting used to them -- I really loved my original Asics -- but my knee obviously appreciates running with fresh shoes again.
tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
More Metal Gear! You know, Revolver Ocelot is a character I have a lot of affection for but in a kind of "Jesus Christ you little shit" kind of way. When I discuss Ocelot with other fans I use about twice the amount of expletives I'd use than when we talk about villains I actually can't stand, so I see how it can get confusing.

He is a piece of trash bastard after all. He's great.

The sketch and a fair bit of rambling about character designs )

Man I just really hate this trend of making video game characters look exactly like the actors voicing them. It took me out of Mass Effect when the Illusive Man looked exactly like Martin Sheen, it takes me out of Ground Zeroes when I notice how Kiefer Sutherland-y Big Boss is starting to look around the eyes. I know I just said I liked it when Ocelot used to look like Van Cleef, but at least the rendering technology at the time didn't make it a 1:1 likeness.
tilly_stratford: (Astaire: Wry smile)
Remember when I had that idea of watching all the major Robin Hood movie adaptions chronologically? Well many, many months later I got around to rewatching the second one on my list, the definite article, The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938).

l_29843_285a7470

Admittedly as a film it doesn't offer a lot of nuance or character growth, but the thing that makes it so enjoyable I think is how it has a real sense of progression. It's not a collection of loosely connected episodes like most Robin Hood adaptions tend to be, instead plot point B follows plot point A in a fairly satisfying manner. And even before becoming an outlaw, Robin is unmistakably Robin (not the blushing flower of the Fairbanks version) -- even clad in green and a master archer. This movie knows what you're here for and it gives it to you right away.

It goes through most of the essential story beats you'd expect too, but with a few twists to keep it interesting. It dispenses with the Robin-in-the-Crusades origin altogether; Sir Guy of Gisbourne (played by Basil Rathbone and his amazing eyelashes) is the main villain -- the Sheriff seems to mysteriously disappear halfway through the film; Will Scarlet is, much more than Little John (played by the same guy as in the Fairbanks version, by the way), established as Robin's companion, even before they're outcast; And Much the miller's son is middle aged and has a fairly important part in the plot (and is probably the most underrated part of the movie).

Sure it's got its problems. As mentioned earlier, there's not much storytelling finesse or subtlety. There are some questionable acting choices here and there (like Claude Rains -- usually an AMAZING performer -- queer coding Prince John so hard it becomes a little embarrassing). I'm not crazy about the wigs (Flynn's pristine Marcel waves bother me) and there's something about those costumes, man. For such a lavish production I can't understand making fabric choices that make your costumes look this cheap (so much sheen and bunching, so little texture).

But in the end any Robin Hood movie stands or falls on its lead actor, and Errol Flynn, with his mischievous grin and muscular thighs, carries it pretty darn well.
tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
A week back I wrote a lengthy entry that LJ promptly ate about my unlikely but overwhelming love for Metal Gear Rising's Jetstream Sam. It's too bad because it would have prepared you a little for this entry, but it's gone so I'll try to explain it real quick.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a ridiculous video game about a cyborg ninja and its core gameplay is slicing robots and cyborgs into very very small pieces with a sword. Jetstream Sam is a villain -- not even the final boss, mind -- a Brazilian samurai with a smarmy attitude and an armour that accentuates his thighs and butt to a mind-blowing degree. In the entire game Sam only has about three important cutscenes (plus a DLC game that was pretty awful).

And I am so smitten with him it's embarrassing.

Oh and his armour also has these weird plastic bits that cover his ears.

That's you up to date )

Once upon a time I hit a point where I thought "my art is terrible anyway, I should only ever use it to tell corny, low-effort jokes", and it's really through these last two years I've made an effort to tell myself "no you know what, I'm allowed to attempt to draw genuine things, and even if I don't pull it off it's good practice". And now this; "Okay but I'm still allowed to goof off and have fun drawing too, though".

And the neat thing is that I realized that if I showed even these corny doodles to myself five years ago, I would actually notice my art skills had improved considerably. So thank you, dumb video game samurai that inspired me to draw him as Princess Leia.
tilly_stratford: (HB: Steampunk Bush)
So I got a PS3 for my birthday and finally played Metal Gear Solid 4. It was terrible. Nonetheless, it reminded me how much I love the non-terrible parts of the franchise, so now I'm back into MGS in a major way, apparently making up for my awful lack of obsessions this year.

I played Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance which was a lot of fun, and then I took a deep breath and watched all the trailers for MGSV in a single evening (I haven't played Ground Zeroes yet but I plan to very soon). So that's my excuse for this: I got so upset about Kaz Miller I felt a very real need to imagine him safe and warm and content and not being tortured and look he has all his limbs as well.

This is what these games reduce me to.

Don't you hate it when you fall asleep with your glasses on )

The funny thing is Kaz is from Peace Walker, which after MGS4 is my least favourite game in the franchise. I've just really taken to the guy and realized I've always been more invested Big Boss' goings-on than Solid Snake's.
tilly_stratford: (Fred and Cyd: Don't mind you watching)
Some people have a type of character they're always drawn to, you know? Like they watch a movie or read a book and they come across this character and he/she/it ticks off all the right boxes.

One of mine: The villain's second in command. A bit foppish, a bit vain, often a little (or a lot) less clever than their boss, but always ready to do some backstabbing if there's something in it for them. The moment a character like that gets introduced I know I'm gonna have a good time.

I'd decided it was high time for me to be exposed to The Prisoner of Zenda. All I knew was it featured fencing and was an extremely influential story. I decided to go for the 1937 movie because it had Raymond Massey as Black Michael and I wanted to finally see a Ronald Colman movie. And it was great fun, and then Douglas Fairbanks Jr. slinked onto the scene as Count Rupert.

I can't believe I've been avoiding Fairbanks Jr. just because I don't like his father's movies very much. That was so dumb of me.

vlcsnap-333367f

The rest of the movie, enjoyable as it was, became secondary. Rupert primly smoking cigarettes, delivering threats with heavy-lidded eyes, cocking his hat, admiring himself in the mirror, wearing very tight trousers. He had more costume changes than the heroine, for goodness' sake. He didn't leave a single box unticked. Now I don't know if I want to watch more Fairbanks Jr. movies or just keep rewatching this one.
tilly_stratford: (HB: Steampunk Bush)
Last year I decided I should finish one drawing every month and it really helped me get back in the creative swing of things, but after a while it had me going "Ooh I have an idea for a drawing but I've already finished one this month, I better wait in case I'm at a loss for ideas next month" and it got silly so now I try to draw whenever the mood takes me.

So more Doctor Who -- I'm relistening to all my Eight audios (wow, The Stones of Venice and Minuet in Hell are even worse than I remember them) and in the future I'd like to make fanart of the stuff that happens in them, but first I wanted to see if I could draw the eighth Doctor at all. And I was frustrated with my inability to draw curly hair and decided I needed the practice.

A hopeless romantic )

Now that I've been staring at a lot of pictures of McGann I'm a little bit surprised at, well, how good looking he is. I know, "duh", but like, individually his features aren't very striking, but they're put together in a very pleasing way. Even when I'm drawing him I get the urge to tidy up his eyebrows and soften those nasolabial folds but then it doesn't look like McGann anymore.
tilly_stratford: (Darkwing: not convinced)
Finally (finally, that last big battle was a pain in the ass) finished Bioshock Infinite. Ugh, I did not enjoy it very much. I really liked the original Bioshock game (though it wasn't as ~deep~ as everybody thought it was), the second was a unengaging retread of the first, and I don't even know what to call this third one. I think maybe the studio are getting a bit too clever-clogs, now there's no end to the shit they put in the games in the name of "deconstructing tropes" and "subverting expectations"

The game really skeeved me out on multiple occasions (like in a "the game developers are creepy" rather than a "this game is creepy" way) and the central skyhook game mechanic handled like shit. Also, not much atmosphere to speak of -- at no point did it have me on the edge of my seat. Basically, it didn't deliver on the promise of that initial beautiful trailer.

There were basically two things that kept me going: The anachronistic soundtrack -- Bioshock Infinite takes place in 1912 but due to time rifts every so often you come across a modern song done in an old-timey style (I adore the jazz version of 'Tainted love') -- and the Lutece twins, Rosalind and Robert. I love the Lutece twins. They appear sporadically and mysteriously throughout the game accompanied by a lopsided waltz and talk fourth-wall-breakingly about parallel universes and quantum physics.

I'm so glad they won the VGX character of the year award, and got to do an acceptance speech:



Yes, I am still going to check out the DLC Burial at Sea -- one, it has Rapture from the original game in it, two; it's a homage to film noir, and three; The Lutece twins appear at some point. There is a distinct possibility it's better than the game I just played.
tilly_stratford: (Fops with canes are teh sex)
Whoa, two pieces of fan art in one month? This is unprecedented! It's all thanks to that Tumblr palette challenge making the rounds.

I've mentioned before I'm really bad at visualizing characters from non-visual media. It's only through drawing fan art I actually sit down and have a good think about how I'd like the characters to look. That said, I've adored Good Omens for nigh on a decade now and I have never ever tried drawing fan art of it before, go figure.

Apocalypse boyfriends )

I thought working from a pre-chosen colour palette would make the drawing process easier, because I'm really bad at colours. But then turns out, I'm still really bad at colours and with a limited palette I suddenly have to think about readability and contrast and ugh. So it's not a very creative composition but I genuinely had a lot of fun making it.
tilly_stratford: (Fops with canes are teh sex)
Every time I try to watch new Doctor Who I get disenchanted with the entire franchise and can't be bothered to watch any of it for months. I literally haven't thought about Doctor Who after the anniversary show last year when my only reaction was "Ugh, never mind then."

Until now: My love for the show has been reinvigorated in the most unlikely way: The sixth Doctor! Yes, the single most hated run in Doctor Who's history. I'm almost finished with The Trial of a Time Lord and you know what? It's mostly terrible, but Colin Baker as the Doctor is so good.

Not that it came as a big surprise -- I'm already familiar with Six through the Big Finish audios and the classic Who fandom loves him (yet still recognizes his run on TV was godawful), but I had no idea he was so much fun to watch as well! He's a lot more energetic and physical than I'd come to imagine him in the audios and Baker is obviously unable to deliver a half-assed performance, no matter how terrible the script is.

So for all of that Six deserves some fanart. This is literally the first time I've drawn Doctor Who fanart since, let's see... 2009!

Another voyage 'round the English language )

At this point the only TV Doctors I haven't given a fair shake are Five and Seven. Who knows what the future will bring.
tilly_stratford: (Astaire: Wry smile)
I'd decided my life was lacking in cute Anthony Perkins comedies, so after a great deal of trouble I tracked down The Matchmaker. It was fun (turns out Hello Dolly! is just The Matchmaker with some songs added, no really, the scripts are identical, the jokes are word-by-word the same) and Anthony Perkins was adorable (I was amazed at seeing him in drag before I realized that's basically the premise of Psycho). My second favourite thing was the Barnaby Tucker to Perkins' Cornelius Hackl, played by Robert Morse.

I'm fairly certain I've come across Morse before, but I always wrote him off as "that guy who reminds me of Mickey Rooney" (I don't like Mickey Rooney) because he's short, impish and gap-toothed. But I liked him in The Matchmaker, and then tonight I watched How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

I don't understand why I've heard so little about that musical. Sure it's got a washed-out beige colour scheme and some pretty sexist punchlines, but Morse is so charming as the lead you forget he plays a character who lies and manipulates his way to the top. All the while Morse got this infectious larger-than-life way of performing, very theatrical. The highlight of the movie is when he sings 'I Believe in You' to himself in the mirror. It starts off as a comedy number but gradually this great sense of earnestness and defiance creeps in; "I believe in you!"



Also yes I know Morse has been a big deal in Mad Men. I'm still not gonna watch Mad Men.
tilly_stratford: (LS: Please run)
Forgot to mention I ran my first race! Like full on numbered bib, timing chip, got-a-t-shirt sort of race. I joined a thousand other women for a race around the Frogner park mid-day, in the scorching heat. 5 kilometers.

Was I fast? No. Was it a blissful runners-high sort of run? No. Am I proud of myself? Hell yeah! I haven't competed in any sport since I left school (well I did fence for a while but it wasn't so much competing) and to reiterate: All my life I've REALLY hated running. Yet there I was, I'd paid good money to run with a paper bib pinned to my T-shirt.

It was hot, terribly hot. After running outside all winter my body definitely hasn't adapted to working out in the heat, and these last couple of months I've been running around sundown for the cool evening air. Running mid-day in 25 degree heat was madness, and I felt quite ill about halfway. Like, I felt freezing cold in the heat. For a moment I thought "This is it, this is how I die".

Thank God for the water stand that appeared right about then. The organizers had talked at length about their 3 km water stand at the pre-run show, and there he was -- some guy handing out clear plastic bottles. I grabbed one, took a swig -- it was soda! I just happen to think soda is the most nauseating drink on earth, I can't stand it, so I dumped it over my overheated head instead. That helped.

Still, the heat was brutal. I'm already an embarrassingly slow runner. I was running and people were strolling past me. I heard the announcer say on the PA system, "Oh, seems like we've still got some stragglers". At long last I saw the finish line and I felt a lot better so I decided to break into a sprint -- just as a girl behind me started sprinting as well. Right at that moment, just gunning for the finish line trying to reach it before the other girl did, actually racing against each other... That was incredible. Those eight or so seconds was the absolute highlight of the race. That's the moment I felt the rush other runners keep talking about.
tilly_stratford: (HB: Steampunk Bush)
I went to a screening of Withnail and I at the Cinematheque in Oslo last night. I know I keep saying I'll stop going to screenings of films I own on DVD, but this was subtitled and there are parts of the film where the mumbling/accents/sound design makes the dialogue incomprehensible to me.

It's also been a few years since I saw the film in its entirety. When I saw the collection of "party hard" college boys who'd showed up to the screening I was thinking maybe I'd outgrown the film and would just find it childish and dumb. But no. It's still hilarious, and has so many laugh-out-loud moments for me you could hear me laughing over the din of the audience. The final sequence is equally heart-breaking, and every scene in the movie adds a facet to Withnail and Marwood's relationship. It's a great film.

Except for Monty.

God, that part has always bothered me intensely. When I first saw the movie as a teenager I felt really conflicted about liking the film at all. The "depraved homosexual" element is just so vile. These days I've come more to terms with how the majority of entertainment has more or less problematic elements, and I'm allowed to like things -- have guilty pleasures, even -- in spite of them, if I acknowledge that they're there. (No "But I like the film so it's not problematic!")

stuff )

On a lighter note; I remember when as a teenager I was just dying about Paul McGann's long curly hair and Renaissance angel looks in W&I. Now at 27 I was thinking "He's good looking, but a very predictable kind of good looking. ...Did Richard E. Grant have that unusual and ethereal beauty the last time I watched this film?" (Seriously, what a fascinating face!)
tilly_stratford: (Blue & Gold)
Shh, this is totally my art for April. I have no idea how many hours I've spent on this at this point, it's probably the most complex piece of art I've attempted (I had to figure out how to draw floral patterns, just that took a couple of evenings).

Bottom line, I'll never stop mourning this dumb comic book hero that was killed off years ago.

Batman lied, Beetle died )

I learned so much doing this picture though, I had to wing just about everything, and even figure out a new computer program (Alchemy) for the patterns. Even if there's stuff I wish I'd be able to do better, I still realize I wouldn't have been able to pull anything like this off, say, two years ago.
tilly_stratford: (Fops with canes are teh sex)
Me and my friend Rune went to the Game of Thrones exhibition! (There are no spoilers in this entry, by the way).

It's one of the eternal mysteries of the world why on earth the GoT exhibition should stop in Oslo, in the only Scandinavian country on the tour. Oslo is small fry compared to Stockholm and Copenhagen, but nevertheless it was there, it was free, and me and Rune queued for two and a half hours in the freezing cold to get a peep at these things (Rune was appalled by the wait, me I was expecting it to take longer, like four hours or something).

The exhibition was great! Me, I'm a costume geek so I ran straight for the dresses (I have so little interest in dresses in my day-to-day life but make something for a TV show or movie and I'm there salivating) and armours and things. My favourite costume on the show (Daenerys' blue dress with the shawl) was there, and Brienne's costume was worn and weathered just right, Joffrey's embroidered tunic (I think from the wedding?) was so beautiful, and the detail in Tyrion's leather vest was so intricate! I'm a little sad it didn't have any of those beautiful costumes of Littlefinger's, and there was just one Cersei dress, but I had a ball staring at the craftsmanship of all of them.

There were weapons too -- the Mountain's sword was easily as tall as me, and I'm pretty tall! Joffrey's velvety crossbow was easily the most beautiful thing there. And there were banners, and jewelry, and plot items.

Rune hasn't yet begun watching the newest season, so I was really worried either the exhibition or one of the guests would spoil something for him. Innocence like that needs to be protected, sheltered -- he really hasn't a clue about the shit's that's gone down so far this season. ("Ugh, this character -- he's probably gonna live forever, isn't he?" SCREAMS INTERNALLY). But it was all safe -- even the SUPER IMPORTANT PLOT ITEMS from season four were labeled just as vaguely as other little knick-knacks. Rune is going to freak when he recognizes them on TV!

We'd heard SO LITTLE about this exhibition in the press (which focused mostly on how long the queues were) so we really didn't know what to expect. One thing we hadn't heard about at all was an Oculus Rift (Virtual Reality) experience of scaling the Wall. You stood alone in this phone-booth sort of room, with the little screen thing over your eyes, and headphones on, and the floor even rumbled as you were pulled up in the little lift. Rune complained about the resolution of the images, but I had to take off my glasses to experience it so it looked pretty good (a.k.a. blurry) to me.

Anyway, as you reach the top of the Wall and really feel like you're teetering on the edge of this impossibly tall structure, the technician (who kindly instructed you as you went in) ACTUALLY PUSHES YOU IN REAL LIFE. I screamed. I never scream when I get scared but I did this time. (The most sadistic of the technicians looked so much like Littlefinger it was a little eerie). I've never tried Oculus Rift before, it was really immersive and cool.

And that was my day out and I had a lot of fun , and afterwards I ate chocolate, it was also good.

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