Dear friends and fans of Game of Thrones, the addiction to a TV series is a serious matter: we all clearly discovered it just a few days ago, when the terrible announcement of the last season in 2019 has reached us as a blow to the heart. Moreover, as if a year of waiting before the end of it all was not enough, there are rumors that it will be only 6 episodes long :'( To help you overcome the shock, today I’m going to talk about a very special artwork related to the most famous series of books and TV episodes in the recent years: directly from Winterfell, the Northern Ireland’s Game of Thrones Tapestry, an epic tapestry entirely dedicated to the series that can be visited until February at the Ulster Museum in Belfast.
All the deeds of the Game of Thrones’ main characters (yes, all of them) in an 80-meter long tapestry
Yes, you got it right: here in Belfast they are not content with being one of the main locations of the series (so much that the Belfast International Airport has been renamed “Airport of Westeros” :D), and therefore to welcome in the city’s pubs the main characters at the filming of every season, so they have decided to create a long and detailed medieval-style tapestry that collects all the main scenes of the seven seasons of the series released until today. It is called Northern Ireland’s Game of Thrones Tapestry and it shares with traditional tapestries both the epic story, the number of details and the high craftsmanship: designed by three illustrators, who took care to report all the most significant scenes of the show, the tapestry was then created by a team of expert weavers with traditional Irish linen, obtained from one of the last historic linen mills in Northern Ireland, the Thomas Ferguson Irish Linen in Banbridge.
The result is an art piece as much original as it is amazing: the tapestry, on display at the Ulster Museum in Belfast, is kept in a room with soft lighting, in which it unfurls over 80 meters of panel.
Following the progress, we are captivated by a rather detailed (and gory, but I do not think there could be doubts) recap of the seven seasons of the series, with lots of battles, homicides, sex, bloodshed, births of demons, and everything else that we like so much about Game of Thrones.
Here are some of the highlights:
I find that the recovery of a traditional manufacturing like the tapestries’ embroidery in Northern Ireland, combined with the great slice of contemporary culture that is today Game of Thrones for Belfast and the whole region, is simply brilliant: the textile art, now largely lost and considered minor despite its importance in the past, meets a stream of fresh water that makes it vivid once more and brings it closer to the general public.
The tapestry is hand-woven by a group of volunteer weavers aged between 22 and 82 years; for its total realization – from the design to the hanging in the museum – it took about 16 weeks, and more than 1000 hours of work were spent on the finishing touches.
Initially, the tapestry included 6 seasons, but during the seventh the group went back to work, bringing it to the last episode currently aired.
The index of nerditude (forgive me the neologism) of the room is incredible and it also extends to all the signs; as you can see in the photo related to the escape of Samwell and Gilly, around there are messages that invite not to touch the precious and delicate tapestry, but they do so in pure Game of Thrones style. One reads: “Please do not touch. Offenders will be sent to the wall”; another: “Please do not touch. Littlefingers can cause damage” (LOL). Finally, the low light warning: “Low light levels. We apologize for this necessary precaution, as we know the night is dark and full of terrors. ”
You can visit Northern Ireland’s Game of Thrones Tapestry at the Ulster Museum until March 4, 2018; you can find it in the sector Art 3, Level 5.
Botanic Gardens, Belfast BT9 5AB