By SHERI RADFORD
A concert as epic as its namesake.
The voice of Cersei Lannister instructs the audience to silence their cellphones. “Those who violate these rules will be boiled alive in the blood of their children.” And so begins the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience.
Mirroring the big and bold HBO series it’s based on, the concert is larger than life, filled with giant video screens, awe-inspiring pyrotechnics, over-the-top special effects and an 80-piece orchestra led by Ramin Djawadi, the show’s composer. When that orchestra launched into the opening notes of GoT’s theme music on Saturday night, the crowd inside Rogers Arena roared its approval, cheering even harder when an Iron Throne unfolded on stage.
Video clips on the huge screens reminded fans of happier days, way back when Ned Stark still had his head, Jamie Lannister had two hands, Daenerys Targaryen had dragons small enough to fit in her palm, and Jon Snow hadn’t yet been murdered by his own men. Accompanied by Djawadi’s swelling music, longer scenes also played out, including the Red Wedding, the Battle of the Bastards, and the resurrection of Jon Snow. Daenerys and Jon proved to be fan favourites, generating the loudest cheers of approval, while Ramsay Bolton elicited the most boisterous boos and hisses.
It truly was an evening of entertainment for the ADD generation, with at least three things always vying for the audience’s attention. Look at the musicians and risk missing beloved scenes on the screens. Watch the choir and risk missing the flames shooting out of the stage. But there was no missing the snow that fell for several minutes during scenes on and beyond the Wall, blanketing the entire arena in paper confetti that must have had the clean-up crew cursing well into the night.
By the Old Gods and the New, it all added up to a glorious love letter to the eternally patient GoT fans, who must wait until July 16 for the premiere of season 7 and even longer for George R.R. Martin’s much-delayed next novel, rumoured to have a 2017 publication date. But have faith: winter is coming.