Hodor Really Hodored At Hodor On Hodor.

After a drama-filled announcement stretch, progressive house DJ Kristian Nairn, a man best known for playing the lovably large Hodor on Game of Thrones, finally brought his (famed?) Rave of Thrones set to Dallas on Saturday night.

And, well, it was mostly pretty silly scene, to be frank, as some 3,000 or so GoT fans marched upon Castle Bomb Factory in Deep Ellum, and warged into many of their favorite characters from the show via a dark magic known as “cosplaying.”

Fortunately, in this case, that silliness translated into fun.

Sincere credit where it’s due: The promotions company behind the event, Banjos to Beats, and the crew at the Bomb Factory really did an excellent job of adding extra elements to the offering, and elevating it far past the point of a bunch of people standing in the same room as a celebrity and wondering aloud if the joke that inspired them to buy their tickets was ever all that funny in the first place.

Beyond Hodor himself — who is a technically sound DJ, it must be said, even if the thing that this crowd reacted loudest to was, as expected, an eight-bit GoT theme song remix that turned into a dubstep re-work — there was an impressive amount of accoutrements added into the fray. In the lobby, minstrels performed the GoT theme song right by where cardboard cutouts of Tyrion Lannister, Jamie Lannister and Jon Snow were placed for selfie-taking purposes. Deeper inside, banners bearing the sigils of various Westerosi households were placed along the venue balcony overlooking the action. In the middle of the performance room, an acrobatic dancer also did her thing with a hoop that was hung from the roof. And, right up there on stage, there was a recreation of the Iron Throne itself — flanked, at the start of Nairn’s set with some impressive-looking, very stoic and very creepy spear-armed Wights, who stared out at the crowd menacingly. (Fans who purchased VIP tickets were able to take photos of themselves on said throne later in the night.)

There were also break-dancers aplenty, and they too seemed to be part of the package, although whether they were actually paid or just enthusiastic fans of the sport made for a murky line. Right there along with them were those aforementioned cosplayers, which took many a delightful turn, although perhaps too many took them form of Khaleesis, Drogos and various dragons. Still, there were some highlights: a guy who taped his hand and let a blood plastic one hang from his neck so as to portray a down-on-his-luck Jamie Lannister; a guy dressed as a punny Hodor with a box of Raisin Bran slung over his back; a couple who dressed as nude-walk-of-shame Cersei and the bell-ringing nun who shadows her; and the role-reversed couple that flipped the night’s most common script by having the guy dressed as Khaleesi and the girl dressed as Drogo, because screw your gender norms.

Like AnimeFest 2016, which also took place this weekend, this event was likely more buoyed by the attendees than by the actual event itself. But that’s OK! It’s to be expected at this sort of thing — hoped for, really. And, to be sure, the crowd embraced the spirit of it all with aplomb. They pumped their fists throughout Nairn’s set and even crowd-surfed some. They offered similar cheer to the opening performers, too — particularly for the well-fit local DJ vs. Violin act that played main support. The fans were pretty damn awesome, posing with one another for pics and generally laughing it up at the good nature of the whole thing.

Is fun and silly a weird way to celebrate a show that can’t really be described as either of those things? Maybe! But, hey, better silly and fun than filled with gore and incest.

I think we can all agree on that.

Photos 1-13 by James Villa. Photos 14-24 by Pete Freedman.
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