Living the Fantasy

Posted by on July 29, 2014 at 10:26 pm :: No Comments

Epicness knows no limits in Salt Lake City. It cannot be subdued by evil sorcerers, naysayers, kobolds, dork haters, trolls, hipsters, or hipster trolls. Earlier this month, the first FantasyCon in documented history took place in Utah’s prodigious capital. Five years in the making, this maiden con brought 55,000 attendees, an impressive number of celebrities, incredible props, and me to the Salt Palace.

We went to the FantasyCon kickoff party featuring DJ Elijah Wood. Halflings party wholeheartedly.

We went to the FantasyCon kickoff party featuring DJ Elijah Wood. Halflings party wholeheartedly.

Beam me up Simon!

Beam me up Simon!

My first day at FantasyCon, I spent behind a table. Yes, I was the corporate equivalent of a booth babe. Okay, not really but I was collecting surveys for my company and a coworker did urge me to dress up like Tauriel to lure in participants. I didn’t and, honestly, it wasn’t necessary. We got the feedback we needed and a few lucky adventurers took home some first-rate raffle prizes, like an ocarina. Success for all parties! The rest of the con was mine to enjoy with Jason as a boisterous attendee.

This Thorin had an amazing costume and it was all handmade.

This Thorin had an amazing costume and it was all handmade.

And in the un-cropped version, William Kircher, AKA Bifur, can be found wandering in the background.

And in the un-cropped version, William Kircher, AKA Bifur, can be found wandering in the background.

FantasyCon had lots to glimpse, handle, and achieve. A battle arena beckoned the brave to test their skills with wooden weaponry. Plus, there were archery grounds, blacksmiths, glassblowers, fortune readers, marionette shows, exotic creatures, and many panels to observe and experience. Jason and I were never bored and never underwhelmed.

This dragon had a 53-foot wingspan. Pretty cool...or should I say steamy?

This dragon had a 53-foot wingspan. Pretty cool…or should I say steamy?

Yes, we got a picture with eleven Middle-earthmen. It was epic!

Yes, we got a picture with eleven Middle-earthmen. It was epic!

This rock monster was animated and noisy- perfect.

This rock monster was animated and noisy- perfect.

The stars were plentiful at this affair but not overpowering. Jason and I ecstatically met Summer Glau from Firefly and Simon Pegg but our favorite celebrities were larger than life…or larger than onscreen at least. Twelve actors from the Tolkien movies were present, which is a record, and among them were seven dwarves, not to be confused with Snow White’s bunch. These Durin’s heirs were not only enormously entertaining but they went well beyond any expectations in the kindness and approachability departments also. They were all remarkably accommodating and friendly, however, Jed Brophy was unimaginably so. He talked to us for over half an hour about filming the LOTR and Hobbit movies. We learned loads of set secrets. What a nice man and a congenial group. I hope you masters under the mountain will come see us again in Salt Lake City.

Hobbits aren't generally fond of mines but I found this one surprisingly acceptable.

Hobbits aren’t generally fond of mines but I found this one surprisingly acceptable.

Hobbits love food but they prefer potatoes to plastic.

Hobbits love food but they prefer potatoes to plastic.

Jason and I have been to many nerdy cons. We have attended San Diego Comic-Con for years and have gone to all of the comic cons Salt Lake City has offered. Yes, we rank high in insanity and experience. So take it from a crazy veteran, if you’re thinking that FantasyCon is just more of the same and not worth your notice, you might want to think again. Even if you’re used to the convention scene, I believe you’ll find FantasyCon unique and enlivening. That’s why I was pleased to hear that it will be returning again next year.

FantasyCon was very interactive. You could fight things, mine things, eat things, hold things, and behold things.

FantasyCon was very interactive. You could fight things, mine things, eat things, hold things, and behold things.

Jason couldn't pass up an opportunity to instigate this fearsome pose.

Jason couldn’t pass up an opportunity to instigate this fearsome pose.

My recommendation to you geeks out there, yes, you with the Triforce tattoo and you with the Death Star pajamas, check it out. You won’t regret that quest.

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