On the 29th February 2020, That Hashtag Show attended London Comic Con Spring at the Olympia in London. There was a wide array of guests and events from all your favourite fandoms to look forward to as well as a focus on the new Bond No Time to Die.
Guests on the Saturday included Charles Dance (Game of Thrones,) Anna Shaffer (Harry Potter and The Witcher,) Ian Mcdiarmid (Star Wars,) and Christopher Lambert (Highlander.) This was as well as an array of exhibits and stalls to keep you happy for a fun filled day out.
As a London Film and Comic Con Summer regular, this was my first time attending the Showmasters Spring event. I have to say it did not disappoint.
Although a little tricky to get to (I may have accidentally got on the wrong tube quite a few times on the way there….) once at The Olympia it was easy to find and queuing was simple and quick with super friendly and smiley crew members to help with any questions.
The Knights of Ren discuss Adam Driver.
Once I was in, I went straight to the second stage to find a spot for the Knights of Ren panel. It was great to see the faces behind the masks and hear the behind the scenes stories. Hearing the actors talk about the experiences they had whilst filming really does make you look at the films in a new light. A great fact was that the Knights of Ren were all slightly shorter then Adam Driver and had to wear higher shoes in order to match his height. They also had to avoid any injury to Adam Driver during the fight scenes.
There was a lot of talk about the costumes too. They might look SUPER impressive but in reality, they proved rather problematic. Not only were the costumes unbearably hot whilst filming in Jordan, but the lenses on the helmets kept steaming up which limited visibility. The actors even had to wear ice vests between takes to keep cool. I think this just shows the lengths that these guys went to in order to produce the stunning sequences you see on screen. (And let’s face it, those fight scenes featuring the Knights were visually spectacular.) I think what really shone through whilst watching the Knights of Ren panel is what great friends these guys are and the comradery between them. We can only hope that we get to see more of the Knights of Ren in the future.
After watching the Knights of Ren I had a little wander around the venue. When I have attended LFCC previously, the event appeared a lot larger. I spoke to a couple of others who agreed. I think being smaller worked in the Spring events favour however. It seemed more intimate and although there was often a queue to look at stalls and stands, it gave more of a chance to chat to other guests and the vendors. As always, there were some fantastic artists exhibiting their work and I had to restrain myself from spending too much money.
Two Classic Dr’s in Conversation.
I then made my way to the main stage to catch Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy chat about their time as the Doctor. Despite getting there early, the seats were packed out and ready to listen to these two great actors. I laughed. A lot. They bounce off each other with quick witted enthusiasm. It was interesting to hear that neither Colin Baker or Sylvester McCoy envisioned doing conventions so many years after featuring in Dr Who. It goes to show the timelessness of the series and the dedication of the fans. I was delighted to hear McCoy chat about his time as Radagast the Brown as well which was an added bonus.
Gryffindor Girl Power.
On the second stage there happened to be a quiz (I love a good quiz!) followed by a Harry Potter panel featuring Anna Shaffer (Romilda Vane,) Afshan Azad (Padma Patil,) and Georgina Leonidas (Katie Bell.) The room was brimming with Potter fans of all ages and many were in cosplay. I even spotted a Victor Krum! I think the diverse age range of the audience goes to show the impact Harry Potter still has on new as well as the older readers. Everyone listened in awe to the three actors talking about their time on the Harry Potter set.
It was fascinating to hear how sequences such as the Quidditch match and the Battle for Hogwarts came to be filmed. Amusingly all three of the Gryffindor students have something to do with Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) in the saga. In addition Rupert Grint is apparently very similar to his alter ego Ron!
There were some fantastic Cosplayers out and about at London Comic Con Spring. I saw a lot of amazing Star Wars cosplayers queuing for the photo shoot with Ian McDiarmid. Dr Who was a common theme as well. I saw various incarnations of the Dr from Jodie Whittaker through to David Tennant and Tom Baker. As always the majority are friendly and more then willing to talk through their costumes.
The Assassins are among us.
I was curious to know more about the Audible Original series based on the Video Game Assassin’s Creed and so I headed over to the Main Stage to see Anthony Head and Danny Wallace in conversation with Etienne Bouvier from Ubersoft and Steve Carsey from Audible. Assassin’s Creed Gold is an episodic series from Audible Originals. It sounds thrilling, and has been created to slot into the Assassin’s Creeds existing franchise and timelines. It was great to hear how invested in the convergence of entertainment and immersive formats Ubisoft and are. The panel seemed so excited for everyone to hear what they had produced and I personally can’t wait to have a listen.
This year, London Comic Con Spring had a focus on the new (but now delayed) Bond film Time to Die. I may have fangirled slightly over the Aston Martin. Just a bit… The queue for the No Time to Die multi media experience was huge throughout the day. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to experience it, but it certainly looked fun!
Game of Thrones discuss that finale.
The final panel I headed to was the Game of Thrones featuring Bella Ramsey (Lyanna Mormont,) Gethin Anthony (Renly Baratheon,) Daniel Portman (Podrick,) Marc Rissman (Harry Strickland,) Ian McElhinney (Ser Barristan Selmy,) Ben Crompton (Eddison Tollet ,) and Rupert Vansittart (Lord Yohn Royce .) I’m not going to lie, this was the panel I was most looking forward to attending. I think the feeling was unanimous as the cast came onto to loud applause.
They answered all manner of Game of Thrones related questions, and yes – even the inevitable questions about the final season! (Although understandably, they were very careful about what they said.) They all seemed to agree that it could have been longer, but that there was no way in which the ending could please everyone. They were very funny and insightful about life on the set of Game of Thrones, and I always love to hear anecdotes from my favourite franchises.
In conclusion, I thought Showmasters London Comic Con Spring 2020 was a great addition to the Convention circuit, and I would definitely attend again. Although it seemed smaller then the Summer convention I actually thought this worked in its favour as it felt more manageable and easy to fit everything into one day! Plus The Olympia is an excellent venue for this sort of thing, easy to find, big, accessible toilets and enough space to take a breather if needed.