Friday 30th September – Sunday 2nd October
Celebrate a love of Game of Thrones and all things science fiction and fantasy in Northern Ireland.
TitanCon first began back in 2011 when it was first held at the Europa Hotel, which was a huge success, with 240 members attending. Since then it has grown with an increasing number of people attending each year.
TitanCon fills a notable niche not only for Belfast but for the whole of Ireland, as it brings together lovers of everything science fiction and fantasy in an environment that is aimed towards the literary and artistic parts of these genres. This not only helps breed the knowledge of how far these genres have come but also the authors, artists and producers etc. that work within it.
Over the years it has hosted many authors such as Joe Abercrombie, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Leigh Bardugo and Sarah Pinborough, as well as Belfast authors Ken Gregory and Laurence Donaghy.
Not only has it hosted many amazing authors ,but it has also has the ability to host actors from the hit TV show Game of Thrones ,as well as some of the great staff that work behind the scenes on the show.
All this alone makes the event extremely worthwhile to attend, but the fun doesn’t stop there. TitanCon also includes a tour of the various Game of Throne filming locations set around Northern Ireland. The ability to visit the various filming locations with many like-minded sci-fi and fantasy fans is a great opportunity that is highly recommended.
The brilliant not-for-profit science fiction and fantasy convention will be held at the Wellington Park Hotel in Belfast. Pick up your membership from 3pm, then pop along to the Literature Night at the Wellington Middleton Room on Friday 30th September from 7:30pm.
The convention itself kicks off on Saturday morning. Get snapped with some amazing Game of Thrones guests, get your books and other memorabilia signed and attend some fantastic workshops with Brutal Ballet and Historical Fencing NI. So far the announced Game of Thrones guest include Roger Ashton Griffiths (Mace Tyrell), Dominic Carter (Janos Slynt,), Kerry Ingram (Shireen Baratheon), Ron Donachie (Rodrik Cassel), Fintan McKeown (Amory Lorch), Annette Hannah (Frances), and Emma Andrews from the drapes department. This stellar line-up may change in the run up to the event, so keep an eye on TitanCon’s social media and their website for more on what to expect on the day.
This year’s special guests includes a great line-up of authors, including Peter F Hamilton, Pat Cadigan, Ian McDonald, Jan Siegel, Ruth Frances Long, Peadar Ó Guilín, Debbie (DJ) McCune, Jo Zebedee, and Rachel (R.B) Kelly. With the list being so full of great authors, make sure you have enough room to take more books home than you brought with you!
On Sunday, the TitanCon coach tour takes you all around Northern Ireland, visiting some of the most beautiful filming locations for Game of Thrones. First up is the Dark Hedges, where the King’s Road scenes were shot, then on to Cushdendun Caves, birthing location of the infamous “Shadowbaby”. Also included in the tour is Carnlough, where the Braavos Canal scene with Arya was filmed, and finally it finishes up at Clandeboye Estate, which is famous for many scenes (Jamie’s Stump, the Godswood North of the Wall, Craster’s Keep, the Hound meets the Brotherhood), and where you can join in with a medieval feast, complete with a hog roast.
From midday on Monday 28th, you can join the stragglers at the Wellington Park hotel bar for the Dead Dog Party.
As Vikki is unable to attend this year, James will be taking up the baton.
“I have been unable to attend TitanCon in previous years due to prior commitments, but I’m looking forward to finally getting to go, as so many who have attended in previous years have spoken so highly of it. I hope I have given you food for thought on the possibility of attending this wonderful event, but if you’re unable to attend this year, then you can still support it by purchasing a Supporting Membership.”
Last year we interviewed programming director of TitanCon, Phillip Lowles.
What is TitanCon?
TitanCon is a not-for-profit fan convention focused on showcasing literary and artistic accomplishments in Northern Ireland within the field of speculative fiction and works of the imagination. Our primary subject is Game of Thrones and the local film making talent that has been such a vital component of the TV show’s success.
Why did you decide to start such a convention?
I blame George RR Martin and his wife Parris for this entirely! I’d been going to WorldCon for a few years and started getting involved with organising charity raffles as part of the Brotherhood Without Banners parties at WorldCon. This lead to me organising the second Belfast Moot in 2010 when George was there for the shooting of season one. It was around that time that I floated the idea of running our own convention, something that would be run in the true fannish traditions that George and Parris have been a part of since the 1970s, and because we knew that every other event out there would follow the traditional media comic con format, which is just a massive money making machine in reality, with little in the way of heart and soul, and no time to properly focus on the stuff that really matters.
Marrying the format of a literary style convention with a media event is no easy task and we’ve had many people doubt our ability to pull it off, but thanks to a lot of hard work and a huge amount of good fortune we have been lucky enough to have some awesome guests over the last four years. Including: Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark), Art Parkinson (Rickon Stark), Kristian Nairn (Hodor), Ron Donachie (Rodrik Cassel), Ian McElhinney (Barristan Selmy), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Jojen Reed), Ian Beattie (Meryn Trant), Eugene Simon (Lancel Lannister), Kerry Ingram (Shireen Baratheon), Miltos Yerolemou (Syrio Forel) and many others.
How is it run?
Mostly it involves me spending a lot of my time writing emails. A huge number of emails.
How many people usually attend?
We usually have around 200 paying attendees and between 70-100 guests, artists and staff on the day. But we have room for plenty more people and tickets are still available!
What’s your favourite part of the con?
It’s hard for me to answer that question because sadly I get to see so little of the panels and events, I’ve always got to rush off and set up the next thing that’s going to happen. But the discussion panels are always great fun and everyone says that they get better every year. I suppose the part I enjoy most is the Coach Tour on the Sunday, because I always get to see all of that and while I am still responsible for making sure we get everywhere on time and we’re not late for dinner, I can relax and simply enjoy seeing the filming locations with all the other fans.
Do you still need volunteers?
We always need more volunteers, being a fan run event TitanCon simply cannot exist without the support and help of volunteers willing to give up an hour or two of their day to help run the event. But that doesn’t mean volunteers miss out on the cool stuff and in fact it can be a lot of fun and a great way to make new friends.
A full membership costs just £25, and the coach tour is another £43. The coach tour is optional of course, but who wouldn’t love a chance to visit so many incredible places? You can also buy T-shirts to commemorate your visit, which cost £15, and were designed by the incredibly talented Heidi Lee Sperring. Unfortunately the shirts can’t be posted, so you’ll have to attend to pick yours up (or, if you ask nicely, an attending friend can collect and post it for you).
The Wellington Park Hotel is running a deal for attendees, but unfortunately all days apart from Sunday are now fully booked. There are several other hotels in the area, and taxis are reasonably priced for those travelling back to their accommodation late at night.
If you can’t make it to Belfast this year, grab a supporting membership for just £5, and help ensure TitanCon will be around to enjoy for many more years to come.