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Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic

Make the world of make-believe believable.

  1. Although Game of Thrones is set in a fictional time and place, costume designer Michele Clapton took inspiration from, among other things, contemporary art and fashion. Worn in "Blackwater," the penultimate episode of season two, Cersei Lannister's breastplate (worn by Lena Headey) drew much attention. As did the actress's performance. Rolling Stone critic Sean T. Collins said of the episode that it "gave actress Lena Headey her finest hour on the show so far."

    Lena Headey's costume from the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones.

    Photo courtesy of EMP staff. 

  2. Art and architecture collaborative Lead Pencil Studio (Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo) designed an armor-clad tree made up of 48,000 zinc tiles painstakingly applied by hand at the center of EMP's all immersive exhibition. Don your suit of armor and prepare to do battle: just around the corner lurks a slumbering dragon.

    Photo courtesy of EMP staff.

  3. Designed by the Seattle Opera—creators of some of the stages’ most celebrated creatures—Adalinda the animatronic dragon claims a corner of the exhibition’s gallery. While her six-foot-long head appears in one section, her coiled tail appears in another. Tread lightly and use a soft touch lest you wake her.

    Photo courtesy of EMP staff.

  4. Actual field armor worn during the 16th century, this protective garb is as stylish today as it was in times of yore. Grab a sword as a stylish accessory and go from forest to battlefield to the dragon's lair at a moment's notice.

    Photo courtesy of EMP staff.

  5. Preliminary model of one of the Mystics, creatures known for their wisdom and longevity, from the film The Dark Crystal directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz. The 1982 movie was billed as the first live-action film devoid of on-screen humans and featuring cutting-edge animatronic puppets.

    Courtesy of The Jim Henson Company, Inc.

    Photo courtesy of EMP staff.

  6. Step inside the Library of Arcane Wizardry to explore an extensive digital archive of fantasy-related content and wood cases holding original artifacts from eminent writers in the field such as Ursula K. Le Guin, George R.R. Martin, and Terry Brooks.

    Photo courtesy of EMP staff.

From The Wizard of Oz and The Princess Bride to Harry Potter and Snow White and the HuntsmanFantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic invites audiences on a fantastical journey to unearth the inspiration behind this genre’s most magnificent creations.

Pet a dragon designed by Seattle Opera, view an original manuscript page from Game of Thrones, and revel in hands-on installations that include world building and mapmaking. See the leather skirt and metal armor worn by Lucy Lawless as Xena in Xena: Warrior Princess, David Bowie’s Jareth the Goblin King outfit from Labyrinth, the Wicked Witch of the West’s hat from The Wizard of Oz, and other iconic costumes from TV and the silver screen.


The Making of Fantasy

Think the end result is impressive? The construction of Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic was an epic event unto itself. With the help of art and architecture collaborative Lead Pencil Studio (Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo) EMP created an immersive environment complete with crawl spaces and echoing audio caves. At the heart of the exhibit lies a soaring tree covered in 48,000 zinc tiles, each of which was applied by hand. Lead Pencil Studio hoped that visitors would “lose track of reality for a bit.” Want to try? Check out the time-lapse video below to see the tree take magnificent form before your very eyes.

Hobbit Day

Monday, September 22

Celebrate Hobbit Day—which marks the birthday of both Frodo and Bilbo Baggins—at EMP with new artifacts on display from the realm of Middle-Earth.

Event Details

Official Sponsor:

CenturyLink

Supporting Sponsors:

47North

Magic the Gathering

This project was supported, in part, by an award from 4Culture:

4Culture

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