Nearly four years ago (in September 2012), I sat down with two other A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones fans and put together a track proposal for Dragon Con – one that would entirely center around George R.R. Martin’s works, both television and writing, as well as HBO’s hit new series Game of Thrones.
Unfortunately, Dragon Con wasn’t accepting new tracks – in fact they were (understandably) combining a few things. Even as we submitted our proposal, we knew deep down that we had no chance. And so, while we were waiting, we started making plans for the first-ever Ice and Fire Con. We wanted a beautiful location, but we needed a place that would work with us in regards to money, because we were basing our future on possible ticket sales.
Thankfully, Ravenwood Castle in New Plymouth, Ohio went out of their way to accommodate us. The new owner (at the time, remember, this is 2012) was (and still is) an ASOIAF fan, and he was very excited to host Ice & Fire Con. That’s not to say that creating this convention wasn’t difficult at all – I even wrote an article about the 5 [not so] easy steps to organizing a convention after our first event – but from the moment we started selling tickets, it was like I’d said “Friend” and the doors of Durin opened for me.
Only, you know, without all the orcs and the cave troll and the Balrog. Just feasts and ale and treasure.
Wait, we’re not-for-profit, so no treasure. But hey, feasts and ale!
Seriously though, since that first year my life has been consumed by this event. Not every hour of every day, but enough that it has become part of my very being. Though there have been times when I’ve thought perhaps it would be better for me to step down as an organizer, in the end I never could do that, and so here I am – preparing for Ice & Fire Con 2017, which will be our 5th year anniversary. And this time I’m organizing this event with one of my closest, most trustworthy, and hardest-working friends.
But it’s not just that. As always, we have an amazing team of volunteers – people who started as friends and became volunteers, people who started as attendees and became friends and then volunteers. Regardless, now more than ever we are all a team, and the next ten months of planning are going to be amazing…but also too long.
Because when I am at Ice & Fire Con, I am home. Whether it’s Ravenwood or Mountain Lake, whether I see certain people several times a year or only at this one event, I am home.
And of course, the fact that we’re all ASOIAF/Game of Thrones fans, the reunion itself, the discussions, the games, the parties, and more…they all make everything that much better.
I love this convention. I love what it has done for my life. I love the people I’ve been able to spend time with, the people I’ve met, and I can’t imagine not loving the people I’ve yet to meet.
I’ll leave you with some of my *personal* highlights from Ice & Fire Con 2016…and the hope that you’ll check out our website, Facebook page, Facebook group, Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram…and consider joining us for our 5th anniversary in 2017!