Adventures in Cosplay: Daenerys Targaryen for a day

In April 2018, I attended the Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) in Chicago. Since I live in the city, it’s a convenient con for me to attend; I’ve gone several times in the past few years. But my costumes were always weak, last-minute attempts.

I knew that cosplay was fun. Admittedly, I was envious of the myriad of costumes ranging from store-bought Star Wars Rei outfits to full-body Deadpool outfits to professional-looking anime get-ups to ridiculously realistic mechs that looked straight outta Japan.

This year, I went all in on cosplay. By planning several weeks earlier, I sourced an amazing Mother of Dragons costume complete with a long, blonde wig.

I studied online photos of Emilia Clarke to match her makeup (those eyebrows!). I even went so far as to purchase a small “dragon baby” that would perch atop my shoulder. [Sadly, dragon baby didn’t make it to the show because I couldn’t find a way to attach her and didn’t want to be faced with lugging a plastic dragon around for what was to be a long day roaming the con. Don’t worry, there’s still hope for dragon baby to appear at future fests and cons.]

Upon arriving at C2E2, I found a cosplay meet-up area for Game of Thrones. Imagine how thrilling it was to enter the gates of Mid-Westeros!

I met fellow GOT fans and had a blast talking to others who adore the epic book and HBO series. Later, there was a group photo shoot, and I emerged with phenomenal photos.

This being my first cosplay group event, I wasn’t sure whether to smile or look fierce in the photos. Often, I just ended up looking confused as evidenced below!

I met Jon Snow.

And Jon Snow White!

Spoiler alert: Littlefinger met his demise (again) by Arya Stark doppelgängers.

C2E2 is one of the best comic conventions in the country. It’s very reasonably priced with a ton of excellent panels and content.

Next year, I plan to attend both Friday and Saturday. We heard that Friday is smaller and attracts more die-hard fans (less family + kids FYI).

This was my first year attending night-time events. I bought tickets to Henry Rollin’s live event. I’ve been a fan of his since the early 1990s, and it was a treat to see the former punk rocker turned poet/speaker again.

My takeaways:

1. A big thumbs up on cosplay. I can see how it can become addictive because it’s an adventure to escape reality and transform into your favorite kick-ass heroine or hero for a day.

2. Plan your cosplay well in advance. I purchased my Danaerys outfit from Amazon which offers a ton of reasonable costumes. Be sure to allow enough time to try it on and exchange in case of a bad fit.

3. Wear comfortable shoes. You’ll walk a ton at these events. Most superheroes wear boots so keep it simple.

4. Check out the night-time activities. My friend and I had a blast hanging out after all the crowds went home. Caution: the nearby bars were packed and service was poor so don’t count on getting a late-night full meal at the hotel bar.

5. Travel light, relax and enjoy the immersive experience that is cosplay.

6. Lastly, don’t be afraid to dance your ass off like Cousin It…

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