Armageddon Expo 2019!

It was a rainy, blustery Queen's Birthday Weekend, but that didn't stop the hordes of cosplayers, otaku, and pop culture aficionados that flock to the Christchurch Armageddon Expo every year!   

I go with my twin sister every year, sometimes in cosplay, sometimes not. This year was a 'no cosplay' year for us (yes, partly because it was freezing cold and pelting rain). However, one of my favourite things about this event is seeing all of the amazing costumes on display; many of which people have spent hours, weeks, or months putting together. I have a small collection of some of my favourite cosplays from the Saturday afternoon to start with.

Being a major Deadpool fan (I got the most adorable Deadpool mug from one of the stalls on Saturday), this cosplay really impressed me! This cosplayer really went all-out. His costume's bang on, and the little added touches of the plushie unicorn in a bag, and the same hand-drawing from the films really made this costume special.

The next one is a gorgeous costume that's a creative re-imagining of Oogie Boogie from Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas. I love the creativity and the workmanship on this one; and she made the entire costume herself. This is another one where the little details are what really make it; this one has fuzzy dice, and even little plastic spiders dangling from 'webs' on the back. 

It was a day for clever cosplays! After talking to this excellent cosplayer, as I couldn't quite figure out which fandom she was from, she let us know that she is an NPC (non-playable character) faun. This was very clever, as you find these characters in all sorts of games (a big one being World of Warcraft) and they often have exclamation marks above their heads to show that they have a quest for you. Even more impressive, her costume was made by hand - even the goat-feet shoes! 

Last, but not least, we have a duo cosplaying as two Tieflings from Critical Role, a web series where professional actors play Dungeons and Dragons. The execution here was awesome (as were their fake fangs!); they each have 'prehensile' devil tails that are kept upright and out of the way with fishing line tied to their wrists. The horns and wigs are also gorgeous, and the personality they put into their posing and role-playing was spot on.

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There were several events I was looking forward to on the Saturday expo, namely the 'Shadowhunters' and 'Outlander' panels. We started our Armageddon day a bit late (around midday) but were just in time for the Shadowhunters panel featuring Katherine McNamara (aka, Clary Fray). I've only recently started watching Shadowhunters, which is based on Cassandra Clare's bestselling series The Mortal Instruments. I've been enjoying it, despite some big deviations from the book, and it was cool to see the actress who plays Clary in person. She's got a great sense of humour, and gave some funny insights into behind-the-scene life on the Shadowhunters set.  

The second panel showcased Lotte Verbeek (Outlander, The Borgias) and Graham McTavish (Outlander, The Hobbit), two recurring characters from the ever-popular Outlander series. Another big TV show that's based on an immensely popular book series, I was especially looking forward to this one as a big fan of Outlander (books and TV series) and The Borgias. Lotte plays the enchanting 'witch' Gaellis Duncan in Outlander, and the Pope's mistress Giulia Farnese in The Borgias alongside Jeremy Irons. Her co-star, Graham, plays Dougal MacKenzie in Outlander, and the dwarf Dwalin in The Hobbit trilogy

The lovely Lotte Verbeek and humorous Graham McTavish were guests at the Outlander panel.You could tell that they'd acted together at the panel, as they played off each other's comments and made jokes between themselves and the audience. Guests were allowed to line up and ask questions. One of my favourites was the answer to "If you could play any role, what what it be?". Lotte answered that she wants to play an alien, while Graham would love to play Macbeth. Funnier still was his quote that he's acted in the play Macbeth several times, but was "always the bridesmaid, never the bride". 

All in all, it was a very wet and cold but extremely enjoyable day surrounded by pop-culture, cosplay, celebrity guests, and some amazing stall shops. 

I can't wait for next year!

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