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ThunderCon welcomes star power at new venue (8 photos)

Organizers expect 3,000 people over the weekend to geek out at ThunderCon

THUNDER BAY - Winter is coming... and while winters are harsh beyond the walls, they may be even worse in Thunder Bay.

So it's a good thing that Richard Brake, the actor who played the Night King on HBO's award-winning Game of Thrones, paid a visit to town on a warm September weekend.

"They invited me, and I said 'Definitely.' I've never been to this part of the world before. And the people here are so nice," he said.

Whether out of fear, admiration, or genuine kindness, fans welcomed one of TV's most notorious villains as the headline guest of this year's ThunderCon.

In its fifth year, ThunderCon moved venues from the Valhalla Inn to the C.L.E. Grounds due to the event's growing popularity.

Fans took the opportunity to "geek out" and visit vendors in Diagon Alley to add to their outfit, play board and card games, take part in a cosplay contest, video game demos, virtual reality, and scavenger hunts.

From the world of Star Trek, a group of Klingons took the time to reflect on the growth of the event.

"We started it off with a Monday event just to test the waters, and it's really grown by leaps and bounds," said one man who is part of the Klingon Assault Group.

Gillian Jigz, dressed as Enchantress from the movie Suicide Squad, says the growth has been encouraging.

"It's definitely getting bigger... you see cosplayers and celebrity guests now, and people take notice. You need some time for it to continue to build up," she said. 

Organizer Toller Madsen says he expects the total of attendees to climb to over 3,000 people.

If the Night King's appraisal of the event is any indication, he'll be back.

"This one seems to be just absolutely booming, there was a line out the door yesterday to get tickets. The cosplay is some of the best I've seen," Brake said. 

"Us actors talk amongst ourselves and say 'What was such and such place like...' I will most definitely be saying this is ones of the best cons I've been to."

Michael Charlebois

About the Author: Michael Charlebois

Michael Charlebois was born and raised in Thunder Bay, where he attended St. Patrick High School and graduated in 2015. He attends Carleton University in Ottawa where he studies journalism.
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