Kevin and Birgit Sharman have never watched a full episode of Game of Thrones, but the Tumbler Ridge couple say they’re fans now.
The duo has attracted international attention after discovering one of six replica Iron Thrones hidden around the globe as a part of an HBO promotional contest touting the eighth and final season of the fantasy epic.
“The whole thing started for us morning. We got a cold call from a reporter in Calgary, and she had been following this contest that Game of Thrones had put on. We hadn’t been following the contest, but we knew Game of Thrones obviously,” said Kevin.
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From the call, the pair learned that online sleuths, using a 360-degree video posted to the contest website, had begun to narrow down possible locations for the “throne of ice,” with Tumbler Ridge one of the more popular theories.
“People online eventually kind of honed in on Tumbler Ridge as a likely location, they matched up the video that HBO released with a drone video that a local videographer had put out a couple years ago,” said Kevin.
Use your mouse or tilt your device to look around the 360-degree video
The pair, have lived in the area for decades, work in tourism for the Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark and are avid outdoors people who know the area well. It turns out they’d visited the site where the throne was several times already this winter.
“She sent us the official clue video and I knew right away. I was kind of being cagey with her, I said, ‘Yeah, it kind of looks like Babcock Creek, but we have a lot of frozen waterfalls around here, maybe we’ll check it out in the next couple of days,” he said.
“But from talking to her I was pretty convinced we would head out right away as soon as we hung up the phone.”
The pair jumped into their vehicle and headed straight for the creek, anticipating a possible long trek or ski to the location.
“I said, ‘We’re going, I don’t care if we have to ski, and then wade through water and ski,'” Birgit said.
“We parked the vehicle and we got out, and right away we actually saw the throne was beside the creek, right there by the side of the highway, and we said ‘Oh, we must be too late, somebody already found it and they pulled the throne out.'”
But that wasn’t the case.
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A man came out of a trailer in the area parking lot, and asked the couple “why are you here.”
“That was the big key, because I said, ‘To sit in the throne,’ all officially, and he kind of nodded, that was the magic words,” Kevin said.
“As soon as we said that, these two guys pop out of the trailer, and they’re these tall guys, dressed in these fur-lined robes looking all serious … it was all part of the scene.”
The fur-clad attendants, dressed as soldiers of the Night’s Watch, led the couple down to the Throne, where Birgit had the honour of sitting first and getting a coronation with a “fancy crown” that she described as “super heavy and quite large.”
The crown is a replica of the one worn by King Robert Baratheon in the first season of the show.
“It was quite surreal in this beautiful surrounding, and nobody else around.”
The pair have been getting plenty of media attention since the event, along with local accolades.
They say they hope their experience will help put Tumbler Ridge on the map, and showcase its natural beauty worldwide.
“To be honest, neither of us have watched a whole episode. We know of the show, of course, we’ve watched trailers,” Kevin said, laughing.
“But we’ve actually been fortunate enough to travel to places like Ireland and Iceland and seen some of the set locations … and we’re really happy that Tumbler Ridge is part of that now.”
The Iron Throne will remain in Tumbler Ridge until Monday and is open to the public to visit for free.
Tumbler Ridge is in the Peace River region of northeastern B.C, near the border with Alberta.
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