Rave of Thrones: Exploring new interests


By Camron Owens

It seems nearly impossible to escape the hysteria surrounding “Game of Thrones.” Our university does not offer a class or seminar on the show specifically at this time, unlike the University of Virginia, but I believe the spirit of the Seven Kingdoms is prevalent on our campus.

From professors proclaiming “Winter is coming!” to sports announcers comparing one of our football team’s plays to “Valyrian steel,” it’s pretty clear that the show has a campus presence.

I finally gave in and started watching “Game of Thrones” in all of its premium-cable-channel-glory last summer. I, like many of my fellow “Game of Thrones” fans, immediately fell victim to the magnificence of the character Hodor.

In case you aren’t part of the on-average 14.4 million viewers of the show, Hodor is a giant-like character who serves as an aide to a child with a disability on the show and is only capable of saying one word — “Hodor.”

Many “Game of Thrones” fans, or “Westebros” as I like to sometimes call them, might not be familiar with Hodor actor Kristian Nairn, who is actually a disc jockey. Nairn has taken his naturally titled “Rave of Thrones” party around the world, including shows in the United Kingdom and MGM Grand in Detroit.

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Last week, he brought the Westeros to Champaign-Urbana by performing at the Canopy Club.

While I am not huge into the house or electronic music scene, I was still fascinated and perplexed to see Hodor get the Canopy Club (to quote songsmith iLoveMakonnen) “going up on a Tuesday.”

As strange as the event was for me, I think that Kristian Nairn’s DJ set was a good example of how exciting a well-rounded life can be.

Nairn showed through his DJ performance that even though he’s an actor on one of the biggest shows in the world, he’s still quite interested in pursuing his original passion, music.

In turn, “Game of Thrones” fans get to see a different and deeper side of an actor who plays one of the simplest characters on television.

Nairn could have one of the coolest resumes in the world due to his balance of work and play. He embraces his identity on the show within his DJ set, and because of that blend, he is able to draw crowd members who may not normally attend raves.

In an interview with Detroit Metro Times, Nairn discussed his rave’s association with the character of Hodor saying, “I’m a DJ and musician to the core of my being. It just happens to be a great way to let the world see that.”

I think this is a lesson we can all learn as students. Just because we may seem pretty content in one area of life, like writing or painting, does not mean we should not pursue other areas of life we may be interested in.

No matter what your focus, job or major may be, college is a perfect time for us to find our inner Hodor. Whether you’re a student, king, or the Mother of Dragons, it’s important to balance and explore our work and passions. Living a well-rounded life can be fulfilling and can give us a chance to meet a wide range of people and explore our talents. It’s fascinating to see different sides of people, famous or not.

Some of our interests may seem outside the bounds of our college, major or even comfort zone.

In fact, if we are able to combine these various interests as Nairn does, the results can be pretty interesting and unforgettable. I won’t soon forget the moment I saw Hodor walk out on stage and start laying down beats that were wilder than a wildling.

As the crowd chanted “Hodor!” Nairn took his hands (the same hands that have carried Bran Stark through the Seven Kingdoms) and made a heart sign at the crowd. There is no shortage of love between Hodor and his fans.

Who knows what other unique combinations we may see in the future from actors we love. Maybe an “Orange is the New Blacklight Party” or “Break Dancing Bad.” Maybe even “House Party of Cards.”

I’ll leave the wordplay up to the professionals.

We have such a wide range of organizations and opportunities available to us at the University that it’s very easy to try different passions. There are plenty of registered student organizations and events to attend and join offering numerous opportunities. We might not be international stars of a hit TV show like Nairn, but if we continue to dream big and explore our passions, we just might stumble upon our very own Iron Throne.

Camron is a junior in LAS.

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