Natasha Lycett, a Williams Lake raised employee of Conuma Coal, sits atop the Throne of Ice, flanked by Night’s Watch guards. Lycett said the experience of sitting on the throne was “bigger than life” and left her “starstruck”. “I think it’s great for our community and has definitely created hype. Tumbler Ridge is the perfect backdrop for and Ice Throne as we are surrounded by incredible frozen waterfalls.” Collin Ball photo

Natasha Lycett, a Williams Lake raised employee of Conuma Coal, sits atop the Throne of Ice, flanked by Night’s Watch guards. Lycett said the experience of sitting on the throne was “bigger than life” and left her “starstruck”. “I think it’s great for our community and has definitely created hype. Tumbler Ridge is the perfect backdrop for and Ice Throne as we are surrounded by incredible frozen waterfalls.” Collin Ball photo

Hundreds flock to throne found in Tumbler Ridge ahead of Game of Thrones premiere

Excitement builds across the globe for the premiere of the new season of Game of Thrones

The Throne of Ice for HBO’s #ForTheThrone scavenger hunt has been found in the town of Tumbler Ridge, in Northern B.C.

Winter may be giving way to spring but fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones know it, along with the final season of the epic fantasy, is coming this April to networks across the world. To celebrate and promote this series finale, filmed over the course of the last two years around the world, HBO has hidden six thrones across the globe.

So far five of these thrones have been found, with the most recent throne found in Tumbler Ridge. Other locations include Björkliden in Sweden, Castillo De Atienza in Spain, Gloucestershire in the UK and Beberibe, Ceará in Brazil. Photos of the thrones were revealed on Instagram and from there the hunt was on.

It’s fitting in many ways HBO chose Canada to be the location of the Frost Throne. Not only do many suspect the North in Game of Thrones is at least in part based on our homeland but we’re also one of the few places where natural ice walls occur. For the town of Tumbler Ridge, which has many frozen waterfalls around it, being chosen by HBO has been a welcome boost to the local tourism economy.

READ MORE: Hidden throne found in B.C. woods as part of Game Of Thrones contest

The Tribune talked with Randy Gulick, owner and operator of Wild River Adventure Tours, whom HBO contracted to scout locations for the throne and then install it. Gulick has worked in the area since the late 70s before the founding of the town, which was originally built as a coal mining town in the early 80s.

He began working on this project a few months ago when he was contacted by a man in Calgary for information about Kinuseo Falls for a “scavenger hunt.” After showing the man a few pictures of the many frozen waterfalls that surround the town he was put in contact with a representative of HBO directly from L.A. who had him scout three locations before selecting one at Babcock Creek.

“Tumbler Ridge has over 50 waterfalls to choose from, so once they found the one that they wanted it was pretty easy for them to decide after that,” Gulick said. “Being the Throne of the Ice they wanted an ice background and they wanted to have one in Canada. With only six in the world, we feel pretty privileged to have one here in Tumbler Ridge.”

It took about 30 hours from the posting of the throne’s picture on Instagram on Monday for it to be discovered, Gulick said. The couple who found it, Gulick noted, are avid outdoor explorers and had just skied through the area earlier that week.

Originally, the Throne had been placed on the ice further up the creek away from the trailhead, however, due to warmer than usual temperatures, Gulick had to move it at the last minute or risk it being lost under the ice. Early Tuesday morning, he used a helicopter to move it to its current location at the start of the trailhead.

“I hiked into it Monday morning and there was water just about at the base of it so we made the decision right then to move it,” Gulick said.

READ MORE: Game of Thrones-inspired scotch hits BC Liquor Store

Because of this, Gulick said the couple thought someone had beaten them to it but were quite amazed to learn they were the first to find the throne.

Since its discovery, he said hundreds have come out to pose for photos with it and its guard of Night’s Watch. All this attention can be nothing but good for the town, in his opinion.

“People are coming from quite far away. I met a couple yesterday that drove up from Calgary to sit on the throne and they said they’re coming back to visit in the summer because they can’t believe how nice it is here,” Gulick said.

The throne will be available to the public until this Sunday, should any super fans from the lakecity wish to make the pilgrimage. Best time to come is between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. when the sun is shining and the Night’s Watch guards are there for photos.

Season 8 of Game of Thrones premieres April 18 on networks across the world.



patrick.davies@wltribune.com

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