Theodicius

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Anatomy of a Surprise

Posted on by arlen

So, here I was, working WorldCon (Chicon7) as usual when this nugget gets dropped on me. “Ron Donachie is here and wants to help. Where can you use him?”

This is interesting. Ron Donachie played Ser Rodrik Cassel on Game Of Thrones, the hot HBO series from the series of books by George R. R. Martin. as well as the heroic Steward from “Tooth and Claw”, the episode of Doctor Who that gave birth to Torchwood. He’s definitely got the cred for WorldCon.

But, as our Programming Head observed, there isn’t always a good place to fit an actor in. (WorldCon, I should explain for those of you unfamiliar with that land, is a gathering focused on the literary works of science fiction and fantasy. Media properties are welcome, and there are program items for fans to discuss them, but largely WorldCon is a place where Author, not Actor, nor even Director/Producer, is King.)

So I scanned the list of upcoming items looking for a fit. The Doctor Who discussions center around the Moffat/Smith years, alas. Then I see a panel devoted to discussing Season 1 & 2 of Game of Thrones. We talk about it, but it already has the full complement of panelists so we’d have to throw somebody off to make room for him, and it’s in one of our “normal” programming rooms, meaning we might overflow it terribly once we announce his addition to it.

Then I see the list of panelists and Lee (yes, that Lee) is one and I can’t let this slip by. I know she’s on wheels and parks at the end of the panel table, so there will be an empty chair even if the full group is there. And I know she’s a big fan of the series.

“How about we don’t announce it? We’ll just have him show up unannounced and join in. A special treat from him for the hard-core fans?” The eyes light up around the table and it’s agreed. If Ron Donachie can possibly make the time, he’ll be there.

I can hardly contain myself. Aside from this being my suggestion, you have to worry when sending a Name into a fan discussion. Names can be intimidating, even unintentionally, and can change the entire dynamic of the panel. And, back to the personal level, I owe Lee and disrupting her discussion is not In My Plans.

So I waited outside the door to see the results of my meddling. Yes he could make the time, and yes it worked out splendidly. Ron Donachie’s participation was met with rave reviews from panelists and audience alike. For your part in this, Mr Donachie, accept my thanks and IOU.

And for you, Lee: It took me two years, but I finally got you back!

One Response to Anatomy of a Surprise

  1. That you did, dear man, and what a delicious surprise it was! Mr. Donachie is a charmer, and (happy bonus) a longtime reader of SF&F. He was a superb addition to the panel.

    And, even happier bonus, he and his lovely wife approached me Monday as we were all checking out and waiting for rides to the airport. A delightful few moments of conversation ensued and is tucked in my happy memories file.

    Thank you!
    Lee

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