Brienne of Tarth, Cosplay, Dark Knight Rises, Faire, George R. R. Martin, Maggie Q, Mary Poppins, Priest, Priestess, Renaissance, RenFest, Robin Hood, San Diego Comic-Con International, Steampunk, Texas Renaissance Festival, TRF
Recently I’ve been brainstorming various cosplays I could do. I always start thinking like this when it’s getting close to time for the Texas Renaissance Festival, which happens in October and November every year, and which is only 30 minutes up the road from us.
The costume I have now is Italian Renaissance garb — pretty generic. I’d call it elegant, comfortable, and practical for chasing the Geeklets around the Faire all day. I’ve worn it for the last couple or three years.
The Geeklets also go in garb. We say they’re pirates, but passers-by have called them Robin Hoods and Hobbits as well.
That’s the good thing about generic Ren garb — it can easily be tweaked to portray different personas. Add a feathered hat and a rapier, and you’re a Musketeer. Carry a couple axes and you’re a barbarian. A cloak and a tall staff make you a wizard.
SuperDad has gone both as a Musketeer-style swordsman and as a Samurai in recent years, but I don’t have a pic of him in garb. I’ll have to remedy that this year.
Anyway, I’ve been going to Faire wearing basic Ren garb for the last 12 or 14 years — ever since I became a Renaissance geek, in fact. (Thank God for SuperDad, because if I hadn’t hitched my life’s trajectory to his, I would’ve remained oblivious and missed out on the whole scene! Perish the thought.)
What I’m getting around to saying is I’m bored. The same old, same old has gotten old. It’s tried and true, but I’ve been craving something with a little more presence.
Then I discovered Steampunk. Now I’m all excited about leather corsets and harnesses, goggles, bustles and fascinators, spyglasses, utility belts, antique guns and dueling foils, not to mention anything with gears. Gears, gears, gears!
The problem with Steampunk is that it can get expensive fast, so I was thinking of keeping the cost down by only buying the corset and some tulle. Then I could cannibalize an old skirt that’s been hiding away in my closet, borrow one of SuperDad’s rapiers, and sew a nice puffy crinoline out of the tulle. I would use the chemise, boots and bloomers (yes, bloomers) I already have, and mostly do without accessories until finances permit. I’d have to fill out the outfit little by little over a couple of years, most likely. That’s OK, though; slow but constant improvement and tweaking can be fun and would probably end up in a killer getup.
Then, a few days ago, as I was clicking through pics of cosplays from various recent Cons, I saw an absolutely spot-on Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins! Who wouldn’t recognize her? Everyone’s childhood had Mary Poppins in it. Brilliant!
It started me thinking: what’s a non-generic cosplay that I could do? What particular character could I pull off?
I wouldn’t be comfortable being a superhero because of the skimpy, skin-tight costumes. They just don’t cover enough flesh. Although I could possibly be a female Thor . . . then, Ka-Pow! It hit me.
I could do Brienne of Tarth, from the George R. R. Martin novel (and HBO show) Game of Thrones! Brienne is tough, strong, capable, no-nonsense, doesn’t wear a skimpy costume — in fact, she’s in full armor — and, best of all, she carries a big ol’ sword. That armor would get super hot walking around at the Faire all day, though. I know some people do it, but those people probably don’t have six young Geeklets to keep track of. Humph.
Or I could do Priestess, as played by Maggie Q, from the 2011 movie Priest! She doesn’t wear armor, but a long black hooded coat and black pants and black high-heeled boots . . . yeah, that’s probably not such a great idea either. I really don’t want to die of heat exhaustion this October.
Now I know why female superheroes wear almost nothing. It’s to keep from overheating while kicking the bad guys’ butts.
Which makes me wonder why male superheroes are overdressed by comparison. Head-to-toe armor or spandex . . . I hope they’ve got a/c in there.
And THEN . . . just as I thought I might be getting somewhere with figuring out a new cosplay to do for the Ren this year, Aurora happened. Some crazy loon in a mask waltzed into a midnight premier of The Dark Knight Rises, dropped some tear gas, and shot 71 people, 12 of them to death.
Sigh. I’m not so sure I’m into doing a new cosplay this year after all.