October 25-28th, 2013
Armageddon is New Zealand’s largest annual pop culture expo, showcasing the latest and greatest in sci-fi, fantasy, and gaming, and playing host to celebrities from a variety of TV shows and movies. To the delight of Kiwi Harry Potter fans, Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) and Robbie Jarvis (Young James Potter in the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix movie) were in attendance for this year’s convention at Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds in Greenlane over Labour Day weekend. My fellow MuggleNet staff member, Cam Parker (social media intern), and I were there to cover the Harry Potter related events on October 27th and 28th.
This was my first ever convention that I attended, and little did I know that I was in for an amazing time. With 60,000 attendees over the three full days and preview night, and 25,000 people attending the Saturday alone, there was no shortage of action. Armageddon is a safe haven to express (or maybe even admit) your love for your favorite fandoms. Being there at the convention reminded me that you should never be afraid to stay true to yourself, something that I think Luna Lovegood would quite agree with.
Cosplay was a huge part of the convention experience. Everywhere we looked there were people of all ages in the most extravagant and creative costumes – video game characters, superheroes, zombies, ninjas, stormtroopers, Disney princesses, and even a giant Harry Potter costume that was perhaps inspired by the Potter Puppet Pals (be sure to check out our photos in the gallery at the bottom of the page).
When Cam and I first arrived at the convention, we were lucky enough to have a private chat with Evanna and Robbie about their time in New Zealand. They were both incredibly nice and down-to-earth as we hoped they would be, and it was so exciting finally getting to meet them in person (though we will admit that we were extremely nervous the whole time!).
For each of the three full days, photo and autograph sessions for Evanna and Robbie were available by purchasing tokens at the designated stand. The fans certainly made their presence known, wearing Harry Potter themed costumes and forming huge lines that snaked all along the corridor and halls. One of the highlights of these sessions for this reporter was definitely discovering the MuggleNet fans that were also there – it was awesome meeting you all!
There were two Q&A panels with Evanna and Robbie that were held during the weekend for fans to attend: the “VIP Access Only” session on Sunday for certain ticket holders, and the “Harry Potter Panel” on Monday for all attendees. The atmosphere in the room for both panels was just incredible – you could definitely feel the energy and excitement among the audience. Being with so many other Harry Potter fans to share the experience, I couldn’t help but be happy. Some of my favorite memories were Evanna and Robbie recalling their audition process for the Harry Potter movies, and their brave attempts at a Kiwi accent towards the end of the “Harry Potter Panel.”
The other major Harry Potter related event that took place was the “Harry Potter Quiz” on Monday. The session was held in two parts: one with a selected few who got all the correct answers for the preliminary test during registration, and the other with everyone else who signed up for the quiz, with an enthusiastic audience to cheer them on. It was a lot of fun watching the event and groaning along with the audience at all the spelling and canon mistakes made by the moderator who created the question screens.
A huge thank you to Armageddon for having MuggleNet be in attendance for the weekend, and to Evanna and Robbie for coming all the way to New Zealand to see us. I never would have imagined that my first ever convention and event coverage for MuggleNet would be so, dare I say it, magical.
Photo and Autograph Sessions (October 27th):
VIP Access Only – Evanna Lynch and Robbie Jarvis Panel (October 27th):
Harry Potter Quiz (October 28th):
Harry Potter Panel (October 28th):
Photo and Autograph Sessions (October 28th):
Fans in Costume:
Guest blogger is Tracey Wong, MuggleNet staff member and senior transcript editor