Game of Thrones fanatic transforms North Van home into castle

It’s a little obvious Leanne Lebel loves Game of Thrones.

Lebel’s whole world revolves around the show – right down to the drawbridge and fortified wall the GoT fanatic installed in front of her Blueridge home.

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Naturally, there have been some sideways glances, from the mailman – and potential neighbours.

“The Realtor came over last weekend and sort of started asking: ‘What is this is all about?’ Apparently, he’s had a few people that may be interested in buying the house but they are wondering what’s going on next door,” says Lebel.

Her home's medieval makeover has steadily taken shape over eight seasons of the show.

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The throne was the first thing Lebel built – fashioned from the rocking chair she used when her children were babies.

Lebel's enthusiasm reached a new level in Season 7, when she renovated the main floor of her home to look like a castle. It took Lebel 300 hours alone to do the brick work.

She draped the walls with brown craft paper, securing each section with push pins and tape. From there Lebel methodically sketched out each of the bricks before painting them.

“Towards the end I was running behind schedule to make it in time for the party,” recalls Lebel, who recruited her adult children to help paint the last few bricks.

The family fortified every square inch, including the bathroom, for continuity purposes.

“I think they think it’s pretty awesome. Their crazy mother,” says Label with a laugh.

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Leanne Lebel spent countless hours over eight years giving her home a medieval makeover. Her son Scott also lent a hand. photo Cindy Goodman, North Shore News

Actually it was Lebel’s son who ignited her GoT obsession.

Scott read the books first and then got his mom hooked. When the show started airing on HBO, Lebel, a rec centre supervisor, transformed into a GoT hostess every Sunday night at her castle.

Only fellow diehard fans of the show would score an invite to her meat and mead parties.

Menu items included Baratheon Boar Ribs – an homage to the character killed by a boar – and sausage rolls called Dornish Mice.

A watermelon and feta salad was designed to symbolize ice and fire, while mead and wine were served to guests in goblets.

Each year Lebel has amped up the decorating, and doesn’t want to think about how much money she’s spent.

“I don’t know. I don’t think my husband would like to know,” says Lebel, adding most of the décor is handmade.

Her Night King was created out of a full-length skeleton sourced around Halloween.

“I realized I needed to buff him up a little bit because otherwise he was going to look too scrawny, so I used bubble wrap,” explains Lebel.

On Mother’s Day her son felt unsure about gifting Lebel a dragon wine holder. She thought it was perfect.

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Leanne Lebel and son Scott toast the end of Game of Thrones with a meat and mead party on May 19. photo Cindy Goodman, North Shore News

GoT spoilers weren’t an issue for Lebel. True friends knew not to make plans with her on Sunday nights.

“I planned my life around Game of Thrones,” says Lebel. “I did not plan my 2019 vacation until I knew exactly what the air dates were. There was no way I was missing it.”

Even Lebel’s vacations are GoT-themed, as she has visited many of the sets used in the show.

Sundays won’t be the same for Lebel. This past week winter came to an end.

“It definitely felt rushed,” says Lebel, musing on the final season. “There weren’t as many ahhh and ohhh moments.”

The suspense was what Lebel lived for with GoT.

“With most TV shows everybody is safe, no main character ever dies. And in this show nobody is safe and you never know from week to week who is going to die.”

When Eddard Stark was killed off, Lebel was aghast.

“You go, Oh my God, what just happened? That can’t happen.”

Lebel feels conflicted about the decorations now that the show is done.

“I’ve really enjoyed the parties over the past couple of years. We’ve had Christmas in the castle. We’ve had Thanksgiving in the castle.”

 But her husband is over it and ready for summer.

“I think Larry’s had enough, I think he’d like to have his regular house back,” says Lebel.

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