I’ve always thought that television screens have a peculiar quality to them. They imbue anything that passes through them with some artificiality. No matter the production value of a show, I can’t help but be skeptical of it because it’s being broadcast on TV. Even with Game of Thrones, undoubtedly one of the greatest shows on television, I can’t shake that nagging feeling that it’s all a facade; a fanciful world made of little more than cardboard cutouts.

It seems HBO wants to prove that’s not the case. The company is parading the spectacular props and costumes from Game of Thrones around the world in a traveling exhibition that will run through the fall. I stopped by the show during its time here in New York, and it’s an eerie confluence of worlds. The exhibit is — very intentionally — laid out just like a museum. Props are displayed in sealed glass cases as if they were centuries-old fragments unearthed from tombs by a team of archaeologists. The lights are dim as if to protect these precious goods from UV damage.