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‘Game of Thrones’ Behind the Scenes: See George R.R. Martin’s Original Iron Throne Design

Game of Thrones Iron Throne George RR Martin
HBO

HBO’s monster-hit ‘Game of Thrones‘ adaptation has made plenty of changes both small and large in bringing George R.R. Martin‘s “Song of Ice and Fire” novels to the screen, more often than not streamlining stories and designs. Daario Naharis may not have gotten his blue beard this season, but Martin’s original vision for the iconic Iron Throne of the series and HBO’s stark (heh) redesign will definitely surprise you.

Martin explained over his always-informative LiveJournal blog that for as much as he appreciates HBO’s rendition of the iconic sword-laden throne, featured so prominently throughout the series, his true vision for the piece would have proven far larger, uglier and more menacing than HBO could have possibly put to screen.

The HBO throne has become iconic. And well it might. It’s a terrific design, and it has served the show very well. There are replicas and paperweights of it in three different sizes. Everyone knows it. I love it. I have all those replicas right here, sitting on my shelves.

And yet, and yet… it’s still not right. It’s not the Iron Throne I see when I’m working on THE WINDS OF WINTER. It’s not the Iron Throne I want my readers to see. The way the throne is described in the books… HUGE, hulking, black and twisted, with the steep iron stairs in front, the high seat from which the king looks DOWN on everyone in the court… my throne is a hunched beast looming over the throne room, ugly and assymetric…

The HBO throne is none of those things. It’s big, yes, but not nearly as big as the one described in the novels. And for good reason. We have a huge throne room set in Belfast, but not nearly huge enough to hold the Iron Throne as I painted it. For that we’d need something much bigger, more like the interior of St. Paul’s Cathedral or Westminster Abbey, and no set has that much room. The Book Version of the Iron Throne would not even fit through the doors of the Paint Hall.

Martin went on to explain that, to date, only artist Marc Simonetti had illustrated a design for the throne that the author considers closest to his original vision. “From now on, THIS will be the reference I give to every other artist tackling a throne room scene,” said Martin of the design. “This Iron Throne is massive. Ugly. Asymmetric. It’s a throne made by blacksmiths hammering together half-melted, broken, twisted swords, wrenched from the hands of dead men or yielded up by defeated foes … a symbol of conquest.”

Naturally, Martin also provided a copy of the drawing, which dwarfs anything we’ve seen from the show. Just imagine taking a photo atop this bad boy at Comic-Con:

Game of Thrones Iron Throne Design George RR Martin
Marc Simonetti

Hopefully we’ll get to see more of Martin’s visions adapted for ‘Game of Thrones’ season 4 at Comic-Con 2013, but what say you? Does Martin’s true vision of the Iron Throne change the way you see HBO’s adaptation at all?

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