GAME OF THRONES Creator George R. R. Martin Unveils Picture of the “Real” Iron Throne

     July 10, 2013


Differences between the A Song of Ice and Fire book series and HBO’s Game of Thrones TV series are one of the most divisive issues in the fandom, but now the book series’ author George R. R. Martin is throwing his two cents in about HBO’s Iron Throne versus the one he imagined.

No adaptation is perfect, and while fans have vehemently debated the changes to character arcs and some of the casting choices, the setting of the show and the art direction have rarely come into question.  Still, Martin obviously has had a bone to pick about the HBO-designed Iron Throne for awhile.  Hit the jump for his reasons, as well as the thumbnail picture he posted.

Via George R.R. Martin:


Martin’s “real” Iron Throne (Martin details the difference between fiction and reality for his first three paragraphs, just in case people don’t understand that what someone thinks is not actually tangible), is actually pretty badass.  As it is described in the books, it is made of over 1000 swords, incredible, imposing, and uncomfortable.  Further, the throne also has a spirit of its own — it cuts up rulers who are unworthy.  King Aerys (“The Mad King”) was often sliced as he ascended and sat on it, and the same is true of Joffrey.

game-of-thrones-iron-throneIn his diatribe, Martin details his acknowledgment of how fans love HBO’s Iron Throne and the others that have travelled around for promotional purposes, and finally, after so much disclaimer, Martin has this to say:

“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.”

After displaying the picture of the “intended” throne, Martin marks his mood as “satisfied,” and goes on to say,

“That’s the Iron Throne as painted by the amazing Marc Simonetti (and if you haven’t gotten his 2013 Ice & Fire calendar, better hurry, the year’s half over) for the upcoming concordance, THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE. It’s a rough, not a final version, so what you see in the book will be more polished. But Marc has come closer here to capturing the Iron Throne as I picture it than any other artist to tackle it. From now on, THIS will be the reference I give to every other artist tackling a throne room scene. This Iron Throne is massive. Ugly. Assymetric. 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… it has the steps I describe, and the height. From on top, the king dominates the throne room. And there are thousands of swords in it, not just a few.

This Iron Throne is scary. And not at all a comfortable seat, just as Aegon intended.

“Look on his works, ye mighty, and despair.”

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