10 Jul 2013

A Chair, A Chair, My Kingdom For A Chair

Yeah, that's me.
One thing I've never been overly enthusiastic about in the series Game of Thrones was the Iron Throne itself. Don't get me wrong, it looks great, and has certainly made an impact on the culture, and was a perfect introductory image, which Sean Bean slumped in it. But it struck me as too... clean. To perfect. And when I had the chance to sit in it, it was a bit bumpy, but not overly uncomfortable. Certainly not representative of a thing meant to have been forged out of a thousand swords and dragon's fire, and hammered on for two months.The series Throne did exactly what it was meant to, which was to become a symbol for the series. But to fulfil its function, I've never really believed that the Throne of the series matched the Throne of the books.

Apparently, neither has George R.R. Martin. And he would know, you know?

Martin, posting on his LiveJournal, said:
"It’s a terrific design, and it has served the show very well…Everyone knows it. I love it. I have all those replicas right here, sitting on my shelves. 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…"
So how does the creator himself envision the Iron Throne. Find out, after the jump.

That is the (rough draft!) vision of the Iron Throne, as painted by Marc Simonetti for the forthcoming assemblage of complete world knowledge, The World of Ice & Fire, and in Martin's words, "THIS will be the reference I give to every other artist tackling a throne room scene." And just look at the thing! No wonder they never tried to replicate it for the series, the entire structure would have been a set all on it's own. Plus, we wouldn't be treated to fantastic scenes like the one between Joffery and Tywin in The Bear and the Maiden Fair (written by, it should be noted, Martin himself).

I've long held that adaptations need to be their own things, and that the Throne on the series works well in the series. But as Martin himself has shown, there is little substitute for the original.

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