George's Game Plan

George R.R. Martin Has a Detailed Plan For Keeping the Game of Thrones TV Show From Catching Up To Him:

Jim Windolf: How do you like this throne?

George R.R. Martin: That throne is very iconic and now it’s known all over the world as the Iron Throne. But it’s a case where David and Dan and their designers departed very significantly from the throne in the books. There’s a version by a French artist named Marc Simonetti that I put up on my Not a Blog and said, "Here’s the Iron Throne. Somebody finally nailed it."

Besides the show, there’s games out there: there are card games, board games; there are miniatures. Much of it that predates the show. There’s a calendar, an art calendar; there are illustrated versions of books. I’ve worked with numerous artists over the years, and some of them have done wonderful work, and some of them have done less wonderful work, and a dozen artists took runs at the Iron Throne, and no one got it quite right, and it drove me a little crazy at certain points, because I’m saying, “I’m not describing this right. No one is getting it right. I can’t draw it myself. How do I get it...?” So, finally, I worked with Marc Simonetti, and he finally nailed it!

The main difference is scale. The Iron Throne that’s described in the books is gigantic. It’s huge. There’s actually a scene in the show where Littlefinger talks about the thousand swords of Aegon’s enemies, and says, “Well, there’s not really a thousand swords. That’s just a tale we tell ourselves.” And David and Dan made a brilliant speech of that, because there clearly are not a thousand swords in that one. But in the real one, the one in the books, there really are a thousand swords! Maybe two thousand swords! You have to climb a steep set of steps, and it’s ugly, and it’s asymmetric. This one, it looks dangerous, with the spikes, but it has a certain beauty and a symmetry to it. The throne in the books, there’s a point made that it was hammered together by blacksmiths, not by furniture designers. It was meant to be a symbol of conquest and triumph, and, you know: “Look. I took the swords form these people and hammered them in. Now I park my ass on top of them.” It has a message there.