GRRM Says the Iron Throne’s a Lot Different in the Books, Sounds Like Most of His Readers
Spoiler alert: It does not look as pretty as an officially licensed paperweight.
As someone who’s read through most of A Song of Ice and Fire and who now has family members passing by my current place in DWD, I’d like to officially apologize to anyone to whom I’ve ever began a sentence with “But in the books, it’s like this…” That being said, HBO’s Game of Thrones and George R.R. Martin’s original text are definitely pretty different, and Martin’s always going to be the first person to acknowledge that. Perhaps in an effort to soften some of the criticism against the recent Oberyn Martell casting choice — or maybe just because he needed a break from finding new ways to crush all our hopes and dreams — he went to his blog and outlined one of the biggest differences between show and book: Namely, the Iron Throne itself.
Before your HBO-loving hackles start to raise, calm down: Martin loves the show’s interpretation of the now-iconic throne and doesn’t expect it to ever change precisely because of how iconic it is:
[Hell], in some ways the HBO throne is more real than mine could ever be. They’ve actually MADE theirs (though it is not actually made of iron). […] 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.
All that being said, of course, it’s still not the way Martin wants his readers to picture the throne when they delve into the book world of Westeros:
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… […] 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.
Why are the two so different? Budget and room allotment, for starters. To get the authentic throne in Martin’s head you’d need a hall the size of Westminster Abbey to fit it in, and as huge as the throne set in Belfast is, it’s never gonna be big enough for the “real” thing.
So what kind of ugly, assymetric, massive thing are we taling about? Apparently, this:
Martin loves the illustration above, by Marc Simonetti, so much that he’s claimed he will use it as a reference for every artist working of throne room scenes from now on. And man — I love the HBO throne, too, but I can see how it’s lacking compared to this terrifying monstrosity. Are the steps made of swords, too? Yikes.
(via George R.R. Martin)