The Artisans: Gemma Jackson video
By Winter Is Coming on in Media, News.

Another update to the Making Game of Thrones site today, this one in the form of a video. The video is a first in a series called “The Artisans” which will presumably give us a look at the different folks that have a hand in designing the look of the show. In this first video we hear from production designer Gemma Jackson who talks about “crafting the look of Westeros.”

Winter Is Coming: A great update today. Very cool to hear about Jackson’s methods for designing the look and feel of the show. As I said on Twitter, it is exciting to think what “very high standards” and “huge scales” mean to an Oscar-nominated production designer! The video also gave us glimpses of some of the sets, the most impressive of which, to me, was the tourney set. The river in the background, the banners lining the tourney grounds, the tents, the stands, it all looks great.


120 Comments

  1. Josh K
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    That guy on the crane splashing paint on the wall, is that our first look at the Wall or simple Castle Black. The surrounding area looks similar to the scenes we’ve seen shot a the Wall.

  2. Phantowriter05
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I see that she was on the set of the Hand’s Tourney grounds …

    for some reason I always imagined it to be a little more … epic or on a grander scale?

    But then these are just part of the set and without CGI, plus this is a TV show so maybe I just need to except that.

    anyway the places look amazing and you can tell that they put alot of thought into there concepts.

    So in closing I guess you can never do a horrible job if you put your heart into it … and they clearily have.

    HOW LONG MUST WE WAIT!!?

  3. sjwenings
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Phantowriter05,

    The tourney set seemed a little underwelming, but then i remembered that it would only be used for that one episode. Naturally they don’t wanna blow a bunch of money on something they’ll only use once. Better invest them in something like the Castle Black set.

  4. Martin
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Very good video, would be really great to have a more detailed ‘making of’ at some point, to see how concepts get generated, transformed via sketches and models before reaching fruition on set, especially how they achieve that ‘whole’ and make sure that everything just hangs together perfectly.

    As far as the Tourney set, once it is populated, lit and filmed, I’m sure it will come alive (plus digital effects added). So tempted to take a spin up to Shane’s Castle and have a look (it’s about 40 miles up the road from where we live).

  5. Josh K
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Also loving the Direwolf banner, and the seven pointed star of the Sept. Wonder which Sept that is.

  6. spacechampion
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    I wish I could see the video. All I get is a white space where it ought to show up, here and over on the makingof site.

  7. Darksofa
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    spacechampion,
    I get it too. I wonder if it’s geo-blocked?

  8. J
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    same here

  9. Lex
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    I’m getting the blank white space too, along with all the older videos posted on that blog. I’m pretty sure they worked before.

  10. spacechampion
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Funny thing — JUST after I posted that comment, I went over to the site again and I could now see the video!

  11. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Considering its supposed to be made out of ice, I doubt that shot was of the Wall. Castle Black does seem more likely or perhaps Parts of Winterfell or KL. The walkway through the battlements seems like a really cool little set piece too. Perhaps it was for the Arya/Jon scene when they are watching the sparring. It could also be for Arya’s cat chasing scenes. I don’t think it could be used for the Night’swatch sets though. Castle Black isn’t supposed to have any walls (well besides the big 700 foot one.
    Is there any way to blow the video up to full screen?

  12. Darksofa
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    spacechampion,

    Heh, well, lucky you :) Still blank for me.

  13. spacechampion
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Sets sometimes are planned to be redressed for multiple uses, so all those guesses for the walkway could be right Lord Ned’s Head.

  14. Katran
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Lord Ned’s Head,

    Ran @ Westeros had a link to the full-screen version.

  15. Darksofa
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Katran: Lord Ned’s Head,
    Ran @ Westeros had a link to the full-screen version.    

    That link is brilliant, thank you! Anyone else having white-space issues, try it out. Worked for me!

  16. OhDanyBoy
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Darksofa,

    Agreed! I believe whatever embedding they use is causing the problem – so the direct link to HBO should work great for everyone!

  17. Winter Is Coming
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Katran,

    Thanks for the heads up on the video link. I added it to our post as well. I also notified HBO about the issue with the embedded video not showing up for everyone. So hopefully they will get that ironed out shortly. But in the meantime, the link should work.

  18. dizzy_34
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    The scale of that set the guys are working on at the beginning seems a bit small I wonder if that is a “bigature” a la LOTR. Could just be the camera angle too.

  19. spacechampion
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    One thing I am going to watch out for is how the same objects would be designed differently based on time periods. The Stark banner from 300 years ago shouldn’t look exactly like the Stark banner today, since a different artisan would have created it.

    I was hoping the star would look more like this: http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/Heraldry/Entry/The_Poor_Fellows/

  20. Kanga
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Every time I watch one of these videos I’m still struck by the fact that they’re actually doing this, it still hasn’t completely sunk in. When this actually starts, I am not going to be able to stop smiling :)

  21. Lex
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    It works now!

  22. Wolfheart
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Really… they painted on the sigils to the banners…I guess HBO is cutting corners really anywhere they can to cut costs. I just hope they don’t do close up during the real show. Unless they have some done true embroidery style.

    Getting that closeup of the Stark sigil like that, when its not embroidered or on a bas relief. It looks really cartoony.

  23. Silverjaime
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Martin: So tempted to take a spin up to Shane’s Castle and have a look (it’s about 40 miles up the road from where we live). Martin

    Yes – me too, but when the grounds aren’t being used for something the gates are closed. I was only able to drive in the last time because they had the gates open for HBO as they were building the set. I was turned back at the farthest point you can see on the film, just before the tents and the wooden stand. I’d love to have the time to go round everywhere we know they’ve been and wait for an opportunity to get in!

  24. Wolfheart
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    that Stark Direwolfs eye on the sigil close up looks terrible. Squinty eyed.

  25. Rimshot
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Very cool to see the Tourney set on screen. Gemma is standing roughly in the middle of the lists so you are only seeing half of it there. Actually I was standing roughly where she is, at the side watching the action. The river bank just behind her is where we all sat down in between takes and, for longer breaks while a new scene was prepping, we were ‘rested’ on that bridge. I spent hours chatting with other extras on, or beside that bridge and we had lunch there too. Even though it was only a month ago I really miss the fun we had there. Although that sand was a curse as we had sandals on and it would get in easily. I also spent 2 days holding one of those banners so when the time comes I hope I can be spotted easily. I started out holding the Mountain’s banner but then I was given one with a kind of moose skull on it. When it rained, we also spent a bit of down time in that Feast Tent that you see which was fascinating with all the exotic food that was in there. Alot of it was real (the wasps loved it!)

    This blog is very exciting and it shows that HBO have heard us and are thinking of us. Can’t wait for more!!

  26. Mormegil
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Some nice visuals.

    Some speculation

    I’m guessing the first one we see with the pink walls and steps is part of the Red Keep. The only other possibility I think is Drogo’s mansion in Pentos.

    The guy throwing paint at a Wall may well be The Wall as it is said to sometimes look pale grey. The ice effect will probably be added by CGI.

    The Tent with all the food is the Tourney.

    The Seven pointed star could be a Sept in the Red Keep.

    The wooden doors opening into a hall is I think the great hall at Winterfell.

    The walkway is part of Winterfell or Castle Black.

  27. Lex
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I thought it was interesting when she talked about taking design elements from all over the world, not only medieval and before, so that they could have an instantly recognizable look for every different setting (or “world” as she called them). I guess this would explain things like the “samurai” armour we’ve had glimpses of. Hopefully they don’t go too overboard with that.

    Anyways, I guess there’s a lot of pressure on Gemma Jackson, considering she said she’s completely responsible for the entire look of the show! She’ll probably be blamed for anything that people don’t like. The direwolf looked great, though.

  28. OhDanyBoy
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Wolfheart,

    I’m sure that it is probably a technique used a lot of the time, and will look good on film using post-production texturing and whatnot. As you can see in that shot, there is a light stand right behind the banner, so I doubt there will be a closeup view of it, especially at that angle.

    You wouldn’t expect them to stitch every one of the banners if a quick paint job could yield the same results do you? Judging by her talk of high standards, I expect it will look just great.

  29. The Rabbit
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Am I the only here who is trying to reckognize the banners (except for the Baratheon s stag and Lannister s lion who are pretty visible)?

  30. The Rabbit
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Rimshot,

    Can you helps us with the banners we actually see on this video?
    If you can t, just ignore my question :)

  31. Lex
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    The Rabbit: Am I the only here who is trying to reckognize the banners (except for the Baratheon s stag and Lannister s lion who are pretty visible)?    

    There’s an orange one in one of the very last shots, but I can’t make it out.

  32. Two Feathers
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Thanks HBO loved the Gemma Jackson video. Nice to get a glimpse of the unsung heros (set and prop makers) in action. Having worked as an extra on three different sets I cant praise these guys enough. Really looking forward to seeing the show.

  33. The Rabbit
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    Yeah, the orange with someting on the right side, blue with yellow next to it.

    On the left side there are Lannister s (far one), Baratheon s clearly visible, there is also white one with something on it. Could it be a rose?

  34. altman747
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Just a quick thing – I liked how the video also gives us, perhaps, a sense of some of the music they’ll be using for the series.

  35. Linayus
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Looks excellent. The “depth” of the tourny grounds doesn’t seem that great but I’m sure the CGI enhancements will give that a better touch. Otherwise the glimpses we saw were pretty epic. :)

  36. Wolfheart
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Its hard to make out the banners that are one sided. You can tell based on that they have printed on sigils that they did the filming from the visual side. Cutting costs and all, which is totally understandable. But based on that embroidery of the Stark direwolf in the prior behind the scenes in a close up, we should expect the same if we see close ups in the show *nod*. Anyone want to take a guess as to what scene the tent with table and food was for?

    As Lex put it I find it odd though that Gemma was “taking design elements from all over the world, not only medieval and before, so that they could have an instantly recognizable look for every different setting (or “world” as she called them).” I also hope they don’t go overboard with it. As most of the books focus on Westeros. Since westeros wasn’t separated by seas, like our world. I see Westeros more like Europe in history where people traveled between countries and they all had similar styles and fashions with their own twist.

    I loved seeing some of the production concepts of the buildings, the classic wine flagons, and the glimpses of the halls and walkways used.

    Another thought. That Direwolfs ear looks like its sprouting out the end of its mouth.

  37. Tysnow
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    I quite enjoyed this little clip, sort of wetted the appetite for those who like to see the thought process of those behind the scenes.
    I noticed they used the old standard measurements in the drawings and not the metric system. I guess those are the first glimpse of the dungeon cells. The one with the doomed roof appears to be a lower level cell, which actually is quite accurate, since as you go deeper down the cells become smaller as the walls and ceilings are thicker to support the growing weight of the floors as they add up.

  38. Elio & Linda
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    In regards to the painted banners, this is actually period technique in the Middle Ages — many pennons, banners, etc. were simply painted with arms. There were embroidered ones as well, of course, but painting was pretty common. There are even painted royal banners, so it was something that wasn’t just a thing done by poorer nobility.

    I loved much of what I saw, particularly the seven-pointed star. As I told Rabbit, I’m a little perplexed about their making up heraldry (what looks like a yellow pile on blue, some sort of white animal — a boar or bear perhaps — on orange; and the white rooster on red glimpsed in the behind the scenes featurette) when George has literally described hundreds of arms in the course of the series. But at least one can assume they are examples of the thousands of arms that haven’t been described by George.

    As to the pavilion, that would be the feast pavilion featured in Sansa’s chapter during the Hand’s Tourney, used in the evening after the completion of the first day’s jousting.

  39. Winter Is Coming
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    A few observations…

    I don’t think the wall the guy is painting is the Wall. It is perpendicular to the river. Judging from the Castle Black set photos, the Wall runs parallel to the river. So I’m guessing that is just a wall of one of the Castle Black buildings.

    I like the dead deer hanging by its feet in the prop room.

    The schematics definitely show some sort of cell. Probably a cell in the Red Keep.

  40. Wolfheart
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    altman747: Just a quick thing – I liked how the video also gives us, perhaps, a sense of some of the music they’ll be using for the series.    

    Yes, I was wondering that also. If they have been sliding that in. Although I’m very anxious to hear the series title theme. I wonder if it will compare at all to Showtimes Tudors? Or be much more medieval in style with contemporary flare?

  41. Steve B
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Here, let me get it out of the way for everyone now– it won’t be like I thought it was going to be in my head, they’re cutting corners, it’s not grand enough, and it looks cheap. ;P I think that runs the gamut of possible complaints. LOL

    Now, in seriousness, I do think one major thing to ponder/recognize is that they’re clearly taking a specific aesthetic sensibility about the show– it’s pretty clearly not in the Tudor’s motif, and more of (for lack of a better example) the style of A Knight’s Tale. Definitely the look is meant to be more gritty/realistic and less high fantasy/medieval drama.

    I have to admit, I first thought it all looked a bit rough around the edges. I definitely have had a different look in my head, but now that I see which direction they’re taking, I just don’t see much reason for complaining about it. They’re not aiming for that vision in my head, they’re aiming for something different. So, I feel like I should be judging their aesthetic success by the standards they seem to be using, ya know?

  42. The Rabbit
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    Well observed. I did not spot the dear at all in the props room.

  43. Tysnow
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Wolfheart,

    Yes, but you had many different types of medieval cultures. You had early medieval 10th thru 11th century, the mid 12th and 13th and the later 14th and 15th, each had its own unigue architectural and cultural elements. Plus different regions of Europe had their own styles. I am sure if you travel, you will notice that Italian, German, French, Spanish medieval cultures and architecture was fairly unique to it’s region, there were of course similarities, but many differences.
    Then you have medieval Eastern Europe which evolved its own medieval styles.
    So I can see them associating lets say medieval France with Highgarden, obviously they are going the Scottish/Celtic route for Winterfell. Then we have the Spanish for Dorne, Malta for Pentos, German Bavaria could end up being the Vale, and so on. It is staying medieval just expanding the styles from strictly England to most of Europe. We know Dorne was sorta Moorish already and I always envisioned the Vale as being Bavarian. I suppose the Riverlands will be the classic English culture with the Lannisters being Eastern European apparently.

  44. Martin
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Silverjaime,

    Yeah – we’ve been there for a few of the Medieval Fairs. I guess security will be pretty tight too. Will probably try Castle Ward instead, it’s closer to us and the site is a bit more porous, and there are a couple of different ways in, esp from the Audley’s Castle end.

    Do they ever open up parts of the set for members of the public ?

    Martin

  45. Steve B
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Tysnow,

    That’s a very astute observation. If you look at how large a league is (even with its variability), it becomes clear that Westeros is HUGE, and can easily support different cultures, even if they are similar in some ways. It’s, what, thousands of leagues from Winterfell to only Kings Landing, right? Thousands, as in the plural. Frankly, it’s amazing linguistically that they simply don’t speak different languages. Still, George isn’t perfect. :)

  46. Lex
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Well, Jackson calls them all “various worlds”, so I think we’d better get used to that. After this vide, it’s completely clear that this is the direction they’re taking.

    WiC, could it be a sky cell?

  47. Tysnow
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    A little medieval castle 101 for those interested, first concerning the Vale, we all know what castle the Eyrie mimics, and that castle isn’t even medieval but was constructed in the 19th century. So here is a German castle, a French one, a Spanish one, a English of course, a Scottish one that we have seen somewhere before, and I will throw in a Romanian too, and thats the tip of the iceberg, there a scores of varying looks to European Medieval Architecture.

  48. Steve B
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    What’s interesting to me is how little info Martin actually gives about this sort of stuff. Sure, he lumps Westeros all together compared to the Summer Isles or Braavos, or Anstapor… that sort of stuff. Dorne as well. But he rarely goes in to the details of comparative architecture or clothing, that sort of stuff. It’s really left up to your imagination. He describes buildings, like the Red Keep or Winterfell or the Eyrie, but he almost never goes around clearly comparing this geographical location or building style to this real world one, etc. within Westeros itself. It leaves a lot up for ones mind to decide upon.

    I think one of the major mistakes I made when first reading the series was to compare Westeros to England, which it’s clearly not. It’s an island divided from a continent, and it does run north south. But the size is too vast. It’s more like taking Medieval England or Europe and expanding it to the size of North America. Or like comparing the size and scale of the Targayen empire to all of the Roman Empire.

    I actually think it’s kind of fun to see what HBOs interpretations of the different cultures of the different Westeros areas will be. They’ve got to make up something, because it’s a visual medium, and I think it’s much more interesting to make each area a bit individuated. Plus, it actually makes sense, if you think of the size and scale of Westeros, that the cultures would be a different, that the clothing would be a bit different, and that the architecture would be a bit different as well. To me , these are all different cultures with their own long histories, brought together under an invading force, not a single unified culture that should all look the same.

    Although the fact that they all speak the same language does get in the way of that. Though I guess all fiction has its limitations. :P

  49. Elio & Linda
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Winterfell is not actually thousands of leagues (a league being three miles) from King’s Landing. Whenever a character thinks that something is “a thousand leagues away” in the series, in pretty much every case this is an exaggeration and basically indicates “an impossible distance to travel/get a message to/whatever in a reasonable time”. The whole length of the Seven Kingdoms from the Wall to the Summer Sea is almost exactly 1,000 leagues. The distance between Winterfell and King’s Landing is about half that distance (1500 miles), using the scale GRRM has provided. Still a large distance, of course, in historical terms.

    Re: different times/cultures,

    I think to some degree, at least, Jackson’s remarks on the Dothraki have to be considered, as well as other such things we’re aware of (the Free Cities, Pentos in particular), as being at least part of what she is referring to. In particular, even in King’s Landing, we see there are items that belong to other cultures — the Valyrian sphinx on the small council’s table, for example, is probably based on Hellenistic or Egyptian predecessors.

    So that’s a part of her meaning, in any case.

  50. Steve B
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Elio & Linda,

    Really? Where did you get the info about the size? I felt like I was really paying attention this time to distances…. though clearly I’m wrong. Just be neat to see where the size is discussed and proved.

    Still, even if it is only 1000 leagues long, that’s still 3000 miles. That’s wider than the entirety of the US, or around as long as going from Panama to the northern border of the US. That’s ample opportunity for different cultures to develop in a world without TV, cellphones, or cars. And that’s only talking about Westeros! It doesn’t even include stuff north of the wall. Nor any of the Pentos, Bravos, Dothraki stuff.

    It’s just damn big.

  51. Knurk
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Steve B,

    As I remember GRRM once said that the Wall is so many miles long, and that the scale on the maps are correct. That way you can measure the distances in Westeros. You can believe Ran (Elio&Linda) when stating these thing, they are the next best thing after George and Parris.

  52. Knurk
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    I always divided Westeros in three parts of style and culture. The North (First Men), the Middle (Andals) and the South (Rhoynar). I have always a lot of trouble visualizing so many different styles and cultures in fantasyworlds so I’m glad GRRM doesn’t elaborate too much on that. That way I don’t have to make it too hard on myself.

  53. Steve Westenra
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    altman747,

    Damn it! You beat me to it. ;p This was about to be my clever observation.

  54. pualo
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    GRRM has also said that the distances and travel times etc. don’t necessarily add up, because it’s too complicated for him to get right. I don’t think he put a lot of thought into exactly how big Westeros is, and it’s safest to call the distances undefined.

  55. Steve Westenra
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Steve B,

    I have to say, I wouldn’t have been happy if they had chosen to make it look like The Tudors, which is not set during the middle ages at all. It is a period piece, and probably one of the closest, of recent television shows, to being medieval, but there’s quite a difference in terms of fashion, technology, architecture, etc. No, Thrones is not meant to be a carbon copy of our world or timeline, but it’s always seemed very clear to me that the general style was nothing later than the high middle ages. It’s not that the sets and the costumes for The Tudors weren’t accurate to their time, but moreso that it’s just not what people were wearing/building/living in from the sixth to the fifteenth century (the slightly flexible period used by most historians to differentiate between medieval times, the renaissance, etc). Often clothing, etc, DID look much less opulent than would later styles of dress, even when we’re talking about the clothing of the nobility.
    In a lot of ways, I think that the lavish medieval garments that people are imagining are more akin to Sansa’s idea of what the world is/should be like, which is kind of the equivalent to the image that medieval romances put forward.
    Anyway, I think I may have gone off there from what I probably meant to say, for which I apologize. ;p

  56. spacechampion
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Elio, any idea how much land exists above the Wall? ie. Is it just a little strip of land not much bigger than what we see in the maps, or is it as much above the Wall as below to say the Neck?

  57. Lex
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t paid too much attention to individual members of the production crew yet, but I see that Gemma Jackson was responsible for the production design of John Adams. I just recently watched that, and every aspect of the visual design was fantastic. I feel a little less worried now.

  58. nattie
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Is that going to be the music for GoT?

  59. GaR
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Knurk: Steve B, As I remember GRRM once said that the Wall is so many miles long, and that the scale on the maps are correct. That way you can measure the distances in Westeros. You can believe Ran (Elio&Linda) when stating these thing, they are the next best thing after George and Parris.  Quote  Reply

    I’m pretty sure GRRM said the maps aren’t to exact scale, and that measuring the Wall wouldn’t work.

  60. Knurk
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    GaR,

    Hmm, my mind is messing things up. On the aSoIaF you can read that GRRM stated you should NOT be using the 300 mile long wall as a measurement haha. But it appears in doing so you don’t have a lot inconsistencies. It says the whole of Westeros (including north of the Wall) is 4000 miles north to south. If you measure from the Wall to south with the Wall-scale you measure 30000 miles (what Ran is saying) and then you have 1000 miles for the northern part. So using the Wall-scale can be accurate, but not pin-point accurate.

  61. Maester May
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    GaR,

    He’s always stated that Westeros “is about the size of South America.” Still pretty big and vague, but gives you a rough idea of how big it is.

  62. Knurk
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    nattie,

    I don’t think so. I can’t believe they’re already scoring this. If so, it sounds pretty good. Maybe a little hint of what kind of music we can expect, but it can easily be that a guy who has nothing to with the show edited this clip and thought that sort of music would fit in nicely.

  63. Maester May
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Maester May,

    Also, I think it’s worth pointing out that there are several languages in Westeros, there just happens to be the Common Tongue spoken fairly widely throughout (I think it’s related to Valaryian, but that’s always been a little vague. Maybe the Andals brought it with them) but if the Targaryens brought the Common Tongue with them, that wouldn’t be all that dissimilar to most of South America speaking Spanish (with the exception of Brasil of course)

  64. Knurk
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    GaR,

    here’s the link btw, on the notes at the bottom of the page.

  65. GaR
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Maester May,

    Yeah, of that I was aware. I was just debunking the Wall Ruler method :P

    Knurk,

    Yeah, it may get you approximations, but since GRRM isn’t even that precise with his times and distances, it seems a bit futile…

  66. Silverjaime
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Two Feathers: Having worked as an extra on three different sets I cant praise these guys enough.

    So……Winterfell at Castle Ward? Tourney at Shane’s Castle? and…..Greyabbey yet?

  67. Silverjaime
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Martin,

    At Castle Ward you can walk right past the set, but I was lucky and a crew member took me right into the courtyard while they were filming (during a break) so i got to hide in the corner and watch! But when I took my son down the next day there was nobody there but 2 security guys and some bollards, so you couldn’t go in or take pix. But you can see a lot from the outside looking in. Worth a visit!

  68. Silverjaime
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Mormegil: The guy throwing paint at a Wall may well be The Wall as it is said to sometimes look pale grey. The ice effect will probably be added by CGI.

    I think that’s a Castle Black wall not “the Wall”, cos you can see it’s at a corner and it’s all brickwork. The Wall is actually the hewn rock-face of the quarry painted greyish-white. So it wouldn’t have brick-work.

  69. Chris
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Winterfell, King’s Landing, The Wall, and Dani’s storyline are the main focal points of the first season… and each one of those places are entirely different from each other, so I’m not really worried about her comments. I do think they will enhance the differences to make it easier for the viewers to know where things are happening, as she mentioned. If you watch Boardwalk Empire, they definitely do this to differentiate between New Jersey and Chicago, for instance.

    I agree that I don’t want them to take it too far… but I think their is plenty of room for creativity on their part. I mean, GRRM took quite a lot of liberties in writing about the castles – you’d be hard pressed to find anything resembling King’s Landing in Medieval history I bet.

    Gemma Jackson knows what she is doing, and I think it’s cool that this is a project where she can really let loose and be about as creative as she wants to. I am definitely looking forward to seeing how everything looks on screen.

  70. Silverjaime
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Steve B: It’s just damn big. Steve B

    I really didn’t pick this up in the books cos I wasn’t paying much attention. So if this is right it surely would’ve taken WEEKS for Robert and all to come to Winterfell to see Ned. I mean the king, his entourage, Cersei and hers and her wagon and so on – their top speed would only have been slightly above walking pace. Does it say anywhere how long that journey was? Mind you that explains why Arya just goes on and on during her travels…..

  71. Steve B
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Well, it does take a month or more for all of them to go from winterfell to kings landing, right? And my memory is that it takes something like month for Tyrion to get to the wall with Jon. They’re all going at a leisurely pace, but even so, a month or more is a long time.

  72. Damryn of Dorne
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    Screenie of Ice in action from the HBO fall preview.

  73. Damryn of Dorne
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 1:06 am | Permalink
  74. Hear Me Roar
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    Chris: I mean, GRRM took quite a lot of liberties in writing about the castles – you’d be hard pressed to find anything resembling King’s Landing in Medieval history I bet.

    I somehow think of the old Istanbul/Byzantium here. A large city by a navigable river/sound, built on hills, the fortress right next to the water, big domed structures such as the sept of Baelor/Hagia Sophia dominating the skyline etc.

  75. Hear Me Roar
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    Here’s one impression, not perfect, and not settled enough in this image yet, but nevertheless:

    King’s landing :)

  76. m4st4
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    Hear Me Roar, nice picture! XO

  77. Elio & Linda
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    It’s true that George used to claim that no, you can’t use the Wall as a scale. He changed his tune, though, in an interview (4th part of the January 2006 CBC Studio One interview, which I can’t seem to find online anymore) where he admitted that fans had caught him out and that yes, indeed, the Wall’s stated 300 mile length can be used as a scale. I think he was trying to keep all the wiggle room he had by not providing a scale to begin with, but obviously decided it was pointless and fessed up.

    Of course, the fact that the Wall is almost certainly not exactly 300 miles long, and the fact that different maps have slightly different placements of locations and such, means George still has wiggle room. But not so much wiggle room that you can say it’s not to scale.

    Re: how much land beyond the Wall, it’s safe to assume Westeros extends all the way to the North Pole. As others say, he’s compared Westeros to South America in approximate size. I once calculated the area of the land mass as shown on the maps, but I admit, I can’t recall the result.

  78. Jensel
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Considering maps:

    I’m regulary amused that most people tend to treat maps of fantasy worlds like our modern day equivalents. You should be aware that cartography for creating maps with distances you could rely upon was not developed before the 18th century. I believe James Cook was one of the pioneers. Look at any globe or map before his time to see what I mean. So, if the map displayed in George’s book is exact distance wise, it would be an anachronism.

  79. Liesie
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    haha anybody noticed Gemmas little pause when she says Kings Landing like she forgot the name for just a moment. XD

    I think everything looks great so far and like someone already stated: I still can’t believe this is happening!

  80. c0venant
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Something Ive been thinking about is the way clothes and objects looks in movies and tv-shows.
    When I was a little boy sometimes my grandmother sew clothes for me. This was a nightmare since I always thought they looked extremely home made. I remeber looking at clothes at the store in an early age trying to see what made those clothes not look home made.
    Never came to any conclusion.

    Perhaps it is the same difference as in movies. In some movies the outfit looks genuine and cool while in others they look amateurish and corny even though the difference really cant be seen.

    Is it the difference in situation and lightning? As in my case seeing something in the store knowing it is not home made?

    From the teasers and previews here I find many clothes and objects to look a bit low key, home made and anticlimatic.
    I hope this is because of the situation and the lighting. Not to forget the scrutinizing we do here frame by frame.
    I am hoping it will look better in post production when also the acting and the plot draws as much attention as the object we see.

    I mean HBO knows what they are doing. They have always made things look breathtaking and authentic.

    I know the show will look gritty and dirty. I am just hoping there will be a big contrast between this and the excessively rich and pompous. The black and dusty contra the colorful and luxurious. The small dark and cold Winterfell contra the overwhelmingly big and shining Kings Landing.

  81. Snowfell
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Jensel: So, if the map displayed in George’s book is exact distance wise, it would be an anachronism.

    On the other hand, it’s not – at least necessarily – a map that would exist in the story. In that sense, even modern globe-projections wouldn’t be anachronisms per ce, though for sure they would offer some strange contrast.

    But maps are in the fantasy books mostly for the ease of readers (and because fantasy books just have to have a map, it’s a cliché) and most readers don’t need maps that would be exactly on scale. In that the not-so-exact “mediaval style” is a perfect solution – easy for the writer, easy for the reader.

  82. Jensel
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Snowfell: On the other hand, it’s not – at least necessarily – a map that would exist in the story. In that sense, even modern globe-projections wouldn’t be anachronisms per ce, though for sure they would offer some strange contrast.

    Indeed. However, if no in-world character has access to such an exact map, you can dismiss any comments about distances from him or her. Judging distances from ground level is _very_ error prone – the relative error is closer to 200% than to 20%, especially on long distances.

    Of course, one might speculate that a character with the ability to warg into birds also has a fetish for cartography…

  83. Elio & Linda
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Of course, the dimensions of the Painted Table as described in the novels are exactly the dimensions of the map as published.

    The map we have in the books is, basically, a cleaned-up version of the map he himself uses to keep track of distances, where people are, etc. The map(s) of Westeros in the actual novel are basically the same map. One must presume that the maesters have mapped the Seven Kingdoms to a T with their superior, post-medieval levels of knowledge regarding cartography and astronomical observation.

    “George is not a cartographer,” is probably the real reason to suppose that the detail level of maps in the setting are beyond what would have existed in an equivalent era. But the in-story reason would just be … maesters know their business. Somehow.

    He _is_ aware of historical cartography to some degree, such as the medieval world maps which place Jerusalem at the center of the world (he’s using this very same idea for a map that will be described in ADwD). He knows that the further you got from “terra cognita”, the more fanciful and notional the maps. But he has not, so far, really created such maps because they have nothing to do with the story.

    I’ve very rarely seen a work of fantasy in which the maps presented to readers represent anything but a genuine, relatively precise map of the environment.

  84. Crotalidian
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    c0venant:

    overwhelmingly big and shining Kings Landing.    

    Kings Landing? Shining? I always envisioned it as a stinking cesspit and a blight on the Westerosi Coastline. Y’know like Hull…or Baltimore with the Great Sept being its only beauty and the Red Keep as a somewhat agressive and powerful if not pretty focal point

    Jensel, Elio & Linda,

    The Painted Table was Crafted for Aegon The Conqueror and while it may be very inaccurate to chart a land from ground level you may remeber that he had a certain aerial advantage which would allow very accurate mapping of the continent

  85. Jensel
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Elio & Linda: I’ve very rarely seen a work of fantasy in which the maps presented to readers represent anything but a genuine, relatively precise map of the environment.

    True, but you are still hard pressed to deduct any exact information from such a map – at least if Martin’s world is a globe. Any 2D map contains projection errors of some kind: Either the distances or the areas are exact, but not both at same time. The error can be very large, depending on the projection used and the relative size of the depicted continent in respect to the globe diameter – which probably is the case here.

    This is basically a “get-out-of-jail”-joker for George. He or any in-world character may safely state distances/area sizes which are correct but not actually backed by the provided “exact” map.

  86. Mark
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Not to get on a rant here, but ….

    Some of you guys are just ridiculous. I’m just as rabid for these books as the next fan, but the amount of complaining over aesthetics and minor details is just silly. This is the absolute, hands-down, best treatment this series could EVER get, in any shape or form. It simply doesn’t get better than this, yet some of you guys are nitpicking everything in these behind-the-scenes videos. You should be ashamed of yourselves! I myself am an indie filmmaker / graphic designer and I think everything looks perfectly gorgeous. I like that certain elements are not what I envisioned or expected; it keeps things exciting, fresh and new.

    To all of those who simply can’t imagine this world through anyone else’s eyes: think of the alternative. I mean … it could have easily been utterly destroyed by being produced as a single 2 hour movie. They’ve done that before.

    So knock it off !!!

  87. Mormegil
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Silverjaime: I really didn’t pick this up in the books cos I wasn’t paying much attention. So if this is right it surely would’ve taken WEEKS for Robert and all to come to Winterfell to see Ned. I mean the king, his entourage, Cersei and hers and her wagon and so on – their top speed would only have been slightly above walking pace. Does it say anywhere how long that journey was? Mind you that explains why Arya just goes on and on during her travels…..  Quote  Reply

    Not sure if the total journey time is ever given but we are told that it takes the Royal party 12 days to cross the Neck.

    The distance from Moat Calin to The Twins is at most a quarter of the total distance and probably nearer a fifth so overall journey time is certainly in the region of 2 months.

  88. c0venant
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Mark,

    Couldnt agree more.
    But there is a thin line between discussion and nitpicking

  89. Mormegil
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Speaking of seeing maps in Fantasy worlds I remember finding it very odd when watching the Lord of the Rings to see Faramir have a map that was taken straight out of the book.

  90. Elio & Linda
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Jensel,

    Your point is well-taken, but I think it’s the sort of thing that won’t happen actually happen. GRRM is not a cartographer, and taking the tack that the maps are distorted projections would probably confuse him even further about distances between locations. With such a complex series, every convenience he can get is helpful.

    Mark,

    Yep, the fact is that the time from Bran’s first chapter to Ned’s arrival in King’s Landing is a period measured in a number of months. Almost half a year by some measures.

  91. userj
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Crotalidian,

    I think King’s Landing is supposed to be extremely grand when compared to Winterfell, but as you say if you scratch beneath that veneer it is rotting from within. The obvious parallel being that the surface beauty of the Lannisters (Cersei, Jaime, Joff) is only barely hiding the monsters within.

    There are numerous examples in Sansa, Ned, and Arya’s chapters about how HUGE KL is, and how grand and opulent the setting is compared to their little castle. Sansa’s descriptions especially emphasize the grandeaur and the beauty of the Red Keep, the Tourney, etc. Robert goes on and on to Ned about the food, wine, women, and general wealth and opulence of KL. Arya’s chapters (as they always do) expose a bit of the lie. Rats, urchins, etc. It should be something like ROME, where there is incredible beauty in many of the settings in the capitol but in the alleyways it’s dirtier and grittier than anything in the provences.

    Anyway from this I always assumed things like costumes for the royals and folks like the Tyrells should be super rich, colorful, and opulent, whereas northerners would be more muted colors, simple materials etc. If Gemma goes this way, it’ll be very easy to tell The Wall / Winterfell from KL.

  92. c0venant
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    userj,

    Exactly.

  93. spacechampion
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Regarding the area north of the wall, it is entirely possible it is not a large continental area but gets extended all the way to the pole via sea ice freezing around islands, like Canada before global warming.

  94. Eirikur
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Mark,

    Hear hear!

  95. Brude
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Silverjaime:
    I really didn’t pick this up in the books cos I wasn’t paying much attention. So if this is right it surely would’ve taken WEEKS for Robert and all to come to Winterfell to see Ned.I mean the king, his entourage, Cersei and hers and her wagon and so on – their top speed would only have been slightly above walking pace. Does it say anywhere how long that journey was?Mind you that explains why Arya just goes on and on during her travels…..    

    I once did the math on this and GRRM’s estimate of the time it takes in the book were pretty dead on, assuming the map scale is correct. I went with a standard walking pace for travel because of Cersei’s wheelhouse. I forget what the time was, exactly, but I believe it was more than a month for the whole trip.

  96. Jeff Thompson
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Lords and Ladies,

    I do love the enthusiasm surround this show. We got everything from people analyzing the walls & banners to people getting a measuring stick and deciding how long Westeros really is down to the League. LOL. I love it. Only from fans do you get this. I am also a very huge fan of the book series having read all 4 books on pretty much a re-occurring semi-annual basis.

    Here are a few things to think about to keep things in perspective:

    – George warned us not to look too much into the sets and production film trickery. It can possibly ruin the magic of film making when you actually see the real thing in action and in post-production.

    – Movies/Shows will almost NEVER live up to their Book counterpart. They can never get so much into the details that a book can provide for you. Just consider the show to be a enhancement to the book and judge it on its own merits. Setting yourself up for expectations that the show will be an replication of the books is setting your expectations up for failure and disappointment. Besides we have our own imagination on what things should or should not look like. This show is giving it from 1 persons imagination. I am sure its going to be awesome.

    – These guys are fans of the books too. George has already stated that these people really “get it”. This show is going to Rock!

    On another front:

    Which structure do you think is going to have the most CGI put into it? My guess just from the books and the hard time I had with trying to picture this structure, is definately the Eyrie for me that seems to go through the clouds and keep going. Thats going to be cool!

  97. Adam Whitehead
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Yup, GRRM changed his mind on the use of the Wall as a scale bar. Westeros is about 3,000 miles from the Wall to the south coast of Dorne, and about 900 miles wide at its widest point, which seems to track. If the Wall were in, say, northern Scandanavia, Dorne would be somewhere around Morocco, which tracks.

    Essos, the eastern continent, has its north-western corner roughly in the vicinity of Braavos, which appears to be due east of the Vale of Arryn (since ships crossing the Narrow Sea travel from White Harbour to Gull Town to Braavos, and from there to either Duskendale or Pentos, suggesting those two ports are roughly opposite one another). The Disputed Lands are due east of Dorne (the Stepstone islands link the two), with Volantis slightly further to the south-east.

    Essos is then oriented from the Free Cities in the north-west down to Asshai in the distant, remote south-east, many thousands of miles away. GRRM has said that Essos is the size of Eurasia, if not bigger, so Asshai could be something like 7,000 miles from Westeros, maybe more (since Martin has also said the planet is ‘a bit’ bigger than Earth). Slaver’s Bay, I would guess, is about halfway between the two extremes. Essos does not connect to the northern polar icecap (the Shivering Sea separates them), so does not appear to be in a similar danger of invasion by the Others, at least not yet. Because Essos is oriented to the south, the variations in seasons are also not as strongly felt there.

    Elio & Linda,

    “I’m a little perplexed about their making up heraldry (what looks like a yellow pile on blue, some sort of white animal — a boar or bear perhaps — on orange; and the white rooster on red glimpsed in the behind the scenes featurette) when George has literally described hundreds of arms in the course of the series.”

    HBO may have copyright concerns about those heraldic images. The ones actually depicted visually in the novels are presumably covered in their contractual agreement with GRRM, possibly other prominent ones like the Cleganes, Baelish and so forth, but the ones only verbally described in the text but which have appeared on the Citadel at Westeros.org might be straying into a copyright grey area they wish to avoid (like how they said they wouldn’t be looking at any of the extant art from Fantasy Flight or so forth to avoid copyright issues). Or they couldn’t be bothered to do their research, which would be disheartening.

  98. The Rabbit
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Adam Whitehead,

    Yeah, I was thinking about the banners thing and I ended with very similar conclusion. The copyright issue seems the most likely answer.

  99. Hear Me Roar
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Well, they can always have their own design based on the blazons, i.e. descriptions, which the DO have the copyright to. They have proved that with their original treatment of the Targaryen coat of arms, if nothing else (also putting the Baratheon crown around the stag’s neck). A bit strange.

  100. The Rabbit
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I still do not get at all why would they go with entierly new sigils, if there is no any copyright issue.
    I am pretty condfident on Elio and Linda s expertise on the Asoiaf heraldy, and if they don t recognize the banners I do not know who can, althoug the banners on the right side of that shot are not so easy to recognize anyway.

  101. Steve B
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Why does the heraldry being just like it was in the books matter?

  102. The Rabbit
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Steve B,

    Actually I am not going die if the heraldy is new and I am still thinking the show would be great.
    But somehow, I hoped I was going to find some more familiar banners yesterday (except the Lannister, Stark and Baratheon).

  103. Steve B
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Fair enough. The differences have been startling to me at times as well. I don’t think I ever really realized just how much of everything was in my head…. what I was fleshing out without realizing it, or what remained cloudy and vague without my realizing it. In an odd way the TV production has helped me cement my own vision of the books more firmly, which I like.

  104. Wolfheart
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Lets get this straight. HBO has NO issue with copyright when they BASE a design concept on a description from George’s book. Proof is in the pudding. Look at all the major household sigils are still represented by their description in the book. Some which do not hold to our mental image of them while reading. I have issues with small features on the Stark sigil obviously with my prior comments, as well as the Targ sigil. But in the book description it doesn’t say: “With only two legs and two wings” Just says Three headed Dragon. But for those who have read the books gather it most likely on the sigil only has two legs.

    The problem would have been if HBO took the visual design from already MADE art from fans and published art from artists such as Mike S Miller, Ran and many of the other artists that have contributed to FFG’s CCGs

  105. pualo
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    userj,

    Winterfell is actually larger than the Red Keep. It says so explicitly in the book.

  106. Chris
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Well, there are a lot of familiar sigils present, including all the “major” ones. So maybe they have just added a few of their own to spice up the tourney scene a little bit. It’s a fantasy production and I don’t think it hurts for the design team to throw in a little of their own creativity as well – as long as they aren’t making drastic changes to major things.

  107. Lex
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Steve B: Why does the heraldry being just like it was in the books matter?    

    The issue is not differences. It’s the complete lack of house heraldry from the books. The major ones seem to be there (Stark, Lannister, Baratheon, Targaryen), and are fairly similar to representations we’ve seen in the past, but all the other sigils we’ve spotted so far have been created for the show, and are not from the books at all. The books describe dozens and dozens of house sigils, however, so it seems odd that we haven’t seen any of them yet.

  108. Lex
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    What I mean is, I can understand if copyright issues force HBO to make their heraldry somewhat different from what we’ve seen before (i.e. HBO’s interesting version of the Stark banner, or their amazing version of the Targaryen banner). But why are they inventing totally new sigils (e.g. the white rooster on a red background in the production video)? Surely when HBO bought the rights to this series, they also bought the right to create renditions of the heraldry described in the books?

    I can’t imagine some fan-website’s version of the heraldry forcing HBO to invent completely new House sigils. That would just be bizarre, if you ask me. “Oh wait, we can’t put that Tully trout in the show… because it looks too much like a design on the Tower Of The Hand website!”. I can’t imagine that happening.

    But then where is the Tully trout? Where are the Clegane hounds (Rimshot says he was holding the Mountain’s, so I guess it exists, but is it three hounds on a yellow field?)? Where are the green and red apples of the Fossoways? Where is the Karstark white sun? Where is the Tyrell rose, gold on green? Judging by the lack of surcoats in all the trailers and videos so far, the heraldry is noticeably absent…

  109. Steve B
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Why would it seem odd to not have seen them? We’ve barely seen anything at all so far. Besides which, why does it matter if HBO does introduce new sigils? It just didn’t seem that important to the story or universe of asoiaf. As long as the major ones are there in a form similar to the book, so viewers know who is who. I mean, the people making the show are artists too. Of course they’re going to want to add they’re own flavor to things. That’s what tends to excite artists and performers.

  110. Avalanche3319
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    Don’t forget the twin towers of the Freys! It makes me wonder if all the different sigils would be confusing to viewers who are not familiar with the books. Especially having them all in one place only a few episodes into the series. Another reason I don’t understand making up new ones…

  111. Wolfheart
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Lex: What I mean is, I can understand if copyright issues force HBO to make their heraldry somewhat different from what we’ve seen before (i.e. HBO’s interesting version of the Stark banner, or their amazing version of the Targaryen banner). But why are they inventing totally new sigils (e.g. the white rooster on a red background in the production video)? Surely when HBO bought the rights to this series, they also bought the right to create renditions of the heraldry described in the books?I can’t imagine some fan-website’s version of the heraldry forcing HBO to invent completely new House sigils. That would just be bizarre, if you ask me. “Oh wait, we can’t put that Tully trout in the show… because it looks too much like a design on the Tower Of The Hand website!”. I can’t imagine that happening.But then where is the Tully trout? Where are the Clegane hounds (Rimshot says he was holding the Mountain’s, so I guess it exists, but is it three hounds on a yellow field?)? Where are the green and red apples of the Fossoways? Where is the Karstark white sun? Where is the Tyrell rose, gold on green? Judging by the lack of surcoats in all the trailers and videos so far, the heraldry is noticeably absent…    

    From what we’ve seen I think we can guess ,and I stress guess, that HBO’s interpretation and *thumb to nose* Gemma Jacksons version is less opulantly filled with heraldry and pageantry with sigils and personal charges all over with surcoats, basic and noble clothing in ASOIAF as we are so accustomed to in the novels that help differentiate people and places and houses. But we cant be sure on that.

    I’m also a bit perplexed as to why HBO couldnt just use the heraldric sigils for the other houses, theres so many, to use thoughout the scenes, such as the tourney. There really isn’t any reason to make up new ones. Just design the description of the Cleganes three dogs on yellow in their imagination, same with any other. They did it with the Targ and Stark and Baratheon…why not the others.

    For example a fan artists I admire has done his own designs on the heraldries of Westeros:
    http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2010/234/4/6/Westeros_roll_by_Other_in_Law.jpg

    hopefully that linked worked if not try this one:
    http://other-in-law.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d29jwa2

  112. Chris
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    I think people are jumping to conclusions a little bit. We’ve only seen brief glimpses of behind the scenes footage and even briefer glimpses of teaser footage, both from a very small set of actual scenes. The majority of the heraldry we have seen is true to the books (Stark, Lannister, Baratheon, Targaryen, Arryn, etc) as well as the house colors and physical characteristics of the families. In my opinion, they are going above and beyond in staying true to the books. The banners that are unfamiliar may be meaningless… they could only be seen in a quick pan of the tourney scene for a matter of seconds. They may have thrown the designers a bone and let them design a few heralds for the fun of it that weren’t described in the book and don’t belong to any families that get more than a scene’s worth of screen time.

  113. FlayedandDisplayed
    Posted September 29, 2010 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    I do hope that for battle scenes (unlike the glimpse of the Clegane brothers fighting at the tourney) we’ll get to see the heraldry on surcoats or shields – the spectacle of all those different houses taking the field – it would be silly if everyone fights with their helms off just so we know who’s who. If you saw Blackhawk Down you couldn’t tell one grunt from another anywayduring a fight scene. The heraldry will make it much easier – after all that’s the point of it. For the fans it will be fun seeing who’s who by the banners, for the new viewers it’s colour and spectacle. I’ll cross my fingers and hope.

  114. Rose
    Posted September 29, 2010 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    I can’t access the video, it says “We’re sorry, the content you requested is not available.”

    Any ideas?

  115. HJ
    Posted September 29, 2010 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    Lex: I can’t imagine some fan-website’s version of the heraldry forcing HBO to invent completely new House sigils. That would just be bizarre, if you ask me. “Oh wait, we can’t put that Tully trout in the show… because it looks too much like a design on the Tower Of The Hand website!”. I can’t imagine that happening.

    I can definitely imagine that happening, whether you think it’s bizarre or not.

  116. Hear Me Roar
    Posted September 29, 2010 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    No time to complain yet, we’ve seen too little. There’s no need for HBO to create new sigils for the background, but if they did so — okay. They are keeping all the heraldry that’s important and that is going to be named in the tv series, I’m sure of that.

  117. Damryn of Dorne
    Posted September 29, 2010 at 3:22 am | Permalink

    Wolfheart,

    Impressive work on the heraldry.

  118. Wolfheart
    Posted September 29, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Damryn of Dorne: Wolfheart,
    Impressive work on the heraldry.    

    I’m sorry I can not take credit for that artwork. That is not me. That is why i said “a fan artists I admire has done his own designs” You should praise his work. Its quite impressive! On his deviantart page.

  119. Dolorous Dave
    Posted October 3, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    I dont want to be a negative asshole but im not entirely impressed by the footage i’ve seen so far. Hopefully with CGI and other filming methods, they’ll make it look a bit larger scale. I understand the budget constraints they have though.


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