Game of Thrones Interview Season 4

The Making of the Iron Throne in Ice: An Interview with Glacial Art Ice Sculptors

In February of this year, London’s Covent Gardens hosted the release of the complete fourth season of Game of Thrones on Blue-ray / DVD. As part of the celebration, HBO commissioned Glacial Art Ice Sculptors to create an icy version of the Iron Throne.  WiCnet had the privilege of interviewing Mat Foster, the Creative Director for Glacial Art Ice Sculptors, and in the process we found out that this isn’t the first time Glacial Art has done a project for HBO and Game of Thrones.

Remember that amazing set where the White Walker carried Craster’s baby off to be converted by the Night’s King? Yeah, they did that.

Read the entire interview, and watch the making of the Iron Throne in ice, after the jump.

The Iron Throne in ice is actually the second project that Glacial Art Ice Sculptors has been commissioned by HBO to do for Game of Thrones.

WiC: Is this the first piece you’ve done for HBO and Game of Thrones? If not, could you please talk a little bit about your other Game of Thrones pieces?

GAIS: “This was the second piece of work we have done for GoT [Game of Thrones]. The first time was back in October 2013 when we created an “Ice Henge” for episode 4 season 4.

They wanted real ice spikes jutting out of the ground with an ice alter in the middle.  Its the scene where a white walker on a horse delivers a human baby to be turned into… well a baby white white walker I guess.  It was a scene that isn’t in the books, so I have no idea where this plot line could be leading, but it looks great.”


WiC: Going back to this project, what gave you the idea to go with the Iron Throne?

GAIS: “For this second project HBO wanted us to create something that would cause a huge response with both fans and the general public in London.  At first the idea of the Iron Throne seemed a bit too obvious and we came up with several other exciting ideas.  

But the more we talked about it and the more research I did, the more I grew to like the idea.  The Iron Throne is such an iconic image- everyone knows what it is- but as I trawled the internet I realized no one had yet tried to make a replica out of ice.  

I found one other attempt at an Iron Throne Ice sculpture, but that was just a bit of fun for a shopping center, not a serious attempt at recreating it as a replica. The spikes we did for the show were supposed to be natural looking features in a winter landscape, which looked great- but I really wanted to show off to HBO and tackle something extremely complex and detailed.”

WiC: How long did it take you to make the Iron Throne in ice?

GAIS: “All in all about 3 weeks.  That is about 2 weeks longer than any other Ice sculpture we have ever made. It was fun and we made it as difficult for ourselves as possible. This was our second job for Game Of Thrones – and to a small business like ourselves this was a really big deal- so there was no way this sculpture wasn’t going to be impressive, whatever it took, I wanted HBO to grin when they saw it.”

WiC: Are you a fan of Game of Thrones? Have you read the books?

GAIS:“I’m a huge fan of all fantasy books- I have been since I could first read. I was up to date on the books before the show came out. I think George RR Martin is an absolute wizard of a writer.  How he keeps so many plot lines running is beyond me. We are all huge fans of the show here. Just contributing the tiny amount that we have done feels like a great privilege.”

WiC: If you could make anything else from the Game of Thrones universe, what would it be?

GAIS: “I’m not sure if we have seen it yet. “Winter is coming”.  South of the wall is going to get a lot colder and I believe we will be seeing more from North of the wall before the story is finished. So Ice will become more and more of a feature in the story.

But I would love to take my team out of our freezer studio and onto a real set location.  Somewhere far North with prolonged  freezing conditions with real ice formations.  Maybe carve some designs into a real ice cave or a frozen waterfall or something.  Make a proper adventure out of it.”

WiC: What other ideas did you toss around before going with the Iron Throne?

GAIS: “I’m not going to say.  Hopefully over the next few years we will be asked to build something else for GoT and then we can go back to some of these other ideas. Most of our other ideas would be even more of a spectacle than the Iron Throne was.

So, now my interests are highly piqued as to what other idea they had tossed around. If the other ideas where more of a spectacle than the Iron Throne in ice, then I can’t wait to see what they are going to do next.

“2 tons of ice, 2000 liters of water, 18 days at sub-zero temperatures”


You can see all of Glacial Art Ice Sculptures‘ projects by visiting their site in the provided link. There you can see individual pictures in making the Iron Throne in ice, and also the Night’s King scene from Season 4 Episode 4, “Oathkeeper”, along with all of their other amazing projects.