Lo­cat­ing Wes­teros and Es­sos

Whangarei Report - - Entertainment - _ AAP

BE­HIND EV­ERY great mas­ter­piece lies a hid­den in­flu­ence, and the Game of Thrones pro­duc­tion de­sign is no ex­cep­tion. The hit se­ries’ art di­rec­tor and pro­duc­tion de­signer, Aus­tralian Deborah Rile, has re­vealed the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind the de­sign of some of the show’s best scenes, homes, bat­tles and build­ings.

Rile, who joined the cast for the pro­duc­tion of sea­son four, has spent most of her ca­reer work­ing on films, in­clud­ing The Matrix, Anna and the King and Moulin Rouge.

She said while the Game of Thrones story may be fan­tasy, it is up to the team to fo­cus on bring­ing the nar­ra­tive to life and turn it into re­al­ity.

“It may be fan­tasy but you have al­ways got to ask your­self, ‘how would we do this for real?”’ Rile said.

“There is the recipe for be­ing able to do some­thing like Game of Thrones — it means you can kind of dance that line be­tween re­al­ity and fan­tasy.”

And that she has, with the art di­rec­tor thiev­ing in­flu­ences from his­tory, clas­si­cal ar­chi­tec­ture and world-wide art­works.

Think you know where the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind the Hall of Faces de­rives from? Guess again.

Here is a look at some of Rile’s in­spi­ra­tions:


Cre­ated around the con­cept of power, strength and dis­ci­pline, the de­sign was in­spired by the ar­chi­tec­ture of Al­bert Speer and the Third Re­ich. With the hand-painted mar­ble floor and the ab­sence of clut­ter and dec­o­ra­tion, it is no won­der the room feels ut­terly un­wel­com­ing.


The Wall, which in real life is 61 times smaller than pro­jected on screen, was largely in­flu­enced by im­ages of World War I’s trench warfare. The icy long set is en­crypted by zigzag trenches to fit “a dozen mounted knights to ride abreast”.


Al­though the set can’t be pinned to one in­flu­ence, it was shot at a his­toric build­ing out­side the city of Dubrovnik in Croa­tia. Ho­tel Belvedere, built in 1986, was un­der siege in 1991 dur­ing the civil war and was later aban­doned, mak­ing it the per­fect set­ting for the bat­tle be­tween prince Oberyn and The Moun­tain in Sea­son Four.


Home to the wealthy res­i­dents of the Meereen peo­ple re­sid­ing in­side a city of pyra­mids, the set was shot in Croa­tia’s Klis Fortress, dat­ing back 2000 years. The Gates of Meereen can be linked to David Robert’s 19th cen­tury paint­ings, specif­i­cally Der Tem­pel der Den­dera. The GOT vi­sion is lit­er­ally and fig­u­ra­tively hold­ing up the city.


The in­te­rior of the Hall of Faces is a com­bi­na­tion of in­flu­ences stem­ming from the Elorra Caves in In­dia and the Ten Thou­sand Bud­dhas Monastery in Hong Kong. The lat­ter is mir­rored in the set, with tow­er­ing shelves con­sum­ing row af­ter row and hold­ing the faces of the dead.


Home to the many-faced god and the face­less men, the al­most claus­tro­pho­bic, win­dow­less build­ing was de­signed to feel face­less it­self. In­spired by In­dian ar­chi­tec­ture, the ex­te­rior re­sem­bles build­ings of Varanasi on the banks of the Ganges.

FAN­TASY: Jerome Flynn as Bronn and Peter Din­klage as Tyrion Lan­nis­ter in Game of Thrones.

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