2015
05.21

Daenerys Targaryen Japanese Woodblock Style - Game of Thrones

Japanese-style woodblock prints illustrating scenes from A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones as if they took place in Feudal Japan. Art by Sei-G.

Battle of the Trident - Game of Thrones Japanese Woodblock
Battle of the Trident

This is the iconic duel between Robert Baratheon and Rhaegar Targaryen that preceded the series by seventeen years. Instead of a war hammer, Robert wields a Kanab?, a club-like samurai bludgeoning weapon. His antlered helmet is inspired by the famous helmet of the warlord Honda Tadakatsu.

Wedding Banquet by the River - Game of Thrones Japanese Woodblock
Wedding Banquet by the River

Northerners gather for a traditional courtly wedding banquet as sellswords, posing as musicians, put down their instruments and prepare weapons. Outside, the bridge of the Twins is visible, inspired by the very famous Bridge of Awate print by ukiyo-e master Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858).

Tyrion at the Eyrie - Game of Thrones Japanese Woodblock
Tyrion at the Eyrie

Catelyn Stark, her uncle Brynden Tully, and a dispatch of the Knights of the Vale journey to the Eyrie while transporting their captive, Tyrion Lannister. Tyrion is dressed in the robes of a nobleman.

The Red Viper Dueling the Mountain - Game of Thrones Japanese Woodblock
The Red Viper Dueling the Mountain

Oberyn Martell wields a naginata against Gregor Clegane, who fights with a no-dachi (greatsword) and a tessen (iron war fan). The three kanji on Clegane’s armor each translate to the word “dog”, in accordance with his family crest. I considered giving Martell a yari (single-pointed spear) but I liked how the naginata drew parallels to the visually similar duel between Ushiwaka and the warrior-monk Benkei in the Heike Monogatari.

The Execution of Eddard Stark - Game of Thrones Japanese Woodblock
The Execution of Eddard Stark

Instead of having Ilyn Payne simply execute Ned Stark, an amused Joffrey orders Ned to commit seppuku. Ilyn is on hand to perform the kaishaku, or ritual decapitation to quicken the death. The paper in front of Ned is a death poem, which a samurai would traditionally write before ending his life.

Mother of Dragons - Game of Thrones Japanese Woodblock
Mother of Dragons

Danaerys wears Heian-period royal clothing and is seated on the Mongolian Steppes, a fitting analogy for the Dothraki Sea, far from Westeros.

Jon Snow duels Qhorin Halfhand as wildlings look on - Game of Thrones Japanese Woodblock
Jon Snow duels Qhorin Halfhand as wildlings look on

The wildlings are dressed like the Ainu, who are the indigenous people of northern Japan. The Ainu are thought to be the descendants of the first inhabitants of the islands, and throughout history they have lived independently in the cold far north, beyond the grasp of the Emperor.

Bran Stark and Hodor journey north - Game of Thrones Japanese Woodblock
Bran Stark and Hodor journey north

Weirwood lore shares some interesting similarities to Shinto practices, so I drew a shimenawa (prayer rope) around the tree trunk.

Prints available for purchase here.