Cult Film, TV, Geek Art
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Danaerys wears Heian-period royal clothing and is seated on the Mongolian Steppes, a fitting analogy for the Dothraki Sea, far from Westeros.
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.
Weirwood lore shares some interesting similarities to Shinto practices, so I drew a shimenawa (prayer rope) around the tree trunk.