Archive for January, 2019

Game of Thrones – The Training Session

The random factor of this exercise has given me the first appearance of two point of view characters in a row this week.

Things are looking up.

So today we get to see Jon Snow in his first training bout at Castle Black. One thing I’ve found interesting about Game of Thrones is it feels like it spends a lot of its time masquerading as a young adult adventure novel. This sets us up to be shocked when we realize how wrong that perception is.

Based on that, I find that this chapter provides us with an interesting feint. When criticizing Jon, Alliser Thorne actually has a good point, there is no grandstanding in a real battle. Because of this, we briefly mistake him for a grumpy but fair mentor. We only realize how much of a sadistic asshole he is later.

Finally, some design thoughts I had for this picture is how I intend to handle Castle Black, and Winterfell as well. Even though it’s hinted that a lot of the dates in the background are exaggerated, Castle Black is old. So old it occurs to me it should have a completely different style of architecture from more of the classic castles down south. So I gave it cyclopeaan walls as a foundation, with more more medieval bits added later.

Jon took off his helm as other boys were pulling Grenn to his feet. The frosty morning air felt good on his face. He leaned on his sword drew a deep breath to savor the victory.
Game of Thrones – Chapter 19

Game of Thrones – Khal Drogo’s Funeral Pyre

The way picking pages at random works has made it so I haven’t even touched certain characters’ POV chapters yet. So this scene with Daenerys walking into Khal Drogo’s Funeral pyre is the first Daenerys illustration I’ve done. (Actually, I passed up on my first chance. It would have been Dany and Drogo’s “wedding night”. While one of the points of these exercises is to be brutally honest about Game of Thrones’ brutality… I draw the line at statuary rape.)

The first thing to remember when designing Daenerys is she’s thirteen! So no turning her into your sexual fantasy. While pretty, she’s also skinny and won’t be looking like Emilia Clarke for a couple of years.

When I’m researching my source material, I have a problem with beautiful people. Beauty seems to mean a lack of detail. Martin’s description of Dani doesn’t go much farther then platinum blonde, skinny and small breasts. I can’t find any reference to her trademark braids in this book. If she does braid them I have no idea how. (for this picture I punted and assumed she was going deliberately unbraided for the ritual.) All we know about her clothes when she’s with the Dothraki, are a painted vest and riding leathers.

The topic of clothes brings up Dothraki culture. The bodybuilders on horseback from the show don’t make any sense. We know they don’t build, but a culture can’t exist exclusively by pillaging. There must be some crafts. We’re told about them weaving grass, and they must be doing something with the rest of the horses they eat. I spent some time working on their symbolism based on what Martin tells us about their religion.

While they’re meant to fit the Mongol/Hun niche in the book, the Dothraki started making a lot more sense to me when I started basing them on Plains Indian tribes.

Game of Thrones, and A Song of Ice and Fire is the property of George R. R. Martin

wpmorse - Game of Thrones - Khal Drogo's Funeral Pyre
Unafraid, Dany stepped forward into the firestorm calling to her children. 
Game of Thrones – Chapter 72

Game of Thrones – The Story of Tysha

It was interesting doing Tyrion telling his story of his first wife, Tysha, to Bronn. It’s completely different than it is in the show. In the show, it’s part of a sort of truth or dare game that he’s playing with Shae and Bronn in his tent before the Battle of the Green Fork. In the book, it’s in the Vale after they left the Eyrie and before they met the clans.

I had a choice of two compositions for this. The first was a profile of a moody Tyrion looking into the fire. The other had Bronn in the foreground listening to Tyrion tell his story. I went with the latter, mainly because I’ve drawn Tyrion lots of times and I wanted to get the hang of my take on Bronn. The first half of this chapter consists of the two “bonding” and this scene is the closest thing to sympathy we ever see from Bronn.

The only challenges here was trying to remember if Tyrion still had his shadowcat cloak. I decided it was in the gear that was returned to them in the previous chapter. After that the only problem was I forgot the split lip Bronn received fighting, Ser Vardis Egan. I’ll pretend I hid it in the shadowing.

wpmorse - Game of Thrones - The Story of Tysha
Tyrion was surprised at how desolate it made him feel to say it, even after all those years. Perhaps, he was just tired. “That was the end of my marriage.” He sat up and stared at the dying fire, blinking at the night.
Game of Thrones – Chapter 42

Game of Thrones – Haunted Forest

Because of my system for picking pages at random, I had not gotten around to getting to the prologue of Game of Thrones. Now that I’m basing my picks on page numbers, this is corrected. So let’s start with the scene of two veteran rangers of the Night’s Watch being ordered into the Haunted Forest beyond the Wall by their noobie commander.

The biggest challenge of this, besides having to draw horses again, was the forest itself. It’s easy to assume it’s an old growth forest. It’s so dense Gerard recommends to Waymar Royce that he uses a dagger instead of his long sword.

Along with looking cool, it makes all of the difference with the lighting. Unlike in the show, this scene takes place sometime in the afternoon. I couldn’t make it too dark when everyone is dressed in black.

Speaking of which it was important how everybody is dressed beyond their palette choice. Will and Garet I see as dressed practically but shabbily. All that Martin mentions is that Garet is wearing a hood to hide his cropped ears.

Lots of details are provided for us about Royce. Martin goes into great detail about how well dressed he is. I’m imagining him kind of like the Monk in Canterbury Tales.

Game of Thrones is the Property of George R. R. Martin.

Wpmorse - Game Of Thrones - Haunted Forest
And then there was nothing to be done for it. The order had been given, and honor bound them to obey.

Game of Thrones – Prologue

Game Of Thrones – Practice Dummy

Finally got back to working on my series of Game of Thrones pen and ink sketches. I’m still getting my pace back after a couple of months.

So let’s start with a picture of Sandor Clegane practicing his tilting on a practice dummy in a manner that may or may not be a way of intimidating the Starks.

The biggest challenge I had with this piece (beyond my inability to draw horses) was figuring out Sandor’s helmet. I find the one from the show too bulky and clunky to be practical and I couldn’t find any real animal shaped helmets from the period. I ended up trying to wing it as best I could, making it more hound like rather the snarling wolf from the show.

Game of Thrones is the Property of George R. R. Martin.

wpmorse - Game of Thrones - Practice Dummy
Ned watched Sandor Clean gallop across the hard packed ground to drive an iron-tipped lance through a dummy’s head. Canvas ripped and straw exploded as Lannister guardsmen joked and cursed. “
Game of Thrones: Chapter 49