[Spoilers for Game Of Thrones.]
Before its last seasons descended into a Wikipedia-style collection of thinly sketched plot points in a rush to its series finale, Game Of Thrones was notable for having one of TV’s best drawn cast of characters. Its heroes and villains had complex personalities that naturally explained their motivations and, ultimately, made their (often brutal) deaths feel like either a long-deserved punishment or a real punch to the viewer’s gut.
In an effort to properly memorialize the mountain of corpses stacked up during the show’s run, Robert Ball has been creating a series of illustrations called Beautiful Death. His last, which commemorates the death of Daenerys Targaryen and the Iron Throne’s destruction by what was either a very smart or very stupid dragon, has now arrived, marking the end of his project.
Ball told an official Game Of Thrones site that his image was meant to portray the Throne as being “sat on a kingdom of rubble” made up of “a mixture of swords, representing all the bloodshed it took to get here, plus a visual journey of Daenerys’ progression through all 8 seasons.”
He points out that the blood trail winding down the lower half of the image “will take you past certain important objects like Sons of Harpy masks, [a] Dothraki camp, Viserys’ ‘crown,’ broken chains, and so on.” The illustration, he says, marks Daenerys’ death, but is meant more to serve as “an encapsulation of the whole series” through its depiction of how “power corrupts all.”
There are 73 other images in the series—which really shows how many important characters bit it over the course of the story—to check out for yourself, but a few highlights include Ball’s lovely tombstones for Stannis Baratheon, Ramsay Bolton, and Olenna Tyrell.
There are probably wisecracks to make about the illustrations’ quality being far more consistent than the show, but, for now at least, let’s just appreciate that one more Thrones-related artist has managed to reach the story’s end.
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