One of the best things about George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series is the utter detail he puts into the world of Westeros (and beyond), down to its castles, thrones, and warring families. Pick up The World of Ice & Fire, the new history compendium, and you’ll get to see these details that have lived in your imagination made real.
In addition to the 19 factoids, family trees, and prophecies we found hiding within its 300+ pages, there’s a breathtaking array of art depicting every corner of Westeros and beyond. Readers will get to see the Iron Throne (the much scarier version than what’s on the HBO series) up close, as well as detailed views of castles like Dragonstone and portraits of historical figures including Rhaegar Targaryen and Princess Nymeria. Check out a preview of the art below!
Click any image to enlarge.
Philip Straub’s frontispiece illustration of Dragonstone Castle, the ancestral seat of House Targaryen, is the first piece of art you see in the book. It’s also one of the most impressive—just look at how he rendered the castle, forged from dragonstone, to match the descriptions from the books.
“Dragonstone has been a bitch,” Martin said of properly illustrating the castle, one of many anecdotes during his recent visit to 92Y. (You can watch the entire video here, with the Dragonstone talk starting right around 48:30.) “It’s really a unique castle. Some of this is very easy for me as a writer to describe, but it’s not necessarily easy for the artist to draw.”
There have been many versions of Dragonstone drawn over the years, but Martin described this one as:
…probably the most accurate to what’s actually described in the book. Dragonstone is made by the Valyrians, who had dragons and dragonfire and magical means of making stone flow and twist. They could make it into any form they wanted to, and it would harden in that form. So, they built massive structures—not of bricks or of stones mortared together, but of solid stone shaped by intense fires and magic.
In the case of Dragonstone, the towers look like great stone dragons, and the entrances look like heads of dragons. I allude to this in the book, but it’s difficult for an artist to capture. A lot of the versions we had of Dragonstone over the years have been not really great, and this is one of the best here.
Artist Karla Ortiz also recently shared some of her pieces of artwork that appeared in the book, saying, “I’m so excited for the incredible opportunity and honor to be part of one of my favorite book stories, and particularly this gigantic and beautiful book!”
Ortiz’s portraits include King Viserys I on the Iron Throne:
King Daeron I, the Young Dragon:
Rhaegar Targaryen, the Prince of Dragonstone:
And Princess Nymeria and Mors Martell, enthroned in Sunspear:
The World of Ice and Fire is out now from Random House.