Inside the Screen: All About Game of Thrones Set Designs!
Everyone loves Game of Thrones. Even if you don’t follow this epic storytelling of power, you can probably recognize two or three sets from Westeros. And that type of worldwide recognition comes at a cost, meaning that their production design team is nothing less than top of the notch. Guided by one of the best interior designers from Australia, Deborah Riley, which has already won three Emmy’s for her outstanding work on the ongoing series, Game of Thrones is well on the way to becoming one of the most memorable tv shows ever. So now it is time to get Inside the Screen once again and get to know all about Game of Thrones set designs because you definitely want to know how this fantasy world is created.
Having joined the tv show on its fourth season, production designer Deborah Riley was tasked with the amazing job of having to create the world where dragons, white walkers, war, and a lot of glamorous homes are a constant reality. First of all, Riley states that the production design work is all about the physical elements and that there is probably no better place to exercise your creativity as an interior designer than Game of Thrones.
“In order to make these places distinct and separate from one another, we tend to look at different color palettes, different architectural details and try to distinguish them that way. So for a northern castle, which would typically be shot in Belfast, it has a very different color stone and heaviness and feel to it than say, southern Spain.” said Deborah Riley in an interview for Washingtonian.
Colors are actually a very important part of all the work that is conceived by for the Game of Thrones set designs, and it is one of the first things they decided when starting a new project and a new set. However, Deborah Riley explains that “the challenge has been to keep each world separate and distinct and the color palette has been incredibly helpful with that. House Lannister has a particular color of Red that it is associated with, just as Dany has come to be associated with a certain shade of Blue. Braavos had a lovely bottle green.”
The interior designer and her team want to make sure Westeros feels like a real place in the real world. They try to make it feel like it does have all that grit and heaviness, as well as the architectural reality that we experience we experience every day in our world. “You don’t want anything to take the audience outside of the show, you want an immersive experience.”
And even though most of the times it is not Riley herself that creates and gets the ownership of the multiple worlds and places of the Game of Thrones’ reality, it is her job to manage all those worlds and create a cohesive and harmonious feeling throughout the series. “I’m trying to knit them all together and make sure that from a visual standpoint, there’s also a story that threads through them all. Even something like a doorknob, for instance, someone might present me with one and ask if it works and I’ll say, “No, that’s only used in King’s Landing.”
All in all, what the production designer manager has to say about working with Game of Thrones set designs and locations is that it has been amazing. “It’s been great for us as an art department to be able to stretch our wings and explore what we can offer… It was a real opportunity for us to explore all different kinds of architecture and introduce different colors and textures in the show that hadn’t been seen before.”