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Why Game Of Thrones' Iron Throne Looks So Different In House Of The Dragon

When audiences first tuned in to HBO's "House of the Dragon," which takes place some 200 years before the events of "Game of Thrones," they were surprised by how different the Iron Throne looked. In the original series, the Iron Throne is relatively modest in both height and width, created with hundreds of melted swords. Polished and almost perfectly assembled, the iconic seat lacks the weight, height, and unsavoriness that was presented in George R.R. Martin's original text. In "House of the Dragon," the seat is far more in line with the original interpretation, boasting swords at the side and more height. 

Ryan Condal, co-creator and now sole showrunner of the series, explained to Vanity Fair that the Iron Throne looks far more dastardly to reflect the Targaryen clan's might, which is at its peak during the prequel series. "We consider this the apex of the Targaryen empire, so we really wanted to communicate this idea of wealth and prosperity and the fact that there had been six years of peace," Condal said, adding that the Targaryen family has all the resources needed to flourish. 

Condal also said that the original "Game of Thrones" creatives had limited resources at the time. This, however, led to Condal's team creating an Iron Throne that's in conversation with the one we first saw over a decade ago. "We used that to really make this seem like the previous [show] feels like an empire in decay, the great dynasty has fallen, the Targaryens are gone," he said. 

House of the Dragon's Iron Throne still adheres to Game of Thrones' design

Ryan Condal wasn't wrong when he said that the original "Game of Thrones" creatives didn't have the resources or opportunities to create a book-accurate seat. Low ceilings are the reason why the Iron Throne couldn't be accurately recreated, which is why the one we see in "Game of Thrones" is so miniscule. Seeing as "House of the Dragon" is a prequel that had no choice but to adhere to the visual language of its successor, radical changes couldn't be made to the Iron Throne's aesthetic. 

Still, Condal wanted to use the Iron Thone as a visual metaphor to show how the Targaryens were once at the top while still retaining the design that audiences have grown to love. "If you look very closely, you'll see that the original throne is there," the showrunner said. "It's just added to and augmented, which suggests that history changes things at some point in the intervening time." The changes made to the hot seat are appreciated, and fans will be pleased to know that the Iron Throne in "House of the Dragon" is actually dangerous for those on set, as it's made from a number of real weapons. 

The actual changes made to the Iron Throne in "House of the Dragon" have also impacted the show's narrative. Implementing real swords into the design and making the seat more monstrous seems to have informed why Viserys (Paddy Considine) keeps cutting himself on the Iron Throne in Season 1.