A Deathless Episode Creates a Fun Challenge for Robert Ball


“This week's episode didn't have any deaths in it for only the third time in the show's history!” said artist Robert Ball about “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”. A rare occurrence for Game of Thrones, it was a far cry from the season premiere’s intense Ned Umber death scene, and presented an unusual challenge.

“I did consider a couple of metaphorical deaths — did Jon's confession to Daenerys confirm the 'death' of Jon Snow and the 'birth' of Aegon Targaryen? Brienne's knighthood could arguably signal the death of her old persona. But these ideas felt like contrivances which I discarded very early on,” he shared.

Ball explained how his final concept came from the episode’s idea of togetherness, voiced by Tormund: "We are all going to die, but at least we die together." “The key scene for me was the group around the fireplace, sharing a last drink together and preparing for their probable death. There were some narrative resolutions tied up, and space for the characters to make peace with their fate — very much the sense that this group would not make it to the end of Episode 3 intact.

The idea was a fairly simple one — a circle of empty chairs, which on its own is a melancholy image, throwing the shadows of their occupants on the stone floor. I turned the hearth into Gendry's forge, where he has been making dragonglass weapons to arm our heroes against the wight army. The color scheme was then about light and dark — weapons of light against the encroaching night. No deaths this week, but an interpretation of an episode laden with it.”

Check out a draft and the final image below: