The “Eastwatch” Beautiful Death You May Not Expect

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To the delight of GoT fans everywhere, Gendry came back to Game of Thrones swinging. Artist Robert Ball explains why he chose to feature the death of the two King’s Landing Gold Cloaks for his “Eastwatch” Beautiful Death piece.

“Each Beautiful Death is, in part, a reaction to the previous one,” Ball says. “Last week was high on drama (and burning soldiers!), so this week I wanted to go heavy with the symbolism.” After last week’s focus on the Lannister army, Ball chose to not feature the Tarlys, but depict instead on a different moment: Gendry taking out the Gold Cloaks. “The deaths themselves are relatively unimportant — though important to the corrupt guards in question, of course. The scene is really about establishing Gendry's return and his credentials in the war ahead.”

Ball shares: “The image describes Gendry's journey from ironmonger to fighter. The flames form the antlers of a Baratheon stag; the warhammer transforms from a rowboat oar. In the distance, the icy Wall, with Gendry's hammer frosting over at the tip.” 

“The two hapless soldiers are represented as skulls,” Ball continues, “the greed that sealed their deaths are coins falling into the furnace from their eyes, representing the way Ser Davos tried to blind them to the truth, and also the custom of resting coins on the eyes of the dead.” 

See the final poster, and rough draft, below.