Spoiler for those who have not seen Sunday’s “Oath-Keeper” episode…
Now that Dany has conquered the city of Meereen, she’s getting a new house. A very big house. An 800-foot pyramid, in fact. Atop this pyramid is a throne room. You won’t see this set for another two weeks on HBO’s Game of Thrones, but EW has a sneak peek below.
The throne room is a huge step up and major turning point for Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), who has spent each season in transit, often living in tents. For the first time, the Mother of Dragons, who is seeking to eventually become queen of Westeros, will have a seat of power and city to rule. But instead of the fearsome and perilous Iron Throne, which is made from the swords of fallen enemies, Dany opts for a modest bench. Yet the room itself is every bit as awe-inspiring as the throne room in King’s Landing and none of it is a special effect (see photo below).
“It was maybe the the biggest challenge [production designer] Deborah Riley faced and was probably the [set] we were most nervous about,” says showrunner David Benioff of the pyramid and its interior sets. “It’s really easy to go into a big sci-fi territory. It’s really a testament to Deb. She designed both the audience chamber, where it’s a grand room where Dany sits on her bench, and her personal quarters at top of the pyramid — they’re just gorgeous. Incredibly experienced crew people were gasping.”
Benioff adds: “More and more things are CG. But we’ve done these lavish huge sets and there something old Hollywood about that that I love. As much as we have an incredible [special effects] team, the best in the world, and we rely on them for so many things, for the actors there’s something different about walking into a real environment and being in a room that has the power you’re trying to convey. It’s almost like the way cathedrals were designed to create awe. If you were a peasant and been working in fields your whole life and never seen a city, you’d walk into a cathedral for the first time and you walk inside and that’s a religious experience — because you’ve never seen anything like this.”