Fire and thread: Game of Thrones tapestry is unveiled in France


The French town of Bayeux has been home for nearly a millennium to a tapestry depicting a bloody battle for power. Now it has another.

An exhibition featuring a tapestry illustrating the events of hit HBO TV show Game of Thrones opened in Bayeux, Normandy, on Friday, just down the road from the museum where its 11th century inspiration is housed.

The tapestry was created in Northern Ireland, one of the principal filming locations for the series. Around 30 people worked for some 1,500 hours on the stretch of linen, which begins with King Robert Baratheon visiting the Starks in Winterfell. And 87 metres later, it ends in fire and blood with the final, controversial, scenes of the eighth season.

Depicting all that gore using jacquard threadwork was not easy, said project chief embroiderer Valerie Wilson.

It would have been a challenge that also faced the medieval embroiderers, who created the famous 70-metre Bayeux tapestry to recount the invasion of England by William the Conquerer. The work brings to life scenes such as the 1066 Battle of Hastings, where Harold of Wessex is shown dying with an arrow to the eye.

“The Game of Thrones tapestry references the Bayeux tapestry stylistically and in terms of some of the motifs that have been used and the way that the story unrolls in a linear fashion,” said Mr. Wilson.

The show was based on the books by George R.R. Martin.


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