IT’s a land of intrigue, lust and bloodshed where armoured knights do battle with fire-breathing dragons – and it looks an awful lot like the Lothians.
A Game of Thrones fan and animator has painstakingly recreated the opening sequence of the gory TV blockbuster replacing the fantasy realms like King’s Landing and Westeros with iconic Edinburgh landmarks.
Steven Jefferies, 28, a digital artist with the Teviot Creative Design Agency, spent months perfecting the two-minute homage which he was inspired to attempt after giving friends a tutorial in 3D graphics.
At the start of each Games of Thrones episode, a sweeping 3D birds-eye view of the fictional kingdom of Westeros shows fans where the storyline will take them during the swashbuckling hour of medieval mayhem.
Mr Jefferies’ animation sees Edinburgh Castle, the Scott Monument and Forth Bridge rise from the earth – all intricately assembled like tiny clockwork models, just like in the HBO smash hit.
“I really enjoy the series, although I haven’t read the books,” said the animator from Musselburgh, who spent months collecting satellite imagery, terrain maps and reference photographs before creating his 3D spectacle.
“I’d always thought the opening sequence was cool, and that the way they’d gone about it was really slick.
“It does exactly what it should do, giving you the lay of the land. It’s cool how they change it as well. They always keep it current with what’s going on in the story.
“It works really well – it’s like eye candy.
“Every time I watched it I thought, that must have been an awful lot of fun to make. So that was always in the back of my mind.”
One of the show’s taglines, “all men must die”, has been particularly apt, with the show building its reputation on ruthlessly slaughtering favourite characters at the drop of an executioner’s sword.
Jefferies only finished the video this week, and it went online yesterday after two small private viewings for friends, family and colleagues.
It has already been tipped to go viral.
“The reaction has been really good – everything I was hoping for, really,” he said.
“I’m hoping that people watch it and enjoy it, and get something out of seeing their city as a miniature model built up in 3D.”
The smash hit Game of Thrones, watched by millions worldwide, is based on the novels of the same name by author George RR Martin, who was recently confirmed as appearing at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival.
An international cast includes young Scottish acting talent Richard Madden, who played Robb Stark, and Rose Leslie, who plays Ygritte.