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Behind the Scenes 01: Screencap 11

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This is an interesting one. The two men in front are Lannister guardsmen, we’re told by an extra who has been on set, while behind them is a gold cloak, a member of the City Watch of King’s Landing. The Lannister guards have excited the most comment, as there is a certain Asian (specifically Japanese) flavor to the armor seen here thanks to the banding of the breastplate and the shape and design of the helmet. The helmet—what little we glimpse of it—does have some superficial similarity to the Japanese kabuto, particularly with that curving design in the front. It’s a curious choice, if that’s the inspiration. However, we’re informed that the “wings” which give it part of its seeming-kabuto stylings are in fact two hinged flaps that can be brought across the face to form a visor with two eye holes. If so, the armor may look much less Japanese, or it could go the other way if the visor ends up looking a bit like the demonic faces favored by samurai.

We will note that the breastplates are not utterly out of style for Europe—for one thing, very little Japanese armor actually had breastplates like that to begin with, and there’s actually a Eastern European form of breastplate that used horizontal plate segments that would give a similar appearance. More importantly, Japanese armor was very heavily laced, often being of lamellar constructions, whereas the fauld (hip armor) and spaulders (arm protection) are purely European in design. The coloring of the armor does look a bit similar to red lacquer such as the Japanese occasionally used, but this is a setting where colored armor is quite normal (using enamel, paint, certain real world techniques to blacken or blue the steel, or purely magical techniques that can imbue green, red, and other colors) so that’s not so strange.

Purely from an aesthetic perspective, we quite like the alternating colors in the lames of the spaulders. The assistant seems to have a cloak under his arm, too, which may mean they will in fact have their red cloaks. We should also note that an earlier frame shows the pommel of the foreground guard’s sword, and it features a typical European disc pommel with what seems like a lion’s head design. It even has the “button” on the top of the pommel, a well-known element from European medieval swords.

The gold cloak in back, one of the city watchmen of King’s Landing, has an interesting helmet. If that’s not a visor sticking out there, it looks a bit like a burgonet, a Renaissance-era billed helmet. His garment is rather difficult to make out—a kind of mail hauberk or poncho, perhaps? The gold is a very subdued color here, but it’s certainly the idea.

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