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A Pop-up Guide to Westeros

Game of Thrones merchandising is burgeoning, to say the least, and this has led to the occasional oddity (like mini football helmets) and things you’d otherwise not expect them to make. Case in point? The newly released Game of Thrones: A Pop-up Guide to Westeros (Order: HBO Store, Amazon UK). I admit, the last pop-up book I owned featured the Transformers—not the new ones from the Michael Bay movies, the old Hasbro Transformers of the 80s. But a look around suggests that pop-up books aimed at fannish culture are certainly a thing, and the designer of this particular book—Matthew Reinhart—has cut a niche for himself bringing his abilities to the world of geek culture with Star Wars, DC comics, and… x80s Transformers, too; it’s a small world!

His latest outing tackles Game of Thrones with the able help of a fan-favorite artist, Michael Komarck, whose work in A Song of Ice and Fire art can’t be overstated—he illustrated the first official calendar, brought the Lannisters to life to Fantasy Flight Games, has brought fans into the battle at the Ruby Ford for Green Ronin Games, and I’m happy to say we’ve a few pieces from him for the forthcoming The World of Ice and Fire  (Pre-order: Amazon US, Amazon UK). Seeing his name attached to this piqued my interest by quite a bit, although it should be said that if you didn’t know it was Komarck, you wouldn’t realize it: the style of the artwork here is quite different from the art he’s best known for, perhaps a necessity due to the time constraints of the medium.

As you can see in the video made to feature the book (which is really more like a folio, as it’s not properly bound), there are seven main “scenes”, carrying readers through the Seven Kingdom and out into Essos, each featuring smaller pop-ups that provide additional information and imagery. It’s an impressive feat in papercrafting, not least because as is revealed later in the video, the whole thing can be folded out to create an enormous tableau. I can’t even imagine the amount of time that it takes to come up with something like this—very impressive! For the die-hard fan of any age, the Pop-up Guide to Westeros should make an amusing gift.

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