Last month, we shared that Ryan J. Condal’s and David H. Mandel’s podcast focused on film and television props, The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of, would have an episode featuring a head of department from House of the Dragon. That episode has now aired, and reveals (among other things) that the show’s master armourer and head of the armoury department (which provides all the weapons for the show) is Tim Lewis, a leading armourer in the film industry with credits such as The Outlaw King, The Old Guard, and Ridley Scott’s upcoming The Last Duel.
Lewis’s website includes an extensive gallery of some of his work across a number of films. In the course of the podcast, Condal and Lewis of course discussed a bit of what’s going on on House of the Dragon. More details below:
Early in the episode, Condal revealed that he had just “liberated” his first prop from the production, which he’s showrunner on. He is coy about its precise nature, but he indicates that it’s “pointy and bladed”, and it’s used in a very specific and important scene that he wanted to get particularly. He notes it was used in a stunt and had to look a certain way. He goes on to mention, in the course of discussing other movie swords, how important worldbuilding is and making everything feel like it fits together.
Once Lewis is brought on, they discuss the minutiae of making swords for films, with the need to have multiple copies leading to the use of modern technology to help make it possible to produce so many weapons in a short time frame (Lewis cited having had something like 3 months). After the one hour mark, the discussion shifts full on to go into some detail about his work on House of the Dragon. Lewis mentions that no writer has ever spent so much time in his workshop before as Condal has, and that the show runner is always eager to come down to the shop to look at new things or discuss issues. Condal again emphasizes the importance he placed on attempting a specific approach to make things all fit together while also hoping to have weapons that will be iconic.
Swords made for The Outlaw King and Macbeth, designed by Tim Lewis.
Following a question from Mandel about whether the Valyrian steel swords on the show will draw from the designs made for such swords in Game of Thrones, and Condal confirms that he and Lewis had discussed the idea that the furniture of a sword—the hilt, the pommel, the guard—might be changed over time, due to damage or changing fashion. And there he reveals that the first season features three Valyrian steel swords. Two are obvious enough—Blackfyre and Dark Sister—but the third… well, that’s an interesting question. Our guess is that it’d be the Hightower sword, Vigilance, but we can’t leave out the possibility that Condal and company could not resist inventing a new Valyrian steel sword for House Velaryon.
David Mandel made a good attempt at getting more specific information about the swords for fans, but Condal and Lewis kept their lips sealed. However, Condal suggested that after the series is out perhaps Lewis will return to the podcast. But to make sure that happens, the podcast needs all the listeners it can get, so make sure download the episode from whatever podcast source you use!