In a comment on a Man at Arms: Reforged video I’ve learned that

[Roger Zelazny] did draw [Corwin’s sword Grayswandir] for a fan that lives here in Maryland. He drew it as a saber with a ships sail guard with the pattern overlayed on it. not highly detailed but I was shown the drawing and letter in the mid 1990's. I wish I had a copy of it!

Are there any such pictures online of what Zelazny intended the Pattern to look like? Either a drawing by Zelazny himself (as in the letter described above) or fan-art plausibly claiming to follow such a drawing by the series’s author.

  • While I can't find confirmation, random Amber-related pages make it look similar to this calwestray.tripod.com/images/labyrinth.gif
    – Yasskier
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 2:25
  • @Yasskier, the Pattern is a labyrinth, sure; but this is a generic layout and it seems Zelazny had a particular design in mind. Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 2:33
  • I understand that, but like I've said I've found it on Amber related page.
    – Yasskier
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 2:35
  • @Yasskier, unless they claim this picture is based on Zelazny’s work (in which case post it as an answer) I would guess that they chose something generic because they didn’t have anything canonical. BTW, a Google Image search suggests this is the Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth. Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 2:41
  • Got this from a cardgame: magic.flaminio.com/magic/rarities/iq-corwin-of-amber.jpg Not good either. Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 2:41

5 Answers 5


The Illustrated Roger Zelazny contains this rather disappointing depiction of the Pattern: enter image description here (sorry for bad scan but you are not missing much).

IDK how much involvement or input Zelazny had to this work. His name is on it, and it does contain one original work of his, "Shadowjack".

Even more disappointingly, the Visual Guide to Castle Amber contains no good depiction of the Pattern, only a close-up of a booted foot with sparks shooting up.

  • 2
    Wow. That’s not a traversable path at all. It’s pretty in a 1970s-fantasy way, but no way is that what’s described in the books. Thanks, but I will continue to hold out hope that some sketch by Zeleany will turn up. Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 2:36

As far as I know, Roger only drew the barest hint of the pattern once. I have a cocktail napkin with a partial sketch of the pattern (and Roger's home address at the time) on it. It is such a partial sketch that it really is worthless for forming a more formal, complete drawing of the pattern.

I wish there was something more complete, but from what I understand, he wanted the reader to come up with their own design.

  • 6
    Could I ask you to scan or photograph the napkin, though? Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 13:30
  • 1
    Can you please prove more details about your answer. Currently it is not of an acceptable format in this website. Cheers ! Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 13:32

I know that two things he said about the Pattern seem to contradict each other, in that our first view of it, it was described as "roughly spiral," and that Zelazny subsequently described it as inspired by the Sephiroth of Quabbala, which has been tied to Tarot-based mysticism.


http://www.plymouthchurchframingham.org/labyrinth. The pattern is based on this kind of labyrinth. It's not the same exactly, but it will give you an idea of what it would look like.

  • 2
    Do you have any evidence that this is what it would look like and could you also edit in the relevant information from the link else this is basically link only and subject for deletion.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Jan 1, 2020 at 20:25
  • 1
    The few details that are given about it's form in the novels blatantly contradict this opinion.
    – Ash
    Commented Feb 26, 2022 at 9:20

It's been about twenty years since I readed this wonderful books, however, I remember quite well feeling the concept of the pattern as something very abstract.

There were no clear descriptions on the novels of it's true shape, which combined with the fact that characters who walk the pattern are shaping it while walking through it made me think about it as something that hasn't a definite shape, and thus it's something that changes and mutates constantly.

Probably, and here I'm speculating, the points where the novels made reference to drawings of the pattern are not truly representations of it, they are probably just the symbol (the logo if you prefer) royal house of Amber uses to represent the Pattern on their history books, records and heraldry.

  • 1
    Pattern didn't change, Logrus did.
    – Mithoron
    Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 0:23

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