A number of times in the Game of Thrones television series, what appears to be an eyelid drops over the scene and a blinking sound is played.

Who is blinking, or what are these anomalies?

My personal (and unfounded) theory is that the viewpoint is that the viewer sees the intro sequence from the viewpoint of a flying dragon, and this is the dragon blinking. Is there any evidence to support any valid conclusions?

I apologize if this answer later becomes obvious. My knowledge is quite limited: I have only just begun watching the TV series (near the end of season one), and I have not read the books.


4 Answers 4


No, it's nothing mythological, but merely a retro-tech gimmick in tune with the steam punk style of the intro:

The visual effect simulates the changing between lenses of different focal lengths using a turret, which was used up until the 1960s or so, when zoom lenses were developed. Of course, back then the lens change would usually be edited out.

The setup looks like this:

enter image description here

This becomes obvious when you look at the individual frames:

You can clearly see that you're looking through one lens being rotated away towards the top and another taking its place from below, rather than through an eye with lids that close and open. Also note that King's Landing is much bigger in the last frame compared to the first, which is what you'd get when changing to a lens with a longer focal length.

  • 4
    I always thought those were the rings of the central "sun" swooshing by, or at least another part of the mechanism. Note that it happens a second time while zooming out after showing the wall, but it doesn't happen again when zooming in on Pentos etc.. So if it is really a lense, it's a bit inconsistent :-)
    – jdm
    Apr 1, 2014 at 9:19
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    A Myrish lens, to keep it in-universe, as it were. :)
    – TLP
    Apr 1, 2014 at 12:38
  • I'm new to the sci-fi SE community, but a tenured SE user and I can't help but think this is a non-answer. You've made some excellent comparisons to lenses and the like, but have not definitively proven that this is not a feature of substance. In a production as elaborate as GOT, I find it hard to believe that something of this nature would be included purely for esthetic. Not saying I have an alternative, but to make this claim when the story has not completed seems like not much more than a reputation grab. Aug 2, 2017 at 1:33
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    @jameselmore: frankly, I find your comment preposterous, given the frame-by-frame screen capture contained in this answer.
    – Martha
    Aug 2, 2017 at 2:04
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    @jameselmore: not everything needs to have a deeper significance, especially in the intro which is not part of the story. It shows a map that is obviously significant, but the mechanical details are there to make it interesting to look at, nothing more and nothing less. Some of the details aren't even mechanically plausible. Aug 2, 2017 at 12:53

It's a lens, clicking into place. As each lens is progressively added, we're able to view the cities in more detail.

I've also found this interview with one of the original 3D artists for GoT.

Interviewer : At some point in the intro, the camera is enveloped by some blades that flash for a second and make a metalic sound. What's going on there?

PH : This is supposed to be like a camera lens change. Imagine a contraption on the camera that has 3 different different lenses attached to it, and it flips so the next lens is in front of the camera.


There is a fan theory about the blink. When Samwell Tarly met the Maester at the entrance to the Library in Oldtown, the Maester was wearing a set of lenses on his eyes.

enter image description here

The theory is that a Maester of Oldtown is looking at a map of Westeros. And high above him in the library is an astrolabe identical to the one in the opening credits. (Minus the bright "sun" in the middle.)

enter image description here

The blink occurs when the Maester swaps out one lens with another.

This also fits nicely with the fan theory that the entire saga is being told/wrote by a survivor of the stories, none other than Samwell Tarly. The whole saga is told as "a song of ice and fire".


After the Season 6 Finale we also see that the orbs and rings we see in the opening are most likely an astrolabe (aka armillary sphere, armilla, or armil).

We see the same object hanging in the Citadel at Oldtown. This can be determined by seeing the same markings on the rings.

The meaning of this is still not fully known, but there is an interesting fan theory...

"The overarching saga is called A Song Of Ice And Fire after all, and in the world of Game of Thrones songs are used to pass on heroic stories and legends. So does that mean somebody is telling this story of Dany, Jon, Arya, Cersei, and the rest to future generations?"

"If that’s how it ends, some fans might be mad about the set up of the story. But if this theory is right, does it make sense for Sam to be the one that devotes his life to passing along the heroism and cruelty of everyone in Westeros? Or could it be Sam’s son who was told the story by his father and then passes it on to his own children? If this theory is accurate, there are any number of options that would make sense. But for now it is just another theory."

As for the "blinking effect" the fan theory is that this is literally a person blinking because that person is using the optical device we see the Maester at Oldtown using.


Opening astrolabe GOT openining astrolabe

Citadel astroslabe citadel astrolabe citadel astrolabe close up

Answer originally posted on M&TV

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