THe HBO intro to Game of Thrones starts with a ball of light encircled by several bands. Then it soars across a map of Westeros. Then in the middle of the intro is the ball of light again. Some more moving across the map, dwelling in this place or that. Then again, the ball of light encircled by bands at the end of the intro.

I recognize most of the imagery as being related to the story. But I still haven't figured out the ball of light encircled by bands. Is that related to the story somehow?


3 Answers 3


Angus Wall, Creative Director at Elastic (the company that created the intro) describes it as an "Astrolabe":

It was by and large the same people that I've worked with before, which is nice. They were very, very supportive of what we were doing. One of the things that came out of our conversations were the bands on the astrolabe — they’re the bands that surround the sun. We show three close-ups of those bands that tell the pre-history of the world in relief-sculpture form. They tell about dragons attacking Westeros. They tell about how the different houses on Westeros got together and defeated those dragons, and how those houses, represented by their respective animals, bowed in allegiance to the Baretheon stag.

You can view a concept picture here:

Astrolabe Concept

and the "final render" here:

Astrolabe Final

  • Very interesting! Thanks.
    – HopDavid
    Apr 11, 2014 at 19:41
  • 5
    @HopDavid - One is glad to be of service.
    – Valorum
    Apr 11, 2014 at 19:46

Looks like some kind of Orrery - so basically, it's just a steampunky way of showing the sun shining on Westeros.

  • 1
    To add to this, it's showing the movement of the "world" around a sun, possible allusion to season change. Apr 10, 2014 at 12:01
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    I admit I had to Google "Orrery". I believe you're right. The whole intro has a feeling of mechanical clockwork. Dark Crystal had a marvelous orrery in the home of Olga. I will now watch the intro with increased pleasure. edit -- I guess I didn't need to Google it, hadn't noticed the link you provided.
    – HopDavid
    Apr 10, 2014 at 15:58
  • @HopDavid That's "Augra", not "Olga". Google Images for "Augra" vs "Olga" and you'll see the difference... :-)
    – RobertF
    Aug 23, 2017 at 15:25

Did anyone notice that the chandeliers in the Citadel in Oldtown were this same thing?

The object kind of looks like an atom, maybe the rings represent the families that are in constant movement while trying to capture the throne. This dance holds the whole GOT universe together. Maybe the sun represents power.

  • 3
    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Do you have any evidence for your allegorical interpretation that outweighs the commentary from the creator of the introduction sequence? It's reasonable to propound a theory in an answer, but it needs to be strongly enough supported to stand up against the existing answers.
    – DavidW
    Jul 23, 2023 at 20:37

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