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Inside the workshop where Game of Thrones swords are made

Armourer Natalia Lee explains how fan favourite weapons like Heartsbane are created.

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Richard Trenholm
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1 of 10 Natalia Lee

Game of Thrones' Natalia Lee

Natalia Lee is an armourer and sword designer on movies and TV shows including Game of Thrones and the forthcoming Amazon series Jack Ryan. Game of Thrones takes her around the world building, maintaining and transporting lethal kit from daggers and swords to crossbows and even giant trebuchet siege weapons.

Take a look inside her workshop to see the creative process that goes into iconic weaponry such as the fan favourite sword Heartsbane.

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2 of 10 Natalia Lee

Weapons archive

Inside the Game of Thrones workshop, where new weapons are designed and modelled. It's also an archive of the weapons used by the show's many, many now-deceased characters.

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3 of 10 Natalia Lee

One weapon, many versions

Different versions of each weapon must be built. "Hero" models might be made of real metal so they look good in close-ups, but the team must also 3D-print identical soft versions to safely execute action scenes.

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4 of 10 Natalia Lee

It begins with research

Lee begins the process by researching historical references and sketching out ideas.

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A sea monster

In Thrones-world, weapons offer insight into the character who wields them. Euron Greyjoy's nautical background suggested an image of a sea monster.

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6 of 10 Natalia Lee

Ax with Kraken

And here we see the ax adorned with a stylised image of a Kraken.

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7 of 10 Natalia Lee

Heartsbane sword

Sketching in the workshop, Lee can break out callipers to measure materials, speeding up the design and fabrication process. Here's the Heartsbane sword being designed.

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8 of 10 Natalia Lee

Heartsbane's hunting elements

And the finished product. Heartsbane is decorated with hunting motifs to reflect the background of the Tarly family.

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9 of 10 Natalia Lee

With a flick of the wrist

Sketches of Ellaria Sand's wrist dagger from Game of Thrones. 

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10 of 10 Natalia Lee

A 3D printer can do this

Ellaria's dagger was 3D-printed and painted to look as if it was made of metal.

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