TV & Radio

Monday 28 July 2014

Good casting – how metal firm won role in 'Game of Thrones'

Brian Byrne

Published 14/04/2014|02:30

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Main, Emilia Clarke in ‘Game of Thrones’; Bottom inset; David O’Brien making one of the swords; and above, with the finished product
Main, Emilia Clarke in ‘Game of Thrones’; Bottom inset; David O’Brien making one of the swords; and above, with the finished product
David O'Brien with one of the swords. Photo: Mark Condren
Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon in 'Game of Thrones'

A SPECIALIST bronze casting company in Dublin has landed a major coup with its custom-made swords being wielded in hit drama 'Game of Thrones'.

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Several major characters in the fantasy series have relied on the impressive weapons crafted at the Bronze Art Fine Art Foundry in Dublin when embroiled in bloody battles and skirmishes.

Jon Snow played by Kit Harington's character frequently brandishes his custom-made sword – 'Longclaw'. The company's latest sword is to be presented to King Joffrey in tonight's episode.

Staff at the Bronze Art Fine Art Foundry in Dublin are big fans of the show and take great delight in seeing their bronze and gilded swords on screen. Thankfully, they will have even more opportunity to see their work and forge more swords as the popular HBO series has been commissioned for a further two seasons.

Each year, the company receives an original sculpted version of the swords' intricate handles from which they create wax copy moulds. The handles are then put through a lost-wax casting process and cast into bronze.

They are later welded with authentic damascus steel blades – which cost thousands to make – to create the beautiful swords recognised by fans of the show.

The company has also helped produce swords for characters Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman) and Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton).

They have also sculpted creations for the Canadian-Irish series 'Vikings' and US series 'Camelot', both of which were also filmed in Ireland.

But it was their work on 2004's 'King Arthur', starring Clive Owen that got the attention of 'Game of Thrones' producers.

"They saw the work that we did and were pleased with it. And thankfully they've kept coming back," said managing director David O'Brien.

Filmed in Northern Ireland, the series stars several well-known Irish actors, including Aidan Gillen, Liam Cunningham, Michael McElhatton, Ciaran Hinds and recent graduate Jack Gleeson who plays the part of King Joffrey Baratheon.

Production on the upcoming two series is predicted to generate in excess of €24m annually to the Northern Irish economy. 'Game of Thrones' airs on Mondays at 9pm on Sky Atlantic.

Irish Independent

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