Westeros isn’t so different from the world of pop. The top slot on the Billboard charts is just as sought-after as the Iron Throne — though artists use their music as weapons instead of, well, actual weapons.
Back in 2016, ahead of the season 6 premiere of Game of Thrones on HBO, we decided to see if we could draw a direct line between the citizens of the Seven Kingdoms and our very own pop royalty. These people are playing very different games, but often using similar strategies. We published animated illustrations reimagining six of the biggest musicians in the world as six of the biggest characters on the wildly popular show, which came to an end in 2019 after eight seasons.
This week (Dec. 7), our gallery of GIFs became relevant once again, when Taylor Swift told The Hollywood Reporter for their Women in Entertainment Power 100 issue which Thrones character she most identifies with: Arya Stark. “I realize I don’t know how to use a sword and I’ve never had to rise up from near death to go on an epic revenge mission,” the pop star quipped. “But I have been in the music industry for over 15 years, so …”
When we published the original gallery, we had Swift pegged as the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen — of course, that was before (spoiler alert) Dany burned it all down in the final season. Also since the gallery was posted, Swift has spoken of her kinship with the Stark daughters (Sansa too) and how they partially inspired her 2017 album reputation. “So much of my imagination was spent on Game of Thrones,” Swift told Entertainment Weekly in 2019. “At the time, I was making reputation and I didn’t talk about it in interviews, so I didn’t reveal that a lot of the songs were influenced by the show.”
But Swift isn’t our only pop star featured in the gallery. Below, find animated illustrations of pop stars as their kindred Game of Thrones characters. (And maybe for our next round, we’ll include musicians as House of the Dragon standouts.)
This gallery was originally published in 2016.