Author: Liz Dean
Artist: Craig Coss
Published by: Chronicle Books
I have been burned by TV, book, and movie-themed tarot decks before. Too often, those decks are created by people with little knowledge of tarot. They produce intricate artwork around our favorite characters, but when it comes to actually reading the cards they are useless. I expected the Game of Thrones Tarot deck to be something beautiful to sit on my bookshelf, to be pulled out when friends came over on Sunday nights, then hastily shoved aside the second the grey HBO screen crackled to life before a new episode.
I was so wrong. This deck is AMAZING! The gorgeous art is there, all of our most loved and loathed Westerosi make an appearance, but what sets this deck apart is the clear understanding of traditional Rider-Waite imagery and lore. We don’t just get a picture of Dany with some coins thrown over it. Instead, Dany is in the gardens of Qarth, coins blooming from the bushes around her, with one of the dragons perched on her shoulder to represent the traditional hooded falcon.
In honor of the Seven, here are my seven favorite cards in this deck, compared to their Rider-Waite counterparts:
Seven of Swords
This marriage of the show’s plot and traditional lore is so clever! The card uses the image of Sam Tarley stealing Heartsbane from his father to represent the sneaky sword thief in the Rider-Waite card.
Who doesn’t love the map of Westeros? No Game of Thrones product is complete without this iconic image. Note the four house sigils in the corners, standing in for the four evangelists traditionally represented.
Eight of Cups
Jon had to walk away from his life at the Wall to become King of the North. The Eight of Cups asks you what you’re willing to walk away from to become your best self.
This card CRACKED ME UP. The Moon is the Moon Door!!! Get it???? Hehehehehehehe. But seriously, this card is lovely and captured the slight foreboding some people feel about the Moon.
Four of Cups
Littlefinger acting as the hand offering Sansa change to her less-than-idyllic life was brilliant.
Brienne of Tarth is the perfect embodiment of Strength, both physical and mental. Oathkeeper, boasting its Lannister lion hilt, ties in the Rider-Waite lion while also representing Brienne’s struggle with her newfound loyalty to the man she sided against for so long.
Ten of Swords
Jon Snow’s betrayal by his brothers in the Night’s Watch is one of the most iconic moments in the series. What better way to represent the card that traditionally shows there is no hope left in a situation. (Or is there???)
Coming in under $25, this deck is a steal. The box and guidebook (featuring GoT-themed spreads like “I Drink and I Know Things”) are high quality pieces that are going to hold up over time.
Nikki Krueger can be found reading, eating cheese, or exploring obscure museums in the Philadelphia area. Follow her on Twitter @Nik_Lit.
Photos by @bonebonetweets
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