If the "Game of Thrones" series had a symbol, it would probably be a dragon. The creatures have helped those in power rule the kingdoms of Westeros, and the citizens live in fear of the fire-breathing beasts.
To celebrate the third season of "Game of Thrones" airing on video-on-demand service Blinkbox, the company set out to make a dragon skull and put it on a beach in Dorset, England, which is known for its dragon fossils. We spoke to Ben Ayers, the head of PR for Blinkbox, about the project.
Metro: Why did you guys decide to promote "Game of Thrones" with a dragon skull?
Ben Ayers: The dramatic work was inspired by a memorable scene in 'Game of Thrones' which sees character Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) discover a dragon skull in the dungeons of King's Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms. At this point in George RR Martin's fantasy, the dragons are supposedly long dead, but it hints strongly at their return, which is a developing theme in the story.
As 'Game of Thrones' is easily the most talked about TV show of the moment and we have it before rival services and months before its available on DVD or Blu-ray, we wanted to mark its arrival on Blinkbox with a dramatic spectacle. We couldn't think of anything more dramatic than installing a skull the size of a bus on a beach and waiting to see the reaction.
Since Dorset is famous for dinosaur fossils, did anyone actually think it was real?
Most people know that dragons are mythical. It was appreciated more as a work of art than anything real. We never set out to fool people into thinking this was proof that dragons once existed!
What are some of the reactions you've received? Did everyone know it was connected to "Game of Thrones"?
BA: We made sure that it was clear that this was linked to Blinkbox and 'Game of Thrones' in all our communications. We even went so far as to create a sand castle with a Blinkbox flag which has appeared in a lot of pictures and which anchored the activity to the service.
What is the dragon skull made out of?
The skull is made of polystyrene with a tough resin coating. It was then painstakingly painted to create the life-like detail that makes it so eye catching. Fittingly, it was created by Dave Croswell who also worked on the ornate carvings on the Royal barge Gloriana which was a centerpiece of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee river pageant. He did an amazing job.
What are you going to do with the dragon skull after the promotion? Send it to King's Landing?
We've had lots of people get in touch, from museums and theme parks to 'Game of Thrones' fans who would like it in their garden. We haven't made a decision on its final resting place yet.
If you could name this dragon skull, what would you name it?
We'd probably give it a strong Royal name, like George after the patron saint of England who had a famous encounter with a dragon. He'd also share a name with our future King, which is apt as 'Game of Thrones' centers on an epic battle for a throne.