With the culture of Westeros so fully ingrained in audience's minds, concept artist Ricean Vlad has gone ahead and shaken up the familiarity, reimagining HBO's Game of Thrones cast as characters in a film noir setting.
Instead of cozying up in the snowy North or cracking skulls in Essos, Vlad has instead placed characters like Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen in a big city landscape - where, incidentally, the same sort of treachery they might expect in George R.R. Martin's epic landscape is just as likely to transpire. Tywin Lannister is the equivalent to Al Capone, Ramsay Bolton is working the shipyard with just as much bloody abandon as he'd have in the dungeons of the Dreadfort (note the sausage), and the Hound is your classic blood-hungry, tommy gun-wielding miscreant. The takeaway here is that you can take Westerosi citizens out of the Known World, but you can't take the heart of Westeros out of its citizens.
While the film noir style is miles away from the Medieval M.O. in which Thrones is shrouded, Vlad still manages to maintain a connective thread between the two dissimilar worlds. Joffrey Baratheon is still very much in his natural habitat, wielding a lethal weapon in the company of two helpless women; Dany is leading an army of "warriors," all the while entangled in her precious reptiles; Tyrion Lannister is clearly trying to smooth talk his way out of what appears to be a perfectly warranted murder. See for yourselves in the image gallery (hat tip Nerdist), below:
[vn_gallery name="Game of Thrones as Film Noir" id="1071917"]
Jon Snow seems especially in character as the quiet outsider here, trading in his longsword for a pistol, but still contrasting his snowy environment with an all-black ensemble (and that barn in the background may as well be the Wall).
Ricean Vlad is no stranger to dabbling in familiar fiction. Judging by his website, his other work includes franchises like Star Wars, Assassins Creed, and Splinter Cell, along with some original artwork. Having worked in the gaming industry for over a decade, Vlad is no stranger to putting his personal stamp on popular licensed properties.
With HBO scrounging for whatever Game of Thrones equivalent they can get their hands on before the final season comes and goes, rejiggering Martin's original content into a film noir crime drama might be the Gold Derby winner they were looking for all along (though spinoffs are probably the better bet).
Game of Thrones season 8 premieres in either late 2018 or early 2019.