Talk about a triple whammy. This 2019 video appeals to Game of Thrones viewers, to fans of top guitarists rocking out, and to anyone interested in high-end guitars. While the video was timed to coincide with the release of the final season of Game of Thrones, it was the culmination of two years of hard work by the Fender Guitar Custom Workshop.
Working closely with Game of Thrones creator and keen guitar player D.B. Weiss, Fender set out to design three distinct custom guitars relating to Game of Thrones, with the design and finish of each guitar reflecting one of the three houses from the popular series. When it came to showcasing the guitars, Fender assembled a truly stellar line-up.
From the beginning of the video of the massed guitar version of the Game of Thrones theme song, it is evident that this was a good natured jam, without the ego-trips that so often mar collaborations between artists of this calibre. Tom Morello came to fame as a member of Rage Against the Machine, Scott Ian is from Anthrax, and Nuno Bettencourt plays guitar for Extreme. That is a lot of shredding power! Interestingly, Scott Ian made an appearance in the GoT series as a White Walker.
For the Fender promotion, Morello, Ian, and Bettencourt are joined by country singer-songwriter Brad Paisley, who holds his own by any measure, Rawan Djawadi, the GoTs composer, and D.B. Weiss, the GoT co-creator who workshopped the design of the guitars with Fender. And what guitars they are! There's the House Lannister Jaguar with gold inlay, the House Targaryen Strat has a dragon-scaled body, while the House Stark Tele features Grey Wolf. Check them out. These are remarkable instruments.
The attention to detail evident in the guitars carries over into the guitar cases. The House Stark Telecaster case has a black suede exterior, which references the direwolf sigil of Stark House, while the interior features a faux wolf fur lining. The House Lannister Jaguar case has gold accents which include a velvet interior in crushed gold, and all the hardware is gold.
One presumes these details are not solid gold, despite the heavy metal appeal of the guitar! The exterior of the House Targaryen Stratocaster case boasts a black reptile design and it is finished with red stitching accents on both the inside and the outside.
All the fine detail and the sumptuous styling of the guitars give the instruments the sense of being museum pieces. This likely explains why Fender went to the trouble of assembling such a fine line-up of guitarists to put the Game of Thrones Sigil Collection guitars through their paces.
The guitars look impressive in the hands and on the laps of the players, no doubt, but when the playing starts, the guitars sound superb. This creates a bit of a dilemma. Given both the price and the elaborate custom designs of the guitars, there is a good argument for keeping them as pristine as possible for their value as collector's items. On the other hand, the guitars sound so good that it is a pity not to play them. The solos in the video of the guitarists playing the GoT theme songs really ring out and have just the right amount of crunch. They are fine instruments.
Given the price of the guitars, and the fact that they need to be individually ordered from the Fender workshop, the dilemma of whether to molly coddle the guitars or shred the demons out of them is not one most of us are likely to face. But just imagine the future value of a GoT guitar owned and well-used by Tom Morello.
The version of the Game of Thrones theme song in the video above is delightful, and the guitars themselves are spectacular, yet it is the amiable ease and unforced charm of the guitarists that elevates the video above its origins as a promotion for niche, GoT-themed instruments, and makes it worth returning to.