Game Of Thrones Playing Cards Project by Jim Tuckwell

by . March 28th, 2013

The epic fantasy TV series, Game Of Thrones comes back on its third season this March 31. As the much awaited day comes, fans all over the world had been showing their utmost support by various tributes in forms of posters, action figures, videos and cosplayers to name a few. While we see GOT fans show off their support in mainstream media, the graphic design industry has its own take in applying the themes and characters from the popular series in creating designs.

One such artist is Jim Tuckwell, a graphic designer from Australia who is currently working on another Game Of Thrones tribute but this time in a form of playing cards. Jim is creating a “Deck Of Thrones” composed of card suits represented by the four major houses. House Stark represents the Spades with Ned Stark, Catelyn Stark and Jon Snow as the King, Queen and Jack of Spades respectively. Jamie, Cersei and Tyrion Lannister represent the King, Queen and Jack of Diamonds. Stannis Baratheon, Melisandre and Davos Seaworth as the King, Queen and Jack of Hearts while Daenerys Targaryen and Jorah Mormont represent the Queen and Jack of Clubs. However, Jim hasn’t decided yet which character will fit the King of Clubs. Varys and Littlefinger represent the Jokers.

He has finished some of the cards and planning to push through working on them as the series progresses. This awesome concept have gained positive feedback from the GoT fanbase that even other designers was inspired to create their own cards. You The Designer got the chance to speak with Jim to ask him few questions about this project, his creative process and future plans. Check out the interview below:


Game Of Thrones Playing Cards Project by Jim Tuckwell


YTD: We’ve seen a lot of fan art tributes for the popular TV series – from posters, banners and action figures to cosplays and fan made videos – why chose playing cards instead?


JIM: I’ve had a fascination with playing cards for a long time and I thought the show and the houses complimented the suits well. Upon searching for a deck, I came across the abomination  that dark horse had printed. Just a bunch of your stock standard photo cards with no regards to the structure of the deck at all, I decided it would be better if I just made one myself.


Game Of Thrones Playing Cards Project by Jim Tuckwell via You The Designer


YTD: Can you share us your creative process? From where did you start?


JIM: I started at the most important part, and that for me was planning the deck. There are so many amazing characters in GoT, it hurts when you have to cut one out. I’ve had a lot of requests, mostly for an Arya card. But in the structure of the deck she just didn’t fit. I will perhaps include her as an alternate queen or bonus card.


Game Of Thrones Playing Cards Project by Jim Tuckwell via You The Designer


After choosing a character and few thumbnails for the overall layout, I begin drawing. Then it’s just the tedious process of hatching lines, which is my attempt to retain a classic illustrated look in the cards vs the standard comic look.


Game Of Thrones Playing Cards Project by Jim Tuckwell via You The Designer


YTD: What are your guiding principles while working on this project?


JIM: Just to stay as true to the characters as possible, and like the show, make each one as unique as the next.


Game Of Thrones Playing Cards Project by Jim Tuckwell via You The Designer


YTD: Which card is your most favorite so far?


JIM: It’s always the latest one, in this case its Melisandre. I have this real problem of making each one more detailed and I suspect I’ll have to go back and rework the others soon.


Game Of Thrones Playing Cards Project by Jim Tuckwell via You The Designer


YTD: Who is your most favorite character from the series and why?


JIM: It’s harsh to make me choose… I love and hate so many of the characters, which is why it’s such a good show I guess. But breaking away from the cliche answers, I’d say its a tie between Littlefinger and Varys. These two are the veterans of the game and I think they get some of the best lines in the show. They are the true players and the rest merely pawns in their schemes (this is why they will be my jokers). You want to hate them, but you can’t.


oh… and HODOR


Game Of Thrones Playing Cards Project by Jim Tuckwell via You The Designer


YTD: Paul Nojima have created a set of GoT cards inspired with the same concept as yours which is sold on Etsy. Any thoughts on his work?


GoT Playing Cards by Paul Nojima on Etsy

GoT playing cards set by Paul Nojima on Etsy inspired by Jim Tuckwell’s idea of ‘Deck of Thrones’.


JIM: WOW…. mixed emotions here. This is the first time I’ve heard or seen of these. His work is great and I’m happy to have inspired him. I am on the other hand a little cut, its striking how similar some of the designs are, not to mention the card list. I guess that’s the peril of sharing your unfinished work on the net though. At least I get a mention I guess…haha

I never really thought I’d be able to sell them (dark horse comics own the rights) and am unsure how he his. Though this was never a project started for money, only the love of the show. I had planned to start a kickstarter and try to print them through USPC if I could somehow get a license. It’s a shame this has happened but I think the only thing to do is continue on and hope too much of the thunder hasn’t been stolen.


YTD: Any target date when we can finally see the whole set?


JIM: This is the question I get asked the most, and the short answer is no. I believe some of the characters have yet to evolve in the show before I can illustrate their card counterpart. It’s hard to explain without spoiling the show but those who have read the books may understand what I mean.


Game Of Thrones Playing Cards Project by Jim Tuckwell via You The Designer



I also think Daenerys could already benefit from a redesign. Her character continues to grow stronger and though I thought the original card would hold up, I have since changed my mind.


YTD: Any future plans when this projected is completed?


JIM: More cards I think… I have an epic beards set planned. I really plan to focus a bit more on my designing though, hopefully get a design related job! Anyone reading this should feel free to hit me up…


YTD: Expectations for the GOT Season 3?


JIM: I’ve read the books so I know what’s coming, regardless the show still excites me. Really looking forward to seeing Mance Rayder, I loved Ciarán Hinds in ROME and I think he will do an equally good job here.  A little more screen time for HODOR wouldn’t go amiss though.


Check out Jim Tuckwell’s Behance portfolio for more of his works or visit his Tumblr for more updates.


SEE ALSO: Wallpaper Showcase of the Houses from Game of Thrones


What do you think about this GoT tribute project? Share us your thoughts and comments by leaving a message below. Stay awesome everyone!