It’s a natural occurrence whenever a film or TV show becomes a success that we are inundated with tie-in merchandise. T-shirts, action figures, and books are the most common, but every now and again something a tad left field comes along that seems a no-brainer fit. The Game of Thrones Tarot is one such thing.
What we have is a deck of 78 cards, which depict characters from the show as the various tarot icons and a 106-page hardback book that explains everything you need to know to get your own readings started. As well as explanations of each card’s purpose in tradition tarot, we get a little background on the relevance of the Thrones character (or setting) used, as well as the various meanings and repercussions of the cards in a reading. The book is well put together but is small, so the text could be a little hard to read for some [get those readers on, Grandad - Ed] but is worth the effort. Experienced tarot practitioner and writer Liz Dean’s prose is easy to understand and doesn’t get bogged down with too much spiritual beliefs to start with, allowing the sceptical to be a little more open to having a ‘go’ with the cards themselves. It really is easy to follow Dean’s instructions to various ‘spreads’ one can read from and you’ll be inviting your mates around for readings in no time.
The cards themselves have a linen-type feel, not the usual laminated glossy type. The illustrations are by San Francisco artist Craig Coss are generally good, only let down by some of the images looking a little too simple (the depiction of Ramsey Bolton as the Devil is a culprit) and occasionally a tad too dark. Some of the characters are repeated, too, which could easily be avoided with a property as character-rich as Game of Thrones.
All in all, it’s a nicely put together set, presented in an attractive hard cardboard box with gold gilding. It’ll be a nice addition for fans of the HBO series (and George R. R. Martin’s sprawling tale in general) and should provide a few hours of entertainment but serious tarot believers may find it strays too far from what they’d expect from a deck.
Oh, and who’s the Death card? Arya Stark, of course.
HBO’S GAME OF THRONES TAROT / AUTHOR: LIZ DEAN / PUBLISHER: CHRONICLE BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW