Game of Thrones: The Pop-Up Book


Friday, April 11, 2014

Matthew Reinhart's Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros Matthew Reinhart's Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros (Courtesy of the artist)

Each episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones starts with a map of Westeros — as the camera sweeps over each kingdom, it sprouts castles, towers, and cities with beautiful precision. Matthew Reinhart has managed to reproduce the magic of CGI in an ancient medium: paper. When you open his Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros, the pages fan out and every castle magically pops up in its right place. 

In recent years, pop-up books have reached a level of complexity and sophistication previously undreamed of; the field is now called paper engineering. People often ask Reinhart what program he uses to design his books; astoundingly, the work is almost all by hand. (Watch him work here.) “My job is arts and crafts,” he says, “I cut and fold paper and pull it all together.” Reinhart works on a project with 3D collages of white paper hinged with tape. After months of designing and troubleshooting, the pop-ups are pulled apart, scanned, and the files sent to China, where an assembly line — possibly hundreds of people — glue the pieces together to create each page of the book.

That exquisite and labor-intensive craftsmanship means pop-up books are expensive. Reinhart says his commissions and royalties are sharply down since the financial crash, and that publishers are commissioning simpler, pared-down books at a lower price point. 

One veteran of the bookselling business fears this process won’t go well. Peter Glassman owns the children’s bookstore Books of Wonder, in Manhattan. He’s recounts one highly successful artist who was stymied by edits. “The publisher kept sizing them down, simplifying the pop-ups, making the books smaller, less exciting, less visually enchanting. And they stopped selling as well!”


Slideshow: Matthew Reinhart’s Pop-Up Worlds

Courtesy of Matthew Reinhart

Matthew Reinhart’s newest book, Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros, unfolds into a full map of the fictional continent. Watch how it works in this book trailer.

Courtesy of Matthew Reinhart

A truck emerges out of a page from Transformers: The Ultimate Pop-Up Universe (2013). Watch Reinhart design and assemble it.

Courtesy of Matthew Reinhart

With a tug of the tab, the truck shape-shifts into Optimus Prime.

Courtesy of Matthew Reinhart

Superman flies out of DC Super Heroes: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book (2010) with his fist almost touching the reader's face.

Courtesy of Matthew Reinhart

C3PO, R2D2, and other characters spring from a page in Star Wars: A Pop-Up a Guide to the Galaxy (2007).

Courtesy of Matthew Reinhart

In Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs (2005), a Tyrannosaurus rex pops out of the page with his jaws snapping.

    Music Playlist
  1. Main Title
    Artist: Ramin Djawadi
    Album: Game of Thrones
    Label: Varèse Sarabande
    Purchase: Amazon
  2. It's Only A Paper Moon
    Artist: Cliff "Ukulele Ike" Edwards
    Album: Singin' In The Rain - The Best Of
    Label: Stardust
    Purchase: Amazon


Sruthi Pinnamaneni

Comments [3]



By Ronald B. Bodnaron September 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I HAVE COLLECTED POP-UP BOOKS FOR 20 YEARS. GAME OF THRONES IS THE BEST ENGINEERED POP-UP BOOKS IN MY ENTIRE COLLECTION. Very few pop-ups can one open on a table and see the entire book at one time! From my point of view if this isn't a masterpiece of engineering I have NO IDEA WHAT IS. When I read a review saying its engineering was poor made me want to talk to this person and get his opinion answering the question WHY HE OR SHEE FEELS THIS WAY!

I have a feeling this person is either a competitor that hates its creator or just trying to say something hurtful got the author. On the other hand there are many reasons why people dislike another person's work. That being said, if that same person mentioned he or she did not like the pictures for what ever reason I would accept that type of critique. However, ALBERT EINSTEIN COULD NOT HAVE ENGINEERED GAME OF THRONES BETTER.

If I had to choose one POP-UP Book in my vast collection this is my FAVORITE. THIS IS IT! One does not have to see the series or read a detailed book on the series to enjoy this wonderful POP-UP EXPERIENCE!

I WOULD PURCHASE 5 OF THESE TO GIVE AWAY AS GIFTS JUST FOR YOU TO SIGN THE ONE I OWN. CONGRATULATIONS TEN TIMES OVER. Steve Horwitz writing on my best friends AMAZON Account. With his permission of course. Cheers, Steve

Sep. 02 2014 06:40 PM

Oh great, yet another American businessman using third-world sweatshop labor to make useless luxuries to entertain other spoiled Americans. I will admit the book is pretty cool though. Then again, i am one of those spoiled Americans hes trying to entertain.

May. 02 2014 05:41 AM
Donald from Kera


Apr. 13 2014 08:26 PM

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