George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire is one of the most popular and beloved modern fantasy epics, and it’s now entering the realm of collectibles via Valyrian Resin’s new line of busts. I’ll be reviewing all three characters in the first series this week, beginning with Daenerys.
The first thing that struck me about the Dani bust is that she’s much bigger than I’d anticipated. I was expecting these busts to be somewhat in scale with Bowen’s Marvel mini busts, but they really are significantly larger. Daenerys stands around 8.5″ tall, from the bottom of the base to the top of her crown. There are standard and exclusive versions of this piece, and the one I got is the standard, which features Dani in her dragon crown and wearing a purple garment.
The early prototype photos of the Daenerys bust show her with her breast exposed, as is accurate to the fashion of her culture in the books. Just prior to going to the factory, it seems the manufacturers decided to cover the breast with Dani’s hair. This probably was a wise move, as it maintains the accuracy of her appearance but makes the piece more easily displayable for some collectors.
For a new statue company launching their inaugural line for this license, Valyrian Resin really has blown me away. This is an extremely detailed and beautiful sculpture that really captures the essence of the character. I won’t spoil the books for anyone who hasn’t read them, but it’s safe to say that Daenerys deals with her share of turmoil, joy, and tragedy. In this bust, she is posed in proudly regal stance, but the softness of her expression and facial sculpt are reminders of just how young and inexperienced she really is. I’m very impressed by how well they nailed the nuances of the character.
There’s a lot of fantastic detail in her outfit as well, from the folds in her sash to the chain belt to her necklace and armlets. The base is extremely well done as well, depicting a pile of elegant pillows, like the ones that might be lying around Dani’s tent or chambers when she’s receiving visitors. All the busts in this line have bases that feature a shield at the front center with the symbol of their family. Dani’s bears the sigil of the Targaryen house, a three headed dragon, as depicted in the novels.
My only complaint with this first series of busts is with the packaging. I really like unique statue boxes, and the Song of Ice and Fire ones are rather plain. The box for each of the three characters is exactly the same, simply displaying the Valyrian logo, along with photos of all the busts in the line. A box next to whichever bust is in that particular box is manually checked on each one. I would have preferred a unique box for each bust, perhaps showing a larger photo of the character, but I can understand that cost might have been a big factor with this being an early release for the company. Inside the box, the bust is housed in a styrofoam block that keeps it very safe for shipping. The type of foam used is very crumbly, though, and I had to spend a little while cleaning up the floor after opening the bust, as well as carefully picking foam bits off the sculpture.
Quibbles about the packaging aside, I absolutely love this bust. It’s a beautiful piece and a very nice tribute to a wonderful fantasy series. I highly recommend the entire line and am looking forward to future releases. My reviews of the Eddard Stark and Sandor Clegane busts will follow later this week.