Canberra photographer Glen Braithwaite recreates Game of Thrones character Beric Dondarrion and his flaming sword in lockdown

Glen Braithwaite's Game of Thrones-inspired photo for the 52Frames Instagram challenge. Picture: Glen Braithwaite
Glen Braithwaite's Game of Thrones-inspired photo for the 52Frames Instagram challenge. Picture: Glen Braithwaite

How's this for a Canberra lockdown project?

Photographer Glen Braithwaite has used his time in quarantine to create aGame of Thrones-themed photo - complete with homemade armour and a flaming sword - for his Instagram page, @holdfast_photography.

The Canberran went straight into quarantine when the first case in the capital was announced, as his daughter was considered a close contact.

Among other things, this meant his weekly Instagram-based photography challenge, 52Frames, plans went out the window.

The armour Glen Braithwaite made. Picture: Glen Braithwaite

The armour Glen Braithwaite made. Picture: Glen Braithwaite

"The theme for that week was night, but it also had the extra credit challenge of astrophotography," Braithwaite says.

"So everybody planned to get out and probably head to the hills and try and take some good star photos this week. But lockdown sort of curtailed all of that for most of us."

It turns out Braithwaite has a motto, particularly when it comes to his photography: "If something doesn't excite you, light it on fire."

And that's exactly what he did.

Taking inspiration from the Game of Thrones character Beric Dondarrion - who is known for his flaming sword - Braithwaite recreated the character's costume for a unique take on a night-themed photo. And yes, the flaming sword was real.

Glen Braithwaite used a kettlebell to help make some of the shoulder armour. Picture: Glen Braithwaite

Glen Braithwaite used a kettlebell to help make some of the shoulder armour. Picture: Glen Braithwaite

After originally trying to use napalm on the sword - which Braithwaite found that when lit would drip flames off the sword and is therefore not recommended to do - he came up with the plan to attach a piece of citronella oil-soaked fabric to the reverse side of the weapon.

"It was such a windy night the when I took the photos which blew the flame straight over the top of the blade and it makes it look quite flamey," Braithwaite says.

"All up, the flames lasted for about two minutes before they go out."

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This is not the first time the photographer has been inspired by Game of Thrones. Last year he built a "Game of Bones" throne to take to various events to raise money for dog charities. From that event, he had some armour leftover that he could use for the shoot and created the rest at home.

Another of Glen Braithwaite's photo taken during the Game of Thrones-inspired photoshoot. Picture: Glen Brraithwaite

Another of Glen Braithwaite's photo taken during the Game of Thrones-inspired photoshoot. Picture: Glen Brraithwaite

"I retired from the army last year and so I've spent a lot more time just building stuff," he said.

"I did a knifemaking course out at the Tharwa Valley Forge for a couple of days ... and then I made a sword and I started making my neck armour.

"In the days leading up the photo I have also built the shoulder leather armour to go with that shoot using a kettlebell to mould it.

"I've never really been into cosplay or anything like that before but I got introduced into cosplay [costume play] by some Australia's best cosplayers about a year or so ago when I did some photoshoots. So I thought, I think I can make this stuff and so it's very much a try as you go along and see what I can come up with."

This story Photographer lights up the night with Game of Thrones-themed photo first appeared on The Canberra Times.

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