11. The castles
If Game of Thrones is known for anything besides sex and violence, it’s for its sweeping cityscapes, locales and castles. It’s a work of fantasy, after all, so there are plenty of medieval vibes.
There are more than a dozen different abodes that can be categorized as “castles” in Game of Thrones. Some are literally royal fortresses like the Red Keep and Casterly Rock. Others are more a collection of interconnected buildings or stone formations that house people, like Castle Black and Harrenhal.
Many of these castles, while beautiful to behold, are steeped in blood, cursed or are so coveted that the turnover rate for rulers is astronomical. Then there are some Westeros castles that have been leveled, like the Red Keep in King’s Landing.
The abodes in Star Wars, on the other hands, aren’t typical castles housing kings and queens. Many of the most recognizable castles belong to the franchise’s villains, like Vader’s fortress and General Grievous’s castle. There’s also the Takodana Castle, owned by the revered pirate Maz Kanata and destroyed by the First Order in The Force Awakens.
Maz’s castle is certainly not a place for royalty, as its main hall was turned into a massive cantina hosting travelers and smugglers from across the galaxy. The castle was once occupied by Jedi and below the main area were dungeons and the tombs of ancient Jedi knights. Maz’s castle is where Rey first connects with the Force and has heartbreaking flashbacks after touching Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber.
Also, not your typical royal castle is Darth Vader’s fortress on the volcanic planet of Mustafar. The obsidian, lava-filled monstrosity was built on the site of a Sith temple. It first appeared in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story when Director Orson Krennic visited Vader to talk about the Death Star project. In that scene, we get a brief glimpse of Vader emerging from a Bacta healing tank before Krennic arrives to grovel to the Sith lord about his aspirations to continue commanding the Death Star. Vader’s patience quickly runs thin for Krennic, who he chokes with the Force.
So, in the game of castles, Game of Thrones may have the upper hand when it comes to the amount, but Star Wars wins for originality.