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The photography of Miles Aldridge has more in common with Game of Thrones than you might think. His work deftly conjures up fantasy worlds within a cynical, pop-color reality; whole universes with spinning axis of drama and metaphor. Meanwhile, the world of Game of Thrones is so vivid, one feels dragons and white walkers must exist here on earth.

For TIME’s Game of Thrones cover shoot, Aldridge artfully blended the two. He wanted to portray the actors as themselves but with a masterful nod to the series’ mythical vision. The result is a starkly imagined homage to old Hollywood woven into a heavy tapestry of Medievalism.