“I get a text from Nuno: ‘They made $9m on this video and they couldn’t even give us a guitar!’”: Fender’s viral Game of Thrones clip has 41m views – but its stars didn’t get to keep the instruments

Scott Ian has revealed that none of the guitar heroes who participated in Fender’s Game of Thrones theme song cover clip got to keep the guitars they used in the video.

The video – conceived to promote the Fender Custom Shop Sigil Collection of Games of Thrones themed guitars – became a viral hit and has to date garnered more than 41 million views.

However, in a recent fan Q&A at Steel City Con, Ian said that none of the artists featured – among them Tom Morello, Nuno Bettencourt, Brad Paisley and Ian himself – got to hold onto the valuable instruments.

“We all thought that that was kind of going to be the thing at the end of the session,” Ian told the crowd [around 13.02 in the clip below]. “That we would each get to have the one we played, because [usually] that's what happens.”

Despite everyone having fun on the day, Ian says it wasn’t just him that was left wishing he’d been able to keep the custom build.

“I'll let you in on a on a little secret,” says Ian. “A couple of weeks later, we all get a very nice email from Fender… about how many millions of views this thing has gotten and how many of these custom, very expensive [guitars they sold]. 

“Like very expensive, like I think the Lannister one was like 40 grand or something [$30,000 to be precise – Ed].” 

“They sold a fuck-ton of these custom-built guitars based on this video and they're like, ‘Thank you so much for doing this for us,’ and all that.

“So I get a text from Nuno, not five minutes after these emails… and he's like…  ‘These motherfuckers!’ 

“He goes, ‘I just did the math. They made about nine-million dollars on this fucking video we made and they couldn't even give us a guitar!’ I'm like, ‘Hey brother, you're preaching to the choir! I'm with you.’”

Game of Thrones Fender guitars

Fender Custom Shop House Targaryen Stratocaster ($35,000), House Stark Telecaster ($25,000) and House Lannister Jaguar ($30,000) (Image credit: Fender)

Despite the situation, Ian clarifies in the Q&A clip that he has “nothing bad to say about Fender”: “I play Jackson guitars and EVH amps and it's all under the Fender umbrella and they've treated me very, very fantastically over the years.” 

Ian isn't kidding – Jackson and EVH recently collaborated on the “best guitar” he's ever had: a jaw-dropping V-shaped version of Eddie Van Halen's Frankenstein, nicknamed the Franken V.

Nonetheless, it seems that Game of Thrones guitar has stuck in his craw. “Damn it, I want one of those,” concludes Ian, on the topic. “Because I was playing that Stark Telecaster and it sounded great.”

Earlier this year, the Anthrax man teamed up with one of those Fender brands again, announcing the Jackson ‘Baldini Burst’ Scott Ian signature X Series King V – with a finish that pays tribute to Dimebag's Dime Slime colorways.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.