A Kentucky welder built a 200 lbs. replica of the Iron Throne from the hit HBO series Game of Thrones. And he did it for one reason: love.
Michael Hayes, 32, teamed up with his fellow welding students at Louisville’s Knight School of Welding for the project after asking his instructor if they could build the structure in time for his wedding last fall, school owner Matt Hobbs tells PEOPLE.
“He was getting married and [he and his wife] really love Game of Thrones and he wanted to know if we could make something like this for his wedding,” Hobbs tells PEOPLE. “We said we could do it for him … [instructor] Anthony Williams, he’s a really good designer and artsy guy, he took off with it.”
The school funded the project, donating $7,800 to make Hayes’ dream come true. Hobbs says it took the team 110 hours and over two months to make the life-sized, aluminum throne equipped with up to 400 individually-cut swords.
Hayes got married last September, and sweet photos showed his wife perched on the Iron Throne with Hayes at her side.
“The show is one of the first things my wife and I bonded over,” Hayes told WLKY. “Besides the awesome fact that my wife pretty much does look like Daenerys, especially when she’s in her get-up … it made it all the more awesome when I could see her sitting in the throne and doing her thing. It’s just been awesome.”
Hobbs says the project served as a “cool” learning experience for the group.
“We’re always trying to create stuff and make learning fun in our environment,” he tells PEOPLE. “When you get through your basics then get to the part where you can work on these thrones and carriages, you’re actually doing a real-world project and you get self-gratification out of it because you step back and you’re like, ‘Wow! I had a part in that.’ “
Hobbs adds it was rewarding to watch the proud looks on the students’ faces when they created the project. And Hayes says his wedding guests were just as in awe.
“Everyone’s really blown away at how intricate and large it is not because it’s massive, but we did a lot of detail work too,” Hayes told WLKY. “I can’t think of another spot that would allow me to do that when I walked up to the owner of the school and say, ‘Hey, I want to do this for my wife.’ Okay, I got your back. Let’s do this. That’s just awesome.”
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.