In my fantasy series, I wanted to create a palace for the imperial dynasty that would shame all other strongholds in terms of both lavishness and defense. I thought what would be more impregnable than a mountain, but could not find a suitable answer. If one were to make a mountain into a palace, a million men can lay siege on it and be repelled. Therefore, I drew inspiration from other mountainous castles in fantasy such as Casterly Rock from Game of Thrones and Erebor from The Hobbit. Both mountains contained limitless wealth and their mine shafts were expanded into halls, galleries, and bed chambers. I thought a stronghold such as either of these would be fit for an emperor and his heirs. The Imperial Palace in my fantasy series is essentially a combination between Casterly Rock and Erebor. It is where most of the third book will take place as the main character tries to navigate the cutthroat politics that comes with governing an empire.

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