‘Game of Thrones’ Behind The Scenes Segment Reveals The Making Of A Monster

The Game Revealed profiles GOT at its most gruesome.
By  · Published on October 9th, 2017

The Game Revealed profiles GOT at its most gruesome.

When explaining what makes Game of Thrones one of television’s greatest pop culture phenomenons, there are almost too many reasons to list. The series draws viewers in with its captivating heroes and villains, treacherous plots, and cast members who are so hot they could make Drogon sweat. But, when describing the show’s look and feel, there’s one label everyone agrees on: Cinematic. Game of Thrones combines George R.R. Martin’s imaginative source material, a $100 million budget, and one of the best special effects teams in television to create visual spectacles on par with Hollywood cinema.

Some people don’t want to break the show’s illusion, preferring not to know the nitty-gritty behind how director Miguel Sapochnik created ‘Battle of the Bastards.’ But if you’re like me, knowing the show’s behind-the-scenes secrets adds to the enjoyment like a seasoning that makes my Game of Throne’s feasts more delicious. So, if you have ever been curious about the technical artistry that goes into Game of Thrones, HBO has you covered. HBO’s Game of Thrones YouTube series, The Game Revealed, pulls back the curtain on some of the show’s most impressive sequences.

The latest episode, ‘Unleash the Wight,’ does exactly what its title suggests. The short but sweet, 90-second episode details how the effects team recreated one of the series’ most disturbing sequences: Jon Snow delivering a (un)living wight right to Cersei Lannister’s feet. Director Jeremy Podeswa explains rendering the creature as, “Way more complicated than 10,000 wights.”

So without further ado:

We’re still not at the point where computer effects are photorealistic and as the clip shows, CGI works best when blended together with objects that exist in physical space. Wights are gross to begin with, however, having the computer effects team paint “holes” onto a living actor makes the creature far more unsettling than its entirely CGI brethren.

My favorite tidbit in the episode? Learning that the effects team didn’t use computer effects to render the wight after it gets split in half. It’s such a grotesque and over the top moment that I never even considered that Podeswa filmed the sequence with on set actors — they did such a great job making the effect look real that I assumed it was done with computers!

Also notable, a jovial Lena Headey offers a glimpse behind the poker face her character Cersei makes when the wight is unveiled. “She’s back as a kid just realizing everything that her grandma, her nannies had told her, was real,” Headey said. Revenge is still Cersei’s main priority, but now we know she’s not brushing off her childhood superstitions, including a certain prophecy that keeps getting harder for her to ignore.

‘Unleash the Wight’ packs plenty of insight into a brief episode and now I want to go back and watch season seven’s final episode (‘The Dragon and the Wolf‘) one more time. If you enjoyed ‘Unleash the Wight’ then you can check out more of The Game Revealed on HBO’s Game of Thrones YouTube Channel.

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