HBO’s Game of Thrones isn’t usually known for shying away from a bit of gratuitous violence, but that’s exactly what happened with one particular scene towards the end of penultimate season 6 episode, “The Battle of the Bastards.”
The moment in question is the grisly, but oh-so satisfying demise of Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon), who after inflicting unspeakable horrors upon many characters both minor and major over the course of two seasons, finally gets his comeuppance when Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) feeds him to his own starving dogs. It’s a pretty grim sequence as is, but according to Image Engine, the company that worked on the special effects, it was originally intended to be even more gory.
Here’s an excerpt from Variety’s report:
They shot the scene with multiple takes,” explained Image Engine visual effects supervisor Mat Krentz. “They did a pass of the dog on green screen, then Ramsay on green screen, and then we also had a background plate, which we put together.” Artists also created a CG jaw for Bolton, and animated it to reveal the flesh ripping between Ramsay’s skin and gums. The effect was too gruesome even by “Thrones” standards, so they pulled it back a bit, using a 2D composite instead.
It’s curious that after dispatching several well-loved characters in fairly horrific fashion (we’re looking at you eye-gouge/head-crush Viper scene), they chose to scale back the death of someone fans actually wanted to see suffer some prolonged brutality, but there you go.
Game of Thrones is set to return for its penultimate season next year.