Incredible VFX Reel Sheds Light On The Real Magic Behind Game Of Thrones


If Game of Thrones faltered in the narrative department during the course of season 7, trading nuance and, at times, common sense for a truncated timeline and some truly memorable spectacle, then HBO’s fantasy flagship knocked it out of the park in terms of visual effects.

From Drogon swooping down and burning the Lannister loot train to kingdom come to the Night King resurrecting Viserion, the seventh, penultimate season of Thrones pulled no punches, which leaves us all the more excited for season 8’s arrival in 2019. That’s still an awful long way away, unfortunately, but a new video from Spanish visual effects company El Ranchito reveals an anatomy of “Beyond the Wall.”

Posted to Vimeo, the five-minute snippet presents a thorough breakdown of the creative process involved in transforming raw Game of Thrones footage to the gripping spectacle that airs via HBO. Filmed primarily in the north of Ireland, this particular sequence of the ‘Snowicide Squad’ – namely Jon Snow, Tormund, Jorah, Gendry, Thoros, the Hound, and Beric Dondarrion – was shot on location in an old quarry, before the VFX wizards added giant ice mountains and scores of extras to complete the scene. All of this and more can be viewed down below.

GOT7 Breakdown from El Ranchito Imagen Digital on Vimeo.

Yes, for all of the special effects added in post, there’s still a remarkable amount of practical work incorporated into each and every scene. And that commitment to realism will surely carry over into season 8, which will stretch for only six episodes in total. Gone are the days when Thrones used to keep viewers on tenterhooks for 10 whole instalments.

Following the show-stopping premiere of “The Dragon and the Wolf,” Game of Thrones will now remain on hiatus until the eighth and final season. Word is that HBO may hold fire until 2019 before unveiling the series finale, which is expected to stretch for six episodes in total. And after that? A Thrones prequel series centering on some of Westeros’ historical icons.