Rushed, plot- and action-heavy – and more than a little silly in places – Season 7 of Game of the Thrones has just concluded, and the visual effects houses who worked on the series are starting to publish breakdowns of their VFX work.
Below you’ll find VFX breakdowns from houses involved – which we’ll add to and update as more are released – plus some behind-the-scenes films created by HBO that cover both production and post (including the series’ standout battle The Loot Train Attack).
Zoic Studios has produced a short reel of its VFX, which was primarily for environments including the snowy landscape outside Winterfell, the intricate geometric architecture of the maester’s library at The Citadel, and the caves below Dragonstone castle.
However the VFX house also produced character shots including Arya’s removal of the face of Walder Frey in the first episode of the series, and making The Mountain look even more undead.
German VFX house Mackevision have specialised in creating CG armies and navies, as well as set extensions for even grander castles and cities.
HBO has been producing behind-the-scenes videos about each of the episodes of Season 7. These cover everything from cast commentaries to explanations of both practical and digital effects – and how these affect the actors involved.
The best of these is The Loot Train Attack, which details just how difficult is was to create a battle scene involving ground troops, cavalry and dragons – and all of the dirt, blood and fire that comes with that – with shots from the ground and even from Danaerys’s perspective on the back of a dragon. For more on how the show’s big battles are created, read how The Battle of The Bastards was made.
There’s limited info on the visual effects work, but it’s still fascinating how they created what the producers claim is the most number of actors on fire on set ever.
Also well worth watching is The Frozen Lake, which details how an Irish quarry was transformed into a icy battleground for the climax of a D&D-style quest adventure north of the Wall.