Game of Thrones Hardhome Night King

In Season 5, Game of Thrones sent Jon Snow north of the Wall to convince the wildlings to ally with the Night’s Watch against the undead. Well — kind of. In a more strictly accurate sense, Game of Thrones sent Kit Harington and some other actors to Ireland, to swing some prop swords in front of a green screen on set. VFX wizards then turned that footage into the epic fantasy battle we saw on our TVs.

But that’s the thing about the effects on Game of Thrones. They’re often so good, it’s easy to forget they’re effects at all. That is, until something like this Game of Thrones Hardhome VFX breakdown hits, and we get to see just how much work goes into these sequences. Watch the video after the jump. 

Spanish VFX company El Ranchito released a five-minute Game of Thrones Hardhome VFX breakdown video on Vimeo.

“Hardhome” was a centerpiece of Season 5. Several seasons of ominous warnings finally paid off in a thrilling battle sequence that was one of the show’s best, thanks to its grand scale and attention to detail. And a lot of that credit goes to the people who render the snowy backdrops that replace those greenscreens, or who erase the wires holding up the props and actors, or who adjust the lighting to give the scene that chilly, hopeless feel.

It goes without saying that creatures like the giants are created with the aid of a computer, but it’s more surprising to see how much polishing goes into more mundane visuals, too. Not to mention how many stunning vistas are created seemingly out of nothing. Those wights sure look a lot less intimidating when you can see how much of them is actually covered in neon Spandex. For even more on the creation of “Hardhome,” be sure to check out this behind-the-scenes featurette if you haven’t already.

As of now, there’s no word yet on what’s in store for our heroes in Season 6. (For that matter, we don’t even know which of our heroes are still alive in Season 6. So many theories!) But it’s worth pointing out that the show has hired back Miguel Sapochnik, who directed “Hardhome,” to helm episode 9, traditionally the climax of each season. Odds are we’re in for another massive, VFX-heavy setpiece.

Cool Posts From Around the Web: