Game of Thrones season 8 VFX reel

I’m apparently in the minority in thinking that HBO’s Game of Thrones wrapped up in ways that, given the annoyingly increased pacing of the final seasons, I found to be largely satisfying. It’s been slightly more than two months since our last trip to Westeros, which is just enough time for the dust of the reactions to settle, the blazing hot takes to cool down, and a clear-eyed, macro-focused appraisal to become a slight possibility.

Personally, I think it’s still a bit too soon for that. But while we wait for the show’s legacy to crystalize a bit more with time, let’s check out this new Game of Thrones season 8 VFX reel which tracks the notorious destruction of King’s Landing from the series’ penultimate episode.

Game of Thrones Season 8 VFX Reel

A company called Scanline VFX has released this three-minute reel showing off the results of “thousands of man-hours” put in by their team for the final three episodes of the show. Led by Emmy-nominated supervisor Mohsen Mousavi, Scanline employees worked in collaboration with HBO and Game of Thrones’ in-house VFX and post production teams, which were fronted by Joe Bauer and Steve Kullback.

Say what you will about the motivations and mental state of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) as the show approached its conclusion – and plenty of you did – but the images of Dany burning King’s Landing to a crisp on Drogon’s back were some of the most simultaneously awesome and horrific of the entire show. And for Game of Thrones, a show that leaned so heavily on tactile, physical effects whenever possible – like using massive flamethrowers to generate dragon fire or organizing months of night shoots for the Battle of Winterfell, or building a practical King’s Landing set in Northern Ireland – it’s sometimes easy to forget how much work goes in on the visual effects side of things, too.

This video contains so many memorable shots, including one of my favorites: the molten metal dripping over the stone as the Iron Throne burns. That shot looked so real to me in the moment that I wondered if they’d actually used real fire and a miniature metal throne to achieve it, but here we see it was just one of more than 600 shots Scanline did to bring this epic fantasy series to its much-talked-about conclusion.

Game of Thrones season 8 is currently available on HBO Go and HBO Now, and a massive limited edition Blu-ray box set of the entire series is available for pre-order for $329.99 right now.

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