Go Behind the Scenes of Viserion’s Resurrection on “The Game Revealed”

706 - Beyond the Wall - Frozen Lake - Wight Viserion

This week’s The Game Revealed, the 7-part documentary series on HBO’s online services, delved into one of the seventh season’s most elaborate shoots: the frozen lake setpiece in “Beyond the Wall”, which is only superseded by the fiery battle in “The Spoils of War.” However, the sixth episode gave us something quite unique: a wight dragon!

Nerdist shared this new clip, in which director Alan Taylor and co-writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss go into the narrative aspirations and production challenges of the closing scene of “Beyond the Wall”, in which Viserion is resurrected by the Night King:

Most significantly, Benioff describes the episode as the one they were “most excited about, and also the most nervous about.” According to the showrunner, the success or failure of “Beyond the Wall” fell to how well that last scene played with the audience.

Incidentally, the video gives us a clearer view of the frozen pier enveloped in chains:

Wight Viserion 706 Game Revealed Pier Chains

This may be a relief for those who were still wondering where the chains came from. The ruined harbor can be seen in the episode as well, twice in fact, but it was never the focus, so understandably many people missed this attempt at visual storytelling.

Next week will be its last for “The Game Revealed”, as it will be all about the season finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf.” Personally, I’m very much looking forward for more behind the scenes footage of most of the cast goofing around together at the Dragonpit!

27 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. There was a harbour?
      Just more proof the night king planned everything right from that line walker with a few wights and 1 that wasn’t under his control for them to capture … how will they ever defeat him if he knows everything and has planned so much

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    2. Sansa's Knight,

      Lone* walker

      At this point I won’t be surprised if he sent the Raven to get Dany to head north a few days ago and gendrys Raven is only just getting to dragonstone

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    3. It’s an ice dragon. Note how Night King created him — not with arms at side, slowly going up as he does with wights. But through physical TOUCH which we see him do with Craster’s male babies. Furthermore, that’s super-cold hoarfrost, not blue fire. Water expands when cold. And even ice expands more when made more cold. Ice dragon breath is as cold as fire dragon’s breath is hot. Ergo, what you see with the effect on the wall is exactly what you’d expect from super-cold. You see the wall exploding outward from the extremely rapid expansion of the ice — not melting into a puddle of water.

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    4. Sansa's Knight,

      No. It is not proof. They were massed at Hardhome. Hardhome has a deep enough bay for the largest of ships, as the wiki states. Avid book readers should know this. Furthermore, in order for the Night King to get his larger army components south of the wall, he needed to open up one of the three remaining tunnels — same situation the Wildlings faced. And just like the Wildlings, they will need to pull the big metal gate off the tunnel. The Wildlings did a pretty good job when they tried it. Had Jon not made a deal with them, they’d have taken that tunnel.

      Furthermore, you have to ask yourself why they needed to attack Eastwatch by the Sea — a manned section of the wall. If they knew they were going to have an ice dragon by the time they were to make it to the wall, there’d have been no reason for them to attack at the point where there was a functioning tunnel. They could have attacked an unmanned section of the wall with much less chance of their attack being detected until much later.

      My point isn’t that you’re wrong, mind you. It’s just that you’re not correct. There is a difference — especially with the double entendres of George R.R. Martin’s books. He keeps things up in the air in a very genius way.

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    5. zandru,

      Which is sad, because there is plenty of information available. Hardhome is a port with a bay that was deep enough for the largest of ships. Ergo, it had chains. Until the Night King had his dragon, he would have needed to pull the iron gate off the wall the same way the Wildlings needed to do when they were trying to get their massive pieces through. So the chains were needed to pull the gate off, which was the plan before the Ice Dragon was obtained.

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    6. lol had no idea there was a pier in the vicinity….

      Not that I was massively bothered, Night King could have gotten them from Hardhome, some things people get caught up with are relevant but others are a bit OTT

      There’s some understandable issues with time jumps occurring in a shorter span of episodes but the CGI for the episode from the Dragons to the Wights was fantastic

      People don’t realise how campy a TV show could have been in these areas but We are quite spoiled by the quality and it is very much a case of watching a Movie quality TV show

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    7. zandru,

      Or maybe they will just move on to another thing to be outraged about.

      Similar to how they were outraged about the wights being killed so easily until it was pointed out everyone had dragonglass weapons

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    8. According to the showrunner, the success or failure of “Beyond the Wall” fell to how well that last scene played with the audience.

      Well, I disagree, it wasn’t down to that one last scene. Imo, episode was both a success and a failure. Great dialogue, beautiful landscape, exciting dragon escape and yet not considered a GREAT episode by most, sadly. Episode was riddled with careless writing plot holes, questionable actuation by characters and mediocre fighting sequences. I understand it’s kind of hard to have great fighting against CGI wights but the sword fight between Jon and the White Walker could have been choreographed and shot a helluva lot better.

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    9. Why would there be a harbor in a lake? Or a pier for that matter with no other structure around?

      I’m still dubious of the writing of this episode…

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    10. Viz,

      Seriously? We are questioning ancient geography now? Fine. That lake could’ve easily been part of a river thousands of years ago. Solved! Is that really the kind of exposition Game of Thrones needs? I certainly don’t think so.

      As for the Frozen Lake set-piece, my only issue is they could’ve made the passing of time more obvious. At least one day passes, explicitly, but they could’ve easily made it look like two or three. Other than that, I don’t see what other “plot holes” are there (though the blurred passing of time is not a “plot hole” either, just bad visual storytelling, but that’s another story.)

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    11. I didn’t have a problem with the chains, but I definitely didn’t notice the pier in the episode. (Also I don’t remember anyone mentioning the pier to those annoyed – could have swayed the more reasonable ones back then.)

      The episode was fine (some scenes, including all with dragons, were far more than fine), but it did have problems. Personally, I’m fine with the timeline, but I can see why others are not (it is “stretching disbelief” as they say – some simply believe a bit more than others). The main problem for me was the apparent invulnerability of main characters. Thoros died, yes, but who actually expected him to live? On the other hand ALL redshirt wildlings died with little to no care at all. Thus the powers that be are correct, the last scene was pivotal because the only significant casualty was Viserion. And while I saw that as important and do care about all 3 Dragons (actually more about Rhaegal and Viserion due to the injustice* they keep being subjected to), the foolishness of the whole escapade and the concentration of characters simply needed a higher death toll.

      *Drogon burns a child, Viserion and Rhaegal are locked in chains. Drogon is petted and cared after by Daenerys, Viserion and Rhaegal are sometimes not even rendered in the scene. I call for animal equality! More focus on Rhaegal (a bit too late for poor Viserion), no forgetting of Ghost, revival of Mammoths!

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    12. TOIVA: (Also I don’t remember anyone mentioning the pier to those annoyed – could have swayed the more reasonable ones back then.)

      I did. Nobody cared.

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    13. lucy: Well, I disagree, it wasn’t down to that one last scene.Imo, episode was both asuccess and a failure.Great dialogue, beautiful landscape, exciting dragon escape and yet not considered a GREAT episode by most, sadly.Episode was riddled with careless writing plot holes, questionable actuation by characters and mediocre fighting sequences.I understand it’s kind of hard to have great fighting against CGI wights butthe sword fight between Jon and the White Walker could have been choreographed and shot a helluva lot better.

      I agree with almost all of this. I did not mind the Jon/WW fight, what I had a problem with was the execution of the scene in which Jon fends off the wights to allow the others to escape on Drogon. I don’t know if it’s the directing or the editing that was the problem, but it did lead to a majority of the audience completely misinterpreting the writers’ intentions with respect to Jon’s actions in that scene. When a character’s motivation in a crucial sequence gets blurred because of sloppy execution, there is a problem imo.

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    14. TOIVA,

      Oh, yeah. Many people missed it. The director should’ve filmed a shot focused on the pier and its chains. We had a pretty good, close look already, but it still wasn’t the focus. Most people were looking past the pier, understandably.

      Personally, pretty much all of the little problems I had with the Frozen Lake part of the episode were directorial. A lack of clarity, by not focusing on the pier, by not making the passage of time more explicit, and stuff like that.

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    15. OMG chaingate rears its ugly head yet again!

      I admit that I did not notice the harbor nor did I care where the WW go the chains. Because who caaaaaaares.

      Viserion dying, and Dany and Jon bonding over it were what made this episode great. Also I felt real tension during the battle because I was pretty much convinced that at least Jorah and probably also Tormund would die for the sake of drama. So, ultimately I am happy they did not die. And next season I don’t feel they are any more invulnerable – anyone can die next season!

      Sansa's Knight,

      THIS! I believed that it was a set up from the moment they ran into that small group and easily defeated them… yet “for some reason” one of the wights didn’t die? How convenient… And the NK doing nothing except calmly getting the spear and tossing it at the closest dragon – yep he knew what was coming.

      I was wondering at the time whether the vision the hound had was actually sent to him as a way to get them (and the dragon) to that mountain, where the NK was waiting. I’ve seen others with the same idea suggest maybe the LoL = NK?

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    16. Maester Para,

      Thank you for the scientifically-based explanation of the ice dragon’s blue “flames”, and logical reason for the WW to have chains to pull off the tunnel hatch.

      Not that I was obsessed over these details. Personally, I wanted the Snow Patrol to talk about their respective interactions with Arya: something that Thoros, Beric, and Gendry had in common with Jon. But I’m not complaining. I’ll be content with Sandor’s speed-bashing [like speed-dating, but with insults] of Gendry, Tormund, the “dumb c*nt” wight, and the captured wight.

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    17. lucy,

      ghost of winterfell,

      I agree with you both. I never cared about time inconsistencies or plot armor, but when characters take questionable actions it pulls me out of the story.

      I still loved the season in general, but this particular episode didn’t work for me. I did enjoy some parts, like the Dany/Jon scene in the boat, but most of it was just awkward.

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    18. this is way off the subject but I have asked this question and no one has answered me. Why did the producers insist that Kit Harrington keep his hair long even while not filming. I have not seen a reason for his long hair yet . Any one know?

      Mary Stark

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    19. zandru,

      If the wights were unable/unwilling to enter water, how did they get chains around Viserion? One would think an overweight dragon would sink pretty easily. The chains would have been looped around the beast. Who got them looped on him, u dear the water?
      It’s a fantasy show, it doesn’t have to make sense, reality is suspended.

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    20. QueenofThrones:
      OMG chaingate rears its ugly head yet again!

      I admit that I did not notice the harbor nor did I care where the WW go the chains.Because who caaaaaaares.

      Chaingate ! I luv it – hehe 🙂

      I found it so funny after that episode aired was the numbers of posts regarding those wretched chains! I didn’t even consider where the WW may have got them from and I too never noticed there was a (perhaps ancient) harbor in the scene with posts and chains.

      So now another ‘conspiracy theory’ has been laid to rest 😉

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    21. ghost of winterfell: I agree with almost all of this. I did not mind the Jon/WW fight, what I had a problem with was the execution of the scene in which Jon fends off the wights to allow the others to escape on Drogon. I don’t know if it’s the directing or the editing that was the problem, but it did lead to a majority of the audience completely misinterpreting the writers’ intentions with respect to Jon’s actions in that scene. When a character’s motivation in a crucial sequence gets blurred because of sloppy execution, there is a problem imo.

      Yeah, by far, biggest let-down in the episode. Not the chains, not the raven but Jon’s unclear actions.

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    22. Maester Para: Furthermore, that’s super-cold hoarfrost, not blue fire. Water expands when cold. And even ice expands more when made more cold. Ice dragon breath is as cold as fire dragon’s breath is hot. Ergo, what you see with the effect on the wall is exactly what you’d expect from super-cold. You see the wall exploding outward from the extremely rapid expansion of the ice — not melting into a puddle of water.

      Sorry, when ice turns back to water, it doesn’t “expand rapidly”. It contracts. Cooling ice doesn’t make it bigger; you can try this at home: Turn down your freezer temperature and see if the ice cubes break their trays. The wall “exploding outward” is because Hollywood special effects always, ALWAYS have some element of explosion. It’s their cliche. Hollywood directors think that things blowing up looks sexy. (Don’t get in bed with any of these folks…)

      Moreover, “ice dragons” are a totally separate, living (not undead) species, and there aren’t any in GoT. The blue color of the flames is consistent with the blue eyes, the blue-skinned WWalkers, little more. Think of it as “wardrobe”. The wall is melted by blue fire, not “supercooled” (which would probably just make it stronger.) Saying “ice dragon breath is as cold as fire” is — well, I guess it would be “unsupportive” to call it nonsense.

      Best get back to worrying about those chains. How come they haven’t yet rusted??

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