New VFX reel from El Ranchito features the zombies, dragons and zombie-dragons from “Beyond the Wall”

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Check out the latest Game of Thrones season 7 special effects breakdown for “Beyond the Wall,” offering a detailed look into the CGI process behind the frozen lake sequence from episode 6.

The 10 minute video from El Ranchito Imagen Digital, set to Ramin Djawadi’s score, features a near shot-by-shot peek into the layered process of animating the crows flying over the army of the dead, the integration of green-clad stunt performers playing wights and the extraordinarily time intensive creation of the dragons.

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43 responses

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    1. Filming must be set to start soon as Peter Dinklage is currently in Belfast, my friend got a photo with him last night at Ikea, I would share the photo but it’s got my friend’s kids in it and he wouldn’t be happy.

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    2. HBO did have success with those IMAX showings , back some time ago now, was hoping last two episodes of season 6 would show up on the big screen. Didn’t happen, guess we won’t see any of season 7 either.

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    3. I like these features. I know some people feel it takes them out of the “magic” but I’m interested in seeing how the effects were achieved. I started feeling said again about seeing a CGI dragon downed!

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    4. Dame of Mercia:
      I like these features.I know some people feel it takes them out of the “magic” but I’m interested in seeing how the effects were achieved.I started feeling said again about seeing a CGI dragon downed!

      I love these features! I enjoy the magic while I am watching the episode several times then I enjoy the magic of seeing how these images are created! So many elements go into a single shot. Just amazing! And I agree, even though it is a break down of the how the image was created, it still was sad to see Viserion crashing into the water (again!).

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    5. mau,

      I have no doubt you will get your wish at some point in the next year or two. Hell, it’ll probably leak in the next 2 months.

      I am usually pretty decent when it comes to avoiding spoilers, but not when there’s such a long wait between seasons. If it’s going to truly be a year or two until season 8 then I probably won’t be able to help myself. All it takes is one moment of weakness to give in to spoilers.

      I just hope whomever reads the spoilers will be courteous enough to keep it to themselves.

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    6. Oh, and word on the street is that a final draft of the season 8 script is located at the bottom of a frozen lake. If only there were some chains lying around that we could use to recover it 🙂

      Derp

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    7. My favorite moment of the season was when the Hound got bored and winged a rock at the WW and nailed him in the face and the WW was just like “well, fuck”.

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    8. onefromaway,

      Of course I should have said I felt “sad” about Viserion not “said”. I’m much better at proofreading other peoples’ typing than my own!

      mau,

      Well there has been some mention of a leak when the HBO hack took place. It it’s going to be 18 months to 2 years before season 8 comes out I may have to frequent this fine site less often.

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    9. It’s great seeing glimpses of how they create the CGI magic. We don’t appreciate these professionals enough. Aye, just “computer guys”, geeks, even.

      GoT production has always taken pride in doing as much as possible practical effects, to make everything seem as real as possible. These CGI guys then take over where the practical guys leave off. It’s seamless and beyond anything that has ever been done on TV. Probably beyond much that has been done on movies.

      Seeing these effects vids, and the ones a couple of days ago, brings it to home: the amazing level of skill and professionalism of the practical effects guys and the CGI people. They make GoT what it is.

      Not being very familiar with the nitty-gritty, it’d be great if the effects vids had some commentary. I was hoping for a soundtrack to explain all the stuff they do in the VX vids as I don’t know much about this stuff but might want to learn. Ah well, I’m not all that scunnered about it.

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    10. talvikorppi,

      Yep, I agree. Its amazing how all the CGI is done and to turn a few actors, stuntmen and extras performing in front of green screen to a scene with thousands!

      Watching that video also answers the question that the nitpickers having been having a field day with? Where did the WW get those chains from .. hehe 🙂

      There were NO CHAINS. They were CGI in with a few guys pulling on 4 ropes connected together 😀

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    11. Mr Derp,

      Actually, my real favorite moment of the season was Arya and Nymeria. However, this only might be because I’m projecting my interpretation of the scene: that Arya is so fucked up now and ruthless, that Nym doesn’t even recognize her and thus walks away. It just goes to my point on how Arya should’ve been comprimised leaving Braavos, she should’ve killed Lady Crane or done something really bad to get the power of the faceless men. Then we would have a nuanced and complicated story arc for her and the Nym scene would be that much more awesome. Instead, we got Disney / Marvel Deadpool superhero Arya. Yay?

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    12. Dutch Maester,

      Yeah it sucks doesn’t it 🙁 I downloaded the episodes a couple of times because I didn’t want to wait until monday evening to watch :’) We can’t watch everything (not on time or not at all) even though we pay for it -.-‘

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    13. LatrineDiggerBrian:
      My favorite moment of the season was when the Hound got bored and winged a rock at the WW and nailed him in the face and the WW was just like “well, fuck”.

      Mine too!!!
      The Hound’s remark after nailing the wight in the jaw with the rock: “Dumb c*nt.”

      Classic Sandor.

      (Then of course when the next rock skidded on the ice and alerted the zombies that the water had frozen, the Hound muttered: “Oh f*ck.”)

      Second place (tie)
      • Arya sparring with Brienne
      • “Winter came for House Frey” courtesy of Arya

      Fourth place (tie):
      • Sandor telling Gendry to stop “whinging.”
      • Sandor kicking the captured wight. For moving.

      Which reminds me….
      The annual WoW Awards voting should be starting soon.

      Is Lena H. a lock for Best Actress, or will Emilia C. give her some competition?

      I assume Dickon Tarly (Tom Hopper?) will walk away with Guest Actor* – I think Jim Broadbent was in too many episodes to qualify – but I wonder about Guest Actress. Who is in the running?

      * I’ll vote for Captured Wight if he is eligible. He had some great chemistry with Sandor and Cersei, and his “death” scene was phenomenal: hacked in half by The Hound, set on fire and stabbed with a dragonglass dagger by Jon Snow, fondled by Qyburn….

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    14. Black Raven,

      Thanks for the link to Alt Shift X! I really enjoy their measured, slighty humorous, well-researched recaps. I also like the visual style, helps to divvy this sprawling story into neat compartments, yet show the connections.

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    15. Ten Bears,

      “(Then of course when the next rock skidded on the ice and alerted the zombies that the water had frozen…”

      Oh OK, so this is what happened? I was wondering about what exactly went on there.

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    16. So I saw “dragon” and was hoping for some resolution on whether or not Viserion was indeed an ice dragon, official confirmation or denial from HBO. Not so much, but then I thought, maybe the official synopsis mentions that. And it does! But it is complicated and contradictory.

      The very last paragraph, http://gameofthrones.com/game-of-thrones/season-7/episode-7:

      A horn blasts three times. Emerging from the frozen forest, the Army of the Dead arrives at Eastwatch. Tormund and Beric watch in horror as the Night King, riding Viserion, uses the dragon to blast blue fire at the icy Wall. Pieces of the Wall begin to collapse, as Tormund and his wildings [sic] rush to safety. The ice dragon continues until a breach opens, wide enough for the massive army to walk through into the realms of men.

      So this official synopsis seems to confirm that the dragon is indeed an ice dragon but also claims the ice dragon spews fire instead of ice?!?!? I mean, wouldn’t a fire-breathing dragon be a fire dragon rather than an ice dragon?

      So I am thinking that perhaps this article wasn’t meticulously edited, which is supported by two extraneous (at least IMO) commas and a definite misspelling of wildlings. Which is true? I wish I knew. But it would be nice to have a song of fire and ice.

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    17. LatrineDiggerBrian:
      Mr Derp,

      Actually, my real favorite moment of the season was Arya and Nymeria. However, this only might be because I’m projecting my interpretation of the scene: that Arya is so fucked up now and ruthless, that Nym doesn’t even recognize her and thus walks away. It just goes to my point on how Arya should’ve been comprimised leaving Braavos, she should’ve killed Lady Crane or done something really bad to get the power of the faceless men. Then we would have a nuanced and complicated story arc for her and the Nym scene would be that much more awesome. Instead, we got Disney / Marvel Deadpool superhero Arya. Yay?

      Nymeria knew who Arya was, after a few moments. Nymeria walked away because she has her own pack now; she has her own road to go down. It’s why Arya said, “That’s not you.” It’s a call back to when her father told her she’d be a Lady or mother of Princes/Princesses someday and she tells him, “No, that’s not me.”

      Proof? The pack was ready to tear her and her horse apart–they didn’t. Also, D&D said so. 🙂

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    18. What are the chances we’ll get a proper leak of the plot for season 8?

      I don’t mind reading them and I’m pretty good at not spoiling things for other people. I’m just not sure we’ll get one. HBO must be trying to avoid what happened last year.

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    19. Ten Bears,

      That doesn’t make any sense.

      I’m not asking you whether you agree with leaks, I’m asking whether you think there will be one and it will be the genuine article.

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    20. It’s really not a question of whether or not season 8 will leak, because it absolutely will. There are simply too many people that want to get their hands on it.

      The better question is whether or not you can avoid reading them. It’s going to be a long ass wait until season 8 premieres.

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    21. Ginevra,

      Viserion isn’t an ice dragon.

      Viserion is dead. What we’re seeing is a reanimated corpse controlled by the Night King. A dragon corpse that is already rotting.

      Viserion is a wight dragon. And as a wight, he/it would still breathe fire.

      And bring on the leaks for S8. I’m not waiting until 2019 to find out the ending.

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    22. Ginevra,
      I imagine in the writing next year we’ll hear it referred to as “ice dragon” simply because it just feels like they’re going to refer to it that way. However, I’d only consider it confirmation on what exactly it would be with George’s word. I don’t think in the legends he created in his world that an Ice Dragon was a dead dragon reanimated as a wight. Again, that thought comes from it being said that Ice Dragons were much larger than Valyrian dragons, which to me implies that they ‘lived’ and grew. A wight does nothing but rot.

      Personally I still think it has to be closer to a WW than a wight, even though it was dead as far as we know, just because as a wight I wouldn’t think it would have the ability to generate flames of any kind. Maybe the Ice Dragons of legend were regular dragons turned into “Others” that grew larger, faster and stronger than normal just like the humans do.

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    23. Or it’s just a dead dragon who was brought back to life and now breathes blue fire for dramatic effect instead of orange/yellow. The name for it is pretty irrelevant.

      Besides, changing the color of the flame is probably one of the only ways to tell the dragons apart when they inevitably have air force style dog fights against each other for season 8.

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    24. Flora Linden:
      Ginevra,

      Viserion isn’t an ice dragon.

      Viserion is dead. What we’re seeing is a reanimated corpse controlled by the Night King. A dragon corpse that is already rotting.

      Viserion is a wight dragon. And as a wight, he/it would still breathe fire.

      And bring on the leaks for S8. I’m not waiting until 2019 to find out the ending.

      since he’s a wight he should probably have burnt himself to death during his first attempt at breathing fire

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    25. biobi,

      Well, he’s being controlled by the Night King, so he’d direct the dragonflame to prevent the dragon corpse from burning itself up. At this point wight Viserion is just a tool for the WW.

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    26. Mr Derp,

      The scripts were complete several weeks ago, the actors should be receiving them around now as I’m sure another article stated they get them 4-6 weeks before filming begins.

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