Watchers on the Wall Awards: Best Visual Effects Scene

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Here we are, at the last category for the Watchers on the Wall Awards: Best Visual Effects Scene. It’s been a long road of voting, through preliminaries and final rounds, but the end is in sight.

The Watchers on the Wall Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, November 2nd, beginning at 8PM Eastern Time. Stop by and see if your favorites take home the big prizes!

As for today’s category, we have five excellent nominees to choose from. But first, check out some of the best VFX Game of Thrones had to offer in season 4.

The results of the first round of voting were:

VisualEffects

You now have 48 hours to choose a winner, until October 25th, before 11AM Eastern Time. Your finalists are:

76 responses

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    1. It has to be the scythe , that sequence just totally blew my mind , the ship scenes where Stannis was going into Bravos were awesome too , the detail was amazing , even doing the seabed.

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    2. Annara Snow,

      Maybe people just took them for granted and decided to vote for something else for the preliminary rounds. I don’t know.

      I vote for the Titan of Braavos, it really look better than what I imagine while reading the books.

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    3. Not what I was expecting, I was sure the chaining of the dragons would make the cut or any of the dragons’ scenes, as they were all top notch, but it looks like they didn’t. There’s always next year though 😛 Pixomondo FTW

      My vote will have to go to the mammoths and giants. The mammoth’s fur looked so real that when I first saw it I thought they used some sort of animatronics combined with CGI, it was that realistic!

      I also noticed that a lot of people voted the forging of the two swords, was that CGI? It could have been, but I know how hard it is to make molted metal look real so I highly doubt it was CGI.

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    4. Great list of nominees.

      Oberyn’s head was a feat of makeup and prosthetics, and really well done, but it’s not my winner.

      And I love the giant arrow, too, as well as the scythe, and definitely the Titan.

      But it’s all giants on mammoths for me. Fantastic sequence.

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    5. Big-ass arrow + scythe + mammoth + giants + wall = one awesome spectacle! Surprised the giants didn’t let loose more arrows. They are damn good marksmen from 700+ft. Had to go with the giant arrow because it was ridiculously fun to watch.

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    6. The Mammoth!

      The sythe was great (because it was a surprise) and the arrow was silly. Bravos had something missing in the scaling up and Oberyn has too much credit to the actor and make-up.

      But I got a real mammoth! And a giant or two too. Now, think about the giant Gawp in Harry Potter, and how BAD it was in a “Major Motion picture”….

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    7. Haha, thank the gods that stupid lame fireball vs running skeletons disaster is not included! Seriously though, WTF were they thinking??? Lowest point of the show…

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    8. Voting mammoth even tho im still wondering where the hundreds of other giants and mammoths were during that scene.

      Scythe, arrow were nice touches to our battle at the wall. Titan was massive but we lose something imo because we dont see it through the eyes of arya like we did in the books for the first time

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    9. No matter how awesomely cool those giant arrow and scythe scenes were, I went with the mammoths because that’s complexity on a whole different level. I for one am really happy btw that the chaining of the dragons didn’t make it since they totally ignored the rules of physics there…

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    10. Also, 8pm EST is 2am CET… would it really not be possible to bring forward the start of the ceremony by a few hours at least? (egoistically assuming that most of the Watchers are based in the Americas and Europe/Africa – appologies to any Asia/Oceania based fans 🙂 )

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    11. I voted for the scythe. I thought the giants looked kind of fake and video gamey.

      But I’m really disappointed and surprised that none of the dragon scenes made the list, particularly the chaining of the dragons, which I think should have won this category. It’s amazing that they not only made the dragons look real, but made their expressions and body language look so real and emotional that you could really feel sorry for them and just as sad as Dany was.

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    12. It’s really the whole Battle for the Wall , the assembly of VFX and not any particular scene that should get the prize.

      From the article in Cinefex E9 was a tougher CGI job than Blackwater.
      Apparently more Mammoths were to be there but they had a hell of time getting their 11 foot behemoth just right, don’t have Peter Jackson’s budget.
      At least what ever it cost D&D did not have to go begging to them for season 4… I think HBO should give em 10 or 20 more mill. for VFX on top of the ~ 60-70 mil. for the season.

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    13. My favourite visual effects scene probably didn’t cut it because it was too subtle. It was the very end of the first episode, where Arya and The Hound are riding out into a fantastically detailed and convincing war-torn landscape (seen briefly at 0:20 of the Rodeo FX reel). I could watch that shot all day.

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    14. Fedejru,

      No… they’re not. There were leaked photos of that part of the filming and there were only a couple people on the boat (probably Jorah and Tyrion.)

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    15. Boojam,

      I

      t’s really the whole Battle for the Wall , the assembly of VFX and not any particular scene that should get the prize.

      This. But with the choices given, I’ll go for the mammoth.

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    16. chamush:
      Haha, thank the gods that stupid lame fireball vs running skeletons disasteris not included! Seriously though, WTF were they thinking??? Lowest point of the show…

      Thank god someone said it- I thought that scene was super lame. Sad about no dragons making the final cut, they are awesome!

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    17. Annara Snow:
      I voted for the scythe. I thought the giants looked kind of fake and video gamey.

      But I’m really disappointed and surprised that none of the dragon scenes made the list, particularly the chaining of the dragons, which I think should have won this category. It’s amazing that they not only made the dragons look real, but made their expressions and body language look so real and emotional that you could really feel sorry for them and just as sad as Dany was.

      I actually agree with Annara Snow… That scene was handled really well. Screw physics!

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    18. Yeah the first dragon scene , only one where all three were together, is quite subtle. Lots of detail in that short scene, even having Dany’s clothes ‘dragon breath disturbed’. Wonder what dragon breath smells like when there is no fire? Smoldering?

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    19. Annara Snow,

      Although the VFX was great, I didn’t enjoy the dragon scenes as much as others did. R & V are not mama-boy ninnies. They should have resisted a bit, scalded a few UnSullied who dared entrap them and caused some major casualties before Dany super-mommed them into their chained state. R&V were punished for Drogon’s mischief. Where were the dragons during the siege of Meereen? Plenty of opportunities wasted, imho. Perhaps it was a budget constraint but all we got in S4 regarding dragons was them eating, picking up a barbecued goat and being tricked by a piece of meat. I don’t expect any more for S5, except for one critical scene (that should be jaw-dropping)…..maybe two…

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    20. I remain of the view that the fireballs were pretty cool.

      And while some can see that scene as cheesy (I can get on board with that, ok), I don’t get where people see the CGI as “lame.” Watch it again. I did – the action is pretty seamless, and I’m convinced more of their existence than I am that Lysa Arryn was actually falling through the Moon Door.

      I mean, what’s your frame of reference, besides maybe Pirates of the Caribbean?

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    21. Greatjon of Slumber,

      I’m with you, I thought the CGI was amazing (most expensive ?) in that scene. An unpopular opinion…..

      Also, Lysa’s fall sucked hard. I don’t even want to watch the scene again because of this. That was funny, not in a good way.

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    22. LukaNieto,

      But that was another boat… this one is larger.

      The other one was blue, this one is another boat.

      Here’s the smaller blue boat: http://watchersonthewall.com/split-pillars-confirmed-meereen-game-of-thrones-filming-continues-toome-today/

      And now look at this one: http://www.makinggameofthrones.com/production-diary/2014/10/2/acting-aboard-an-armada

      It’s bigger, different. More than 2 people can be in this one.
      Look the crew beside it, and think of its size.

      I still have hope about the Griffs… It would be logic if they keep them in extremely secret.

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    23. Greatjon of Slumber,

      I liked the skeletons a lot. The fireballs though… Nope. That’s such an odd decision. Why? Why make the Children of the Forest throw fireballs? That’s not the kind of magic this show is supposed to portraying… Might as well have the Children come in with a starred hat. And the actual effect of the fireballs was honestly one of the worst in the show so far. It’s one of the only times where it really looked fake, in my opinion. Other than that, the scene was really great. The three eyed raven could have used a root coming out of his eye, though.

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    24. busmans,

      Huh? In ADwD, R &V took down many Unsullied during their chaining. They were not happy. It was actually quite an “offpage” event between the UnSullied and R&V&D, with many losing their lives and Drogon escaping. Dany didn’t really participate. Dany’s direct involvement was a show-only thing. “Tricked” is exactly what happened to R&V in the show, with Dany placing meat in the pit before chaining them.

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    25. Tar Kidho:
      Also, 8pm EST is 2am CET… would it really not be possible to bring forward the start of the ceremony by a few hours at least? (egoistically assuming that most of the Watchers are based in the Americas and Europe/Africa – appologies to any Asia/Oceania based fans )

      Australia is actually the world leader for GoT downloads so there’s probably more viewership in this corner of the world than you think. Essentially the show has worldwide success so it’ll never be possible to time things in a way that keeps us all happy.

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    26. Hodor’s Bastard:
      busmans,

      Huh? In ADwD, R &V took down many Unsullied during their chaining. They were not happy. It was actually quite an “offpage” event between the UnSullied and R&V&D, with many losing their lives and Drogon escaping. Dany didn’t really participate. Dany’s direct involvement was a show-only thing. “Tricked” is exactly what happened to R&V in the show, with Dany placing meat in the pit before chaining them.

      So what? The chaining was done differently in the show and the books. In the books, the Unsullied chained them, so they took down a lot of them. The show took a different route – no Unsullied were involved, Dany simply tricked the dragons and then chained them. They weren’t going to hurt their mother. The former would’ve been a spectacular action scene if it had been done on the show, but the latter was a really emotional scene (the only one that Dany really got in season 4 – with the possible exception of Jorah’s banishment, but that one was written and shot to be more about how Jorah felt than about how she felt). It was a great dramatic scene, and it had amazing CGI that actually made computer-generated creatures look both real, and expressing real emotions, which many viewers find moving.

      Yeah, it wasn’t in the books, so what. Neither were most of the entries on this list. I don’t mind changes from the books when they accurately reflect the spirit, characterization and emotional resonance of the book story.

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    27. Annara Snow,

      Yes, I don’t dispute the emotion of the scene, but the show (and we) shouldn’t whitewash the dragons either. An adaptation of the original scene would have amped the drama and emotion ten-fold. I believe the reason it didn’t make top 5 was because it didn’t have the audience impact you thought it did. Oh what could have been….

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    28. Hodor’s Bastard,

      Don’t use the term whitewash, please don’t. It’s so overused.
      And I promise you that the main reason they avoided Rhaegal and Viserion fighting before getting chained is budget budget budget. Season 4 was filled with important events that required a lot of money, and not all of them could be given the full dose of money because there just isn’t enough money. Instead, they focused on the emotional element of the scene (which the books did not do well, in my opinion- Dany didn’t even seem to care that she was locking away her “children”). I think that payed off, it was a great scene.

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    29. jentario,

      It definitely handled the emotion better than the book and was a good way of not overspending on the budget. Where the scene fails is in the physics. Even the mountain would have at least had to strain a little to lift those chains. No way could Dany have lifted and attached them by herself. Not physically possible.

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    30. jentario,

      Ok, I’ll use “bleaching” instead….or maybe “candystriping”? The point I am hopelessly trying to make is that dragons are not dogs. This is not “Where the Red Fern Grows”. Their chaotic tendencies, a sort of of “friendly fire” so to speak, should be highlighted and Dany should struggle heavily with that chaos in her life, among other chaotic factors. That should be the focus…not tears for punishing her sweet pets over something Drogon was doing. That’s how the scene came across to me, unfortunately.

      To tell you the truth, the scene from the book was one of those events (like the LS resurrection, Balon’s demise, Hardhome, etc…) that I wished had a more focused perspective, so my imagination goes a bit crazy. Oh well, I enjoy the emotional impact of the show….but it felt misrepresented for that scene. R&V are vicious rascals by this time in ADwD.

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    31. This is the first category that wasn’t very difficult for me.

      They were all great scenes, but the giant and mammoth attacking the Wall was undoubtedly the best one, for me. Something I never thought would actually make it to the screen, and very well done and believable.

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    32. Scythe, definitely.

      We were pretty spoiled with amazing CGI this year (except the fireballs which made me giggle), but this one was a great surprise. Well-managed (with Jon’s casual “if they get too high, drop the scythe” that introduced it), relevant with the canon, and very well delivered.
      Also, bit surprised too that dragon’s chaining didn’t make the cut, it was a brilliant performance.

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    33. Of the Night: Australia is actually the world leader for GoT downloads so there’s probably more viewership in this corner of the world than you think. Essentially the show has worldwide success so it’ll never be possible to time things in a way that keeps us all happy.

      Sorry OtN, but that’s not really true. Also, in my opinion you have to look at it in terms of “timezone”, not per country. Using those top-10 numbers despite the time biass, we get for torrents per “time region” (extended timezone) something like:
      – Americas: 14.5% (USA, Canada)
      – Oceania/Asia: 20.4% (Australia, Phillipines, India)
      – Europe: 19.8% (UK, the Netherlands, Greece, Poland, Sweden)
      Hence, it clearly follows that Europe is the most important region and should host the Awards ceremony. Ok, when I say clearly, I might be a tiny bit biassed…
      Anyway, a better measure would be to look at the demographic of visitors to WotW. Marko, you are normally the numbers man – can I convince you maybe to defend my case with raw data? (or manipulated data if you have to – seeing that you would also benefit from a Europe-timed ceremony 😉 )

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    34. jentario:
      Greatjon of Slumber,

      I liked the skeletons a lot. The fireballs though… Nope. That’s such an odd decision. Why? Why make the Children of the Forest throw fireballs? That’s not the kind of magic this show is supposed to portraying… Might as well have the Children come in with a starred hat. And the actual effect of the fireballs was honestly one of the worst in the show so far. It’s one of the only times where it really looked fake, in my opinion. Other than that, the scene was really great. The three eyed raven could have used a root coming out of his eye, though.

      I dont agree, or moreover, I don’t really care. I don’t know that I see that there should be some kind of limit to the kind of magic that is being portrayed – magic is magic. This is more fantasy realm than the type of magic that takes a toll on people (as Melisandre, Beric Dondarrion, Danys and Thoros have been portrayed) but it is consistent with the idea that they are other-worldly of a sort. It just doesn’t bother me much.

      But the skeletons? They were awesome, and frightening as hell.

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    35. Nothing was going to stop me from voting for ‘Stannis sails under the Titan’…I’ve been looking forward to Braavos since the show was first announced, and that shot more then delivered 🙂

      Edit: Danys chaining up of her dragons might’ve swayed me, but that one didn’t make the final five…

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    36. Tar Kidho,

      Well it was widely reported as the top and I have decided that that’s all that matters (20.4% is more than 19.8%). I too shall admit to bias. That was an interesting read though. Also our wildlife can kick your wildlife’s arse. Therefore everything should be done appropriately for our timezone, including non GoT related things like world sporting events that I currently have to get up for at stupid o’clock. I r

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    37. Of the Night: Also our wildlife can kick your wildlife’s arse

      Lol, that’s definitely true 🙂

      I have to admit that most sporting events(*) are usually held at times that suit people in both Europe and the Americas (like the recent World Cup football in Brazil for instance). The only event that I usually stay up for at night is the yearly Iron Man world championship in Hawaii… For me, it would also be no problem to have the Awards Ceremony held at evening time in Australia – another advantage of living “in between” America and Asia/Australia 😉

      (*except for the N-American sports, but as a good Old Continenter I naturally don’t care for those)

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    38. Tar Kidho,

      Sadly for events to happen in the evening here that means they’ll probably need to be held here which is not exactly common. The 2000 Olympics were great. As for the WotW awards, I think our American friends would have something to say about it being in the evening here, but I’m cool with that. Also I too prefer the old world sports and had many a sleepless night during the Fifi cup (not that Australia ever gets far, or stood any chance within its otherwise exceptional group this year).

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    39. Of the Night,

      Perhaps the core was made of Valarian steel, making the collar light and strong.

      The chaining scene was so powerfully done, as many have mentioned, and it’s sad that people passed it up for gore and death.

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    40. Damn! Why isn’t the Dany chaining her children scene there?? I think it was more than just CGI! At any rate it improves upon what was in ADwD.

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    41. dee,

      BTW, that was an honest question. (I really should stop using emoticons.)
      I know this is supposed to be a site mainly for fans of the old WIC, so most visitors probably know what the “Awards Ceremony” will be like, but it’d be really nice if you could give new followers a hint. Or did you already? Maybe I missed it in an earlier post. If so, sorry.

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