We know Dany’s dragons will be the “size of 747s.” We know the Mother of Dragons is reclaiming her home. We know Game of Thrones season 7 will have a faster pace with the longest episode in the show’s history. So, how about we now take a look at how the visual effects wizard behind the war for Westeros is bringing “the chaos and mayhem”?
That’s the job of Sam Conway, who has been working on Game of Thrones since Drogon was first able to hunt his own food in season 4. The visual effects supervisor calls his work “massive” and “an art form” that he “could not do without.” Fans can get a glimpse of the artistry that goes into this fantastical world with shots of Emilia Clarke riding a mount that will later be computer-magicked into Drogon, a fiery fight scene aboard a boat, and the wintry scenes from The Wall and beyond.
“We handle gas, we handle water, we handle wind, we handle smoke, we handle pyrotechnics, we handle engineering, blood, snot, you know, everything,” Conway says. “Everything you could possibly imagine is our trade.”
Just because season 7 has fewer episodes than past seasons doesn’t mean showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are holding anything back. “In one battle scene we set more stuntmen on fire than have ever been simultaneously set on fire,” Benioff told EW. “Our stunt coordinator really wanted to get in the Guinness Book of World Records for this.”
HBO Programming president Casey Bloys further noted, “When you see these battles in season 7, and what I imagine season 8 will be, it’s a big, big show. We’ve done a lot of great shows, but this one combines the complex characters we love with a huge cinematic scope.”
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Game of Thrones season 7 debuts July 16 on HBO.