By James Hibberd
Updated March 31, 2013 at 12:00 PM EDT

Fee-fi-fo-fum, the Game of Thrones premiere was awfully fun — and had a giant (photo below).

Fans of George R.R. Martin’s saga know the author has giants encamped with the Wildlings in the great white Northern wasteland. But given how they’re not hugely relevant to the story (at least not anytime soon), and represent another costly special effects creation, it was reasonable to think that we wouldn’t be seeing one anytime soon. But in Sunday’s third season premiere, Thrones producers opted to expand the show’s fantasy creature arsenal (which includes dragons, direwolves and the mysterious White Walkers) to include People of Unusual Size.

Executive producer David Benioff said the team worked to have a giant that was just the right size — not too big (or it looks fake) and not too small (and then it doesn’t look like a giant). “We have a great prosthetics guy, Connor [O’Sullivan], who came up with a great face; Michele [Clapton] our costume designer had a great costume, and then the visual effects team went to work,” said executive producer David Benioff. “It seemed organic to our world. The giant felt like it belonged in Mance’s camp and fit in. At the same time, he’s a giant — he’s supposed to stand out. If he’s too small, or if he was too tall of a giant, it wouldn’t work. It was a lot of people working a long time to get it right.”

EW’s Game of Thrones season 3 premiere recap is now live.