Game of Thrones is no stranger to changing the television game, from a budget and cinematic point alone. However, in its most recent season, the show managed to once again raise the bar and challenge the idea of what was possible on a television screen, with not only the siege of Mereen, the blowing up of the Sept, but perhaps most notably, the now infamous Battle of the Bastards.
Directed by Miguel Sapochnik, the same man who directed season five’s “Hardhome,” one of the show’s greatest cinematic achievements, the episode was without a doubt, one of the most technically-brilliant episodes of television ever created. Like a mix of Lord of the Rings and Paths of Glory, it managed to not only feel like an exciting medieval battle, but also showed the ugliness of war at the same time.
Thanks to a new VFX reel from Iloura, the Australian VFX company responsible for a number of the show’s seamless, breathtaking visual effects as well – fans can finally see how they did it. Feast your eyes on this:
As you can see from the video above, the integration of the visual effects in the episode, and the blending between what was practical and what wasn’t is nothing short of incredible, and just goes to show what kind of a pay off you get when the VFX company and the production team work in sync with each other beautifully. Though, Ilora may have done a bit too well according to Thrones VFX producer, Steve Kullback, who said it became hard for the crew to differentiate between the practical shots and the visual effects:
“We constantly needed to review Iloura’s shots side-by-side with the photography because it was hard to remember and even harder to see the difference between what was shot and what was added.”
I suppose, if you’re going to have a problem, that’d be a good one to have. It all came together to create one of the most thrilling and enthralling battle sequences ever captured in film or television though, one that’ll likely be revisited many times over the years.
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