(Unnecessary Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t yet watched season six of Game of Thrones, you shouldn’t be reading this. And yet, here we are tiptoeing around a character’s death. Go watch it already, fools!)
The sixth season of Game of Thrones already cleaned up at last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmys, pulling in nine gold statues total. Four of those Emmys were specifically for “The Battle of the Bastards,” which was a truly exceptional (and expensive) episode of television that could result in at least one GoT actor winning an Emmy at the big show on Sunday, September 18. Simply put: “The Battle” was awesome, from Jon Snow’s idiotic charge and realistic panic attack to the sweet, sweet slobbery justice unleashed by Sansa Stark on the show’s biggest scumbag character, Ramsay Bolton.
In a new interview with Variety, Mat Krentz, the Image Engine visual effects supervisor for season six, revealed that Bolton’s final scene – for which the showrunners had only one rule – was actually supposed to be a lot bloodier. What a rip-off!
“They shot the scene with multiple takes,” explained Image Engine visual effects supervisor Mat Krentz. “They did a pass of the dog on green screen, then Ramsay on green screen, and then we also had a background plate, which we put together.” Artists also created a CG jaw for Bolton, and animated it to reveal the flesh ripping between Ramsay’s skin and gums. The effect was too gruesome even by “Thrones” standards, so they pulled it back a bit, using a 2D composite instead. (Via Variety)
For Game of Thrones fans who tune in for the death scenes and especially the artistry behind the gore, Krentz and his team basically have the coolest job in the world. There were 72 on-screen deaths in season six, and Image Engine handled each one with creative attention to detail and just the right kind of magic.
“Some shots were really specific, like someone getting their head smashed directly against a wall,” explained composition lead Edwin Holdsworth. “To get the look right for that we filmed real meat being smashed. We used the same technique for shots where one character has their hand pulled apart. The best way to match the level of gore needed was to pull some meat apart, and use that in the comp. It all felt more realistic that way!”
There you have it, kids. The next time your parents tell you that there’s no future in smashing meat against a wall, tell them to watch an episode of Game of Thrones. And if they’re jerks about it, go ahead and tell them what happens to Ramsay.