Dragons and White Walkers weren't the only special effects that the latest episode had to contend with
Shooting Game of Thrones takes Executive Producers, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, to the limits of what a TV series can shoot but despite creating epic battles and huge dragons with their special effects they came across a new challenge: filming a zombie polar bear.
In the latest episode of Game of Thrones, Season seven Episode six: Beyond the Wall, Jon Snow and his fellow ragtag band of heroes find themselves hunting for wights beyond the wall.
“Do bears have blue eyes?” marked the start of a visually stunning fight scene but how did Benioff and Weiss create such a monster?
“The VFX guys told us in the nicest possible way, ‘Fuck you.'” Benioff recalls. “But we put our four feet down and said, Goddammit! We want a zombie polar bear.”
Unlike creating a dragon for Emilia Clarke to sit on, the undead bear was needed to be a fully interactive unit for a sustained fighting scene. “We looked at the polar bear in the previews that we got, how it swats the guys away, how it picks someone up and shakes them around” Richard Bradshaw the show’s Assistant Stunt Co-Ordinator said.
After studying the polar bear’s movements and actions, the crew then rigged up the actors to wires to rehearse how a body would react to being mauled. All before bringing in a flaming ball cage that could be moved around, of which would soon be rendered into the bear’s skull.
This level of movement gave the scene a level of dynamic action that is both grand but realistic. Game of Thrones continues on August 28 with the final episode of season seven.