What is a man—a man forced to march on his own home to wage war against the people that betrayed his family—to do when he doesn’t have the men or the horses he needs for the fight? First he appeals to the loyalty of his family’s sworn bannermen, and then, after the only one to offer him any help is (the coolest) little girl in the Seven Kingdoms, he gets some special effects wizards to fill in the rest of his army.
In this genuinely amazing video that we first came across at Sploid, the VFX company Iloura shows how they made that incredible looking ninth episode from season six of Game of Thrones, “The Battle of the Bastards,” come to life. Present and accounted for are burning flayed bodies, a giant, armies in the thousands, entire divisions of cavalries, and lots of war horses created from the skeleton up.
For all of the issues the “Battle of the Bastards” had story wise, it was one of the best looking episodes in television history. Hell, the fight sequence looked better than most movies. Seeing just how it was made doesn’t take away from the fantasy; like a magician revealing how he did his trick, it enhances it. In fact, watching how they made the horses look so real—building them digitally from the skeleton out—makes the scene way more impressive.
Not only that, watching skeleton horses running through the battle, especially with the music they chose for this reel, made the whole thing even scarier, like Jon was fighting the horsemen of the apocalypse. It almost feels like a prelude to a future episode, in which the great war between the living and the dead will at last take place.
And while I know this is about the special effects that went into this, it does also give you an appreciation for Kit Harington’s performance, considering how much of it was done facing a green screen.
What did you find the most amazing about the special effects here? Tell us in the comments below.
And now that you’ve looked inside the Battle of the Bastards, why don’t you check out a few things you missed from the Game of Thrones season finale:
Featured Image: HBO/Iloura