Winter is coming! Game of Thrones season 6 returns to HBO next month and in honor of the event, snow artist (yes, this is a thing) Simon Beck has created a giant direwolf on the side of a mountain in the French Alps. He did this for Sky Atlantic, which broadcasts Game of Thrones in the United Kingdom. Beck used to do orienteering training and his snow art came out of his work with mapping. Back in 2004, on a day he didn’t feel like training, Beck created a star in the snow with concentric circles between the points — and he’s been making snow art with raquettes (snowshoes) ever since. Beck has a website for his chilly creations where you can actually buy prints or an art book.
As Beck explains in the video, a lot of planning goes into this sort of art, including mapping out exactly where he’s going to walk with his snowshoes. The picture has to be oriented so it fits in the space alotted and doesn’t end up going off the side of the mountain. Then he plots the outline and fills in the blanks. The result is a gorgeous stylized direwolf with the tag “Winter is Coming.”
It’s interesting to note that the direwolf–this stylized direwolf in particular–is the symbol on the Stark banner. From what we know of season 6, the Stark family may be starting to emerge from the darkness. Sophie Turner has shared that this is Sansa’s season and from some of the behind-the-scenes pictures, we know she and Reek survive that jump from the walls of Winterfell. Arya may be blind, but if we’re following the books, she’s going to gain a lot of power that way. Bran is back after a season-long hiatus, and it’s been reported that we’ll see visions of the past and the future through his eyes, now that he’s found the Three-Eyed Raven. Then there is the little matter of Jon Snow
maybe definitely returning from the dead.
Sadly, those direwolves, adorable as they were, have largely disappeared from Game of Thrones. There was a great set up for the same number of Stark children and direwolves; it appeared that they were the important magical creatures of the book series and the show, and then, nothing. Sansa’s was killed, Arya sent hers away (still not over that), and not only was Robb’s direwolf slaughtered, his head was sewn onto Robb’s body! It’s not that they’re not in the story, but so far it’s been a bit of a misdirect. That is, unless Jon Snow’s resurrection is through his direwolf Ghost or Arya ends up learning to see through Nymeria. What? I have theories!
What do you think of the amazing snow art? Are you guys excited for season 6? My sources have been saying that it’s a lot faster-paced than season 5, though they aren’t sending out press screeners after the leak from last year. Check out the video, then let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Game of Thrones will (finally) return to HBO on April 24, 2016.