If you plan on stepping into the skin of a White Walker you need to be ready to tap into your raw aggression, and you need to be willing to channel all your energy towards destroying the very fabric of civilization as we know it. Fortunately, almost 35 years as a member of Anthrax is some pretty good real world preparation for donning those icy blue eyes.
This latest installment of Bloodworks, our (NSFW) behind-the-scenes series dedicated to all things gory and gruesome in film and television, is part 2 of Scott Ian‘s visit to the Game of Thrones set in Belfast to meet with makeup designer Barrie Gower. In part 1 we got a look at the massive collection of weapons the show has amassed, learned how the many facial ailments (or head explosions) of characters come to life, and saw the amazing work that goes into making the giants and the Children of the Forest as real as any human living in King’s Landing.
But this time around it was all about learning what it takes to transform someone from being a denizen of the world of the living into an ice general in the army of the dead, as Ian got into the makeup chair to become the first American White Walker. Forget the incredibly detailed, samurai-like armor the Others wear (mud from north of the wall just has a different look than mud found in the Seven Kingdoms), or even the awesome ice weapons they wield, the amount of prosthetics, with their unique bone structure as well as their flexibility, required for the full transformation means that the stay in the makeup chair isn’t a short one. (Really, a piece of dragonglass to the heart, or a fingernail under the eye, is just so much easier and faster.)
You might think that Ian’s goatee would pose a problem in the White Walker creation process, but when it works as your signature look in your heavy metal band, it translates perfectly into your role as a terrifying monster.
Besides getting to admire how just a single Other comes into being, Gower also explained how crazy it was to work on arguably the greatest sequence in television history, the White Walker attack on Hardhome in season five. The amount of wights (the name of the White Walkers army, a.k.a their zombie soldiers) involved in that battle was as nuts as it seemed, especially with needing to create wights in various states of decay.
Sometimes seeing how the sausage is made can take away a little of the magic, but when you are making so many dead warriors—some that have to actually look like sausage—it makes it seem even more impossible that they pulled it off after the fact, like it does here.
Minus the part where we found out the White Walkers have names like “Chris.”
After watching both parts of Ian’s visit, which makeup work did you find the most surprising? Which did you find the most impressive? Take your own visit to our comments section below to tell us your thoughts.