Winter is coming, but Scott Ian is already back with a new installment of our series Bloodworks, where he goes behind-the-scenes to see (and personally experience) the incredible makeup and effects that go into some of the best, most impressive, goriest looking shows and movies going today. And nothing fits that description quite like HBO‘s blood-filled, death party Game of Thrones, because what would the Seven Kingdoms be without some White Walkers, Children of the Forest, and giants? It would just be exploding heads that’s what it would be.
This is the first of two episodes from Ian’s visit to the set in Belfast, where he got an up-close look at the prosthetics and work required to bring George R.R. Martin‘s world to life, from makeup designer Barrie Gower.
Besides getting a chance to wear Wun Wun’s (literally) giant, oversized hands, and learning about how The Hound got his burns and Shireen got her greyscale, Ian also got to see just how much work goes into making the Children of the Forest. Considering the actors are in full-body prosthetics it also explains why the show went away from casting actual children in the roles like it initially did, to adults with a little more time to actually, you know, be on set after hours and hours getting made up.
And in case you didn’t realize just how insane it is to create an army of the undead and their blue-eyed icemen leaders, we also got a look at the amount of time and energy that was required to have the White Walkers show up at the hiding place of the Three-Eyed Raven with their zombie soldiers.
Of course, you can’t have blood without something to stab and cut things with, so Ian also got to explore the craftsmanship and detail that goes into making the massive cache of weapons for the show. Like he said, there’s no set better prepared for an actual White Walker invasion than Game of Thrones.
We do have two warnings for you, though: there is some NSFW language, and if you still aren’t over the death of a certain Red Viper, be prepared to learn just how many times they had to explode Oberyn’s head before they got it juuust right. (Yeah, that’s right, we warned you there might be some not-okay for work swearing, but the part where a seven-foot mountain of a man crushes someone’s head with his bare hands is perfectly fine. This is called Bloodworks for a reason, people!)
Make sure to come back next week for part 2 of Ian’s visit to Westeros, where he will have a piece of dragonglass inserted into his heart to make him into (possibly) the first American White Walker in history. (Or they’ll just do it the hard way and use prosthetics and makeup, but either way, it’ll be fitting to watch a member of Anthrax get turned into a bad ass ice demon warrior.)
What did you think was the most impressive makeup work you saw here? What other characters would you like to learn more about? Dress up our comments section with your thoughts.