It’s easy to forget just how much work goes into a show like Game of Thrones.
Beyond the big-name actors, writers and producers, there’s an army of craftsmen, set designers, blacksmiths and other behind-the-scenes maestros pulling together to make the dense world of Westeros feel as rich as it does.
Ahead of Thrones’ final series HBO have pulled back the curtain on one of those overlooked groups: the prosthetics team, without whom there’d be no Army of the Dead, no Greyscale, no giants, no children of the forest and – perhaps most importantly of all – no Night King to menace Jon Snow and his allies.
In this new behind-the-scenes video, we learn just how much work goes into making Game of Thrones’ huge collection of fantasy creatures and undead warriors. Prosthetics designer Barry Gower explains how the relatively low-key work of early seasons has turned into a mass industry in more recent years, with around 50 people working on prosthetics on set for up to 70 actors at a time.
And all that takes a while. Apparently, a fairly basic bit of prosthetics work takes about four to six weeks to build, while applying it at the beginning of a day can take up to eight hours (with an hour to remove it at the end of the day), altogether making quite a long work day.
“People are quite unaware of the length of time and the process that goes into these things,” Gower noted – though hopefully, this video will go a small way to redressing that balance.
The final series of Game of Thrones will air on 15th April at 2am and 9pm on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV
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