Game of Thrones viewers were surprised to see that the show’s opening title sequence had been entirely changed for the opening episode of its eighth season. Now, the people behind the new credits have explained how and why they created a new animation for the final run.
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Kirk Shantani and Angus Wall of Elastic, the company behind the new sequence, say they were approached by showrunners DB Weiss and David Benioff around the time season seven was airing to completely overhaul the show’s opening.
“Around June of 2017, Dan and David and [producer] Greg Spence came by and said, ‘We want to change everything. Brand new. Let’s do it all over again,’” Shintani told Vulture. “We’ve been dying to give this thing a facelift, because we’ve been looking at the same thing for almost nine years.”
Elastic developed the original titles, too, so they were the perfect people to create something new without losing the essence of the show’s traditional opening.
Shintani explained that the reason that the animation explores interior spaces, unlike the vast exteriors of Westeros shown in its predecessor, is that this season’s tone calls for it. “This season is a lot more intimate and grounded,” he said. “Narratively, they are doing a lot more than just flying from location to location. There’s a lot more story to it.”
It was Weiss and Benioff’s idea to move indoors – as it meant they would be able to end the sequence at The Iron Throne, which is where the show has been heading since day one.
“The biggest thing for them was to start at the Wall,” he says. “The show has been inexorably moving towards the Iron Throne,” Wall says. “Being able to go inside allowed us to actually end the title sequence at the throne.”
Game of Thrones continues on Sky Atlantic on Mondays at 2am and 9pm