Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Game of Thrones season 6
As the painful wait for the final two seasons of HBO’s Game of Thrones continues, one of the best ways to pass the time is looking back at how the explosive sixth season was crafted. As is customary with shows on such a huge scale, HBO employs several different creative studios to help bring it all to life — from concept to premiere. Once such studio is the Germany-based Karakter. While they’re known for their past work on Thrones, Karakter‘s signature style rests within the realm of video games, often with a fantasy-based skew.
Karakter has been working on Game of Thrones since season 2, and was brought back for another round of concept art creation for the latest one. Tasked with laying out some of the most iconic shots from the series to date, Karakter brought scenes to life through paintings with a particularly interesting, thick style of brush work. The studio also worked closely with the series’ costume designers and other artists to accurately portray scenes (or, in case of spoilers, add in an accurate replacement from a previous season).
From the heartbreak of Hodor’s final moments to the bloody Battle of the Bastards, the concept art shows off some of the earliest ideas for the epic shots that highlighted season six. Check out the artwork below (via Kotaku).
Karakter also contributed to the digital architecture of the series’ most gorgeous wide-shots:
The various concept art is attributed to VFX artists Robert Simon, Floris Diddon, and Tobias Mannewitz. After working on the show for four seasons in a row, the artists seemed eager to tackle the story on such a grand scale. “Time flies, doesn’t it?” reads a statement on the official Season 6 concept art portfolio. “As a starting point for the Battle of the Bastards, we studied historical battle depictions of the previous centuries. And then we exaggerated it in any way possible. It shows the human kind at it’s worst.” HBO’s Lead VFX Supervisor, Joseph Bauer, praised the studio’s work on the portfolio. “Their imagination and great talent shines through the show’s most memorable visual effects sequences,” said Bauer.
Indeed, the sequences imagined in these concepts came to life on Game of Thrones looking nearly identical to the artwork, which goes to show that wide imagination and the right kind of communication between the show’s creative team goes a long way. It’snot clear whether or not Karakter will return for the final two seasons of the show, but if the artwork is any indicator, there sure is a good chance.
Game of Thrones will return for its seventh season in the summer of 2017 on HBO.