As HBO continues its behind-the-scenes look at Game of Thrones season 7, fans can now see the work that went into the iconic moment where the "A Song of Ice and Fire" saga resurrected Viserion as a fully-fledged ice dragon.
Across seven episodes of big shocks and dramatic character deaths, the fall of Viserion remains one of the most memorable scenes from the whole show, not just season 7. Appearing in the season's penultimate episode 'Beyond the Wall', the climax saw a last-minute rescue attempt by Queen Daenerys Targaryen, as alongside her three dragons, Dany swept in to save Jon Snow's Magnificent Seven from a surrounding army of wights and White Walkers. However, while casualties were always expected, it didn't stop the death/resurrection of Viserion being anymore dramatic.
Unveiled as part of the seven-part 'The Game Revealed' series, the clip showcases the mountains of SFX work used to bring season 7 to life. There is also a candid interview with the director, and 'Beyond the Wall's' Alan Taylor revealed that although the plan for the episode was a little rough around the edges, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss knew how they wanted it to end:
"There was not a script when I spoke to Dave and Dan the first time about coming back [for season 7]. They told me the story and then they told me the details of the final scene."
While the showrunners maintain that this was the episode they were most excited for in season 7, Weiss said that pulling off the look of the White Walkers - and Viserion's infamous "eye scene" - was the trickiest part to get right:
"The eyes of the White Walkers and the wights have been such a prominent feature of the show and a lot of work has gone into the specifics of how the eyes look. To see that [hopefully] iconic image at this point blown to the size of a beachball, that seemed like it was a crowd-pleasingly 'oh sh*t' moment."
It may have taken the Army of the Undead some two whole seasons to make its way from Hardhome to the Wall, but the payoff for the show's ultimate "big bad" was well worth the wait. As the Night King became the unexpected second dragon rider, Game of Thrones put all the pieces into place for a shocking finale with the fall of the Wall and also the continuing mission of the White Walkers in season 8. Sure, Daenerys may still have two fiery steeds by her side, but with the blue-flamed might of Viserion under the control of the Night King, 'Beyond the Wall' was a key episode in the history of Game of Thrones lore.
Game of Thrones season 8 premieres in either 2018 or 2019.
Source: HBO Now