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‘Game of Thrones’: Traumatizing the Characters – and the Audience, Too

Lost kingdoms and that gruesome wedding

“This season we hoped to give the feeling of coming out of a traumatic event. Families were lost, kingdoms burned, alliances were broken,” says Daniel Minahan, director of episode “Valar Dohaeris,” one of weveral episodes of HBO’s fantasy drama to get Creative Arts noms.

Steve Kullback, lead vfx producer, nommed for that episode, says, “(For Daenerys and her dragons travelling by boat), we started with a ship that’s built in a parking lot in Northern Ireland. A fast approach, using a technocrane on tracks, raced toward the ship and found Dany and Jorah on deck in front of a green screen. The water needed to be CG, but the bow wake was a real element that we shot using a black-hulled ship in Croatia.”

Paul Engelen, department head makeup artist, nommed for “Kissed by Fire” and “Valar Dohaeris,” says, “Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) had to have scars throughout the series, and Davos (Liam Cunningham) had extensive sunburn for his initial scenes. Nipple amputations, whip lacerations, cranial deformities are all part of our arsenal!”

Gemma Jackson, production designer, nommed for “Valar Dohaeris” and “Kissed by Fire” recalls “Episode 1 specifically opened in the freezing North and we were lucky enough to have a huge snowstorm, which added to the power of the opening scenes. Back in Belfast I designed and built a whole new composite set for King’s Landing, which I love. Much more space within which to tell stories.”

Oral Ottey, picture editor, nommed for “The Rains of Castamere” says of the gruesome “Red Wedding” episode: “It was a case of finding the best pieces from this puzzle, putting it together and giving it breath and a flow. I wanted to drag people in and have them glued to the screen.” David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, executive producers add: “We were lucky to have Oral Ottey cutting for us. Oral has such a keen sense of what matters and what doesn’t, and for the rhythm of the scene.”

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