Winter has come, both in the sense that it’s December, and in the sense that Game of Thrones has wrapped for 2017, and we’re all doomed to share a two-year slog through the Game Of Thrones-less wilderness before the final season comes around. Not much to do now except look for other fantasy epics to fill the gap, talk over the past season, and revisit it on video, free of the frantic rush to be the first to comment on every plot development online. The seventh-season Blu-ray and DVD sets of the series arrive on December 12th, which will make that last part easier. And as a bonus, they’ll come with the usual round of cast commentaries, an animated history of Westeros, and some behind-the-scenes featurettes. Here’s a short exclusive excerpt from one two-part, 20-minute feature, “Imagination To Reality Part 1: Inside The Art Department,” which unpacks the process of planning, designing, and shooting the series.
This particular segment of the video was compiled from interviews and set shots taken during the production of “Beyond The Wall.” That’s the episode where Jon Snow and his seven samurai trek into the frozen far north with the idiot idea that they’re going to capture one wight out of an army of them, to use for show-and-tell in the south. The plan goes poorly. Behind the scenes, we get to see the quarry where the resulting standoff and fights take place, the process of making it all look like a snowy hellscape, and the green-screen panels that filled in for the background and let some extras turn into rotting zombies. The split-screen effect is pretty cool — by showing the same shot from multiple angles, along with interviewees talking about those shots, the producers pack a lot of information into a small space. It’s enough to warm your heart, maybe enough to keep it beating through the next three months of winter.