If you’re sad about Game of Thrones being over until 2018 (or 2019), HBO is ready to ease the withdrawal symptoms with another Game of Thrones-related series. Game Revealed explores what goes into the series’ set design. It includes new footage of how the crew shot different production-intensive scenes, and there are interviews with the directors, actors, writers, and producers. The first episode is up on YouTube now.
Mild spoilers ahead for Games of Thrones season 7
Seeing the craft and labor that goes into making this epic series just might be the pick-me-up you need after a season full of incestuous romance and not nearly enough major character deaths. Setting aside the Walking Dead-esque makeup and wardrobe done for the wights up North, this behind-the-scenes featurette has several highlights that make it worth watching.
For one thing, even singer Ed Sheeran, who appears in this season’s first episode in a brief cameo, admits that when he saw he’d be in a scene with Arya Stark and that he would be playing a Lannister soldier, he thought he was done for. Sadly, it turns out the show meant the scene as a bit of fan service for the audience — and for Maisie Williams, who plays Arya and loves Ed Sheeran. Given that so many people vocally loathed Ed Sheeran’s cameo, I guess the moment was ultimately just for Maisie. It’s also fun to note that it took three and a half days to shoot Samwell Tarly’s shit-cleaning montage and to watch the sets of Game of Thrones in tune with upbeat modern music for once.
Focusing on the thought that went into designing the various Game of Thrones sets, especially the intimidating and cold-looking throne room at Dragonstone, can probably redeem season 7’s troubled, controversial storytelling quite a bit. As long as we shift the focus away from this season’s questionable aspects and look at how the massive dragon heads at the entrance of Dragonstone were hand-carved on set, or consider the beautiful Spanish rock formations, we can still muster up the awe and admiration that made us fall in love with this show to begin with.
Although the first episode is on YouTube, the other six episodes will only be available for HBO subscribers; they’ll be released on Mondays over the next six weeks. Not sure whether it’s worth it? Consider the fact that the free-sample episode ends with Dany’s “Shall we begin?” line, which also ended this season’s first episode and ended the week’s “Inside the Episode” featurette. If the continued reliance on this line bothers you like it bothers me, this new HBO series probably isn’t for you.