It is now, officially, April 2019. Which means that the final season of the groundbreaking, world phenomenon, near-universally beloved long-form HBO television program that is Game of Thrones is upon us. It has been a long time coming and the anticipation is honestly overwhelming. And while we are all on the edge of our seats waiting to see exactly how it all ends, the show has been such a main figure in popular culture for the past decades that seeing it end is a rather bittersweet thing. Watching the cast members grow from the pilot to this final season as well as making a name for themselves in the industry has been an exciting and rewarding experience. And there is just something so special about the culture surrounding the show and uniting its many fans. Waiting ever so impatiently for the next episode, sharing theories online and with friends about who will win and who will perish, and filling one's homes with Game of Throne related materials has been a wonderful, uniting, and glorious experience.
And though the final episode is still a little ways away (as of the time that this article was written), the fact that the show is truly ending is starting to set in and has made us rather nostalgic. And in the spirit of that bittersweet nostalgia, I have crafted an article filled with behind the scene photos from the shows currently released seven seasons. Without further ado, I present you, the good people of the internet, with 25 photos from the set of the beloved (and soon to be ending) show Game of Thrones.
24 Hop Aboard This Big Green Mass
There is something just so wonderful about seeing films and television programs before the CGI has been added in post-production. For example, see the above image. In the show, this was an intense and wonderful shot. Visually stunning and majestic. But without the addition of the CGI, it is rather amusing. I mean, they look as though they are sat on the top of a large playground, looking over the park from the highest peak. I would pay good money to see the full cut of a film without any CGI just to see what the actors see while acting.
23 Just Children Being Children
With it being roughly a decade since it all began and having all of the younger characters/actors having grown full-fledged adults, it can be easy to forget how they looked when it all began. Look at how young those little Starks look! Look at their little faces! So pure! So unaffected by the plights of the world! So unaware of the tragedies to come! It is, in itself, a bittersweet photo because we all know the fate that lies in wait for these little babies. But those events have not yet occurred, so for now, let us just enjoy this sweet moment from the set.
22 Act Like You Belong
The best type of behind the scene photos are the ones that are delivered directly from the set of period films that involve dated and/or stylized outfits due to the juxtaposition of the crew in their modern day/civilian clothing. There is just something so wonderful about seeing a dude in jeans and a baseball tee in the midst of a fantastic feast in the arbor of a medieval-style castle. Seeing the crew in their modern day clothes besides the cast for the show who are decked out to the nines in their ornate gowns and overly stylized wigs. Simply divine.
21 A Rare Happy Stark (Feat. Ed Sheeran)
I feel like I am in the minority as I found Ed Sheeran's guest appearance on Game of Thrones quite enjoyable. It didn't pull me out of the show any more than any other guest appearance on any other show that has ever occurred in the history of television. His performance was lovely, as was his song, and it was just a nice little moment of levity in an overtly dark show. Game of Thrones tends to be a tad overwhelming at times and while watching I often find myself having to take lengthy breaks between episodes. So his appearance was simply a nice moment to break up the nonstop intensity that fills the rest of the episodes in the show's run.
20 About the Drop The Hottest Album of 2019
I double dog dare you to tell me that this photo does not look like the cover of the hottest album of the year. From their clothes to their poses, there is just something so incredibly fierce and powerful about this photo. Look at their faces. Those faces are simultaneously cold and serene, yet powerful and formidable. I would not pick a fight with a single person in the above photo. I mean, I am not the kind of person who goes around and picks fights with people. However, if I was in the mood to do so, I would certainly avoid everyone in the above photo.
19 How To Build A Body
Something that will never cease to fascinate me is the amount of work that goes into movie and television production. Casting, script writing, concept development, storyboarding, costume design and creation, makeup, prosthetics, extras, set design and dressing, directing, the acting itself, editing, CGI, post-production, sound, promotion and advertising, finding a place to host the show, and presenting the show to critics and audiences alike. And so much more. It's truly insane to consider everything that goes into twenty to ninety minutes of screentime.
18 No Civilians Allowed
Seeing actors wander around the set, in full costume, is one of my favorite things about behind-the-scenes photos from the set of different films, shows, and productions. Consider the costumes for the show at hand, Game of Thrones. Those are some fancy, ornate, and elaborate costumes. Seeing someone walk around in lengthy capes and gowns with elaborate wigs and weapons on the backlot of a production studio is just such a wonderful sight to behold.
17 The Throne Is Out of Commission
I am going to take this moment to voice my personal theory on how things will end. At the time of writing this article, it is April 7th, 2019 and no episodes from the final season have yet aired. My personal theory is that not a single character will survive in the end and that the final shot will be of the throne, empty and silent, with snow gently blowing over and past it. The moral being that the quarrels, claims to power, and interpersonal differences that we fill our lives with mean nothing in the grand scheme of things and that no amount of power can save us from the end that is coming for us all. Some will accept the fate before them, some will try to flee, and some will try to fight. But in the end, no one will survive. For that is the way of our own lives.
16 Someone Missed The Medieval Attire Memo
Once again, the juxtaposition between the elaborate and beautifully constructed medieval style costumes and the plain, modern, everyday clothes of the crew is something that brings me nothing but pure and unadulterated joy. Seeing Sansa decked out in her beautiful gown with her flowing locks beside two dudes with sunglasses, jeans, and tee shirts is one of the greatest sights my eyes have ever beheld. I wish to thank the universe for aligning in the way that it has and bringing this photo into my life.
15 He's My Nephew?
Seeing actors play together in full costumes, hair, and makeup is another one of the greatest things about behind-the-scenes photos from the sets of film and television productions. Seeing traditionally serious or emotionally reserved characters goof off and act silly is just an utter delight. Another wonderful thing about these sort of photos is seeing characters that either have never met each other (due to existing in entirely different parts of the story or the fictional world) or seeing two characters play together who, within the show, utterly despise each other.
14 Check These Sick Moves
The only thing better than behind-the-scenes photos from the set of a film or television production that feature people in period costumes is the ones that feature actors goofing off in full prosthetics. The actors who get the full prosthetic treatment in Game of Thrones tend to be the ones with more dramatic, intense, and/or serious roles. So seeing the Night King wield his sword like a toy and swing it around for his own amusement is so utterly fulfilling.
13 Cersei's Favourite Meme
Modern technology and items finding its way onto the sets of period films is just such an utter delight. Seeing someone in full body armor with a cup from Starbucks, seeing a medieval queen in Rayban brand sunglasses in a lounge chair, or seeing a filth coated page holding a smartphone are just some of the greatest things about being alive in the modern era where we have access to such photos. If the only photos on the internet were that of actors in period costumes using modern tech, I would be a very happy person.
12 What Was The Line?
Taking a peek behind the curtain is one of the most exciting things about the "behind-the-scenes" experience. Seeing scenes without the CGI, actors out of costume (or in costume relaxing between scenes,) and/or serious moments with the actors and crew standing in the wings is just so utterly entertaining. Sometimes the "behind-the-scenes" moments are marginally more entertaining than the film or television show itself. There have been times where I have loaded up a DVD, watched the special features, and then put the film away without even watching the film itself.
11 Not As Majestic Without the CGI
One of the many reasons that I could never be an actor (amongst my shyness, social anxiety, and dislike of being the center of a room's attention), is the fact that I would have such a hard time keeping a straight face with all of the green screen elements. Seeing a man in a green leotard-like costume and having to not only keep a straight face but also pretend like he is the most fearsome thing I have ever seen, is a challenge that I am simply unfit for. I simply could not do it.
10 Uncanny Valley
Behold, the stunt doubles and stand-ins. Stunt doubles and stand-ins deserve far more credit than they receive for they are given. They are not only trained actors, but they are also the ones doing all of the things that the principal actors are not allowed to do due to the risks it presents. Some stunt doubles have even been seriously injured or lost their lives due to stunts gone wrong. These people risk much in order to entertain us and add another layer of intensity to the media that we spend our days consuming.
9 The Many Faces Of Westeros
The props needed to create the film and television shows that we love are just utterly wonderful. The prop department deserves props (pause for pun appreciation) for all of the hard work they put into each and every tiny detail of the pieces of media that they help create. Sometimes, the tiniest details are not even noticed by audiences but their absence would be sensed. These tiny little details just add another layer of realism to the shows we all know and love and require so much skill, attention to detail, and effort to create.
8 The Fire Is Real
The fact that real fire is often used on the set of Game of Thrones is simultaneously wonderful and utterly bonkers. Fire is one of those universal fears, like spiders and massive debt, that we all have and the idea of bringing that onto a set and exposing it to people, props, and sets is just too much for me. Though I know that is it controlled, that there are safety precautions being made, and that there are dozens of extinguishing methods on hand, fire is just simply too much for me. Hard pass.
This photo is an utter testament to Emilia Clarke's talent and acting ability/skill. Just look at the loving, doting, and motherly expression on her face. In her mind, that is not an oddly shaped green ball on a stick. No, that is her beloved baby dragon and she loves him with her entire heart. Yet another instance of why I could not be an actor. Forget the lack of privacy, stalking, and paparazzi. No, I would fail because there is no way that I could hold that ball and see anything else but that ball.
6 Just Another Day At The Office
The mix of CGI and practical effects is the best way, in my own opinion, to achieve realistic yet fantastical effects for film and television. Often times when a human, or human-like figure, is recreated solely with CGI effects, they enter the uncanny valley area in which they look like what a human should look like but there is something off and that something is slightly unsettling. But the combination of practical effects with the CGI gets rid of that uncanny valley while also allowing the addition of effects that cannot be practically achieved.
5 Not As Far Of A Drop As We Thought
With the help of green screens, there is truly no need to create an expansive set with peaks, valleys, moats, and massive castles. All of those things can be added into the shot in post-production. There is no need to create a massive set, most of which will never be used or even seen on screen if one can simply create the facade and then add the rest in digitally. Also, I have an intense fear of the above sorts of bridges and I strongly believe that if every single rope bridge in the world was strung over a one or two foot drop, that that fear would quickly disappear.
4 The Lannisters Are Very Close
This is the kind of content that I love from behind the scene photos. Just fully decked out and costumed actors goofing around and having fun. No need for the tension, the drama, and the quarrels that fill the show. None of the grudges, betrayals, and enemies. Just three friends having a great time together, hanging out, being silly, and enjoying each other's company. Don't get me wrong. Game of Thrones is a wonderful show, but sometimes I just want to watch the actors be silly and not have to battle for their lives every five minutes.
3 The Void Beyond The Wall
At last, a peek into what truly lies beyond the wall. It is nothing. Absolutely nothing. Just a big, empty, green expansive nothing. It goes on as long as the eye can see and there is literally nothing there. And that knowledge is what the citizens of Westeros must be protected from. They must not know that their entire kingdom is surrounded by a large, green, expanse of nothing. They would not even know what to do with that knowledge. It would be too much for them to comprehend.
2 A Less-Than-Intimidating Creature
Imagine if, instead of dragons, she rode into town on this rig? Instead of knocking down castle walls with her scaly steed, she simply came in on this abstract foam shape. Watching the citizens reactions to that event would be a sight to behold. On the note of her dragons and this upcoming season, since one of her scaly children has been corrupted, do you think her storyline will reach its end when she is faced with that dragon? That she will be placed in a situation in which she is expected to end the beast but her love for the creature will force her to allow it to consume her rather than having to take it down by her own hand?
1 Where It All Began
We have come a long way since the first season. We have lost a lot of characters, discovered a lot of truths, and learned a lot about the lore, world, and history of Westeros along the way. I think it is fair to say that the television adaptation of Game of Thrones has truly changed the way that we approach book adaptations from this point out as, since its premiere, nearly a decade ago, the majority of large scale adaptations have been in the form of long-form televisions shows rather than films. And that change has created far more detailed and accurate adaptations. So, thank you, Game of Thrones, for all that you have given and brought us. Thank you and farewell.