Watch How Game of Thrones’ Gory Deaths Get Made

Warning: this post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 6

Image Engine, the visual effects studio behind all 72 deaths of Game of Thrones Season 6, went to great lengths to create the most gore-accurate scenes possible. In fact, one character’s death was initially going to be far more gruesome than what was aired.

The death toll comes out to 22 sword deaths, 14 slit throats, 1 death by pike, and 1 dog massacre – that of universal baddy Ramsay Bolton. Initially, Bolton was to be shown with the flesh ripping from his gums, but the team had to scale this back, replacing the CG jaw with a less grisly 2D composite.

Other deaths, from head smashing to hand ripping, utilized store-bought produce to get the visual effects just right.

“Some shots were really specific,” composition lead Edwin Holdsworth told Variety, “like someone getting their head smashed directly against a wall. To get the look right for that we filmed real meat being smashed. We used the same technique for shots where one character has their hand pulled apart. The best way to match the level of gore needed was to pull some meat apart, and use that in the comp. It all felt more realistic that way!”

You can watch Image Engine bring to life Jon Snow’s wounds, The Citadel library, and more in their video below.

As for Season 7, it will be airing a later than expected this year, but Maisie Williams says “nothing will prepare you” for when it does arrive.

In the meantime, check out some Game of Thrones cosplay or our gallery of every Thrones death so far.

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