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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

As Sunday brings us what hopes to be an epic finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones, the pay cable giant has released a behind the scenes look at the making of the most recent episode, “Beyond the Wall.” The episode used a mix of CGI and on location shots to bring us the horrors of one of the northern most points in Westeros. I always really enjoy behind the scenes featurettes such as this, I love the finished product, but I have always been fascinated by the process of movie and television magic. While the show does utilize CGI and green screens, the cast of Game of Thrones gets to visit some of the most fantastic locations in the world. David Benioff explained the advantage of shooting at physical locations.

“No matter how great your visual effects are or your art department, I would think there’s just nothing quite like the real thing if you can find it. Iceland exists, and it’s real and it’s cold as hell and it’s beautiful. There’s just nothing like having that reality on screen.”

RELATED: Game of Thrones First Take: Beyond The Wall

Benioff and Weiss have wanted a polar bear on the show for a few seasons now, saying that they had written a polar bear into the script for the last four seasons but were politely turned down by the visual effects department due to financial restraints. They wouldn’t take no for an answer this season, and finally got their zombie bear. Showrunner D.B. Weiss talked about why fans were treated to a wight polar bear this season.

“This year made perfect sense that you would have one of these things out there, and we really put our four feet down.”

The crew also fabricated a frozen lake at the Wolfhill quarry in Belfast, Ireland.  This enormous set was used for what D.B. Weiss called the heavy lifting of the sequence. Season 7 shooting locations included Iceland, Morocco, Croatia, and Northern Ireland.

Are you a fan of these behind the scenes processes? Let us know in the comments down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.