We’ve learned about the dynamics behind Daenerys’ dragons, and now we’re getting a closer look at the workings of a White Walker. To be more specific, Game of Thrones‘ Youtube channel uploaded a behind the scenes video of the making of the prostheses for the show. The pieces aren’t only used exclusively on White Walkers, but it seems they undergo the most prosthetic-wise. And after watching the video, you may notice that it looks almost as painstaking to stay in that getup all day as it looks to create it! Prosthetic Designer for Game of Thrones Barrie Gower narrates the short video, which clocks in at just under 4 minutes. He explains the artistic process behind creating the prostheses, from getting the briefing of a character, to creating a design concept that’s practical enough to be worn all day.
The whole process is very much a team effort; with people focusing on paint jobs, running silicone, gluing down pieces and pouring molds. If you’ve ever watched the show FaceOff on the SyFy channel, you’ve seen a lot of this on a much smaller, one person scale. After a mold is made of an actor’s head, the teams can then sculpt and apply the prostheses; a process that must be duplicated to produce the same finished look for every day the actor will be working! Gower discusses the intricacies involved, and discloses that the average build time for one character is 4 weeks.
When applying the prostheses, Gower says the process takes about 2 to 3 hours, and that’s just gluing down the appliances. It’s usually around 4 to 5 hours before an actor’s makeup is set-ready. The artists stick around during the 8 to 10 hour filming days for basic upkeep of the prostheses when needed, and have to undo the whole process for the actor by peeling off the layers with a brush and mineral oils before they leave.
The pride and awe in Gowers voice as he discusses his favorite memory on Game of Thrones thus far is palpable. The video is extremely interesting in explaining this mind-blowing process, and makes you take a minute and think about all the people behind the scenes of your favorite shows that add to their overall effect!
Game of Thrones returns to HBO on April 24th.