The Mountain vs the Viper: “Artistry -with poison.”

Still reeling from that mammoth fight scene on Game of Thrones? Here's how they did it.

2014-06-03_1612If you’re still reeling from that mammoth fight scene between ‘The Mountain’ and ‘the Viper’ (and who isn’t?) then you may be interested to hear about the filming and the special effects that were employed.

Game of Thrones Director Alex Graves discussed shooting the scene with the Hollywood Reporter:

How did you approach the big fight scene?
I looked at it as the story of the fight. “At this point in the fight we don’t think this, but we think this.” Then they would rehearse it with the stunt fighters, and I would go in and edit it, and we’d put the actors in. We discovered things like wanting to get the Mountain’s helmet off early so you could see his face — we were crazy about Hafthor. He’s so great and I love him.

And these two characters’ very different fighting styles, what were you going for there?
We wanted it to be very heavy and centered with The Mountain and incredibly fluid and slick around Oberyn. You’ve been hearing throughout the season that Oberyn is a good fighter. So the first thing you’ve got to establish — especially if he’s fighting The Mountain, who has killed anyone he’s ever fought — is “Oh, I’ve never seen anything like this guy on the show.” On Game of Thrones it’s usually “Draw my sword, cut him in half, blood, guts and its over.” This was artistry — with poison.

For quite a while it seemed like Oberyn would win this thing.
You’ve got to build that suspense. I want people to think, “Oh, how is Tyrion going to get out of this thing? This must be it, right? They’re not going to kill Dinklage, right?”

How’d you get the gruesome effects down for Oberyn’s death?
I storyboarded it for, “This is when we’re going to use Pedro, and this is when we’re going to need some kind of a head that can implode.” I sent our makeup supervisor off and he built this head to use for the shots. Then the visual effects guys took it home by putting a little swelling in the head, and making the one eye look really bad. The last composition that we barely got before the sun went down was of the two of them lying dead – the effects team made that even more gruesome. They rearranged some of his brain matter.

Looks like Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) is now in a very tight squeeze while his father and sister couldn’t have been more delighted.

Two more eps to go, people.

One Response

  1. And also with hubris.

    Was a good episode. Sansa’s scenes were also terrific. Reveals some of where the character is heading I think. The scene with Ayra was also good. Disappointed though that a few seconds was all we got of that sub-plot this week.

    They have managed to get a whole season out of the rest of A Storm of Swords, but have dragged out and rearranged sub-plots to do so.

    Books 4 & 5 run in parallel to replace an intended backstory that was to set things up for the ending. (Though Martin is still behind where it was intended to be up to and book 6 still isn’t out).

    So we shall see what the TV show does with them next year. I think they will have to weave it back together to make a coherent story for TV, but it could amount to a few seasons.

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