Dragonfire, explosions fill new ‘Game of Thrones’ special effects feature

The seventh — and penultimate — season of HBO’s Game of Thrones premieres in July, but the network is doing a good job of keeping anticipation high for the return of the hit series based on George R.R. Martin’s fantasy novels.

The latest buzz-generating video is a featurette that puts the spotlight on the special effects that helped keep the series exciting for the last six seasons — and will likely continue to do so in its final two story arcs.

Titled “Inside Game of Thrones: A Story in Special Effects,” the 100-minute video goes behind the scenes for an insider’s look at how some of the key special-effects sequences were created. The show’s special effects supervisor, Sam Conway, also offers some commentary on his own inspirations for the show’s special effects and how those effects — whether they involve fire, ice, blood, or countless other elements — contribute to the tapestry that is Game of Thrones.

The sequences involving dragons get particular attention in the video, which seems appropriate given how active of a role they’re likely to play in the show’s final seasons.

The upcoming seventh season finds war looming ever closer as competing factions vie for control of the Iron Throne. The army of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and her dragons are en route to Westeros, while Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) assumes control of the Seven Kingdoms. Meanwhile, an even greater threat masses in the north, in the form of the terrifying Night King and his White Walkers.

Game of Thrones is based on Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels, and has received 110 Primetime Emmy Award nominations over the course of its first six seasons, and taken home an Emmy 38 times. Of the six times the series has been nominated in the “Outstanding Special Visual Effects” category, it’s won the award five times.

The seventh season of Game of Thrones premieres July 16 on HBO.

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