In a behind-the-scenes video released Monday under the "Inside Game of Thrones" banner, HBO highlighted the massive prosthetics team which made the series come to life, specifically Prosthetics Designer Barrie Gower, who first joined the show in Season 4 and whose job has grown exponentially since then.
According to Gower, when he began work on the series, there were six wights to design and apply prosthetics for. That means weeks of designing and building, hours with actors in makeup chairs, and then even more hours on set making sure everything stays in place. It wasn't a small job, but then the series' fantasy elements just kept growing, adding more wights, more White Walkers, the Children of the Forest, and even a giant who was heavily showcased in the sixth season.
By the time Season 8 came around, Gower and his team were pushed to their maximum capacity.
"So each year it's got bigger and bigger and bigger, to the point now with Season 8 we're sort of maxing numbers about the 70 or 80 mark on set, and in the workshop we usually have a team of about 50 people," Gower said. "It's a big department to manage. I think we're very fortunate to have accumulated a really talented sort of pool of prosthetic people."
Gower also talked about the "daunting" prospect of moving on to other things after years of work building the various creatures that populate Game of Thrones. Like everyone else on the series, he's sad to see it leave, but ready to show the world what his team put together for the finale.
"I think it's probably scary for a lot of folk, because we've just become part of this incredible family," he said. "The end is nigh, but I think it's gonna be a big end."
Game of Thrones returns April 14.