The production designer Deborah Riley asked me to do a concept showing the battle preparations infront of Winterfell: Civilians are being trained, a trench dug and siege weapons constructed. We are following Daenery and Jon inspecting the efforts.
Above you can see very first image I did for this Season: I was asked to make a concept of the new courtyard featuring a big bakery. Refugees are seeking shelter in Winterfell while the Battlepreparations begin. The set was later scaled down - however alot of the elements stayed the way they were. In this season the set of Winterfell was massivly enhanced. One of my tasks was to bring the plans for the physical set and the vfx-model together. Staying as close as possible to the vfx-model from earlier seasons to create an inherent design was one of the biggest difficulties. 3D-tools allow me to show the concepts from different angles. The model was later handed over to vfx.
Dan and David wanted to see how different amounts of troops infront of Winterfell would look like. There was only one way to find out – I individually placed thousands of troops onin 3D. We wanted the size of the army to be reasonable in comparison to Winterfell. We ended up placing 18.192 figures in the 3D-mockup.
I was working very closely with the director Miguel Sapochnik and his DOP Fabian Wagner on the look and feel of Winterfell during the battle. All the concepts were done in consultation with Miguel. The concepts show the sets during important story beats. Miguel was particulary interested in the change of lightning and atmosphere during the battle. I really enjoyed working with someone who has such a distinct vision of Set. In the concepts below you can see different lighting scenarios. The main lightsource is shifting from moon to fire.
Lyanna Mormont supervising the construction of makeshift barricades in the North Courtyard of Winterfell. I was later asked to change the camera angle - working with 3D-tools saved me alot of time and the new concept was done in no time.
I had to redesign the collapsable Bridge over the trench. The Construction Department had built a functioning bridge, however it did not feel proportionate nor medieval.
The following images were done for director Miguel Sapochnik. I had to illustrate important keymoments in the Story. Again, we were mostly concerned about lighting and Atmosphere. I was very pleased to see how close my sketches were to the look in the episode. I always started with rough sketches to make sure I hit the right moment and we have a good camera angle. It´s always hard to let go of your favourite sketch - but as they say: Kill your Darlings! This is especially true for a show like Game of Thrones.
The Battle in the courtyard of Winterfell continues. The second sketch was quickly dismissed - if the soldiers are standing close to each other building a phalanx, we would not be able to follow our heroes in the Battle. You have to find a balance between logic and drama.
The Set in Northern Ireland is placed right next to a hill. Jon finds himself on the hill as he spots the night king making its way to Winterfell.
The undead dragon Viserion stands between Jon and the path to the weirwood tree(background). This concept was supposed to show the amount of Chaos in the courtyard but it also features an important Moment. I really enjoy the mix between Set Design and Storytelling - the two are strongly connected.
Winterfell Funeral Pyers
The Battle of Winterfell was won, but mankind had to pay a price. To burn massive amount of corpses, big funeral pyres had to be designed. We went throgh various concepts until we found a nice balance between a respectful arrangment and a maximum number of corpses - after all a lot of people died in the battle. We really didn´t want to show high amounts of bodies carlessly put on top of each other - the Northerneres want to honour the soldiers that gave the ultimate sacrifice.
These slides show sketches to discuss the best angle to portrait the funeral pyres. These sketches save us a lot of time in the long run and give an early ímpression on how the design might look like.
The main characters have to say goodbye to some of their loved ones as well. Nobles and hero characters were given more space to have a funeral suitable for their class.
The first sketch I did for the hero funeral. Rough sketches like these are fantastic to get a conversation going. You need to see concepts so you can judge ideas. We are very visual beings. Words can be very ambivalent. With the first sketch, the written words become alive and for the first time you get a glimpse of how a world could look like. I have often experienced how people have agreed on a certain ideas and when the first sketch is done, they are surprised that everyone had a different vision in mind after all.
I was very happy to contribute a few concepts for the newly constructed King´s Landing Set in Belfast. Art Director Nick Wilkinson wanted to see the look and expanse of debris after the destruction of the city´s gates. The Layout of debris should give way to the Dothraki Riders into the city. The concept also shows the amount of destruction on the scorpions and the city itself.
The last scene I worked on was also one of the last scenes of Game of Thrones. I had to develop the look of the harbour, everyone is leaving to new fortunes - and so is Jon.
Jaime and Euron clash against each other at the shores of Northern Ireland. Deb wanted me to design the set extension to give the impression we are in King´s Landing.
Silence - Flagship of the Iron Fleet
The silence was slightly extended this season. The concept above shows the guards happily carousing - distracted they don´t see Theon and his crew emerging on the side of the deck. The party is over.
The “Silence“ Euron´s Flagship as well as the rest of the Iron Fleet was equipped with massive scorpions to fight Daenerys Dragons´. Since I have concepted the Silence in Season 7 I was asked to come up with different ways to construct a platform in the front of the ship.