For fans of Game of Thrones, Episode 9 saw the departure of a certain character many loved to hate. But just how did HBO film that scene?
SPOILER ALERT: This article contains information on Episode 9 of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers.
The thing about Game of Thrones is that it takes ordinary TV fans and turns them into bloodthirsty animals every Sunday night. Who will die? Who will be lucky enough to survive? How much nudity will HBO reveal this week? When will Daenerys and her dragons show up to kill people?
In Episode 9 of Game of Thrones, many lives were lost. While most of them were unknown knights defending Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon), there were a few beloved characters. The youngest Stark, Rickon (Art Parkinson) lost his life when he didn’t zigzag while running away from the man with the bow and arrow. Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun (Ian Whyte), the giant who lived north of the Wall also lost his life, but not before he battered down the entrance to Winterfell to help Jon reclaim it. But, it was everyone’s favorite villain who really stole the limelight when it came to monumental kills in Episode 9 of Game of Thrones.
Ramsay Bolton was the character who quickly replaced King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) as the character Game of Thrones fans loved to hate. Not only was he sick and twisted, he managed to take over Winterfell and marry Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), a marriage that was horrifically violent on Ramsay’s behalf. And if there is one thing that will turn a Game of Throne‘s fan against a character, it’s doing wrong by a Stark.
But Sansa got her revenge on Ramsay in Episode 9. Not only did her army defeat Ramsay’s, but her half brother Jon Snow pummeled Ramsay’s face into a bloody mess that was fitting for the meal she made of him at the end of the episode. You see Sansa fed Ramsay to his own hounds, the very ones he had bragged about not feeding for seven days before the Battle of the Bastards. It was his plan to feed the traitors (i.e. the Starks) to his hounds as retribution for attempting to reclaim their birthplace. Instead, it was Sansa who let the dogs out and Ramsay who was turned into dog meat.
But, how did HBO film this scene? It sure looked like one of Ramsay’s hounds had entered the room and was circling Ramsay. Then, when the dog sat up and sniffed at Ramsay’s face as he told the hound to sit, it certainly looked like the hound was right there in Ramsay’s face. But, as the director of Episode 9, Miguel Sapochnik, revealed to The New York Post, it was all CGI work when it came to the hound.
The hound in question is an actual dog. His name is Odin. Initially, Odin was recorded “biting a football covered in barbecue sauce or some savory snack,” on a green-screen stage. Odin was then added into the scene with Ramsay later on. Sapochnik explains to The New York Post, “That particular dog was never in the same room room as Iwan. It was just too dangerous.”
For the actor that played Ramsay, Iwan Rheon had to imagine Odin was there as he acted out the scene. “I just imagined it,”he said. “I’ve seen the dogs and I know what they’re like. It helped my imagination.” Rheon knew his time was up in Game of Thrones from when production began on Season 6. He also knew in what manner his character would die, but the show’s executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss assured him the scene would be shot without the dogs present.
What did you think of Ramsay’s death in Episode 9 of Game of Thrones? Let us know by commenting below!
“Season Finale. Cersei faces her trial.”
[Image via Helen Sloan/HBO]