How 72 Game of Thrones characters met their grisly demise

VFX studio Image Engine harnesses the power of VFX to kill off 72 people throughout GoT season 6.

If you watch hit fantasy drama Game of Thrones, you'll know the show's producers don't shy away from blood and gore. And season 6 was no exception. VFX studio Imagine Engine was responsible for many of the death scenes, using 3D art and VFX to create an impressive bodycount of 72 characters throughout the show's 10 episodes. So the studio's already impressive design portfolio also now includes 22 killed by sword, 14 by slit throat, one by pike and one by dog (ouch!). But its not all doom and gloom, the team also harnessed the power of VFX to bring one character back to life.

Some shots were really specific, like someone getting their head smashed directly against a wall

Edwin Holdsworth

Gore galore!

Blood and gore was, in fact, something of a specialty for the Image Engine team, who built on the effects they previously delivered for season five. 

“Some shots were really specific, like someone getting their head smashed directly against a wall,” says compositing lead Edwin Holdsworth. “To get the look right for that we filmed real meat being smashed. We used the same technique for shots where one character has their hand pulled apart. The best way to match the level of gore needed was to pull some meat apart, and use that in the comp. It all felt more realistic that way!” 

Watch Image Engine's breakdown reel below, which digs deeper into the blood and gore witnessed, from soldiers hit by arrows to Ramsey Bolton's grisly demise. Warning: don't watch if you haven't eaten your breakfast yet! 


Kerrie Hughes is associate editor at Creative Bloq. Her employment at Future Publishing began in January 2010 as staff writer for 3D World magazine. Since then, she's written regularly for other publications, including ImagineFX and Computer Arts magazines.