You may have watched all six seasons of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” six times each. You may have cosplayed as every character, tattooed their greatest quotes on yourself and named your first-born child Hodor. But even then, there are two important elements of the beloved fantasy series that have likely eluded your awareness: Its between-takes sense of humor, and its immensely-talented behind-the-scenes crew.
This year at San Diego Comic-Con, HBO seems determined to correct that. If there is a theme to the duo of fan-favorite videos unveiled Friday (July 22), it seems to be a throwback to the famous tagline from Kevin Spacey’s “American Beauty”: Look closer.
The first video is crudely labeled “In-Production Tease,” as TV networks and film studios often dub slick, breathless videos meant to show investors and exhibitors just enough to get them interested in a project in their pipeline. But much like “Game of Thrones” itself, this video is a masterstroke in form, giving us a whole new appreciation for the artistry behind the art.
You may think that the castles of Westeros, the catacombs of Winterfell and the opulence of the Freys simply exist like a New York street in a Woody Allen movie because they seem so real. But look closer via the clip and you’ll see talented human hands sanding the soundstages, crafting the flags and stitching the garments that make the series seem so authentic. Played over memorable quotes from the show, it’s a powerful piece that teases you with its “Confidential”-labeled script of the first episode of Season 7.
On its surface, the other clip could not be any more different. It has Peter Dinklage flubbing his lines, Emilia Clarke awkwardly riding on the back of a CGI dragon, and a dead, naked Jon Snow covering up his naughty bits. The clip reminds you that when you look closer, you’ll see that there are actual human beings behind all the self-serious world-building, breaking up the tedium between takes by dancing, teasing and dropping a few F-bombs.
“Ugh!” sighs Dinklage at one point, trying to get through a complex line of dialogue. “It sucks!” Peter, watching these two videos, we couldn’t disagree with you more.