Pixomondo press release details season two VFX work
By Winter Is Coming on in Press, Production.

Pixomondo has issued a press release describing some of the work they have done on the second season of Game of Thrones. Animation World Network has the full release. Here’s a snippet:

After the filming in Belfast, Croatia and Iceland for about 150 shooting days was complete, plates were turned over to Pixomondo. Though episodes were tackled primarily in order, Pixomondo began prepping the more difficult, VFX-heavy shots long before plates were received. On set, Gombos used storyboards and had an on-site previs team as well as a production designer so the shots were fully visualized before the cameras started rolling. Many of these complicated shots involved dragons, which were first revealed in the season one finale.

“The dragons mature this season so their look is more fierce,” Gombos explained. “In the first season, the dragons are freshly hatched so they are more delicate. We changed the proportions up a bit and made the spikes more prominent so the dragons are much more menacing now.”

Pixomondo’s renowned creature specialist, Dan Katcher, who works out of the company’s Burbank office and designed many of the dinosaurs in “Terra Nova,” helped to model the new dragons. The Pixomondo team in Frankfurt tweaked the designs further and provided the animation to realistically bring the dragons to life.

In addition to creating the dragons, Pixomondo also did a substantial amount of set extensions, battle augmentation and some additional creature work. The on-set production designer helped develop the look of the sweeping shots. Then Pixomondo was tasked with capturing the essence of Westeros, the fictional continent in which the series takes place.

For the first season of “Game of Thrones,” dogs were substituted for the direwolves, an unusually large and intelligent species of wolf in Westeros. In the second season, actual wolves were used. Using a variety of filming tricks and techniques, the shots were augmented to make the wolves appear larger and then composited with the background and actor passes for the final shots.

“The entire process of filming the wolves was quite complicated and required a great amount of precision, but the final shots with the supersized wolves really deliver the right impact,” said Gombos.

Winter Is Coming: Say what you will about how judicious the writers have been with showing the dragons and direwolves; but when they have been on-screen, they have been very impressive. That is thanks to the hard work of Pixomondo.


54 Comments

  1. David
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    you mean judicious, not judicial

  2. Weirwood
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Awesome! Love all of the behind-the-scenes stuff!

  3. DavosFTW!
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    What does judge Judy have to do with anything?

  4. Winter Is Coming
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    David:
    you mean judicious, not judicial

    Yes, thank you!

    DavosFTW!:
    What does judge Judy have to do with anything?

    :P

  5. John Connington
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Lol @ all the people who hated on this when it was first announced.

  6. John Connington
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Can we get a tumbler update with pics of the dire wolves/dragons? the dragons look really sick.

  7. Klavonivs
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    When i saw they’re demo clip of what they’ve done and working on I wasn’t worried with their results…I think they went above and beyond with what they did, or they’d have an army of haters after them!!! I think they knew they had better get this done right and as far as I’m concerned, they couldn’t have done a better job. And remember, this is a tv series, not a hollywood blockbuster. Bravo and thanks!!

  8. Arthur
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    The lack of fantasy elements being shown in the second season is noticable. The 1st few episodes with Greywind and Bran warging and Dany trying to feed her dragons were awesome. But since then the direwolves/dragons have been rarely seen and when they are seen they are just in the foreground or backround.

    I hope we get a little taste of the direwolves (Maybe Ghost kicking some ass) or the dragons (Dany being reunited with them) before season 2 is over.

    On the other hand, when the direwolves/dragons are shown, they look pretty freaking awesome. So if I were to have to choose between seeing them a lot, with weak CGI, or seeing them only a few times, with awesome CGI… I would say less is more in this case since the CGI is pretty amazing (for a TV series).

    If we get to see Ghost help Jon Snow kill the Halfhand. (And by doing so amaze the wildlings). That would be a really good makeup for lack of direwolf/dragon action so far, IMHO. =)

  9. 78789
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    I think they’ve done a great job!

  10. Wrath of the Gods
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    When you put it like that, I agree less is more. But they cant pull this off forever, the direwolves/dragons are too huge to the series to only et a peek-a-boo for literally only seconds every few episodes. I understand it’s expensive, but I’m still a little disappointed.

    Arthur:
    The lack of fantasy elements being shown in the second season is noticable.The 1st few episodes with Greywind and Bran warging and Dany trying to feed her dragons were awesome.But since then the direwolves/dragons have been rarely seen and when they are seen they are just in the foreground or backround.

    I hope we get a little taste of the direwolves (Maybe Ghost kicking some ass) or the dragons (Dany being reunited with them) before season 2 is over.

    On the other hand, when the direwolves/dragons are shown, they look pretty freaking awesome.So if I were to have to choose between seeing them a lot, with weak CGI, or seeing them only a few times, with awesome CGI…I would say less is more in this case since the CGI is pretty amazing (for a TV series).

    If we get to see Ghost help Jon Snow kill the Halfhand. (And by doing so amaze the wildlings).That would be a really good makeup for lack of direwolf/dragon action so far, IMHO.=)

  11. Morrigan
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    The dragons looked good so far, but we haven’t seen them much. Glad to see this company improved, though, because the dinosaurs in Terra Nova were abysmally bad.

  12. Arthur
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Wrath of the Gods,

    When you put it like that, I agree less is more. But they cant pull this off forever, the direwolves/dragons are too huge to the series to only et a peek-a-boo for literally only seconds every few episodes. I understand it’s expensive, but I’m still a little disappointed.

    I am too…

    But you still have to take in account the budget/time constraint factor. Remember this isnt a 200 million dollar hollywood production for a 90 minute film. This is what… 60 million for 10 hours or something?

    If you look at the quality and factor in the budget/time constraint, then the CGI and amount shown is amazing…

    Now, I am not a CGI artist or hollywood insider so I could be wrong but I think season 3 we will see a lot more because we now have the groundwork layed out for the CGIed direwolves and dragons. So instead of spending, IDK, 1/4th the CGI budget/time on concept and design and all that, we can now spend the entire CGI budget on showing what they have already created…

  13. Dennis
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting and for the most part I’ve been impressed w the CGI/fx EXCEPT for the direwolves this season. Yes I share the complaint that they re not shown enough but my biggest complaint is that imho they look very odd because they don’t appear to properly blend with the rest of the scene. It’s as if they’re copied and pasted on the screen. Perhaps that’s the difference between movie budget and a tv budget. I love this show and don’t mean to nitpick but that just takes away a bit from the overall immersion.
    I understand we can’t expect WETA workshop type quality on a tv show though!

  14. Matt Chung
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Morrigan,

    It wasn’t that they improved, it was more like they had far fewer shots than Terra Nova to do than in GoT. I mean, Terra Nova probably had well over two hours of full-on CGI and when you’re running with a tight schedule you simply don’t have the time or resources to make the dinos look that amazing. With GoT, however, there’s probably no more than ten minutes of full-on CGI (dragons and direwolves) and the rest is superimposing and all that, which I’d imagine would be considerably easier than 3D dino models. So I think Pixomondo has had it all along, they just didn’t have the time or resources to make something amazing out of Terra Nova, which is a pity.

  15. Joshua Taylor
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone know if there will be a Baratheon fleet defending the Bay from Stannis? Or is it just Stannis’ fleet involved in the battle?

  16. WompWomp
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Arther, I’d watch your terminology, specifically your use of “warging” as it’s a pretty spoiler-tastic word to drop that could provoke a few enlightening Google searches. I don’t doubt your intentions, just be careful. :]

  17. WompWomp
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Matt Chung,

    Some companies pleasantly shock me with the gap in quality between their best projects and their worst output, especially animation studios. It really comes down to budget, time constraints, and the spirit of the project. Some exceptionally talented studios can churn out utter trash because of a stunted budget. A job’s a job, and a job doesn’t always demand output with an emphasis on the art aspect.

    Dennis,

    You clearly neglected to put on your 3-D glasses during the Ghost scenes. FYI, they were ball-bastingly INSAAAAANE. @_@

  18. John Webster
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Off Topic: The Season 2 Soundtrack is up on iTunes!

  19. Pastor_of_Muppets
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    For me it’s not just a matter of budget when it comes to seeing the dragons and the direwolves, but also a matter a discretion. I’ve started dubbing it the “Transformers” effect, where the first couple of times we saw a transformation it was incredible, but eventually you become used to it and it doesn’t seem as special and/or visually exciting to see them. Less is often more, and considering that Westeros is no Middle Earth, I’m totally fine with the decision to use the creatures sparingly.

  20. Leuf
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Delivery of episodes has ranged anywhere from six weeks to four months and episodes feature anywhere from 60 to over 140 VFX shots.

    A man had no idea there was this much going on. A company must have done a good job.

  21. Arthur
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    John Webster,

    Off Topic: The Season 2 Soundtrack is up on iTunes!

    Awesome!!! About to go DL and listen to it… =)

  22. Arthur
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Had a little trouble finding it…

    Got to search the artist. It has the picture of the hand holding the gold crown up, that old fan poster…

  23. Knurk
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    John Webster:
    Off Topic: The Season 2 Soundtrack is up on iTunes!

    Arthur:
    Arthur,

    Had a little trouble finding it…

    Got to search the artist.It has the picture of the hand holding the gold crown up, that old fan poster…

    freakin rains of castamere baby, very cool.

    And the last song is THREE BLASTS!

  24. House Snow
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    I’m real happy with the FX this season. I don’t mind the sparse shots we get of creatures as long as Blackwater, which imo is the most important FX for the season, probably followed by the HOTU, and even the shadow were more important, not to mention aboiding the numbers/size issue we saw with the tourny and hunt last year. Scattered but good shots of the wolves and dragons are ok for now

  25. Meg
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    loved their work this season and hope they stay on for the rest of the series! most impressive: Ghost, Drogon, shadow baby birth, shot of Haranhall, everything really!

  26. Arthur
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    freakin rains of castamere baby, very cool.

    And the last song is THREE BLASTS!

    “Pay the Iron Price”, is that trance like song that starts after Theon has the miller boys tarred, hung and raised up from the gates for the Winterfell folk to see…

    My fav so far! Now when I hear that tune, those images will forever by ingrained into my head…

  27. Lex
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Wow, that’s crazy about the soundtrack! The Rains of Castamere, with lyrics, and apparently it’s performed/written by the band The National?

  28. SillyMammo
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    They did a great job with the f/x this season, but where are the Reeds?!!? j/k :0P

  29. Assunta
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Arthur:
    Wrath of the Gods,

    Now, I am not a CGI artist or hollywood insider so I could be wrong but I think season 3 we will see a lot more because we now have the groundwork layed out for the CGIed direwolves and dragons.So instead of spending, IDK, 1/4th the CGI budget/time on concept and design and all that, we can now spend the entire CGI budget on showing what they have already created…

    I totally buy into this theory.

  30. Andrew
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Arthur,

    It wont help as much as you might think, really. They already have the models conceptualised, but that’s a pretty small part of the process. And because the dragons and wolves are older/get bigger, they’ll still need to do a bit of preplanning again, as well as redoing the 3D models to account for the growth. which means redoing all the textures and shaders too. We also have the possibility that they’ll have to do some CG Giants as well.. All in all, I think we’ll be seeing around the same amount of fantastical beasts in season 3 as we are now,, unless they get a budget increase.

  31. Wolfheart
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    We should to start a HBO GOT VFX fundraiser. So we get more dragons, direwolves and other vfx!

    …hmmm. I wonder how much it could raise…

  32. Arthur
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    Andrew,

    It wont help as much as you might think, really. They already have the models conceptualised, but that’s a pretty small part of the process. And because the dragons and wolves are older/get bigger, they’ll still need to do a bit of preplanning again, as well as redoing the 3D models to account for the growth. which means redoing all the textures and shaders too. We also have the possibility that they’ll have to do some CG Giants as well.. All in all, I think we’ll be seeing around the same amount of fantastical beasts in season 3 as we are now,, unless they get a budget increase.

    Booooo! Well, we will get a lot of cool fantasy stuff with Bran’s storyline. Also, there arent any huge battle scenes like Blackwater planned (is there?). So I am thinking we may get more CGI Direwolves/Dragons (Praying anyway).

    We will see. But you are right. They have other CGI stuff like the “White Walkers”, possibly Giants and who knows what else.

    I can’t wait to see what a fullgrown Direwolf looks like. You know the male wolves fill out a lot once they reach maturity (about 3 years)… Their heads get larger and their chests get way more musclare along with everything else…

    So much epicness yet to come…

  33. Arthur
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    Wolfheart,

    We should to start a HBO GOT VFX fundraiser. So we get more dragons, direwolves and other vfx!

    …hmmm. I wonder how much it could raise…

    Good idea… I’d give 20 bucks and I am sure lots of fans would!

    Call D&D with this idea… =)

  34. Chris77
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    Andrew:
    Arthur,

    It wont help as much as you might think, really. They already have the models conceptualised, but that’s a pretty small part of the process. And because the dragons and wolves are older/get bigger, they’ll still need to do a bit of preplanning again, as well as redoing the 3D models to account for the growth. which means redoing all the textures and shaders too. We also have the possibility that they’ll have to do some CG Giants as well.. All in all, I think we’ll be seeing around the same amount of fantastical beasts in season 3 as we are now,, unless they get a budget increase.

    Well, in the article you can see that it sure helps to have the assets. They modified the existing Dragon models to make them more mature and did not have to build them from scratch. Same goes for locations, like the Red Keep, Castle Black, or for the coming seasons the Twins or the Eyrie. I recently read an interview with Dave Filoni from Star Wars: Clone Wars and he said that their Effect budget has stayed the same over the seasons even though the quality and diversity of the effects has increased a lot due to the reuse of already created assets. But not only the visual effect budget is positvely affected by this but the whole production, because of the sets and costumes (armor) that won’t have to be created anew each season, or locations that have already been scouted and filming permits to be negotiated.

  35. Langkard
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    The quality of the CGI is fantastic. I don’t care that the dire wolves aren’t perfect, as some seem to want them. You want the Mona Lisa, you have to pay for the Mona Lisa. We’re getting a Luini instead. I’m fine with that!

    The dragons, the dire wolves and all of the little CGI effects we barely even notice are great. HBO is getting great value for the money. Could they spend more? Sure! And we’d end up getting less because the series itself would be in jeopardy. I think the balance is just right; although a fan-based fundraiser for even more would be wonderful.

  36. Macha
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    John Connington:
    Lol @ all the people who hated on this when it was first announced.

    Nothing much to add, just felt like this should be reiterated. :)

  37. goober
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    no complaints from me.although i dont think grey wind needed to snap at the kingslayers face.just standing there looking menacing was enough.bravo otherwise.job well done so far.

  38. Kalice
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    I really love what they have done with the dragons. They look real. The wolves we never see. I watch GOT with someone who did not watch last season. He asked me last week what a direwolf was! He had no idea Ghost is Jon’s wolf or that Rob and Bran also have a wolf. The wolves are just not a strong part of the TV show this season. Part of the reason I think book Jon is so cool is b/c he has a bad ass wolf. Tv Jon has a white wolf we see walking through a shot every few episodes.

  39. Nagga's Kin
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    IMHO, the dragons were very few and far between this season but when we did see them, they were executed well. My only beef was the BBQ scene, which I thought quite ridiculous. Since when do animals (other than hominids) cook their food? However, that storyboard wasn’t Pixomondo’s decision, they “just” did the technical work of bringing it to videotape.

    I’d have much preferred to see a variation of that scene: Dracerys would have hissed a little fire in Doreah’s direction, in response to a movement that he perceived as e.g. an attempt to steal his food. Startled, she’d have protested in Lysian, only to be gently corrected by Dany speaking the reprimand more sternly and in High Valerian. Power is nothing without control, she could have explained. Targaryen children would always have been tutored in the family’s secret dragon lore by heart, even after the last one had hatched, just in case the magnificent beasts might return one day.

    A change of just a couple of sentences, but useful for making Dany’s story more coherent.

    Left unspoken, at least in that scene: The lore would not work without a supernatural bond of blood, which one of her distant ancestors had established and then sought to preserve by keeping the Targaryen bloodlines pure while their dragons reproduced on their own. When Mirri Maz Duur told her that her unborn son was (or had turned into) a grotesque human-reptile hybrid corpse full of maggots, our heat-resistant Dany concluded she had enough dragon in her to renew the ancient bond. She’s would not be just the “mother” of these three dragons, she’d be the origin of a whole new lineage of them, stretching over centuries to come.

    I have no idea if anything like this is in GRRM’s books. Frankly, the details of the backstory don’t matter as much as its implications:

    - hiding inside a huge dragon skull in the tunnels underneath the Red Keep, Arya had observed a secret meeting between Varys and Illyrio, in which they discussed the best time to return a Targaryen to the throne. Illyrio had earlier given Dany a wedding gift of three dragon eggs. Those were expensive precisely because dragons would be a political game changer wherever they went. He obviously hoped Dany might find a way to hatch them and then control them.

    - even Pyat Pree and Xaro, who proved they have no compunction about killing rivals, knew the hatchlings would do them no good at all without Dany’s willing participation in a quasi-Faustian pact. That would make sense if they believed she’s the only living person who could wield the secret lore.

    - since Lysian is a derivative of Valyrian and Doreah is Dany’s BFF plus a dragon buff in her own right, it would make sense that she could easily interact with the dragons while Irri gave them a wide berth.

  40. WompWomp
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Nagga’s Kin,

    re: WTFDRAGONBBQ?

    The dragon (why are they unnamed in the show this far into Season 2?) cooking the meat is totally in keeping with GRRM’s vision in his series. Dragons are hinted to be unusually intelligent animals, and the only other organisms (barring hominids, as you said) known to cook their food. This is a little mini-hurdle for Dany in the books as she can’t get her dragons to eat anything after hatching them. It’s the revelation that they eat cooked meat that saves them. Dany has to cook for them at first, as a dragon parent presumably would. In short, they’re elemental engines of fiery death with a taste for well-cooked steak, which is awesome.

    Also, “dracarys” is not the dragon’s name. It’s High Valyrian for “dragonfire,” a command of sorts in this context. (“Martha, speak!”) The show has not formally named the dragons for some reason…

  41. LoF
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    WompWomp,

    Unless I’m mistaken, they haven’t even formally named all the direwolves.

  42. Pastor_of_Muppets
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    LoF,

    All the direwolves have been named in the show, except for Grey Wind.

  43. Nagga's Kin
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp:
    Nagga’s Kin,

    re: WTFDRAGONBBQ?

    The dragon (why are they unnamed in the show this far into Season 2?) cooking the meat is totally in keeping with GRRM’s vision in his series. Dragons are hinted to be unusually intelligent animals, and the only other organisms (barring hominids, as you said) known to cook their food. This is a little mini-hurdle for Dany in the books as she can’t get her dragons to eat anything after hatching them. It’s the revelation that they eat cooked meat that saves them. Dany has to cook for them at first, as a dragon parent presumably would. In short, they’re elemental engines of fiery death with a taste for well-cooked steak, which is awesome.

    Also, “dracarys” is not the dragon’s name. It’s High Valyrian for “dragonfire,” a command of sorts in this context. (“Martha, speak!”) The show has not formally named the dragons for some reason…

    LOL, I guess that’s what happens when you try to make sense of Dany’s story without having read the books! At least I managed to correctly guess that the dragons take their commands in High Valerian, though I didn’t realize “dracarys” was one of them. I thought that was the critter’s name.

    I recall that Dany complained in ep 11 that her dragons were not eating properly, but I don’t recall her figuring out she needed to cook the meat first. I’ll check, maybe I missed something.

  44. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I think they’ve done a great job with things, especially the dragons.

    The only petty criticism I had was the Ghost/Gilly scene. It wasn’t blatant, but I thought there was a little bit of an uncanny valley effect going on there. Ghost almost looked real, but something about his movement tripped me out. I suppose he’s probably harder to animate since he’s albino (because he shows up much brighter on screen, and is therefore more defined), but that was my only nitpick. It really wasn’t a big deal, I’m not complaining, just something I noticed.

    But overall, the effects have been big budget movie-quality, so HBO has really gotten their money’s worth, IMO. Can’t wait to see the dragons in Meereen.

  45. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp:
    Nagga’s Kin,

    Also, “dracarys” is not the dragon’s name. It’s High Valyrian for “dragonfire,” a command of sorts in this context. (“Martha, speak!”) The show has not formally named the dragons for some reason…

    I find this interesting. Because if “dracarys” means dragon fire, and valar morghulis” means “All Men Must Die”, does that mean “Varys” means “Fire Man” or “Man of Fire”? Just wondering. I’ve always been interested in language.

  46. Knurk
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Varamyr Fourskins: I find this interesting. Because if “dracarys” means dragon fire, and valar morghulis” means “All Men Must Die”, does that mean “Varys” means “Fire Man” or “Man of Fire”? Just wondering. I’ve always been interested in language.

    ha, that’s pretty cool thinking.

  47. Lex
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Pastor_of_Muppets:
    LoF,

    All the direwolves have been named in the show, except for Grey Wind.

    I’m pretty sure they haven’t named Summer either.

  48. Wrath of the Gods
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Varamyr Fourskins

    That just blew my mind

  49. Nagga's Kin
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Varamyr Fourskins: I find this interesting. Because if “dracarys” means dragon fire, and valar morghulis” means “All Men Must Die”, does that mean “Varys” means “Fire Man” or “Man of Fire”? Just wondering. I’ve always been interested in language.

    From what I gather, High Valerian and its bastardizations haven’t received the David J. Peterson treatment yet. He’s the professional language creator who fleshed out Dothraki, another of GRRM’s tongues. For now, please refer to the (WARNING: spoilers!) ASOIAF wiki page for High Valyrian, which I’ll abbreviate to HV here.

    The following is not at all official info, just a few of my personal guesses regarding HV:

    The words “valar” (men) and “valonqar” (little brother) suggest that HV is an agglutinative language, i.e. multiple nouns and particles can be compounded into a single new noun. By itself, the noun “val” might mean “person” or “human being”, depending on context.

    The suffix particle “-ar” doesn’t appear to indicate a grammatical number. Perhaps HV doesn’t even have separate singular and plural for nouns, relying instead on verb conjugations and/or articles (cp. “il signore” vs. “gli signore” in Italian) and/or semantic context (cp. Japanese). Perhaps then, “-ar” simply indicates the masculine gender.

    The embedded genetive particle “-onq-” would then signify “younger sibling” in right-to-left order, i.e. “valonqar” would literally translate to “masculine younger sibling of a human being”, i.e. “little brother”.

    We also have the word “dracarys” and the name “Viserys”, suggesting that “-a-” and “-e-” might be just binding vowels that ease pronounciation. However, they could also be grammatical particles in right-to-left order (cp. Japanese).

    It’s possible the word “rys” means “essence”, “spirit” or “soul” (cp. alchemical and hermetic interpretations of the same word). In GRRM’s world, dragons are real creatures born of fire and blood. Thus, “dracarys” would literally translate to either “dragonessence” or “essence of dragon”, i.e. “dragon fire” or perhaps “dragon breath”. The latter would be a better fit if WompWomp’s assertion that the noun can also be used in the imperative sense, i.e. “breathe fire, dragon!”

    The Wiki page on Varys states that he was born in Lys, where a bastardized version of HV is spoken. His name could be a malapropism of “valarys”. Assuming that word exists in HV, it might mean something like “human spirit”, possibly implying “indomitable spirit”. Alternatively, it might mean “first human” in reference to an (unknown) Valyrian creation myth (cp. Adam and Eve).

  50. Andrew
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Chris77,

    It all depends on how much the dragons are supposed to grow. They’re almost the same size now as they were at the finale from S1, but i’m assuming they’re going to get noticeably bigger soon. If they do get much bigger, than they can’t just use the models they already have (Well, they technically could, but from my experience it’d be a lot more trouble than necessary). If they don’t grow all that much though, then yeah, it’ll be a lot easier on them. I guess we’ll see in a year, haha.

  51. Suzaku
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Langkard:
    The quality of the CGI is fantastic.I don’t care that the dire wolves aren’t perfect, as some seem to want them.You want the Mona Lisa, you have to pay for the Mona Lisa.We’re getting a Luini instead.I’m fine with that!

    I personally think it’s hilarious when people complain that the direwolves don’t look realistic, BECAUSE THEY ARE REAL WOLVES.

    They filmed real wolves, scaled them up, and composited them into the shots. The only CGI use was to touch them up and blend them into the scenes.

  52. JasonB
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Eh…
    Very disapointed in the dragons from the first time they were shown. To me anyways Dragons have four limbs. The cool cute little thingys that HBO messed up are Wyverns.

  53. Mormegil
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    JasonB: Eh…Very disapointed in the dragons from the first time they were shown. To me anyways Dragons have four limbs. The cool cute little thingys that HBO messed up are Wyverns.

    Blame GRRM his Dragons have 2 legs.

  54. Laura T.
    Posted May 27, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp: You clearly neglected to put on your 3-D glasses during the Ghost scenes. FYI, they were ball-bastingly INSAAAAANE. @_@

    I actually agree with Dennis. I too have not been super impressed by the direwolves, something about the way they move…..too slow,not realistic/animalistic at all. I actually thought they looked far more realistic in season one when they were using dogs. The dragons on the other hand look great but we’ve seen very, very little of them. I wonder how they will apear full grown.