The Game Of Thrones Season 6 Moment That Was Too Gruesome To Air

Regardless of how you may feel about Game of Thrones killing a character off, it's hard to argue against the effectiveness of the show's brutality when it puts someone down for the count. And Season 6 finally gave the world the long-anticipated demise of one Ramsay Bolton, who suffered that most unenviable fate of getting his face eaten off by a dog. And it turns out that fantastically horrifying moment was set up to go just a little longer for something just a little more disturbing.

According to visual effects company Image Engine supervisor Mat Krentz, that scene was set up as many of these usually are, where separate shots of the dog and the actor's face were put together in a composite that makes it look like Iwan Rheon was actually getting chomped. More to the point, Krentz also told Variety that some of the artists also created a CG representation of Ramsay's jaw with the skin being torn apart at the gums, getting further into the jaw visually being ripped away from his face. But someone decided it was a little too gruesome, and so the less complicated version that we saw is the one that got used.

Not like the imagination can't add the elasticity anyway. Over and over again.

ramsay death GIF game of thrones

Ramsay's death was by far one of the most understated in the series' six seasons, taking place in shadows as thick as the dread settling between the sadistic bastard and his victim-no-more Sansa. It didn't necessarily need to feature a bucket's worth of blood to make it more punchy - even the outlandish cranial demolition done to Oberyn Martell had to get scaled back from what was planned - and it might have overshadowed the scene's best element, which was obviously Sansa's enjoyment of the bloody goings-on.

Krentz and the Image Engine team were responsible for all 72 of the deaths seen in Season 6, and he has a great explanation for how they put together shots of heads smashing into walls and similarly gory bits.

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!

"When in doubt, meat, and even when there's no doubt," has always been one of my mottos, so it's good to hear that Game of Thrones brings the same point of view to things.

Game of Thrones isn't going come back to us for for quite a while, as Season 7 isn't set to debut on HBO until the summer of 2017 at the earliest. But there are thankfully tons of shows that will show up on your TVs in the meantime, and you can find a ton of them in our fall premiere schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.