Besides being the largest asset in Westeros, King’s Landing would also undergo the most change in season eight, requiring a full redesign from the ground up. With new elements like The West Gate and Throne Room coming in, the previous design needed more detail and scope to support a flight from the outside in.
Instead of building both exterior and interior models, Elastic put everything into one asset – so as the camera flies down into the spiral staircase, there would be a perfect, unbroken transition from the exterior to the Skull Room. The team worked with the showrunners to include specific details, like a crossbow pointed at a dragon skull and the spiral staircase itself, only to find out later that these were actually Easter eggs that foreshadowed future events.
“Dan, David and Greg [Spence] gave us just enough to get it right, so just like the fans, we could have our own aha! moments down the road,” said Shintani.
When it came to the finale, Elastic got a bit more. Knowing that King’s Landing would be leveled in episode five, showrunners asked Elastic to reflect the devastation in the credits, giving them just enough concept art to get the gears turning.
“We were all a little bit hesitant to look at it, since we didn’t want to spoil it for ourselves! Once we started, Dan and David kept telling us to destroy more, so we just kept breaking everything,” said Shintani. “We really wanted the idea of the mechanical underpinnings to come through, so if you look back at any of the destruction, you’ll notice that the parts are still moving and clicking in place, as if something inside has broken. This way the locations don’t feel static or like a pile of parts. They are still part of a larger structure within.”