Karakter design studio in Germany were brought on by HBO to do the concept art for pretty much every VFX shot in the show's second season. Including the epic Battle of Blackwater.
Having made a name for themselves doing video game work, on series like Killzone and The Settlers, they won themselves an Emmy last year for their contributions to the effects in Game of Thrones.
In the gallery below, you'll see some of the best examples of their work. What's interesting here is the fact that in many cases half the scene had already been shot by the actors; Karakter's role was to take that green screen and/or location work and then imagine the epic fantasy landscape required to flesh out HBO's vision of Westeros.
You'll want to expand the images; in standard size many will simply look like screengrabs; it's only seen at full size that you see the artist's brush strokes turning a drab location into a towering castle.
The way Harrenhal is "built" is amazing.
You can see more of Karakter's work at their company site.
To see the larger pics in all their glory (or, if they’re big enough, so you can save them as wallpaper), click on the “expand” button in the bottom-right corner.
Fine Art is a celebration of the work of video game artists, showcasing the best of both their professional and personal portfolios. If you're in the business and have some concept, environment, promotional or character art you'd like to share, drop us a line!