First, Snow & Co. encounter the menacing zombie polar bear, which showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have been trying to get into the series for several seasons. For the first time, Weta Digital became involved in “GOT” to work on the bear (snagging its first Emmy nomination with Wayne Stables, the animation supervisor), and will play a much bigger role in Season Eight.
The trick was creating a convincing reanimated polar bear that still retained its basic look and behavior. “In doing photo research on dead polar bears, they lose their fat layer and the fur mats and goes away. They don’t look like polar bears anymore,” said Joe Bauer, the lead visual effects supervisor.