In the wilds of Westeros, where the HSBO series Games of Thrones is set, a storm is blowing against The Wall, a 700ft-high, 300-mile-long barrier guarding the kingdom’s polar extremities.
The wall, which keeps at bay dangerous monsters thought to be lurking deep in the northern wastes, is just one of the amazing sets sculpted by Dungannon artist Darren Sutton.
The talented designer, who is based in a workshop at the Dungannon Enterprise Centre, has worked on three of the four series of the television adaptation of George RR Martin’s medieval-flavoured novel series.
Darren has been instrumental in creating a myriad of fantastical sets and props to create the special visual flavour of the hugely popular series.
In an exclusive for the Tyrone Times, Darren has supplied us with pictures of his masterpieces which have been kept under wraps to date by the programme’s producers.
His shots give a privileged glimpse at the huge amount of craft and elbow grease that goes into creating the sets that help make the medieval-flavoured fantasy series completely real.
“Even though the actual polar wall we made for the set was only 120 feet long and 50 feet wide, it was still a huge amount of work, with a team of eight sculptors working on it for six weeks”, said Darren.
“A model of the wall was created first, and then the set was carved from polystyrene. For more detailed sets we used clay. We’ve made loads of the figures that way.”
Darrren works on set six days a week and is up every morning at 6am. He says that it takes a lot of passion and stamina to construct the iconic sets.
“For the big sets such as the polar wall, a lot of graft is needed. Fortunately, I’m part of a team and we all have a bit of craic to keep ourselves going.
“Every now and again, an actor will wander into view, such as Sean Bean or Charles Dance. It’s great to a part of something that has gripped the public imagination and is a world-wide hit.
“There is a wonderful spirit on set and you feel very much part of a team.”
Darren confessed that hasn’t had time to watch any of the series himself, so busy has been working behind the scenes.
“When you’re working six days a week and spending your free time applying for commissions for future sculptures, you don’t have much time left to unwind.
“However, I have the series at home, and am looking forward to being able to watch them in full.”
For a glimpse of true visual magic visit the Tyrone Times website at www.tyrone.times.co.uk to watch the video of images taken of the Games of Thrones sets.