We hate to be the ones to break it to you, but Game of Thrones... isn't real. I know, I know, it's a hard truth to stomach. Gasp all you want, but the fact is that the battle for the Iron Throne is nothing more than an imaginary fable that was first made up in author George R.R. Martin's head.
Still, the good folks over at HBO certainly know how to make Westeros and its surrounding regions look realistic in its TV show adaptation, as evidenced most recently by everything we've seen so far from Game of Thrones season 8, which is just about to kick off.
Watch the ultimate Game of Thrones recap in just 16 minutes and get ready for the end
The dragons, White Walkers, and epic battles that bring our TV screens to life with each new season are all, of course, done so with HBO's cutting edge CGI wizardry, but strip back the technical magic to reveal what was really being filmed (as seen in the video above), and you discover the real stars of the show. And by real stars, I mean the guys carrying huge poles pretending to be giants, and a bear who’s made to look like he wants to eat Jaime Lannister, but really just wants a cream pie.
Do be mindful of mild spoilers in this extended look at Game of Thrones without special effects, but the peek behind the curtain is just one more way to get excited for the upcoming season before its premiere airs on April 14. Who knows what tricks the digital maestros at HBO pulled off for season 8? They've certainly got the budget to really go the extra mile this time, so I'm expecting all manner of make believe mayhem.
Now that you'll never be able to look at Daenerys' dragons in the same way again, have a read of the craziest Game of Thrones theories to consider before season 8 begins.