You'd think that in a world where death is but a concept; where zombies walk upon ice and fire-breathing dragons soar through the skies; where a boy can travel through time and men made from stone are an actual thing, that the inclusion of a zombie polar bear would've caused not a single eye to blink. However, as it turns out, the Game of Thrones showrunners had to put up quite a fight to plonk an undead Arctic beast "Beyond the Wall."
Last week's installment of #GameofThrones saw Jon Snow's suicide squad venture onto the tundra in a reckless mission to bring a Wight to Westeros. Yet before they even stumbled upon the Night King's army, a giant zombie snow bear stormed in and kicked several troopers swiftly off the planet — RIP Thoros of Myr. The scene was pretty intense to say the least, but had David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had their way, we would have met the fearsome beast much, much sooner.
In a behind-the-scenes featurette, the Thrones helmers gave insight into how they tried to shoehorn the bear into the last four seasons of the show, only to be constantly met with choruses of "fuck off" from the special effects team. That means we could've been introduced to one back when Jon Snow was off galavanting with Ygritte — what a furry spanner that would've thrown into the works, eh! Benioff and Weiss recalled:
"We thought they would be so excited to do a zombie bear, and they were like: 'Oh my god, they’re serious about doing this fucking zombie bear' ... [They told us] in the nicest possible way — 'Fuck you. We cannot afford a zombie polar bear."
Well, clearly someone dug deep in their pockets this season for a zombie polar bear we did get — in the same episode as an ice dragon, no less! Yet with the ever-growing army of the dead, now seemed like a much more logical time to whack one into the wild. Weiss explained:
“This year made perfect sense that you could have one of these things out there, and we really put our four feet down and said goddamnit, we want a zombie polar bear.”
Well, props for the stubborn determination, guys — it really paid off!
Watch the showrunners talk about the logistics of bringing a zombie bear (back to) life in the feature below:
What zombie animal would you like to see on Game of Thrones?