Exclusive: Watch Game of Thrones' Ice Wall Climb Come to Life in Storyboard Form

A handful of Will Simpson’s storyboards from the ice climb in Game of Thrones season three.
A handful of Will Simpson’s storyboards from the ice climb in Game of Thrones season three.
Image: Insight Editions

Great visual storytelling starts with visuals to explain the storytelling. Storyboards, for example, are used to convey the drama and how the action of a scene is going to unfold long before cameras start rolling. A new book called Game of Thrones: The Storyboards dives deep into that aspect of the hit show, with detailed looks at key moments from the first seven seasons.


However, a book can only show so much. So, io9 is excited to exclusively debut this little clip featuring Will Simpson, the book’s author, who was the principal storyboard artist for all eight seasons of Game of Thrones. Here, Simpson talks about episode 306, “The Climb,” which featured the memorable scene of Tormund, Jon, and Ygrette climbing the Wall.

Even cooler than seeing the storyboards themselves, which are gorgeous and do a pretty solid job of approximating what ended up on the screen, is seeing Simpson’s studio. Imagine all the scenes we love that were visualized and mapped out for the first time in that room. It’s a nice little niche of Thrones history.

If that is his studio, of course, and not just some set. But I think it’s his studio.

Anyway, for more on Simpson’s storyboard book, visit this link. And check out some of our previous coverage and art at this link.

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Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo. Formerly of Premiere, EW, Us Weekly, and Slashfilm. AP Award-Winning Film Critic and CCA member. Loves Star Wars, posters, Legos, and often all three at once.


I admire storyboard artists so much. This is probably the art form I most wish I had talent for. Gorgeous stuff!