Winter, for those who live in the Northern Hemisphere, is not coming. It is, in fact, departing. But the sixth season of HBO’s massively popular Game Of Thrones premieres on April 24, and England’s Sky Atlantic is going to rather extreme lengths to promote it. The channel has enlisted the services of snow artist Simon Beck to create what must be the most extreme work of Thrones fan art in existence: a massive rendering of a direwolf with the legend “Winter Is Coming” created one footstep at a time in the pristine snow of the French Alps. Hardcore fans are apt to interpret this as a clue to the events of the upcoming season. The direwolf is a symbol of Stark family, after all, and the fact that this particular one is being depicted in the snow must be a symbol that bastard son Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) is coming back, right? The theory that this character isn’t really dead after all is a popular one among fans. So far, however, all that’s been confirmed is that Harrington will be appearing as a corpse.

But as for the snow art itself, how does one go about creating a picture of a giant direwolf in the virgin powder of the Alps? Very carefully. It’s a tricky, time-consuming, and labor-intensive process that involves finding a perfect stretch of land and then walking along precisely plotted coordinates. According to Digital Spy, Beck had to walk for 13 hours and 64,800 steps to complete the picture. And even then, he could not see the results from the ground. He had to wait until he could get an overhead view to see if it had come out correctly. And all this for a work of art that cannot and will not last in the natural world. Still and all, even when viewed on a computer screen or smartphone, this is an impressive visual achievement. Here’s hoping the next season of Game Of Thrones is deserving of this tribute.

[via Refinery 29]

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