Yet another data point in the ongoing conversation about the increasingly prominent role of VFX and CGI in big-budget TV of late: HBO has pledged that, yes, Paddy Considine’s weird green fingers in House Of The Dragon are going to be fixed.
Eagle-eyed viewers/undercover finger perverts will have noticed the effects goof about 40 minutes into the Game Of Thrones prequel’s most recent episode, “Second Of His Name,” when Considine’s King Viserys hands a letter to one of his soldiers, revealing that two of his fingers have become tragically, and very suddenly, Grinchified.
Within the fiction of the show—and as seen in other scenes in that same episode—Viserys’ fingers ring finger and pinky on his left hand are withered stumps, presumably due to Westeros medicine-level attempts to treat the cuts he picked up from the notoriously prickly Iron Throne. Instead of serving as a ham-fisted metaphor for the dangers of power, though, said digits are now serving as a ham-fisted metaphor for not relying on greenscreen for every damn visual you want to pull off, since the unfinished effect ended up being left in the show.
Per Variety, HBO intends to fix the mistake, lest it be buried once again under the mockery of that whole Starbucks cup thing we all had to suffer through a few years back. Really, though, this feels significant mostly as a reminder that Hollywood’s visual effects houses have been getting massively over-worked of late, as studios have pushed to have movie-level CGI be pumped out at a weekly episode rate. When not even one of the most expensive shows currently going can keep up the façade of smooth digital production, it’s not hard to get the sense that the entire system is lurching under the increasingly strident demands.