HBO spared no expense in making sure “Game of Thrones” looks as authentic as possible, and the effort shows. The hit fantasy series films in Northern Ireland, Iceland, Croatia, Morocco and, most recently, Los Angeles, which means that all that gorgeous cinematography in the series is authentic.

“Game of Thrones” returns north of The Wall in its third season, which means a portion of the cast and crew headed back to Iceland’s snowy landscape. A new “Making Of” vlog explores the Iceland set where Kit Harington, Ciaran Hinds and Rose Leslie have spent their time filming.

“It was very exciting to know that we were coming back for Season 3,” Leslie, who plays Ygritte, says. Newcomer Kristofer Hivju, who will portray Tormund Giantsbane, adds, “It’s the perfect place for ‘beyond the Wall.'”

The video shows off Iceland’s gorgeous landscape and the way it affects the actors filming. For instance, those icicles you see growing in men’s beards are real icicles.

“It just makes such a huge difference coming to a place where it’s actually this cold and it’s actually snowing like this and the actors, when they’re huddling up for warmth, they really did need to get close to get warm,” co-showrunner David Benioff explains. “At the end of the day, we’d rather spend the money on the locations rather than on the VFX.”

We also get to hear a great Mance Rayder line courtesy of a behind-the-scenes shot that shows Hinds telling Harington’s Jon Snow, “When the long night comes, north of the Wall becomes the kingdom of the dead.” After all, the night is dark and full of terrors.

“Game of Thrones” returns to HBO on March 31.

Posted by:Terri Schwartz