Bringing a hit TV series like Game of Thrones to fruition is a massive creative endeavor that requires so much behind the scenes to make it work, everything from the obvious elements like a great story, spot-on casting and a network home like HBO that believes in the project and gets behind it in a big way.

Oh, and because this is a fantasy series featuring dragons, impalement, beheadings and an abundance of gruesome slayings, you also need blood. Lots and lots of fake blood.

To date, the show has used some 4,000 gallons of fake blood. That’s one of the fun factoids in a piece from CNN illustrating how the show’s production requirements have massively expanded in tandem with the increasing popularity of the show around the world.

Here are some other stats that illustrate the breadth of the challenge of bringing the series to the small screen:

  • The show has used 52,000 bags of paper snow over GoT’s eight seasons.
  • 12,137. That’s the number of wigs and hairpieces used over eight seasons.
  • The series has relied on the prowess of 40 visual effects companies, in addition to almost 13,000 extras in Northern Ireland.
  • Seven prototypes were used to get Daenerys’ wig color and style just right.
  • In all, the show has been filmed in 10 countries, and as an indication of how many special effects are now packed into each episode, the number of weeks of post-production has grown from 17 for Season 1 to 42 for Season 8.

The full piece makes for a fun look at the making of the series over its full run. Only five episodes remain in its eighth and final season, with episode 2 set for this Sunday. Check out our previous post here for an early look at images HBO released ahead of the next episode, which reveal some of the tension, complexity and fear that are beginning to grip the main characters ahead of the big battle that we all know is coming.