Fans of Game of Thrones have some awesome things to look forward to seeing! One of those things is an epic battle sequence that will be apparently be the longest sustained action sequence in cinematic history.
The cast and crew spent three months shooting the brutal battle which is known as The Battle of Winterfell and it was not an easy shoot. It sounds like it was a pretty miserable experience for everyone, but as you might imagine, it’s going to pay off big time!
While talking to EW, co-executive producer Bryan Cogman explained, “What we have asked the production team and crew to do this year truly has never been done in television or in a movie”, and then he teased what we can expect to see:
“This final face-off between the Army of the Dead and the army of the living is completely unprecedented and relentless and a mixture of genres even within the battle. There are sequences built within sequences built within sequences. David and Dan [wrote] an amazing puzzle and Miguel came in and took it apart and put it together again. It’s been exhausting but I think it will blow everybody away.”
The director of the episode, Miguel Sapochnik, who won an Emmy Award for directing the incredible Game of Thrones battle-heavy episode, “The Battle of the Bastards,” actually looked to The Lord of the Rings Helm’s Deep battle sequel for inspiration on how to handle a prolonged battle sequel without giving the audience “battle fatigue”. He explained, “One thing I found is the less action — the less fighting — you can have in a sequence, the better.”
The 40-minute plus battle sequence was shot over the course of 11 straight weeks, which is unheard of for something like this in the film community! They usually break up big sequences like this and shoot it in sections, but they chose to do it! The director explained why:
“We built this massive new part of Winterfell and originally thought, ‘We’ll film this part here and this part there,’ and basically broke it down into so many pieces it would be shot like a Marvel movie, with never any flow or improvisation. Even on Star Wars, they build certain parts of the set and then add huge elements of green screen. And that makes sense. There’s an efficiency to that. But I turned to the producers and said, ‘’I don’t want to do 11 weeks of night shoots and no one else does. But if we don’t we’re going to lose what makes Game of Thrones cool and that is that it feels real.’”
So, they ended up shooting during the long nights in harsh conditions that included freezing temperatures, and as you might imagine, there were also several on-set injuries. Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, talked about her experience, saying:
“Nothing can prepare you for how physically draining it is. It’s night after night, and again and again, and it just doesn’t stop. You can’t get sick, and you have to look out for yourself because there’s so much to do that nobody else can do… there are moments you’re just broken as a human and just want to cry.”
Ser Jorah Mormont actor Iain Glen added, “It was the most unpleasant experience I’ve had on Thrones. But…on screen it bleeds through to the reality of the Thrones world.”
I seriously can’t wait to see this shit! If this doesn’t get you excited for the final season of Game of Thrones, I don’t know what will!