Inside ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8’s Gigantic Battle Scene
Just about a month before the premiere of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, the cast and crew offered Entertainment Weekly a sneak peek into the filming of the show, in particular the gruelling battle of Winterfell where characters such as Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Arya Stark, Tyrion Lannister and Brienne of Tarth take on the Night King and his army.
The publication also launched a special collector’s issue with different covers featuring the main cast members.
“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 show’s co-executive producer Bryan Cogman told the publication.
The battle episode was shot mostly at night over 11 weeks – which the cast termed The Long Night – in freezing temperatures with only a trailer and space heater for respite from the icy weather.
Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, said, “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.”
Iain Glen, Game of Thrones’ Ser Jorah Mormont, called the battle sequence “the most unpleasant experience” he’s had on the show. “You get to sleep at seven in the morning and when you wake in the midday you’re still so spent you can’t really do anything, and then you’re back. You have no life outside it,” he said.
Game of Thrones season 8 premieres on 14 April with the finale scheduled for 19 May.