Shooting the Final 'Game of Thrones' Battle Sounds Like Complete Hell
"It was the most unpleasant experience I’ve had on 'Thrones.'"
Image via HBO
This article originally appeared on VICE US.
We may not know much about the upcoming season of Game of Thrones aside from what little we can glean from the slivers of footage that HBO deigns to throw to us peasants. But one thing is clear: Everyone is going to come together for one bloody, final fight scene. All the way back in April 2018, rumors spread that Game of Thrones had spent a whopping 55 days filming one massive, absurdly large battle—over twice as long as the 25-day Battle of the Bastards shoot.
Now, in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, the show's cast and crew have finally spoken out about the long-rumored sequence—and it sounds almost as shitty to endure as an actual 55-day war.
According to EW, the episode in question reportedly took "11 weeks of grueling night shoots" in freezing temperatures. "It was the most unpleasant experience I’ve had on Thrones,” Iain Glen, who plays Ser Jorah Mormont, said. “A real test, really miserable. 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."
"Nothing can prepare you for how physically draining it is,” Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) said. "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."
But hopefully, all that struggle will pay off. EW confirmed that the battle is, unsurprisingly, the "great battle of Winterfell," and it seems likely to bring together just about every major character who's been spread across Westeros over the last seven seasons. It's already been teased as the biggest on-screen battle ever.
"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," Bryan Cogman, GoT's co-executive producer, told the magazine. "It’s been exhausting but I think it will blow everybody away."
Entertainment Weekly also teased that the battle will result in some pretty major casualties, which isn't exactly surprising, given Game of Thrones's usual body count. We'll have to wait until the eighth and final season premieres April 14 to see if the cast's nearly-three-month nightmare was worth it—and who's left standing when Jon Snow drives a dragonglass blade down the Night King's gullet or whatever. Spring can't come soon enough.