While Game of Thrones is like a game of chess, more than anything else, as characters slowly try to take down various regimes and place themselves in positions of power, the series is just as memorable for its large-scale, epic battle sequences. During the upcoming final season of the HBO series, there will be a battle unlike any other fans have seen on the show, the largest in the series’ history.
The most notable battle sequence from Game of Thrones is the “Battle of the Bastards” which took place in Season 6, Episode 9. Jon Snow fought Ramsay Bolton, each accompanied with their own armies, in an intense and bloody fight which was the highlight of that season. However, Season 8 has its own war that is going to be even bigger, according to Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister on the series. “It’s brutal,” Dinklage told Entertainment Weekly for its Game of Thrones cover story. “It makes the Battle of the Bastards look like a theme park.”
Originally, the “Battle of the Bastards” fight took 25 days to shoot. This new sequence shot outside for 55 nights, then continued filming in the studio for weeks afterwards. Just how long they filmed in the studio wasn’t publicized, but it sounds as if it’s easily the largest sequence in the show’s history.
The battle will take place at Winterfell, and while the “Battle of the Bastards” primarily focused on two characters–Snow and Bolton–this next fight will jump between multiple members of the cast. It will feature a giant fight fans have been waiting to see for quite some time. “Part of our challenge, and really, [director Miguel Sapochnik’s] challenge, is how to keep that compelling… we’ve been building toward this since the very beginning, it’s the living against the dead, and you can’t do that in a 12-minute sequence,” showrunner David Benioff explained.
To make the sequence feel grander, Winterfell’s set was expanded. A larger courtyard, a tower castle exterior, and more rooms were added. Everything about Winterfell and this battle is turned up to 11. “Everything feels more intense,” explained Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen. “I had a scene with someone and I turned to him and said, ‘Oh my God, I’m not going to do this ever again,’ and that brings tears to my eyes.”
The final season of Game of Thrones, which was almost released theatrically, returns to HBO sometime in 2019. While you may be sad all things are coming to an end in Westeros, don’t fret, as the Game of Thrones prequel series is pushing forward, recently casting its lead role.