Game of Thrones | Season 8 Episode 3 | Game Revealed (HBO)
Game of Thrones | Season 8 Episode 3 | Game Revealed (HBO)
♪ (DRAMATIC MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ (GRUNTING) Episode three was… Oh, my God. As a fan I thought, “Wow.” As a DP, I thought, “Fuck.” (CHUCKLES) If you take Hardhome and you take Bob, and to take the lake, and you add them together, add a five-by-four, you have episode three. DUNCAN MUGGOCH: We had 11 weeks of night shooting, so that was quite a feat for any crew to go through.
DAVID BENIOFF: We knew this episode was gonna be almost entirely battle. It’s well over an hour and it’s mostly action. And part of what we cared about a lot here was getting Miguel on board and forcing him to shoot 55 straight nights. Look at it this way: I never ever want to do that again. I don’t think anybody who did that ever wants to do it again. Yeah, that was tough. And I don’t think it was something that anybody really realized just how hard it was gonna be. EMILIA CLARKE: “The Long Night.” When I was doing it, it was minus 14. Just chilling. Minus 14. In a field. You know, it’s too cold to snow. When it’s too cold to snow, you know you got trouble. BERNADETTE CAULFIELD: Chris and the rest of the team, they were there day in, day out. We would start your evening at six o’clock at night, and then you’d go home at five o’clock in the morning and it just– That’s brutal.
Your body never acclimates to that 100 percent. JACOB ANDERSON: By, like, week three, they… people looked slightly haunted. The cast, stunts, background, crew, everybody just looked like, this is… This is, like, getting into us. (CHUCKLES) This is, like, getting into our spirits. I– I’m not gonna lie, it was horrible. (CHUCKLES) We enjoyed the work and I said to my guys, “You know, you might not want to do it again, but you won’t regret doing it the first time, because the product, what you’ve achieved, is amazing.” CHRIS NEWMAN: I think the crew, they enjoyed the– The result is, you know, you didn’t do all this and think, “That’s not really impressive.” There’s no doubt about it. It’s really an impressive sequence. And I think the nights are just one of the things we’re gonna get through this. It’s just another notch in the belt of the crew on Game of Thrones that they’d done things that feel quite unique.
MAISIE WILLIAMS: I’m proud of everyone. I’m proud of the work that was put in. I think it was a mammoth task that we were faced with. And we did it, and it just feels incredible. That first week after night shoots, seeing the crew, like, smiling at the sun. What they went through was pretty stunning, and, look, it’s not– You know, there’s no special prize for being the toughest crew, but there probably should be. D.B. WEISS: Working in the pitch dark in the rain, in the mud, it’s a real testament to the entire Belfast crew, who…
Gave us something that no amount of money could ever buy. ♪ (DRAMATIC MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ The task that we had, which was the primary task on three, was how do we keep this interesting? ‘Cause simply, battle fatigue, you know. You just get bored, you get exhausted. We really wanted to make sure we were telling a coherent story with the whole thing and not just having… battle-beat, battle-beat, battle-beat. There needs to be a shape to it and a propulsion to it. DAVE HILL: It became clear when we started planning it, that the battle was gonna be a series of concentric circles. It would be walls of defenses failing, and the dead getting closer and closer to the center, into the heart of Winterfell and taking over everything.
The way that I concepted episode three visually, was to create a color scheme that developed throughout the whole episode. So, it starts with a moonlit night… because the Night King brings the storm and the clouds. The moon becomes dissipated and the moonlight takes over, but in a very diffused kind of way. (SHOUTING) And then the next stage would be the trench going up. (INDISTINCT DIALOGUE) We wanted the trench to be this overpowering light. And in prep for a long time, Miguel always mentioned hell to me. It’s turning into Hell for each character. So the blood-red fire of the trench takes over the image and… completely drains out the blue of the moon until the end, because the trench is dying down. The moonlight suddenly gets introduced again. So that was kind of the way for me to…
To break it up into sections. MIGUEL SAPOCHNIK: So, you have something that’s visually different, so it’s refreshing in that respect. But how do we take it one step further? So, what we decided was to give each act a genre. So, basically Act I is suspense and it’s buildup. And the best way to do buildup is– In any sort of kinda monster movie, which is what this is, is to not see the monster.
Act II is actually, from the moment that Arya is on the back foot and enters into the castle, that’s the horror movie. And then Act III is an action movie. (GRUNTING) And so, by breaking it into genres, it allowed us to change rhythm and go off on tangents when we followed specific characters for a longer period of time rather than worried about what was happening to everyone else. NEWMAN: The core of it is the people you care about.
You wanna care about the people fighting, so every effort is made to make sure that you center that conflicts around the people you know. BENIOFF: So, whether it’s Arya’s storyline, or Sansa and Tyrion down in the crypt, or Jon Snow and Dany up on the dragons, it’s kinda like all these separate little battles within the greater battle. (YELLING) (BREATHES HEAVILY) (INDISTINCT DIALOGUE) Light the trench! Light the trench! Ah, fuck! (CHUCKLES) Sorry, I’m really sorry. ♪ (UP-BEAT MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ BENIOFF: The living do have some time to prepare for this battle. And one of the things they know going into it is that they’re gonna be outnumbered, and another thing they know is that the wights don’t like fire. So, they dig a massive trench around the entire castle, and fill it with kindling. DEBORAH RILEY: To read the word “trench” on the page doesn’t sound like anything, but it took such a lot of work to try and resolve it to a point that it was a convincing method of defense. It was important that this trench not be something that anybody could jump over.
So, we needed to construct these bridges that would then collapse and create another barrier. The trench had real wooden spikes, real wooden logs lining throughout the trench. Then the real logs were replaced by steel logs that could burn over a number of weeks without burning away. We had to accommodate a whole special effects rig. So, the considerations are enormous. Then, yeah, the trench sort of encompasses… pretty much the whole of the castle. As trenches go, it was a good trench. (LAUGHS) And I’ve done some trenches. (CHUCKLES) MAN: Light the trenches! And then the reality of how do we light a… nine-hundred foot-long thing full of bitumen, with hundreds of people running at it and stunt people in it. Oh, I mean… ♪ (ROCK MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ So… (LAUGHS) The complicated process of the trenches began with the concept of it being a first line of defense. Therefore, it had to be impressive, it had to be very big.
So, we had to devise a way we could produce a flame which is big enough for the outside environment. So we came up with a system, which is just a simple water trough. It makes the most economical flame out of propane. And then, of course, you’ve got to think about the consumable part of it. You can’t have real logs in there, it has to be a steel thing. It has to be able to endure the heat and the fire. I think we did 900 steel logs, and we did 16 steel troughs. And then you have to work out how you get that amount of gas to each trough. We’ve got one four-ton tanker with a mobile unit, which is five ton. So, with the combination of the two, we convert liquid into the gas, and that’s what gives us our gas of life. We run it off an electronic valve system that’s tied in with a firing box. And each one is ignited by an individual gas bank in a sequence. It uses a lot of gas. A lot of gas.
-Got your gas bill yet? -Haven’t got my gas bill. Dreading that one. (BOTH LAUGH) When you see the Red Priestess come out and light that trench, that that would be such an extraordinary moment, as it just… (BLOWS) …lights around Winterfell. In terms of imagery, I always thought that was such a fantastic thing. So, you really were seeing for the first time the ice and fire meeting. So, that was something that I thought was a really lovely image to establish. -(FIRE ROARING) -(SNARLING) (SNARLING) WILLIAMS: I got a call from Miguel, like, a year before we started shooting.
Basically, he was like, “I can’t tell you anything but get your endurance up now, I want you to be training. You have a lot to do. It’s gonna be night shoots. We’re gonna do three months of night shoots.” And I was just like, “Okay!” Like, I think I was in Boston at the time, like, eating cheese fries, like, “Cool!” (CHUCKLES) (YELLING) (GRUNTING) Her entire fight through the battlements was just a real great moment, and everything that I have learned really did come down to that and I did use every sort of skill that I’d learned in that fight. ROWLEY IRLAM: It’s one thing to go on the battlements, but then over the top of Winterfell, you’ve got these two staircases that go up to the middle section of castellation.
So, we thought it would be really claustrophobic and dark and scary to be in there with wights, but that’s when the full staff doesn’t really work. We all know these tunnels are very small and the last thing you want is a five-and-a-half or a six-foot quarter staff going through small, little alleyways. So, what I decided to do on this one, be able to cut it in half so it’d be able to disassemble within the fight sequence, and then have two, -so she could use both in each hand. -(GRUNTING) Which is great, and it gave Arya then the stunts, something else to play with and to train with. Yeah, ’cause if I concentrate on doing the move, one of them does it, and then the other one doesn’t. And it’s like… One of the incredible things about Maisie is that she’s a righty.
Because Arya in the books is left-handed, she decided she was gonna learn how to fight left-handed. So, in season one, when she’s training with Syrio Forel, she’s training with her left hand and it was incredibly challenging, but what it does mean was that she’s learned how to fight left-handed and she’s actually right-handed, so she’s become an ambidextrous fighter. Maisie does almost all of this stuff on her own. She has an excellent stuntwoman for the dangerous stuff, but most of it is actually Maisie. Her coordination and she’s really quick. (CLICKS FINGERS) You know, can make changes on the spot and it actually– She’s really easy to work with.
It’s one thing practicing a fight, which is like a spar, a sparring fight, you know. But then when you’re actually fighting for your life… (YELLING) …with loads of stuntmen who, like, do this day-to-day and are not scared of anything, and they’re covered in this crazy makeup and they’re coming at you like… (GROWLS) It’s just a completely different ballgame. And I think I probably hold the record for the most apologies on set.
(WILLIAMS GASPS) -Fucking hell! I’m so sorry. -(LAUGHTER) -(GROWLING) -Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Sorry! Sorry! Sorry! Sorry, guys! MAN: They’re fine, they got pads on. WEISS: We knew any situation where lots of people are fighting, Arya needs to play a central role ’cause she’s one of the best at it. That’s amazing, and it’s a lot of fun to watch, but it’s also– It’s one note and to try to play that note through the whole episode, it wouldn’t have worked. So, having her wounded, and having her almost taken out of commission and almost rewinding the clock on who Arya Stark is, would really be interesting. It would also give us a chance to change up the nature of the story we were telling. ♪ (TENSE MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ SAPOCHNIK: The library sequence was built around the idea of: I need to have a marked shift, where the audience, instead of coming back and going, “And more battle,” they come back and they go, “Oh.
Change in style.” Hopefully, what it does is it refreshes the audience, and they’re like, you know, “We wanna know what’s going on outside, but we’re okay to be inside for a minute and slow things down. And we’re also okay to be with Arya,” who’s suddenly, from being this incredibly confident character that she’s been now for quite some time, is completely traumatized by what’s happened to her. One of the things we did when we shot that sequence is we designed the library in a certain way, and then I took Maisie in there, and I got nine wights or something in there, and I gave them all a path and then I told her she had to make her way through it without being seen. And we figured out this whole choreographed piece where everything was a near miss and everything was just about not seeing her, and everything had to be silent. And it was really fun to do.
(SHUFFLING) WILLIAMS: Oh, my God, that was so scary. (LAUGHTER) BARRIE GOWER: So the hero wights in the library. Miguel, he was after somebody who could get themselves into quite an interesting position, but have the physique which would be a little bit unworldly, which would suggest they’re dead basically. I knew of this performer, Spanish performer, called Javier Botet, and he’s double, triple jointed. He can do the most ridiculous things with his body, and he’s been covered in prosthetics pretty much all his career, so I knew he was the guy that could pretty much sell it for us. And from a prosthetics point of view, he’s got a couple of little bits and pieces.
He’s got some little cheek bone appliances. We got a few little scrapes and wounds, and then we just did this sort of airbrushed body painting on him as well, and just really accentuated all his sort of shadows and all his muscles and his bone structure and his movement just sold it for us. (CRACKLING) (SNARLING) ♪ (UP-BEAT MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ JOE BAUER: We’re all in love with Lyanna Mormont. I think the whole world is, so we wanted this to be her absolute heroic moment. BELLA RAMSEY: Oh, when I found out I was dying, it was, like, it was the best thing, really. It sounds strange, but I either decided I’d be happy if I ended up on the throne, which I thought was very, very unlikely, or I had a great death, so I’m very happy. And the whole giant thing, that’s just really cool. -Bang. -(THUD) ERIC CARNEY: All the shots with Lyanna and Krum… were all really pretty complicated, and they all had lots of pieces to them. So, it started out at tomb, where we shot the Winterfell set, and we shot a lot of the backgrounds for the shots, and where we wanted to frame for the giant, we used this technology called INCAM, and this allowed us to playback sort of an animation of what the giant’s performance would be that was synced to the camera.
And so that when Sean Savage, who’s the A camera operator, is operating on the day, he can actually see the giant at its proper scale in the set. So, they were able to operate it as if it was a real thing. We got it. Yeah, that better, boys. Let’s move that out. The giant is real. He could be 3D, but we prefer to shoot real, organic live photograph people wherever we can. Our giant performer, Ian White, who’s seven-foot five, I believe, he performed all the actions of the giant in front of green screen, but we shot him in a way to double his scale. For the shots where he had to pick up Lyanna, we put tracking markers on a green doll that he picked up, and we motion captured that and would use it to drive a robotic arm, basically, to pick up our actress, Bella, and that would move her around as if she’s being held by Krum. You know, for some of those shots, there’s at least four or five elements that we photographed at different times that will all go into making that final shot.
Really, it’s just bringing the lowest techs, miniature props approach, and the very highest tech, digital scaling and digital handoffs. -(SCREAMS) -(ROARS) RAMSAY: Yeah, I think it’s very fitting for Lyanna to die, like, doing something like that, stabbing a giant in the eye. It’s a bit like– I realized today, it’s a bit like David and Goliath. The same sort of thing… that just a stab in eye kills him. (CHUCKLES) With this little Lyanna Mormont. ♪ (UP-BEAT MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ PETER DINKLAGE: Down in the crypt becomes just a complete horror movie. It’s terrifying down there. We’re in a crypt. Nobody thought of that.
He’s bringing all the dead people back to life. And they’ve put women and children in a crypt with all the dead people, so…. (GROWLS) Tyrion is smart, but I guess not that smart. SOPHIE TURNER: Yeah, the whole action was really fun, ’cause I never get to do any action. In between setups, Peter and I would be joking around, like, with our guns, like, running between podium to podium trying to catch a wight. We felt like action stars, even though we’re probably around, like, five meters. GOWER: With the wights in the crypt, for us, that was exciting, ’cause we realized we could do some really cool mummified, and dried husky sort of, um, wights. We referenced ancient mummies. We looked at corpses and there are some tombs which have got these figures which are exactly the inspiration we were looking for and they’re these dried, wizened bodies which still have dried encrusted skin all over them. They still have hair, and they’re hundreds and hundreds of years old. They have their teeth. Really, really dusty, and completely different to what we’d seen before. TURNER: There was one point where I had to, like, run through a crowd of people, and wights were coming out, and one came up to me, and I actually started crying, I was so scared, like– (CHUCKLES) Whenever I get scared, I just cry and it was so awful.
Those wights are horrible. Just as scary in real life. I hate them. DINKLAGE: They’re around dark corners, and you’re like– You don’t fully know where they’re all coming from. I mean, everything’s safe and mapped out, but it’s still– You get into it. And you’re just going by candlelight, we don’t have any other lighting sources down there, really. It’s creepy. It was fun. A week underground with dead people. ♪ (UP-BEAT MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ Think we’re such nice people, but, you know, we– It’s just such violence that we’re portraying, and, uh, I’ve often said, “How did we end up here?” I think the lesson that we learned on Battle of the Bastards was just how difficult it is to work with dead bodies, to work with these prop bodies. How expensive it is, how difficult they are to move around… so Rob Cameron and Gavin Jones, our prop maker, came up with the idea of molding these bodies into these disks. The brief was to try and create a lightweight version of bodies as a sort of relief. We would get eight or nine dummies dressed in their armor, and then we would make a huge mold of that.
So, our mold could capture all of the detail, the limbs and the fabric and the armor. KEVIN FRASER: We had, I think, probably about 300 body piles, which we would’ve painted up in different elements, you know, give them some skin tone, give them a bit of a palette, and individually pull out each body. ROB CAMERON: And the good thing about these, the weight of them, we can actually mound them up, so the prop boys came up with this great idea of wedges and then building them up, so it’s total carnage and devastation, really.
It looks great. I’ve got to say, they work really, really, well. The prop guys will never wanna see another one of these disks again, because they spent a hell of a lot of their time walking them around, moving them from the right flank. Okay, now we’ve gotta dress the left flank. So, all the bodies have to move across to the left flank. Fucking hell! PAUL GHIRARDANI: For close up stuff, interspersed with that, would be live people dressed as dead bodies.
When you walk on set sometimes, and they’re about to shoot, suddenly one of them will twitch or sort of move or something and it’s like, “Oh, my God!” because that’s actually an extra who’s been dressed as a dead body. And will sort of be in there amongst the ones we put in. Yeah, it’s very disconcerting. (CHUCKLES) It’s a strange place to be. ♪ (UP-BEAT MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ SAPOCHNIK: The last third of the movie where we move into an action film, Jon realizes that the real task still at hand is to, essentially, protect Bran.
-Bran! -BRAN: Go! SAPOCHNIK: And so, he heads into Winterfell and we follow him on a journey. SEAN SAVAGE: We’ve used Automus Maxima, it’s a handheld device either the camera operator or the grip can carry it, and then one of the camera operators will operate it remotely. You know, it’s like… It’s like a remote control steady cam, really.
It’s very clever. The camera flows through the castle, and stays with the character. I think the audience is gonna feel like they’re traveling with them, and right up front with them. That was the real kind of heart of, I think, that episode, is that long sequence with all those different characters. SAPOCHNIK: We needed Jon to make his way through the courtyard, and bear witness to all of the characters that we know and we care about, that he knows and he cares about, being overwhelmed. What we essentially did is we took each group of people and gave them all a fight, and they learn the fight, and we shot the fight, and we use little pieces of it. They were all losing battles. ANDERSON: I got to do, like, a flippy move. Got to fling my spear, like, around my head, I like doing that stuff. A bit of flair. -(GRUNTING) -(SNARLING) GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE: I loved, loved, filming the sequence where we are really up against it and it is overwhelming for Brienne, and Brienne is in battle mode. It was really all-encompassing that night. Being there was so intimidating and so, you know, we were all really panicked by how claustrophobic it was, and I think that really adds to the work.
One of my highlights from that episode is standing on the pile of bodies and fighting for my life. And the funny thing was that we said to the stunt guys, if you manage to get me down, take me down, so on some takes, I died… (CHUCKLES) …or Tormund died. (GRUNTING) I was really fighting for my life. Kristofer’s life. (LAUGHS) (GRUNTS) (LAUGHS) Strong arms, that. (GRUNTING) (SCREAMING) BENIOFF: One of the shots that I really love there is Jon looks over at his best– Sees his best friend being attacked by all these wights, and in any other circumstance, Jon would, of course, rush over to try to help Samwell. It was great, because it was this idea of… Sam being one person Jon has always gone back for, has always relied on, has always been his true friend, and he had to sacrifice him to go after the Night King, and then it was finalized with a moment where…
at some point, we just ran out of stunt guys to throw at Sam, and so he sat there, and he just started crying and it was great, because it truly was crying amidst all this violence. So seeing John do that with Sam, I thought it was really, really great. Again, he felt true to the character. JOHN BRADLEY: If you’re involved in a battle scene, you like to see yourself as a fighter, and you like to make it look as good as you possibly can, and Miguel was the one who has to keep reigning me in and say, “Remember, you’re playing Samwell Tarly, and Samwell Tarly is not a fighter.” The reason that Sam is in there is because he’s not a fighter, and it’s because he can show how normal people would cope. IRLAM: So we had to really dial him down and we just make it in such a way that we wouldn’t allow him to be cool. We just put him under so much pressure, which is not fair to him as a person, because we could pr– We could do it to everybody else too, but we just don’t.
We made Kit look really cool. We do. You know, it’s like– All right, what can we do to make Kit look cooler? ♪ (UP-BEAT MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ (VISERION ROARS) SAVAGE: So, one of the most challenging shots was when we traveled through the courtyard extensively and then we head down to what we used to call the old kennels, and as he’s running down this very long, dark corridor, we had to coordinate about 15 stuntmen dropping out of the roof around him.
They’re obviously going to arrive in a certain zone, -certain moment, certain second. -(GRUNTS) Which… between the stunt guys and Kit, they had to coordinate perfectly. …against the wall. Now put it on his neck, and then drag it out. But take your time. I wouldn’t kill him… I wouldn’t kill him until you see the next guy. (GRUNTING) SAPOCHNIK: And everything was really based around the idea of, like, how can we make it feel as messy as possible? SAVAGE: Well, then we had to obviously put one of our stabilized handheld rigs behind him, and still stay really close to him to make the audience feel that jeopardy, the danger of what was happening.
After we’ve choreographed it and rehearsed it, what have you, and when we’re shooting it, my job is the safety of it and making sure it all works. Then I’m queuing, because, obviously, we all need to be in sync. (SHOUTING COMMANDS) -Now! -MAN: Good! SAVAGE: That was probably one of the greatest challenges, just to be in the right time and right place. And it had to be in, you know, fractions of seconds to do it. And the camera did a 180 around him at one point during all this chaos. Um… And we run backwards at that point until the great big steel door is– on– on railings is shot right in front of these guys near the last second. And it feels like Jon Snow’s just got through there, as has just– the camera’s just got through as well. So, yeah. It’s a very cool shot.
IRLAM: (YELLS) Go, go, go, go, go! -HARRINGTON: That’s gotta be it. -(INDISTINCT CHATTER) Just ’cause we fancy making you do it again. (LAUGHS) But ultimately, the key thing there was to give Kit the fight of his life and then, at the end of it, present him with a… insurmountable odd, which is… a dead dragon. Or an undead one. Or not-dead. ♪ (UP-BEAT MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ STEVE KULLBACK: The zombie dragon lands, having his face been torn off, can’t exactly see, smashes through the ravenry. Just an insane fight where Jon is ducking behind these pieces of set as this icy blue fire is blasting over the top of him.
JOE BAUER: But the fun thing is that Viserion is so damaged by this point, he already has a hole through his neck from being taken down by the Night King. Now he’s missing half his face, so he’s leaking. -(YELLS) -So, you know, this blue fire is kind of leaking and shooting around. KULLBACK: There’s fire blasting all over the place, which we shoot photographically, for real, using a 3D motion control camera, blasting fire in a darkened stage. BAUER: We actually did laser cuts for Viserion from the digital model of those openings. And then bronze casts were made and then fitted by Sam Conway and his team with fire jets. And then that was put onto this robot with a quick arm so that the fire would leak out of openings that were accurate to the dragon.
And there were so many moving parts in this scene, because you’ve got the environment he’s living in, which is partially the courtyard dressed and largely virtual because of the destruction that’s needed to be created. And there’s shooting Kit in the set piece, so that he’s got something to really duck behind and have interactive lighting wrap around him. -Fire! -(KIT YELLS) GHIRARDANI: We did a lot of destruction in that courtyard. We like building things, but equally, we like destroying things. That’s always quite fun. So we go at it with flamethrowers, paint, earth, mud, you name it, we just…
Take it in there and do whatever it takes to destroy the thing. I asked for a load of wood to be removed. We made a huge bonfire of it. We burned it for about a day until it’s charcoaled, it’s almost destroyed. Then actually, we get something rather beautiful. It’s rather wonderful. Just when you think that it’s all over, just when you think that Jon Snow’s gonna be the hero, again, we realize… that Arya appears through the mist. ♪ (UP-BEAT MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ I mean, you’re like, “Ooh, maybe I’ll get him! I’m not gonna get him.” And then you’re reading, you’re like, “Ooh, maybe Jon’s gonna get him! Wait, he’s not gonna–” And I remember actually being like, “Whoa!” And kind of applauding in my head, and you know, “Yeah!” And then in the read-through when, like, when Maisie was doing it, and we were all just like wooping and cheering. (LAUGHS) Yeah, it’s amazing.
I think Maisie thought it was super cool. She’s like, “Yeah, I’m gonna kill him.” Um… Kit was really fine with it. I was pissed. I was pissed that it wasn’t me killing the Night King. I could’ve– I would’ve sw– I would’ve given you, like– I’d have bet you thousands. Before we read the finals, I was like, “Yeah, it’s definitely me.” And then they lead you on, Jon’s chasing the Night King. BENIOFF: Jon Snow has always been the hero, the one who’s been the savior, but… it just didn’t seem right to us for this moment. It’s probably three years now, or something, we’ve known that it was gonna be Arya who delivers that fatal blow. Dan and David let me break all the Game of Thrones rules for that sequence. Majority of it is shot 96 frames a second, it’s all super-slow motion, it’s all heightened reality, which is not what they usually do.
It’s a surreal nightmare. Finally, the Night King and Bran are finding each other. ♪ (SOMBER MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ The music plays a big part in creating that sense of despair that should exist in that moment. And you’re intercutting with Jon, who’s clearly not going to make it. And you’re intercutting with all our other characters, where they’re just– they’re so fucked. Everybody’s fucked. I mean, that was literally– that was the phrase we kept using.
It’s like, “Let’s do the “it’s fucked” shot.” And then everyone would shoot a shot where it just feels like there’s no escape. Everyone’s going to die right now. You know they’re not, but we want you to feel that same feeling of, “Oh, my God. It’s… We can’t. What’s the recovery? How do we come back from this?” And we’ve all forgotten about, you know, that little innocent girl from all those years ago who’s turned into a trained killer, who’s coming out of nowhere. ♪ (TRIUMPHANT MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ ‘Cause essentially, she does jump out of nowhere, and that’s a wire rig. It’s a wire rig we did on the location, but the location wasn’t ideal. It was really hard to get a crane in there, and we’ve obviously got the weirwood tree. So it was tricky to do it there, and we did a version of it there, but then we had to redo it because we didn’t have the ability to control it as much as we’d hoped. And it needed to be a real “boom, out of nowhere” moment and a real– you know, a locking together of these two characters.
(ARYA SCREAMS) Shooting that was tedious, but… so great to be able to perform all these different beats within maybe, like, two seconds of footage. (SCREAMING) BENIOFF: We knew it had to be Valyrian steel. To the exact spot where the Child of the Forest put the dragonglass blade to create the Night King. And that weapon has been one of the totemic pieces for us, and ultimately, we’ve known for a long, long time that was gonna end the Night King. WEISS: When Samwell’s reading the book about dragonglass there is a picture of the dagger. SAMWELL: The Targaryens used dragonglass to decorate their weapons without even knowing what the First Men used it for. WEISS: It is very possible that the same thing that created the Night King is the thing that was necessary to destroy the Night King, or maybe it’s Valyrian steel, or…
Figure it out for yourself. Not gonna say. ISAAC: I think that’s such a… nice little full-circle thing as well, that that’s the knife that was destined to kill Bran, and here it is, saving him. (ICE CRACKLES) That’s, like, an iconic moment. You know, the fall of the dead. It’s exactly what you need. (LAUGHS) Like, oh, yeah! She, like, takes him down! It’s so good. It’s so good. It’s perfect. I think it’s, uh, it’s an inspired move. Um… You’ve always been waiting as to what purpose… Arya’s assassin skills were gonna lead to. And it’s for the most important purpose. Reading what I get to achieve and Arya’s whole purpose in this world and everything she’s trained for comes down to this one episode.
It’s just amazing. And it’s just– it’s beautiful. It’s poetry. And I’m grateful that it was me and not Kit. (LAUGHS) ♪ (UP-BEAT MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ Think about Jorah. From the first time we met him, he was with Dany, you know. And the first time you meet him is at Dany’s wedding, when he’s giving her the books of Westerosi history. And from that time, he’s been mostly by her side. If Jorah could have chosen a way to die, it would have been protecting Dany. SAPOCHNIK: There was a lot of input from Iain and from Emilia about making sure their characters stayed true to who they were.
Not having Jorah lose sight of his goal, which is protect his queen at all costs. Emilia didn’t want to be completely damsel-in-distress. EMILIA: My hero. She didn’t feel that her character would be like that. But then, we didn’t– we’ve never seen her do anything in that vein, so we needed to make her not look like she was completely ineffective and disinterested in saving Jorah. And then you don’t care what happens to– No, that’s why I’m trying to play up the “Waaah.” But also, this was Iain’s big moment.
(GRUNTING) WEISS: We realized that all he ever wanted to do was to serve her. And all he ever wanted to do was to– was to fight to protect her and there’d never been a moment where she more needed someone to fight to protect her than this moment. And Iain himself, I think, was– I think he was happy to go down fighting, ’cause he’s very good at it. ♪ (SOMBER MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ My favorite scene to shoot was my demise. Yeah. Yeah. Just– just because it required most of me. It was the most demanding and the most fulfilling scene. And it felt the right conclusion for Jorah’s role. And being given a good setting, a very kind of dramatic and telling setting. BENIOFF: Incredible performance from Iain and also from Emilia at the very end there as she’s holding him in her arms, and just that– you know, it’s really hard to fake that kind of…
Of pure grief. And Emilia just really broadened those moments. I think part of it was ’cause she’s such a good actress, but I think part of it is because she and Iain had been working together for so, so long and have become very, very close, and they’ve had so many scenes together, and it’s all coming to an end, you know. Both their characters’ relationship on the show, but also, our time together working on the show. It was really hard. You know, I just had to look at Iain’s… face, and it was like… it’s all there, it’s all– that’s our relationship, it’s like, the whole…
You know, we’ve been with these characters for so many years. We’ve been, like, to hell and back with them. It’s been, uh, it’s been… It’s been quite a journey. ♪ (SOMBER MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ Can’t find the words. You know? It’s just… great fun and, uh… yeah. I’m so really, very, very chuffed to be a part of the whole mad, wonderful thing of it all. ♪ (MUSIC CONCLUDES) ♪ .
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