Game of Thrones Season 8 is coming soon and bringing us unforgettable battles and action sequences as teased by many cast and crew members. While Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) had earlier revealed that the battles this season will make the iconic Battle of the Bastards look like a theme park, Entertainment Weekly has given us a brutal insight in its latest cover story.
Given the fact that Entertainment Weekly is one of the most credible sources we can trust for Game of Thrones, it’s safe to assume that we’re truly getting a bloodier Season this time with multiple character deaths. Well, they recently released 16 new cover photos featuring main cast members along with a cover story that we’ll discuss here in detail.
Well, as teased by James Hibbert from the EW, Game of Thrones this season will feature one of the longest battle sequences ever filmed in the history of television. This confirms what we’re being often told about through interviews of cast and crew members – a complete battle sequence shot for a single episode with a hell lot of hard work of 55 days!
According to David Nutter, who has returned this season to direct three of the episodes:
“The fans will not be let down…There are a lot of firsts in these episodes. There’s the funniest sequence I’ve ever shot on this show, the most emotional and compelling scene I’ve ever shot, and there’s one scene where there’s so many [characters] together it feels like you’re watching a superhero movie.”
Nutter is directing three episodes this season – episodes 1, 2, and 4. As he will be directing the premiere, James Hibbert describes this episode in a nutshell as “a calm-before-the-storm entry that might surprise viewers with its play-like intimacy.”
Hibbert also teased an episode directed by Miguel Sapochnik to be gruesome and as brutal as the Battle of the Bastards or Hardhome. Many of our favourite characters like Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister, Arya Stark, Sansa Stark, and Brienne of Tarth will be fighting for their lives, impossibly outnumbered against a supernatural enemy.
According to Co-Executive producer Bryan Cogman,
“What we have asked the production team and crew to do this year truly has never been done in television or in a movie…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.”
This episode took a lot of hard work, along with 11 weeks of continuous night shoots. Around 750 people worked all night long for nearly three months in the middle of the open rural countryside with the temperature falling to the 30s. In words of Hibbert “staging the battle was unprecedentedly brutal.”
For Maisie Williams – whom we are truly looking forward to next season, this was the first ever battle for her in Game of Thrones. She says:
“I skip the battle every year, which is bizarre since Arya’s the one who’s been training the most… This is my first taste of it. And I’ve been thrown in at the deep end.”
While the director Sapochnik had asked her train a year ago before the filming in advance, Maisie had told him:
“And I said, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah…But 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.”
Getting to the very last, the finale which is being directed by the showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, the secrecy was taken to a newer level. Some of the scenes were shot in a closed set and even the crew members with special badges were only allowed inside the sets. Dan Weiss says:
“When something has been sitting with you for so long, you have such a specific sense of the way each moment should play and feel…Not just in terms of ‘this shot or that shot,’ though sometimes it’s that as well. So it’s not really fair to ask somebody else to get that right. We’d be lurking over their shoulder every takes driving them crazy making it hard for them to do their job. If we’re going to drive anybody crazy it might as well be ourselves.”
“We want people to love it…It matters a lot to us. We’ve spent 11 years doing this. We also know no matter what we do, even if it’s the optimal version, that a certain number of people will hate the best of all possible versions. There is no version where everybody says, ‘I have to admit, I agree with every other person on the planet that this is the perfect way to do this’ — that’s an impossible reality that doesn’t exist. I’m hoping for the Breaking Bad [finale] argument where it’s like, ‘Is that an A or an A+?’”
David Benioff ends by saying:
“From the beginning, we’ve talked about how the show would end. A good story isn’t a good story if you have a bad ending. Of course, we worry.”
So, these were a few insights from the original article, which you can read here. When you think about the new season and it’s the long-awaited return on April 14 – the cravings seem minimal when compared to what we are surely getting from Game of Thrones this year? We’re now surely counting the days up to the airing date. What about you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.