“How far will you go to protect something you love?” It sounds like a dramatic line from a book, film, or show. And it could very well be! But here, we’re talking about the extreme lengths to which HBO went in order to protect the secrets of the final season of Game of Thrones during its filming. There was a long gap of almost two years between the airing of the seventh and the eighth season. So, it was quite obvious that people did as much as they could to fish out the details about the finale of perhaps the most-talked-about TV series ever. Things did leak but HBO took every measure possible to preserve the secrecy. Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark) revealed the security steps taken during the filming of a very important scene from the final episode of GoT. Read on to find out more. Spoilers ahead.
This scene featured the Stark siblings together for one last time on the show. The scene on the dock where Arya, Sansa, and Bran bid their farewells to Jon before he left for the Wall. Bran had already become the King of the Six Kingdoms; Sansa the Queen of the North; Arya had killed the Night King and was heading West; and Jon would spend the rest of his days beyond the Wall after having killed Daenerys. Thus, too many secrets went into the making of that moment on the dock. So, for that highly-charged scene filmed in Dubrovnik, Croatia, Isaac told news.com.au that the filming location seemed like a “CIA site”.
“It was ridiculous, the security and secrecy,” he said. We have heard similar things about the security measures from other actors as well. “When we shot in Dubrovnik for that scene where we’re saying goodbye to Jon Snow, I’ve never experienced anything like that; it was like being a secret agent. We came into the country on a chartered flight so nobody would see us, we stayed in this hotel and they booked out the entire hotel just for us. We weren’t allowed to go out, we couldn’t walk outside,” he described.
But that’s not all, the ‘dock-scene day’ amped the security even more. “On that day, HBO rented out every single apartment and every single hotel room that could possibly overlook where we were shooting. We had coast guards patrolling just outside in the water to check no boats were coming by”. Take a breath, it goes on further. “When we were coming in and out of cars we had to be covered in coats; and when we flew back, we were the last people on the flight and we had to sneak in.” It resembles a top-secret mission indeed.
This was all because Game of Thrones enjoyed huge popularity among the masses for almost a decade. “It was really amazing that people loved this story so much and were so desperate to get any nugget of information. You had a pinch-yourself-moment every day,” Hempstead Wright said.
As to whether he foresaw his rise to the throne, the 21-year-old actor said, “I didn’t see it coming at all. A lot of the time it was fans and friends talking and saying ‘I feel like it’s got to be Bran’ and I said ‘You are so wrong, it’ll be someone else.’ Even when I read the script I thought, ‘Is this really true?’ I wasn’t entirely sure, but I was pretty sure it wasn’t Bran. I thought it was going to be an obvious one, maybe Sansa. (But) no complaints there. It couldn’t have gone any better for me. It went badly for other people.”
It’s crazy how time flies on the wings of a raven. Game of Thrones ended more than a year ago. And it feels like just yesterday when we were speculating what course would the final season take. But we won’t go into all of that; we’ve done that so many times and there’s no point drawing fresh blood from an old/nearly healed wound. We’re happy that Brandon Stark sat on the throne; because who better to lead the realm than someone who knows all the mistakes of the history; plus, can watch over his kingdoms in real-time and has got no great desire to rule. All hail Bran the Broken!
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