Winter is almost here, and 'Game Of Thrones' is coming back with a historic battle for the ages!
If you're like me, you've been waiting for over a year for the return of Game Of Thrones. Since the show departed after Season 7, I've gobbled up every tidbit and teaser to get a glimpse at what's been going on in Westeros. At the end of last season, all our faves took sides, the wall fell, and an ice dragon flew off into the sunset.
Now, in just mere weeks, Game of Thrones will return to once again kill as many characters as possible and have one King (or Queen) to rule them all atop the Iron Throne.
I've got goosebumps.
And we have the final trailer for Game of Thrones Season 8.
Entertainment Weekly recently released a behind-the-scenes look at the most epic battle coming during Season 8 of Game of Thrones, and I want to highlight all the details and quotes from the article and talk about what's coming toward us in the final season of the show.
Entertainment Weekly takes on Game of Thrones
As I mentioned in the opener, Entertainment Weekly sent their reporter, James Hibberd, to the set of Game of Thrones to talk about some of the insane things coming our way and to cover what will actually be the largest battle scene and sequence ever put to film.
The episode, which will be one of the six released in the final season, chronicles the great battle of Winterfell. That means we'll get to see new allies Jon Snow, the Wildlings, Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister, Arya Stark, Sansa Stark, Brienne of Tart, the Hound, and possibly even Jaime Lannister pitting themselves against the Night King and his army; and his dragon!
This battle is one of two in the final season directed by Miguel Sapochnik, who previously directed Hardhome and the Emmy-winning Battle of the Bastards.
According to EW, the episode is expected to be the longest consecutive battle sequence ever committed to film and brings the largest number of GoT major characters together since the show’s debut episode in 2011.
The show's co-ep Bryan Cogman says:
"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.”
While there's obviously a monstrous budget for this final season, with episodes rumored to all be around 90 minutes to two hours long, there's still plenty of new challenges when it comes to writing, directing, editing, and shooting fight scenes this humungous.
"What we have asked the production team and crew to do this year truly has never been done in television or in a movie..."
When you're doing it a traditional sense, people usually break it down into more manageable parts, but GoT wanted to keep it real. Sapochnik goes into detail on how he planned to film something this massive:
“We built this massive new part of Winterfell and originally thought, ‘We’ll film this part here and this part there,’ and basically broke it down into so many pieces it would be shot like a Marvel movie, with never any flow or improvisation...Even on Star Wars, they build certain parts of the set and then add huge elements of green screen. And that makes sense. There’s an efficiency to that. But I turned to the producers and said, ‘I don’t want to do 11 weeks of night shoots and no one else does. But if we don’t we’re going to lose what makes Game of Thrones cool and that is that it feels real.’”
While this sounds like any director talking, the producers agreed.
“When you have rapid cutting [in an action scene] you can tell it was all assembled in post-production,” Benioff says. “That’s not the show’s style and it’s not Miguel’s style.”
So they approved a schedule that became infamously known among the team as “The Long Night.” This meant that they would power through shooting the battle in all its glory. Getting every angle amidst some of the largest sets ever produced for any sort of entertainment.
They even were able to enforce a no-fly zone over the set so not even a drone could spy on what they were doing (though the occasional helicopter did try to sneak onto the set).
According to Variety, the budget for the upcoming final season of Game of Thrones came in around $15 million per episode, so get ready for something epic.
EW describes what it's like to act on one of these massive sets. Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm) got to lead Daeny's army across one of the realistic sets.
“The Winterfell set is unlike anything I’ve seen in my life...It’s not like most sets you walk through a door and you see [a wood panel] and equipment. You can walk into rooms and cross into tunnels and find yourself in another part of the castle. It’s really immersive. Especially when there is haze and snow and people running around, you can get genuinely lost. There were a few moments where I momentarily forgot it wasn’t real, which is bizarre.”
That makes me incredibly excited for the return of the show. And to commemorate the experience, EW has released 16 alternate covers for the monthly magazine featuring all of the main players in the cast, which you can view in their tweet thread here.
GAME OVER: We’re preparing to say goodbye to @GameOfThrones with the ultimate fan guide, featuring 16 epic covers of your favorite characters. Get exclusive intel on the final episodes in our top secret report from the set: https://t.co/2v2COJA7dg Story by @JamesHibberd pic.twitter.com/GuxDw9toyA
GAME OVER: We’re preparing to say goodbye to @GameOfThrones with the ultimate fan guide, featuring 16 epic covers of your favorite characters. Get exclusive intel on the final episodes in our top secret report from the set: https://t.co/2v2COJA7dg Story by @JamesHibberd pic.twitter.com/GuxDw9toyA— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) March 4, 2019
Game of Thrones Final Trailer
If that doesn't get you excited, check out the final trailer for Game of Thrones Season 8!
As the trailer opens, we see Arya Stark running for her life. Because of course, we do.
“I know death, he’s got many faces. I look forward to seeing this one,” Arya says - an allusion to the god she worships and the list she seeks to fill.
We see armies prepared for battle and Sansa Stark staring in wonder as dragons fly above her and her people. Will she be as captivated by Daeny?
Meanwhile, Jon Snow clearly has his mind on the White Walker battle to come.
“They’re coming. Our enemy doesn’t stop, doesn’t tire, doesn’t fear.” Jon Snow is ready to lead an army in the most insane battle ever filmed!
The trailer also teases that the Lannisters might be considering abandoning their scheming ways and joining the battle against the Wights - with Jaime leading that charge as he utters:
“I promised to fight for the living...And I intend to keep that promise.”
Also within these scenes in the trailer are Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, John Bradley as Samwell Tarly, Conleth Hill as Varys, Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark, Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth, and Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth.
The whole gang is back!
What are Season 8 of Game Of Thrones Biggest Unanswered Questions?
Aside from who will sit on the Iron Throne (I've already predicted Sansa), we've already covered who we think will sit on the Iron Throne. And remember our odds breakdown of who will die first?
These are HUGE questions, and Iain Glen who played Ser Jorah Mormon on the show has revealed how security measures were put in place to protect the final scenes from being leaked. In a new interview with Radio 5 live, Glen said:
“They’re absolutely paranoid now about anyone finding out anything about the series and spoiling it…We weren’t allowed a written word on a page...Everything was accessed through iPads with different security you had to get through to access it. Which caused a problem for the actors, I have to say.”
Another big question is whether or not Jon and Daeny will become pregnant. There are lots of prophecies about their supposed child - but as far as we know, Daeny was left barren when she traded her womb to try to save her husband's life. Obviously, their kid would be super good-looking, and probably around my height, so that's cool. I'm always down for a heroic short guy.
But even if there's no baby in the future, I'm more worried about Daeny taking after her father and burning everything in her path. Maybe Jon can help her balance it out, we know Tyrion has been creeping on them, worried about their newfound love and alliance.
Speaking of babies, is Cersei pregnant? Last we saw of Jaime he was riding away on horseback. If she is, it seems pretty convenient.
I know this show got famous for killing people, but I'm wondering if Season 8 will actually bring one back.
Syrio supposedly gave his life, off-screen, to save Arya from death. But there's a huge chance he's still out there. Mostly because I believe anything is possible within this story. But here's the real question on everyone's mind...
Will George R. R. Martin write the ending?
Look, we've all been waiting for his final books for what seems like decades. Actually, I think it legitimately has been decades. Recently, George RR Martin teased the cover of one on Twitter.
It’s hard to say just how involved he is with the show’s finale. He literally said in an interview that he hadn’t caught up with Season 7 of the show, but in 2014, however, Benioff and Weiss said that they had sat down with Martin and learned how the books were going to end. That means they're not writing in the blind. So whether they decide to follow Martin’s blueprint or continue to take the show in their own direction, is up for debate.
They're mostly concerned with sticking the landing.
Who’s directing Season 8?
It’s been revealed in Collider that David Nutter (who directed Red Wedding episode, The Rains of Castamere) will be directing episodes 1, 2 and 4. Miguel Sapochnik, who’s become known for action-heavy episodes like Hardhome and Battle of the Bastards, will be directing episodes 3 and 5. Showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff will be co-directing the sixth and final ever episode of the show.
Meanwhile, a synopsis from HBO reads:
“The epic fantasy series Game of Thrones will return for its six-episode, eighth and final season in 2019. David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, David Nutter and Miguel Sapochnik will be the directors for the new season. Writers for the new season are David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman and Dave Hill. The executive producers of the series are David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger and Bernadette Caulfield. Co-executive producers are Bryan Cogman, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis and George R.R. Martin.
What's next? Learn How GoT Uses Emotion!
Season EIght is shaping up to be one of the wildest on television. Early prognosticators are assuming that upwards of 10-20 million may tune in for each episode, and we know almost all of them are written at movie length. It's going to be a blast. How excited are you for Season Eight of Game of Thrones?
Got predictions? Leave them in the comments.
I can't wait to see what happens in this epic and bloody battle.
The new season of Game Of Thrones will debut on April 14th, 2019.