Due to be released on April 15, the filming of eighth and final episode of Game of Thrones came to a close this month. A new in-depth behind-the-scenes report published on Monday has given fans a spoiler-free peek into what it was like filming the last six episodes of the HBO epic fantasy series, which took 10 months of production. The season will be aired in India on May 20.
The focus is mostly on the Battle of Winterfell episode, which itself took 11 weeks of night shoots and will see the living go up against the dead. The cast and crew of Game of Thrones worked in freezing conditions to film that battle.
“It was the most unpleasant experience I’ve had on Thrones,” Iain Glen, who plays Ser Jorah Mormont, told Entertainment Weekly on set. “A real test, really miserable. You get to sleep at seven in the morning and when you wake in the midday, you’re still so spent you can’t really do anything, and then you’re back. You have no life outside it. You have an absolute f—ked bunch of actors. But without getting too method [acting] about it, on screen it bleeds through to the reality of the Thrones world.”
“[N]othing can prepare you for how physically draining it is,” Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, added. “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.”
Entertainment Weekly also unveiled 16 brand new covers for their upcoming issue, which will be a celebration of the final season of Game of Thrones.
The covers provide close looks at the series’ central characters, including Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, siblings Tyrion, Cersei and Jaime Lannister, sisters Sansa and Arya Stark, and several others. Certain characters such as Melsandre and Grey Worm, Lord Varys and Ser Jorah Mormont, Theon and Euron Greyjoy and The Hound and The Mountain have been paired up. The characters seem to be in Kings Landing.
Speaking to EW about the show’s hotly anticipated conclusion, director David Nutter said, “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 [major characters] together it feels like you’re watching a superhero movie.”
Games of Thrones’ final season will consist of six episodes, reportedly of 90 minutes each. More details about the show’s super-secret finale episode were also revealed. The report noted that only crew members with special access were allowed on set, while several scenes were shot in a closed environment.
Games of Thrones’ final season will consist of six episodes, reportedly of 90 minutes each. “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,” co-creator and co-director of the series finale, DB Weiss explained. “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 take 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.”
Asked about the finale, Weiss said, “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 argument where it’s like, ‘Is that an A or an A+?’”