With 11 straight weeks of grueling night shoots, we already knew that the final major battle of Game of Thrones, known at this point as The Battle of Winterfell, was going to be the biggest action sequence ever seen on television. However, as it turns it out, it could be the biggest battle in the history of entertainment, bigger than the infamous Helm's Deep sequence in The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers.
During EW's new cover story regarding the final season of Game of Thrones, the publication spoke with director Miguel Sapochnik, the man responsible for the biggest battles of the entire series. After directing both "Hardhome" and "Battle of the Bastards," Sapochnik took on the responsibility of helming this last major battle, which pits the Army of the Dead against all of Westeros. When looking for influence for this massive production, Sapochnik tried to find an on-screen battle that lasted as long as his would, but came across no such thing. The closest he found was the 40-minute-long Battle of Helm's Deep in Peter Jackson's second Lord of the Rings film.
“It feels like the only way to really approach it properly is take every sequence and ask yourself: ‘Why would I care to keep watching?’” Sapchnick said. “One thing I found is the less action — the less fighting — you can have in a sequence, the better.”
The other challenge with this final battle was deciding which story to focus on at which point. The other major battles of the series have all been centered around Jon Snow, but this one was much bigger than just one man.
“The [GoT battles] I’ve done previously were generally from Jon’s perspective,” Sapochnik says. “Here I’ve got 20-some cast members and everyone would like it to be their scene. That’s complicated because I find the best battle sequences are when you have a strong point of view. I keep thinking: ‘Whose story am I telling right now?’”
Are you looking forward to seeing the Battle of Winterfell come to life on Game of Thrones this spring? How will the affair play out? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Game of Thrones returns for its final season on April 14th.
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