Another day, another step closer to the highly-anticipated finale of Game of Thrones which, for fans of the show, will be a strange mix of excitement and emotion.
It’s been over a year since the end of season seven, which saw the Night King’s army quickly growing and advancing as it descended on The Wall. Season seven’s conclusion also saw Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen team up in more ways than one, as they travelled north together, towards Winterfell.
They weren’t the only ones heading north though, as Tyrion Lannister and a number of other key characters were en route, ready to reunite with Samwell Tarly and the three remaining Stark siblings – Sansa, Arya and Bran.
As is usually the way with GoT, if we’re not in the middle of battle, we’re on the verge of one. However, it seems season eight won’t be throwing us back into the middle of things with the Army of the Dead.
Instead, the first episode is likely to mirror season one’s first episode, as many key characters arrive in Winterfell, some of whom have never met before.
This time, it’s Daenerys and her army arriving in the north, as she and her entourage congregate with the Starks and others, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Bryan Cogman, GoT‘s co-executive producer, said:
It’s about all of these disparate characters coming together to face a common enemy, dealing with their own past, and defining the person they want to be in the face of certain death.
It’s an incredibly emotional, haunting, bittersweet final season, and I think it honors very much what George set out to do — which is flipping this kind of story on its head.
It was also suggested the drama of the final season will build to the epic confrontation with the Army of the Dead, which is expected to be ‘the most sustained action sequence ever made for television or film’.
In April this year, a crew member revealed they’d undergone 55 night shoots just to film one battle, and not even the full battle that’ll take place.
The night shoots were only filming the outdoor scenes. After the crew had wrapped outdoors, they moved into a studio to continue filming the battle for a few more weeks.
In comparison, season six’s epic climax, titled The Battle of the B*stards, took 25 days to shoot.
Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister, said:
It’s brutal. It makes the Battle of the B*stards look like a theme park.
Showrunner David Benioff said:
Having the largest battle doesn’t sound very exciting — it actually sounds pretty boring. Part of our challenge, and really, Miguel’s [Sapochnik, director] challenge, is how to keep that compelling… we’ve been building toward this since the very beginning, it’s the living against the dead, and you can’t do that in a 12-minute sequence.
This is going to be huge!
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.