Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 October 2019

'Game of Thrones': Why the Battle of Winterfell will be such epic viewing

Producers promise 'unprecedented' fight scenes in the latest instalment of the HBO show

Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) face war in the next episode of 'Game of Thrones'. AP 
Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) face war in the next episode of 'Game of Thrones'. AP 

The Battle of Winterfell, due to take place in the latest Game of Thrones episode, will be the most epic battle ever seen on screen, big or small, according to the show’s co-executive producer.

The fight for the northern stronghold will feature in episode three of the HBO hit show's eighth season, and will air at 5am on Monday on OSN Play, and 11pm on Monday on OSN First.

“What we have asked the production team and crew to do this year truly has never been done in television or in a movie,” Bryan Cogman told Entertainment Weekly. “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.”

GoT's creators claim it will surpass what is considered to be the longest consecutive battle ever filmed: the Battle of Helm’s Deep from Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), which clocked in at a bloody 40 minutes.

Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister, compared the upcoming episode to one of the show’s best-known previous epic battles: “It’s brutal. It makes the Battle of the Bastards look like a theme park,” he told EW.

Filming the Battle of Winterfell took a gruelling 11 weeks of night shoots – nearly twice as long as the 25-day Battle of the Bastards shoot – and required plenty of stamina from the cast and hundreds of extras involved.

“The temperatures are freezing, in the low 30s [Farenheit]. They’re labouring in icy rain and piercing wind, thick, ankle-deep mud, reeking horse manure and choking smoke,” EW claimed.

Fans are also predicting that a decimated cast will emerge from the battle. With Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham), Samwell Tarly (John Bradley), Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen), Sandor “The Hound” Clegane (Rory McCann) and, of course, the Night King (Vladimír Furdík) all likely to stare death in the face in the episode.

One of HBO’s last teaser trailers for the show opened with a tattered Stark flag waving over a devastated Winterfell. Could this be the aftermath of the Battle of Winterfell?

No one’s present in the clip, but we do see discarded key items including Tyrion’s hand of the queen pin, Jaime’s prosthetic hand, dragonglass-tipped arrows, and the feather that Sansa returns to the statue of her aunt in a previous episode, none of which looks promising for the show’s human cast.

Updated: April 28, 2019 12:48 PM

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