If you’ve somehow never watched Game of Thrones, I’m not entirely sure why you would have clicked on the link that sent you to this page but I’d like to warn you this post is long and full of spoilers (a reference you’d understand if you actually kept up with the cultural zeitgeist).
Now that we’ve gotten that over with, I’m happy to inform people who actually watch the show that after a seemingly endless wait, we’re “only” 41 days away from the first episode of its final season, which we know a lot about while simultaneously knowing nothing about it at all.
In the past month alone, Game of Thrones fans have been doing everything in their power to figure out what’s going to happen over the last six episodes of the show by overanalyzing posters and dissecting snippets from trailers in the hope they can figure out how things will eventually play out.
Thankfully, thirsty viewers now have more information than ever in the form of a cover story from Entertainment Weekly that outlines what went into filming the final season—and, more importantly, what we can expect when everything is said and done.
When I talked to Hafthor Bjornsson a few months ago, he all but confirmed we’re going to be treated to the highly-anticipated Cleganebowl but it appears that faceoff is going to be dwarfed by another long-awaiting sequence: the Battle of Winterfell.
If EW is to be believed, the clash is set to be the most epic showdown Game of Thrones has ever filmed:
“The episode chronicles the great battle of Winterfell, pitting an uneasy collection of allies against the Night King and his army; a face-off teased from the series’ very first scene…
Here fan favorites like Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), and Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) are fighting for their lives, impossibly outnumbered against a supernatural enemy.
The outlet provided further details about what went into the battle—which is reportedly one of the largest (and longest) fight sequences in the history of entertainment:
The episode required 11 weeks of grueling night shoots. Imagine up to 750 people working all night long for nearly three months in the middle of open rural countryside: The temperatures are freezing in the low 30s; they’re laboring in icy rain and piercing wind, thick, ankle-deep mud; reeking horse manure and choking smoke.
EW notes almost all of the actors involved hated filming the episode in question and the brutal conditions on set but showrunner D.B. Weiss is very optimistic the final results will be more than worth the struggle:
“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 [finale] argument where it’s like, ‘Is that an A or an A+?’”
The article itself provides an exhaustive look at all of the work that went into the final season so I highly suggest reading the entire thing, as it’s easily the most extensive piece I’ve come across ahead of the finale.