While the final season of Game of Thrones left some fans of the series with a sour taste in their mouth, there’s no denying that — whether it was difficult to see or not — episode 3 of season 8, “The Long Night”, was one of the grandest spectacles that the show ever produced.
Over 80 minutes of non-stop, balls-to-the-wall action, “The Long Night” saw the forces of the living successfully fend off the Night King and the army of the dead in what was the bloodiest episode in the series’ history (at the time, at least).
However, according to Miguel Sapochnik — the famed Game of Thrones director known for helming iconic episodes such as “Hardhome”, “Battle of the Bastards”, and “The Winds of Winter” — “The Long Night” wasn’t nearly as bloody as he’d originally intended.
“I wanted to kill everyone,” Sapochnik told IndieWire in an interview.
“I wanted to kill Jorah in the horse charge at the beginning. I was up for killing absolutely everyone. I wanted it to be ruthless, so that in the first 10 minutes you say, ‘All bets are off; anyone could die.’ And David and Dan didn’t want to. There was a lot of back-and-forth on that,” Sapochnik revealed.
Given the brutality he’s frequently wielded during the course of his Game of Thrones directorial career, it should come as no surprise that Sapochnik was trying to really up the ante and ratchet up the intensity in “The Long Night”, given both the stakes and the enemy at hand.
And while Sapochnik was perhaps not able to be as grizzly as he wanted in “The Long Night”, he certainly got the chance two episodes later in the series’ penultimate episode, “The Bells”, which reached genocidal levels of destruction.
During the course of the podcast interview, which lasted over two hours, Sapochnik essentially delved into his entire Game of Thrones career, discussing topics such as his initial, and seemingly constant, disagreements with showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the difficulties in directing “Hardhome”, and much more.
For any Game of Thrones fans, especially those with a preference for Sapochnik’s work, we highly recommend checking the entire podcast out.
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