Game of Thrones’ Army of the Dead battle will be even bigger than we thought

The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones will likely be the biggest thing on television, with those six-episodes chronicling the final battle for Westeros and bringing an end to the story of the characters we’ve followed for the past seven seasons; those who are still alive that is. According to Entertainment Weekly, who unveiled Jon Snow (Kit Harington ) and  Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) on their cover earlier today, the battle between Westeros and the Army of the Dead will be even bigger than we thought.

Entertainment Weekly said that the eighth season will open with Daenerys and her army arriving at Winterfell, and what will follow will be a tense and thrilling intermingling of the surviving characters as they prepare to face the coming invasion. The Army of the Dead battle is expected to be the “most sustained action sequence ever made for television or film” as one episode is said to be wall-to-wall action. Miguel Sapochnik, who helmed the Battle of the Bastards episode in season six, directed that particular episode and it took quite a lot of time to pull off. It was previously reported that they had spent 55 nights filming the battle, which is more than twice as long as the 25-day shoot for Battle of the Bastards, but, the actual shoot was much longer. Those 55 nights were only for the battle’s outdoor scenes on the Winterfell set, afterwhich the crew moved into the studio for more shooting which continued for weeks. This is going to be one intense battle, and Peter Dinklage teased that “it makes the Battle of the Bastards look like a theme park.” However, merely throwing two armies at one another isn’t the most compelling piece of entertainment, so David Benioff said that they made sure to focus on multiple characters each involved in their own survival story-lines.

Having the largest battle doesn’t sound very exciting — it actually sounds pretty boring. Part of our challenge, and really, Miguel’s 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.

The eighth season of Game of Thrones will debut on HBO in 2019.

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