The Season 8 battle that will dwarf all other Game of Thrones dustups is a much more involved affair than previously thought.
In April, assistant director Jonathan Quinlan posted to social media a thank-you note from the HBO series’ producers. “This is for the Night Dragons,” they wrote to those involved in the epic outdoor shoot. “For enduring 55 straight nights. For enduring the cold, the snow, the rain, the mud, the sheep s–t of Toome and the winds of Magheramorne.” (Toome and Maghermorne Quarry are two locations in Northern Ireland where the series shot its eighth and final season.)
But much like Melisandre’s magical necklace, that note didn’t reveal the whole truth.
Per EW, the Miguel Sapochnik-helmed battle against the Night King’s forces actually took weeks longer, thanks to extensive footage shot on the show’s soundstages.
Star Peter Dinklage called the end result “brutal,” adding, “It makes the Battle of the Bastards look like a theme park.”
The magazine also reports that the mammoth skirmish will follow multiple characters as they try to survive the fight. (If it’s anything like Jon dodging arrows and bludgeons in the Battle of the Bastards, we’re going to need a lot of Arbor Gold on hand to take the edge off.)
Game of Thrones will return in the first half of 2019, though HBO has not yet announced an exact premiere date.