Hold onto your sigils: A good portion of Game of Thrones‘ upcoming final season will be so massive and intense that it’ll make Jon and Ramsay’s epic Season 6 fight look like a schoolyard scuffle in comparison.
“In terms of sheer scope, there is a lot in this season that outstrips the Battle of the Bastards sequence so expertly directed by Miguel Sapochnik,” series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss tell The Hollywood Reporter. “We can say this without feeling bad, since most of [Season 8] was also expertly directed by Miguel Sapochnik.”
The pair’s comment was in response to a query about a Season 8 skirmish that reportedly took upwards of 55 days to shoot; indeed, series star Peter Dinklage noted last year that that fight would make the Season 6 conflict “look like a theme park.” But, per Benioff and Weiss, much of the HBO drama’s six-episode swan song will be at that visually stunning, anxiety-inducing level.
On Tuesday, the executive producers will accept the Visual Effects Society Award for Creative Excellence. Along those lines, they shared a few behind-the-scenes secrets about the the series’ VFX process, including:
* The dragons’ growth has meant creating new ways for the cast and directors to know where to look when shooting a scene, and the series recently began simulcasting animated renderings of the beasts on set. “That way, we can see what we’re actually shooting while we’re shooting it, instead of having to figure out a way to shoehorn things together later,” the EP say.
* Sometimes, though, real-ish is best: Some of the dragons’ fire-breathing moments are created via a “motion-controlled flamethrower on a crane.”
* Weiss and Benioff count the Battle of the Bastards and Season 7’s fight on the ice lake among the series’ toughest sequences. “Of course, the things we’re doing for the final season go a good deal beyond either of those,” they add.
Thrones will return for its eighth and final season on Sunday, April 14 (9/8c). What are you hoping to see take place before the series wraps? Hit the comments and let us know!