Director Miguel Sapochnik discusses his work on the Game of Thrones season finale this week. Speaking with Vulture, he acknowledges major influences on the incredible King’s Landing opener:
The Godfather definitely had a hand in the conception of this sequence, but I also looked at various James Bond sequences for the explosions of the villain’s lairs. We wanted to make sure that it didn’t feel like a cheap trick to blow up the Sept of Baelor, and at the same time embrace the fact that it was something that people probably saw coming. How could we make it still feel like a shock?
Talking to Entertainment Weekly, Sapochnik notes:
The first step was looking for a way to achieve it within the constraints of a television budget and schedule. First, the explosion was only seen from outside the Sept but I really wanted to see the High Sparrow get it so I story boarded a sequence that included this and David and Dan liked it so we put it in.
As for Septa Unella’s fate possibly being worse originally than what we saw, he tells EW, “I don’t know the details of that,” he replied. “Although I suspect it wasn’t pretty. I think everyone pretty much got what they deserved in pretty much the way it was written. And anyway, who says Septa Unella’s dead?”
Sapochnik says to Vulture that the most difficult shot to get was the final one, of Daenerys’ armada setting sail. The cold climate caused problems for their leading lady.
Emilia [Clarke] got so cold, her jaw started shaking uncontrollably and she totally lost her thread as far as what she was meant to be thinking in that moment (the cold will do that). She asked me to help, so I suggested that she just hum the theme to Game of Thrones in her head while we were rolling the cameras, and apparently that worked because it’s the take we used in the final cut!
Costume designer Michele Clapton spoke with Vulture about her intentions behind her design for Cersei’s new crown, unveiled in the finale. As with all Game of Thrones clothing and jewelry, a great deal of thought went into its creation.
I chose to make it in silver with just wisps of gold to try to show her isolation, her mental disentangling from her family. There is no reference to [her late husband, Robert] Baratheon; there is no need anymore. She doesn’t have to try and prove a link. The center of the crown is the lion sigil abstracted — its mane represents the Iron Throne, her desire. She has made it her own — she is reborn.
Composer Ramin Djawadi speaks with The Hollywood Reporter about his work on this season’s music and particularly “Light of the Seven,” the track that scored the King’s Landing sequence in the season finale. He gets into the nitty-gritty of his work, explaining the thought processes behind certain choices. For instance, he explains the origins of the eerie child vocals that play in the music, beginning with Pycelle’s murder. He tells THR:
This comes back to when we started talking about it conceptually. “What about the piano? What about the organ?” I said, “Well, what about these kids? We have these kids running around. What about solo vocals? Boys’ vocals?” So when these vocals come in, that’s when you see the knife. We thought the voices added another level of this haunting experience. It’s two boys, that’s it. Not a big choir. It’s two solo boys singing. […] It’s two boys and they sing in unison, which might be why it sounds bigger. And every once in a while, they hit a note where they don’t sing the same note, and it creates this tension. That’s also intentional. You want this jarring feeling, that there’s this unison line, but then it kind of departs, and then comes back together. That was the idea behind that, to enhance that tension.