Go behind the scenes of “Hardhome” with this new bonus video

Hardhome

The most recent episode of Game of Thrones contained a terrifying attack at Hardhome that took weeks to film. A new bonus featurette from HBO takes us behind the scenes of the episode with insightful commentary from writers David Benioff and D.B.Weiss, director Miguel Sapochnik, actors Kit Harington, Kristofer Hivju, Birgitte Hjort Sorenson, Ben Crompton, and various members of the crew.

Check it out:

Sue the Fury
Susan Miller, Editor in Chief of WatchersOnTheWall.com

108 Comments

  1. This is just a few minutes from weeks of shooting. Before that, how long was spent just setting this up?
    The end result – It’s amazing! No wonder the season’s felt slow. We’ve had the calm before the storm and then this happens. This makes everything worthwhile! So much was revealed that needs time to sink in. And it still has plenty more that leaves you guessing.

  2. The Massacre at Hardhome is such an amazing accomplishment. It’s the kind of indelible moment that will be celebrated and remembered long after Game of Thrones ends, and should be held up within the television industry as the gold standard for character-driven action and horror filmmaking for years to come. My sincere thanks to everyone involved in the production who made it possible – actors and extras, stunts and safety teams, production designers, make-up artists, VFX artists, producers, directors, writers, and everyone else. They all did incredible work, and they should be very proud.

    Considering that this scene took almost a month to shoot, I’m sure the production team has tons of behind-the-scenes footage stored in their digital vaults. This video was great, but I would absolutely love to see a half-hour documentary about the making of this entire sequence. From screenplay to post-production, it must have been a fascinating journey. If we’re fortunate, maybe such a special feature will be included on the Season 5 DVD.

  3. Jared,

    I often remind myself that it’s useless thinking about a season’s Blu-ray release while said season is still airing. But then something like Hardhome airs, and I just can’t help thinking about watching a documentary of it, listening to audio commentaries, etc.

    What do we have – like 8 months to wait? 😀

  4. I love that Miguel focused on the wall and on the Wildling side of the wall. He’s a great director. I bet that the peephole was his idea, too. Eek!

  5. I agree. Mr. Sapochnik was quite a gift to this amazing series.

    I’ve been wondering about the waves of snow that we saw coming off the cliffs at the beginning of attack scene. Weren’t those avalanche-like “waves” and ominous sounds actually thousands of wights diving over the cliffs, then reanimating at the bottom, like we saw a few minutes later? I can’t get enough of that scene. Extremely ominous and effective.

    Hopefully, we can experience this episode in IMAX at some point.

    Sunday can’t get here fast enough.

  6. I remember watching Blackwater and thinking it was the best battle ever produced for television.

    This episode blew Blackwater out of the water.

    Every element (performances, direction, stunts, VFX) was seamless, and the whole sequence was one of the most intense scenes I’ve ever seen in film or television. I was reminded of the Moria sequence in Fellowship, which (as you might guess from my username) is high praise from me.

    Also, I’m so happy that the show finally had a big battle in the daytime, and one that was a complete surprise to the characters and the audience (unlike the season-long build-ups to the battles at Blackwater and the Wall).

    Every single person involved knocked this one out of the park. I can’t wait to see them try to top it. (If next week’s big scene is this successful, I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it.)

  7. I really, really hope that they can hire Miguel Sapochnik for the next season. He did such an amazing job in the two episodes he directed! Not only in the (absolutely outstanding) battle scene, but in pretty much everything: cinematography, sound, lighting, pacing… Now, I’m hoping David Nutter can deliver in the next two episodes to close this season in a very high note.

  8. I had a nightmare about White Walkers attacking my city last night. I don’t scare easily and don’t usually have nightmares about things I’ve seen. So that means this episode was damn effective!

  9. John M W,

    Actually, HBO is apparently making them available on iTunes a few weeks after the season ends. Probably around late June since that’s when I think they start pulling them off HBO Now. Not sure about extras, though.

  10. I can´t but feel that Kit is totally miscast as Jon Snow.

    They should have cast someone with a long, hard manly face like he is in the books.

  11. Jared:
    The Massacre at Hardhome is such an amazing accomplishment. It’s the kind of indelible moment that will be celebrated and remembered long after Game of Thrones ends, and should be held up within the television industry as the gold standard for character-driven action and horror filmmaking for years to come. My sincere thanks to everyone involved in the production who made it possible – actors and extras, stunts and safety teams, production designers, make-up artists, VFX artists, producers, directors, writers, and everyone else. They all did incredible work, and they should be very proud.

    Considering that this scene took almost a month to shoot, I’m sure the production team has tons of behind-the-scenes footage stored in their digital vaults. This video was great, but I would absolutely love to see a half-hour documentary about the making of this entire sequence. From screenplay to post-production, it must have been a fascinating journey. If we’re fortunate, maybe such a special feature will be included on the Season 5 DVD.

    Yeah they did well from adjusting it from a Medieval Battle type focus ala Blackwater for example and turning it into a Horror Massacre angle, which is probably why it has worked so well because viewers are in Medieval drama mode and then we get something Fantasy/Horror which puts all the other plotlines into perspective

  12. Greenjones,

    sweet so the video i posted is legit

    i cant wait for Blood of the dragon i think its in the episode 10 …something tells me that is going to be the season ender

    before the old gods is that sansa wedding or a possible reek scene

  13. dragonbringer,

    seems blood of the dragon was happened during Dany drogon scene in episode 2 ..

    So i think that leaves us only with Thrones for game so there is not going to be any uplifting end in the finale

  14. Carne,

    i dont think we have seen the shot of jon looking high scared that we saw on the promos either ot that was when WUN WUn broke out of the hut

  15. Hodor’s Bastard:
    I agree. Mr. Sapochnik was quite a gift to this amazing series.

    My dream team of Season 6 directors: Alik Sakharov, Alex Graves, Miguel Sapochnik, Alan Taylor (on the off chance he returns to TV business), Neil Marshall. If they can spare the time, I’d be all for D&D as well. Their two episodes were masterpieces of direction.

  16. dragonbringer,

    “Dance of Dragons” this will be awesome.Just like “Blood of the Dragon” surely refers to a big Dany moment.So excited for her.

    “Throne for the Game” or “Forgive Me” That’s new, right?Something to look forward to.

  17. Davos’ Luck,

    My favorite director this season, and I don’t think I’m being fooled by the fact that he had more budget to work with in this episode than other directors. Last week’s episode and this are simply very well directed. My dream-team is this guy and Alik Sakharov, who have an almost painterly command of color and lighting, and maybe some of the usual guys (Graves, Nutter.)

    Greenjones,

    Hm. “Forgive me” and “Throne for the game” sound like finale material, right? Or have we heard them yet?

    Speaking of themes. I love when they repeat at just the appropriate times. Slynt’s beheading had the same music as Karstark’s, which had the same as Ser Rodrik’s; uniting Theon, Robb and Jon. And just last episode, when Theon revealed to Sansa that Bran and Rickon were alive, it had the EXACT same theme as when Osha revealed to Luwin in the crypts of Winterfell that Bran and Rickon were alive.

  18. Hey guys, what is your opinion about winteriscoming.net? To me, both the writers and majority of the users seem books purists who secretly hate the show. What do you think?

  19. Joffrey’s Cunt,

    Maybe.
    It’s a different version of “Forgive me”.It was played last season during Dany/Jorah scene.

    “Atonement” could be for WoS and “Before the Old Gods” for Theon’s confession.Or maybe I’ve missed that.
  20. Annie Wilkes,

    No,they shouldn’t,and i don’t care about his physical appearence from the books i thought we got over that after season 1 but if you didn’t then you have some problems lady . Kit has proven last episode,actually all season long that he is a capable actor and can carry the show on it’s own if he could .

  21. dragonbringer,

    Let’s see:
    02. Episode 2 end + credits
    03. Episode 3 HOBAW scene
    04. NEW (Dorne)
    05. Episode 8
    06. Episode 8
    07. NEW (new Rains of Castamere…)
    08. Episode 3
    09. NEW (obvious)
    10. Episode 1
    11. Episode 4
    12. Episode 6
    13. NEW (WoS)
    14. Episode 7
    15. NEW (not from episode 1)
    16. NEW (Spider’s back)
    17. Episode 4
    18. NEW (no clue)

    Honestly, since there’s already an Atonement soundtrack, and ‘Mother’s Mercy’ has a very ominous Rains of Castemere soundtrack, I’m really starting to hope for LS. Probably foolish, but whatever.

  22. Geralt of Rivia,

    yeah dance of dragons is next week …it looks like another version of Dracarys

    The immediate t5hought that came to mind for FORGIVE ME was varys in KL ..but may be its jon scene or just jorah and dany

    i have no idea what Throne for Game is about maybe it will be the one with varys …i never liked the idea of ending the season with him but it looks like they may do that ‘

    Dutch maester,

    i would advice you not to get your hopes up considering the GRRm interview ..he would not have mentioned her if she was in

    Arkash,

    thats what i thought first too ..but i now think its wedding scene of Sansa

  23. I’ve accepted she’s gone as well, but damn….. After the last season’s ending I was like “okay, she’s cut, that’s it”. And now, with that episode title, and this soundtrack…. why must they rebuild my hope?? I’m 99% sure, she won’t be in it, but after this finale, I’m ganna be disappointed again, because I, once again have 1% hope… :/

  24. sati,

    And they’re just going to spoil a major character that has yet to appear just like that with no consequences ? Yeah,i don’t buy that especially with how stingy this show is about spoilers,remember the whole Ramsay thing in season 3 where they denied to confirm whether he was played by Iwan Rheon until the last episode of the season when it was finally confirmed that it was him even though almost everyone knew at that point already .

  25. urangutan21,

    What? I’m saying that this EW article proves nothing and it’s possible LS is in. They are not spoiling anything, if anything they are going out of their way not to

  26. Dutch maester:
    dragonbringer,

    Honestly, since there’s already an Atonement soundtrack, and ‘Mother’s Mercy’ has a very ominous Rains of Castemere soundtrack, I’m really starting to hope for LS. Probably foolish, but whatever.

    Mother’s Mercy has Rains of Castemere soundtrack because of Cersei.

    Sorry, but it is foolish to hope.

  27. Yaga,

    Only four minutes?I was hoping for at least 15 minutes.It’s mostly about that special moment for Dany,but still it should’ve been longer.

  28. Yaga,

    that doesnt make any sense …

    the scene in the small pits of episode 7 had the screentime of 5 mins which means the great games have smaller screentime compared to the small pit

    not to mention 13 days of filming and 500 extras for 4 mins screentime

    Geralt of Rivia,

    yeah i would think its somewhere near 15 to 20 mins..they scrap the whole battle of meereen and if its only 4 mins i dont know what else to say

    and the sons of harpy attack had also about 5 mins of screentime in episode 4

  29. Annie Wilkes:
    I can´t but feel that Kit is totally miscast as Jon Snow.

    They should have cast someone with a long, hard manly face like he is in the books.

    Every time I see oneof you post I wonder if you are finally going to write something positive… or even related to the topic of WOW…
    And every time you just don’t.

    You have succeded in convincing me you are trolling

  30. dragonbringer,

    Hardhome was their biggest and longest action sequence ever.They made it very clear and i understand that.Hardhome was 20 minutes or something around that.It took a good month to film it and Daznak’s only 13 days.Still, Daznak’s should be around those 13-15 minutes.

    We need proper build up to it just like in Hardhome .There is plenty of potential SoH vs Unsullied,Tyrion freeing dragons,Dany mounting Drogon,Drogon’s arrival and not to mention Jorah’s fight in the pit.Maybe one short scene between Dany and Tyrion, before the fighting in the pit.No, it can’t be that short.
  31. Geralt of Rivia,

    exactly i would like to remind what D&D were speaking in the day in a life Promo …we go from amazing Daznak to amazing hardhome

    hardHome was 28 mins long with first 14 mins having the Nights watch and Wildling discussing and another 14 mins of action ..

    the action sequences in Daznak also will likely take about 14 mins …Considering the fighting ., Harpies attack and Dany and Drogon

    but i dont know how long they will take for seeting up daznak …we may have another scene of Dany and tyrion …the marriage may be …

    Hardhome was thier biggest sequence yet but that doesnt meant there wont be any other sequence topping that ..

    i know Daznak may not be that popular like Hardhome because of the character in question but that does not going to make her any less important to the story

  32. Geralt of Rivia,

    That’s most likely an error.

    We know there’s an announcer, a fight scene with Jorah, then the Sons of the Harpy attack, then Drogon. That cannot fit in 4 minutes.
  33. Hardhome was phenomenal. Also, I have to say I love the fact that they gave so much screentime in this video to lesser characters like Dolorous Edd and Karsi. Both were great and I hope Ben Crompton stays with us for a while longer.

    Annie Wilkes:
    I can´t but feel that Kit is totally miscast as Jon Snow.

    I am not a big fan of Kit. I have had many issues with his performance, but he was brilliant in this episode, you have to give him credit for that. I read one reviewer’s opinion on him that said that ‘Kit Harrington isn’t much of an actor, but he would sure make a great action star’ and I can get behind that opinion. I could see him being great in high octane action films with a lot of fighting and explosions, because that’s where he excells at in Thrones.

  34. Geralt of Rivia,

    Daznak’s pit has been in so much promotion… I can’t imagine it being a four minute sequence

    Maybe the final portion before Dany rides away is four minutes
  35. Game of Thrones returning to Spain for season 6

    http://www.ew.com/article/2015/06/02/game-thrones-spain

    The massive Thrones production team will invade the country of Spain for the filming of season six where the show will film in the cities of Girona and Peñíscola, among others

    Spanish fansite Los Siete Reinos, at least two new locations in Spain are lining up for filming in season 6, which starts filming this July but the Spanish segment appears set for September and October. According to Barcelonan paper La Vanguardia, HBO has apparently confirmed that the Catalonian city of Girona will be used in filming—its famous cathedral being cited as one location of particular interest—as well as the Valencian medieval town of Peñsicola which is known for retaining many medieval and Renaissance buildings and structures.

  36. snuuh: which is known for retaining many medieval and Renaissance buildings and structures.

    Girona=Oldtown
    Peniscola=Casterly Rock
    ?

  37. Jared: My sincere thanks to everyone involved in the production who made it possible – actors and extras, stunts and safety teams, production designers, make-up artists, VFX artists, producers, directors, writers, and everyone else.

    If VFX artists ‘added’ a little more (virtual) snow, the HH scene would be close to perfect.

  38. Annie Wilkes:
    I can´t but feel that Kit is totally miscast as Jon Snow.

    They should have cast someone with a long, hard manly face like he is in the books.

    Back when this all started, I had a similar feeling about Kit as Jon Snow. But now after almost 5 seasons and watching him do his great work at the end of S4 and then this past Sunday he knocked it out of the park for a grand slam home run……I can’t imagine anyone else playing the character of Jon Snow.

  39. sati:
    urangutan21,

    What? I’m saying that this EW article proves nothing and it’s possible LS is in. They are not spoiling anything, if anything they are going out of their way not to

    There will be a drug for those “never gonna say die” LS fans, it is called LSD.

  40. dragonbringer:
    when will be the OST of season 5 release

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNs5FPvhoPg&feature=youtu.be&t=486

    is this legit or fake i dont know …

    but there is one sample spoiler in that list…16. FORGIVE ME – looks like varys will be back in KL

    Another point, listening to Hardhome Part 1 and Part 2 really brings out how the music was perfect as well for this episode, a bit different to the normal GoT music in that it is Horror Genre sounding

    This all worked really well, a major jolt to the characters and audience as it is something that is totally outside of their field of usual reference

  41. dragonbringer:
    Greenjones,

    sweet so the video i posted is legit

    i cantwait for Blood of the dragon i think its in the episode 10 …something tells me that is going to be theseason ender

    before the old gods is that sansa wedding or a possible reek scene

    Nar

    Blood of the Dragon will be Dany flying off on Drogon or something

    Forgive Me IMO will be Reek/Theon helping Sansa escape Jeyne Poole wise

    The sad last one to close the season “Throne for the Game” will be Ides of Olly, reckon Jon Snow stabbing will close the season

    Hardhome is great, Jaws of the Viper is real nice too interestingly

  42. Turncloak:

    Season 5 soundtrack samples have been revealed:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/38bulq/spoilers_all_season_5_soundtrack_samples/

    All the tracks are terrific, can’t wait to download this. Ramin is always good (and maybe he might finally get an Emmy this year).

    Track 17, “Son of the Harpy”, sounds like a weird mash-up of John Williams’ “Duel of the Fates” and the “Jawa” theme. Seriously. Weird but awesome.

    “Jaws of the Viper”, “Kill the Boy” and “Kneel for No Man” are standouts too. Great stuff.

  43. 🙁

    This album has the shortest number of tracks out of any of the soundtracks so far.

    I hope at least some of tracks are lengthy.

  44. Blood of the Dragon sounds like the piece used at the end credits of episode 2. Though it is possible that it is an extended track that equates more than one scene. Last year’s Meereen track covered the arrival at Meereen and also the crucifying of the masters.

  45. Kundry: Every time I see oneof you post I wonder if you are finally going to write something positive… or even related to the topic of WOW…
    And every time you just don’t.

    You have succeded in convincing me you are trolling

    I haven’t noticed that person’s past comments, but since they’re named after the character in Misery who has a melt down (that’s putting it lightly) when things aren’t written to her satisfaction; probably trolling.

  46. Veltigar:
    Hardhome was phenomenal. Also, I have to say I love the fact that they gave so much screentime in this video to lesser characters like Dolorous Edd and Karsi. Both were great and I hope Ben Crompton stays with us for a while longer.

    I am not a big fan of Kit. I have had many issues with his performance, but he was brilliant in this episode, you have to give him credit for that. I read one reviewer’s opinion on him that said that ‘Kit Harrington isn’t much of an actor, but he would sure make a great action star’ and I can get behind that opinion. I could see him being great in high octane action films with a lot of fighting and explosions, because that’s where he excells at in Thrones.

    For mine though it all works, Jon in the books is described as “Sullen” and he is obviously a bit of a social misfit given he’s the bastard etc, so it makes sense if he’s a bit awkward with people, after all he just wanted to be a Ranger where he can go North of the Wall and effectively be by himself for a long time

    It’s a bit like the debate over Dany/Emilia Clarkes cringeworthy speeches and line delivery. There’s a possible argument this is the way it’s meant to come across

    Season 1 she did well, in season 2 she gave a good self entitled petulent speech to the master guy in Qarth, find it hard to believe she would be missing the mark. It makes sense though if they are trying to convey she is “trying” to set herself up as a ruler but really she is living out Viserys vision and it doesen’t work. Hence the “Remember who you are from Quaithe which was filled by Drogon earlier this season

    Reckon when she says “stuff it” and goes Fire + Blood on everyones asses which we saw a glimpse of when she fed the Master to Viserion and Rhaegal her she will deliver lines better

  47. “You can’t fake chaos” LF might agree.

    This was a masterpiece, made for TV. Thanks to all who brought this to life!

  48. Throne for the Game is just another unique version of the main title theme. It’s a trend that dates back to the Season 3 OST and like the previous iterations, it probably won’t even feature on the show.

  49. Remember when everyone was dead sure that the song “Dark Wings, Dark Words” was the theme for Lady Stoneheart’s intro?

    Listening to it now, I STILL think they asked him to compose this in case they filmed the scene but in the end didn’t.

  50. 3433,

    I used to check that site out, but I stopped for that very reason. I don’t know if they’re all book purists, but there are a few columnists there who are and its annoying. One guy went on and on about the Barristan Selmy death and I just commented “If you hate the show, just stop watching, you’ll be happier”. He went into a lengthy response with “I’ll watch what I want, etc.” Clearly, a lot of hate watchers there. It got tiresome.

  51. Ravyn

    At the bullring of the nearby town of Osuna, production spent 13 days filming an about four-minute scene with 500 extras.

    If a 4-minute sequence took 500 extras and 13 DAYS to film (3 days per minute 😀 ), it’s going to be rather special! 😀 It must also mean that my boy Drogon gets there pronto with no time wasted on pointless “entertainment” murder.

  52. Great video, provides just a glimpse into all the effort by everyone involved for weeks to give viewers this very special and emotional scene, that is not part of television legend,

    One question, wouldn’t the freezing temperatures prevent deterioration and therefore it would take like centuries, not weeks.

    I got how HBO can bring Birjitte back, as a twin sister, the Val(forgot the last syllables) she briefly mention to her daughters that would be with them could become a twin for season 6.

  53. Ravyn,

    “At the bullring of the nearby town of Osuna, production spent 13 days filming an about four-minute scene with 500 extras.”

  54. Kay,

    OK. Thanks. I was scanning for the Danzik word. That’s weird if that’s the money scene for the famous penultimate episode that it would be so short. Guess we’ll see what’s up their sleeves. Maybe they didn’t want to give Kit that spot two seasons in a row? Dany’s never had a climactic moment in that spot.

  55. Ravyn,

    I think its incorrect
    How can it be four minutes? Its such a penultimate scene

    Maybe 4 minutes is only the end when Drogon comes and the fighting gets chaotic
  56. I assume the 4-minute Pit is just a sequence vs. all Pit in the entire episode. Maybe because unlike HH it’s split up within the episode? Or just a major portion of a larger scene.

  57. Ravyn,

    HelloThere,

    i think there must be a mistake too ..

    they must have missed twenty before the four…there is no way this set piece is going to be anything less than 15 mins and remember the episode is named after them (episode 9 i mean)

  58. dragonbringer,

    It was that long?Damn.I have to watch this again, but I trust you.

    You’re right.In this case it should be easily 20 mins, because there will be moment that will be forever remembered, as one of the greatest in television history.

    I meant Hardhome was longest and biggest(visually), so they can’t top that in those aspects.But in the terms of quality, yeah they can top this.I’m gonna enjoy Daznak’s, just like Hardhome.I have faith in David Nutter, just like in Miguel Sapochnik.Both of those episodes/moments will be up there with Blackwater and others.

    Both of those moment will be the ultimate game changers.Biggest threat vs only hope and biggest weapon.

  59. HelloThere,

    That’s my guess. We know that Daznak’s Pit is going to unfold in three acts: 1) Gladiatorial combat, centering on Jorah; 2) The Sons of the Harpy staging their attack; 3) Drogon’s arrival. There is no possible way that all three acts could be compressed into a four minute time period. Hell, we’ve seen nearly a minute of footage from Daznak’s Pit scattered across the various trailers alone, and Drogon is completely absent from all of it (for obvious reasons). However, a four minute sequence extending from the moment Drogon lands in the pit to the moment Dany flies away on his back sounds extremely plausible to me. That would give Drogon plenty of time to torch the Sons of the Harpy and cause all manner of chaos, while also keeping the sequence within the realistic confines of what the show’s budget can handle.

    I think the total length of the entire Daznak’s Pit sequence will be closer to 10-15 minutes. Even that figure excludes any potential scenes that might take place in Meereen before the Great Games begin (Dany’s wedding to Hizdhar, for instance).

  60. Off-Topic Otto,

    i hope they do this episode the same way they did with last two episodes The Gift and HardHome ..that way it doesnt ahve to shift from one story line to another and focus on a single story line and hence the flow of the last two episodes was very good

    they can do it like red wedding episode where we switched from Robb to other storylines but i dont think switching the scenes in between the fight is an wise move

  61. Geralt of Rivia,

    “Both of those moment will be the ultimate game changers.Biggest threat vs only hope and biggest weapon.”

    Yeah, I assumed that was the point: Ice then Fire. Would be odd if Fire only got four minutes. But I guess it isn’t the screen time but what you do with it. And Nutter did the Red Wedding, so….

  62. Geralt of Rivia,

    yeah it was 28 mins long …i know this because i am trying to compare both hardhome and daznak with screen time and other things

    in david nutter we trust

    speaking of daznak did anyone else fell weird looking in the promo how big Daznak actually is …its just i never thought they are going to make it that much big and in the trailers it didnt look like such huge pit ..

  63. Premature Topic: Ozzy Man’s review of ep8 is so good! He can speak for me from now on. Can’t wait to view the rest in the WotW collection of viddy reviews (I’ll let WotW provide the links when they publish). Even Preston Jacobs is in a favorable mood this week (although still wonderfully jaded).

    Hardhome really brought so much delicious detail (terror, pathos, trepidation and hope) to the story. I hope Nutter takes the story further!

  64. Jared,

    I still have a strange surreal feeling about seeing Daznak’s Pit unfold on screen. I haven’t had this kind of anticipation for a set piece since the Red Wedding. Should go down as an iconic moment on TV. Episode 8/9/10 of this season will hopefully go down as the greatest 3 episode stretch ever.

    I mean.. Daznak’s Pit… Walk of Shame… For the Watch…. ALL on screen in the next two weeks…. *drools*

  65. Dutch maester,

    yeah but its just feels so different because afterall how many times i must have viewed that shot of dany and others surrounded by harpies where there is no hint of shadows from pit apart from the actors …and then when watching promo and looking that half of pit is covered in shadows its so strange to me but no complains ..they have made all my doubts go away with the last episode and cant wait for episode 9 and ten

    HelloThere,

    completely agree it will not only be an iconic moment of the series but iconic to HBO as well for years to come

  66. Jared:
    HelloThere,

    I too think the four-minute refers to a certain much-loved character for show-watchers, who is very, very expensive to film/render, and who has only had two brief appearances in the season so far. 😀

    dragonbringer: i know Daznak may not be that popular like Hardhome because of the character in question but that does not going to make her any less important to the story

    I wouldn’t worry about Daznak not being popular because of the character in question; not amongst the many show watchers, especially when the character in question goes back to a pre-mid Season 3 onwards state. 😉

  67. Hodor’s Bastard:
    Premature Topic: Ozzy Man’s review of ep8 is so good! He can speak for me from now on. Can’t wait to view the rest in the WotW collection of viddy reviews (I’ll let WotW provide the links when they publish).

    This! I love his reviews every week!

  68. I haven’t heard any commentators or critics discuss it, but in addition to being an existential threat that may eventually unite the kingdoms (or, at least, should unite them), the White Walkers and the wights represent something else, which is central to the main tension in the show, which is “survival for its own sake” vs. “living well and honorably, even if that means survivial is less assured.” The army of wights is essentially the embodiment of the concept of survival for its own sake. Survival without values. Deathlessness, or a hatred of death. Clinging to life, no matter the consequences to one’s soul. And that ethic is, for the most part, held by the characters in the show that audiences dislike the most. The Cerseis, for example. The opposing ethic, of “living honorably, rather than surviving dishonorably” is largely embodied by the Starks and Daenerys (until recently, that is, as she has begun to compromise her values). The ultimate fight in this story is between these two opposing ethics, and the so-called “Zombie Apocalypse” shows the horrible strength of those who cling to life at all costs.

    My hope is that a life well-lived wins over the desire for deathlessness. Otherwise, this will all have been an exercise in reinforcing nihilist survivalism.

  69. If the HBO suits demand more seasons beyond the planned arc, I hope they kick season 8 off with an episode called HARDERHOME. Winter suddenly comes again; undead giants, undead kraken, undead Titan of Braavos, undead Penny.

    Get Hype, in the parlance of our times.

  70. Harma Dogememe,

    D&D said last year it was gonna be at least 7 seasons, but certainly not 9 or 10 seasons. Which leaves 7 or 8 seasons anyway, regardless of what the network wants. Looking at the new (unexpected) castings, I’m hoping for 8 seasons (or a two-part seventh season). To be fair, the main reasons is the daunting prospect of having only 20 more GoT episodes after this season. GIVE US 80!

  71. I can’t remember. Maybe the half hour special, maybe some video about the sets itself. Maybe I read it somewhere. But it is definitely longer than 15 minutes.

  72. Ghost’s Lunch: F
    It’s a bit like the debate over Dany/Emilia Clarkes cringeworthy speeches and line delivery. There’s a possible argument this is the way it’s meant to come across

    Or a different explanation I favour, Emilia Clarke is often stuck with crummy material to work with. As Charles Dance likes to put it, you can’t make a silk purse out of a pig’s ear. Emilia was excellent in season one and she delivers splendidly on the big moments (e.g. Sack of Astapor), but a lot of the time she gets shafted in the adaptation.

    Which is rather sad, since a lot of Dany’s material already suffers from certain drawbacks originating in the sourcematerial (i.e. a horribly orientalist setting, less interesting supporting cast and hilariously inept, superevil villains).

    Best example here is Qarth. I was looking forward to that arc on the show. In the books Daenerys’ whole arc there is a waste of space, with the exception of the final House of the Undying chapter. I was sure the show would be able to improve on that, but boy was I proven wrong.

    Daenerys had way to much screentime in that season (understandable choice due to her popularity), but lacks the material to fill it out. Her opponents were boring in the books, but in the show they were even worse and then the show changes the best part of her book arc, giving pretty much nothing in return. Of course she’s going to come off as a bad actress then.

  73. Dutch maester,

    I could accept 8 seasons, if they legitimately have the material to do it without having the pace of the show suffer… which doesn’t seem like a huge issue since GoT is built on slow-burning storylines.

    The thing I don’t want is for it to end with one of these stupid “two part” final seasons where we’ll get 6 episodes where nothing happens, ends in a cliffhanger, and then get to wait another year to see 6 more episodes.

  74. Ghost’s Lunch: It’s a bit like the debate over Dany/Emilia Clarkes cringeworthy speeches and line delivery. There’s a possible argument this is the way it’s meant to come across

    I never realized it until reading this, but yeah totally… I feel like I’m cringing at Dany’s naivety and pomposity, moreso than cringing at bad acting.

  75. This is the first season since season 1 that Dany has been given scenes of varying emotions.

    I’ve loved Emilia’s scenes w/ Daario and also her scenes in episode 2 when she kills Mossador.
    The character seems human again.

  76. Joffrey’s Cunt,

    Olly doesn’t stab Jon Snow. – He aims an arrow for Tormund and Jon steps in front of it. – This brings the Nights Watch and Wildlings together. – I don’t think there will be a pink letter and a FTW moment…

  77. Ginevra: I love that Miguel focused on the wall and on the Wildling side of the wall.

    Good decision! I’m just thankful he used lighting. I missed Sakharov’s obsession with lighting this season.

    Davos’ Luck: Now, I’m hoping David Nutter can deliver in the next two episodes to close this season in a very high note.

    Me, too. The fact that I’m nervousing over Nutter closing the season demonstrates Sapochnik’s success.

  78. Annie Wilkes: I can´t but feel that Kit is totally miscast as Jon Snow.

    He’s perfect. His acting isn’t always a 10 but everything else is.

    3433: Hey guys, what is your opinion about winteriscoming.net?

    I love how they don’t give a hoot about spoilers. Hate the new format.

  79. 02. Blood of Dragon = best.
    03. House of Black and White puts me to sweep.
    04. Jaws of the Viper sounds bittersweet, so basically happy.
    05. & 06. Hardhome 1 & 2 > Battle at Castle Black
    07. Mother’s Mercy sounds like some Septa Unella shit.
    08. Kill the Boy = Olly’s theme.
    09. Dance of Dragons sounds like a cross between Jaws, the Predator, and a Velociraptor.
    10. Kneel for No Man sounded like the Lord of Bones’ last breath.
    11. High Sparrow = chaste Enigma.
    12. Before the Old Gods sounds like Theon dying underneath a tree.
    13. Atonement – Cersei finally takes a drank.
    14. I Dreamt I was Old – EeEeeEeeegg!
    15. The Wars to Come – Sounds foreboding. Was it?
    16. Forgive Me sounds like death ain’t done. Like a shadow dagger in the dark. Like a drowned kraken.
    17. Son of the Harpy sounds like some Omen shit.
    18. Throne for the Game is just wrong. Is that Hozier?

  80. Rygritte,

    Well done! “Forgive Me” is obviously the soundtrack of For The Watch… Seems like it will be a properly sad and ominous scene. In Nutter we trust! This is the guy who directed The Rains of Castamere, after all… Although Sapochnik set the bar very, very high!

  81. Annie Wilkes,
    Did you not watch untill the end of the epsiode or did you completely disregard the look on Jon / Kit’s face after being confronted with the Night’s King?

    Veltigar,

    That reviewer who basically said that Kit will do well only as an action star never read other reviewer’s opinions on his acting in Testament of Youth and Spooks: The Greater Good. Everyone is entitled to their tastes and opinions. Jon’s writing and Kit’s acting was not always consistent, but there are standout moments all through these five seasons, even in season two, especially with Ygritte.
    I simply can’t imganine anyone else as him.

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