Battle of the Blackwater. The Red Wedding. The Wildling assault on Castle Black. Hardhome. The Battle of the Bastards. No TV show, current or former, does more spectacular set pieces than Game of Thrones. But all of those massacres, along with the Battle of the Whispering Wood and the Loot Train Attack (it says something that a dragon absolutely wrecking the Lannister army is only, like, the sixth impressive scene involving mass violence on this show), look subtle compared to what Game of Thrones has in store for season eight.
Earlier this year, assistant director Jonathan Quinlan shared a thank you cardsent out to the crew following the completion of a battle that took 55 nights (!) of shooting. “This is for the Night Dragons,” it read. “For enduring 55 straight nights. For enduring the cold, the snow, the rain, the mud, the sheep sh*t of Toome and the winds of Magheramorne. When tens of millions of people around the world watch this episode a year from now, they won’t know how hard you worked. They won’t care how tired you were or how tough it was to do your job in sub-freezing temperatures. They’ll just understand that they’re watching something that’s never been done before. And that’s because of you.”
It’s still unknown what the 55-night shoot entailed, but it’s safe bet that it’s a battle scene involving most of the show’s main characters (HBO should make a Super Smash Bros-style game for Game of Thrones — I call dibs on the Mountain!). Peter Dinklage may have tipped his hand at the premiere of I Think We’re Alone Now, when he was asked if the show can top the Battle of the Bastards. “Oh my god, and then some,” he responded. “You are in for it. Truly.”
Maybe this time he’ll participate in it, too.