Filming for Game of Thrones Season 8 has been underway for a while, and we're now finally learning some exciting details on what the cast and crew have been up to. For a show heavily steeped in violent clashes, the answer is probably unsurprising, albeit no less thrilling. The HBO series just finished filming a battle that took 55 successive nights to film, which means it could put its previous ones to shame...shame...shame. Don't get your bells out quite yet, though.
Veteran Game of Thrones assistant director Jonathan Quinlan posted a note on social media recently that thanked crew members for sticking it out to film that ginormous battle amidst freezing temperatures and overall terrible conditions. Though the post itself was later removed, possibly because HBO thought it was too informative, Watchers on the Wall saved it for posterity. Here is the exact text from the note Quinlan shared:
This is for the Night Dragons.
For enduring 55 straight nights. For enduring the cold, the snow, the rain, the mud, the sheep shit 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.
Thank you, The Producer Types
Filming for the battle took place in three locations, though only two of which have been confirmed. Those locations are Toome and Magheramorne. Toome is where the set of House Stark's ancestral home Winterfell is located, and the Season 8 battle marks the first to take place at Winterfell since Season 6. The Starks' central abode enjoyed some peace and relative quiet in Season 7, but now our theories have been confirmed that the Starks' home will be seeing more action in Season 8.
It would not be a proper season of Game of Thrones without a massive battle sequence, amirite? Given the length of time spent filming Season 8's central showdown, it stands to overtake Season 6's "Battle of the Bastards" as the most epic in the show's history, which wouldn't have seemed likely when that episode aired. Like the "Bastards" skirmish, Season 8's battle will commence at the home of some of the series' most loved characters. Unlike Season 6's clash, though, the Starks will likely be fighting to protect their home. Putting on our speculation hats, it would seem that Jon Snow and others will be trying to save Winterfell from the White Walker invasion.
The Season 7 finale definitely hinted at the upcoming battle, too, ending with the Night King riding Daenerys Targaryen's re-animated dragon Viserion, and melting The Wall. That game-changing moment means that the Night King and his army of the dead have nothing keeping them from descending south, with Winterfell in their sights. House Stark's ancestral seat is set-up to be the hub of Season 8's main action, and with the exception of the reigning Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, Cersei Lannister, every major character was headed there in the Season 7 finale. With every living Stark either already at Winterfell or heading back to it, this battle means every member of the beloved House is in mortal danger.
Could Game of Thrones lose another Stark before the end of the series? It is a sad thing to imagine this happening, but this is Game of Thrones, and the worst usually happens. With major characters having escaped death in Season 7, the death toll in Season 8 will likely compensate for the reprieve. And the bell will absolutely toll many times during any battle that takes 55 nights to film. The good news for House Stark is that Bran is back, and given that he is the Three-Eyed Raven, he could theoretically take control of Viserion, disabling the Night King's most powerful tool for destruction.