In the very first scene of Game of Thrones’ mammoth saga, viewers were confronted with a haunting reality—the people of The Seven Kingdoms have way bigger fish to fry than some spiteful infighting.
The Night King’s army of the dead has been teased endlessly since then. Countless speeches about the importance of The Wall and numerous promises of something much worse to come have more than belabored the point.
Now, with the series finale just around the corner, it’s time to get this show on the road. And Peter Dinklage (aka Tyrion Lannister aka our future King, do not doubt his power) is promising an epic and “brutal” final showdown.
“It makes the Battle of the Bastards look like a theme park,” Dinklage toldEntertainment Weekly for their report on the series’ finale.
Dinklage’s comment is particularly intriguing considering director Miguel Sapochnik helmed the Season 6 face-off between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton and has returned for the final confrontation between the living and the dead—meaning Sapochnik will have to step up his already very high quality game.
“It makes the Battle of the Bastards look like a theme park.”
Showrunner David Benioff noted the intense difficulty of maintaining story and emotion while also delivering on that mandatory wow factor.
“Part of our challenge, and really, Miguel’s challenge, is how to keep that compelling… we’ve been building toward this since the very beginning, it’s the living against the dead, and you can’t do that in a 12-minute sequence,” Benioff told EW.
This massive and lengthy climax reportedly took weeks to shoot as well as called for major additions to the existing set. An expansion of Winterfell needed to accommodate the action required that HBO build another large portion of the castle, including a tower, a courtyard, and lots of interior spaces.
This enormous undertaking will almost certainly pay off. Not only can viewers expect a stunning visual display—I mean, come on: ice dragon—but viewers can also anticipate seeing the series’ impactful character arcs come to poignant and satisfying ends.
“It’s about all of these disparate characters coming together to face a common enemy, dealing with their own past, and defining the person they want to be in the face of certain death,” co-executive producer Bryan Cogman told EW.
With that massive tease in mind, we’re all wondering: when are we getting this masterpiece? As of right now, we’re still stuck in “first half of 2019” territory.
Yes, that’s a little infuriating. But, patience is a virtue and this sounds like one battle worth waiting for.
You can read the full Entertainment Weekly cover story here.