Winterfell has played host to a great many battle sequences over the years.
The Stark stronghold has withstood countless wars and long winters, but never has it faced a threat quite like the Night King and his undead army. It’s a battle long foretold; the kind that demanded a 90-minute Game of Thrones episode unlike any other. And that’s just the end product.
To achieve the jaw-dropping scale and scope of “The Long Night,” the Game of Thrones production crew filmed for 11 weeks in Northern Ireland, 55 days of which were dedicated nighttime shoots when temperatures plummeted to -14ºC. Even for the bitter-cold Seven Kingdoms, that’s freezing, and perhaps more so than the episode itself, this 40-minute behind-the-scenes video perfectly captures the sheer grit and determination powering “The Long Night.”
Pretty cool, eh? Much like “Hardhome,” “Blackwater,” “Battle of the Bastards” and “The Spoils of War,” Sunday’s installment of Game of Thrones will likely be discussed and analyzed for months – if not years – to come. Case in point: Vox recently caught up with two military experts, and they weren’t best pleased about Jon and Dany’s approach to “The Long Night.”
What comes next? Well, we know Cersei has sided with Euron Greyjoy and the Golden Company, and plans to rule the Seven Kingdoms unchallenged. Standing between her and absolute power are the remnants of Jon and Dany’s forces, though it remains to be seen whether everyone will be fighting on the same side now that death has been defeated. Remember Dany and Sansa’s icy exchange from last week? The one where the Queen of Dragons was staring daggers? Yeah, it’ll likely be some time before things smooth over.
Game of Thrones 8×04 will be with us on Sunday, May 5th.