This one comes from EW, where David Benioff makes the claim that the battle at the center of Game of Thrones’ sixth season is their biggest production yet. The really great news here is that the episode was directed by Miguel Sapochnik, who also directed the unbelievable Hardhome episode:
“Miguel did such a fantastic job with ‘Hardhome’ we thought we should bring him back – this time with horses,” Benioff said. “Horses are not easy, at all. And certainly in terms of numbers – number of extras, number of stuntmen, number of shooting days – it’s the biggest we’ve done.”
For the first time, the show is moving beyond George R.R. Martin’s books, so nobody knows exactly what’s going to happen in the battle. But we know it’s going to be big:
“It’s definitely the biggest [action sequence yet],” Thrones writer-producer Bryan Cogman told EW. “We’ve always wanted to get to a place – story-wise and budget-wise and time-wise and resource-wise – where we would be able to do a proper battle, with one army on one side, one army on another side.”
Unlike many shows, Game of Thrones makes an effort to keep digital effects to a minimum, so the battles feel more realistic than anything else on television. And, to hear them tell it, it’s very, very hard:
“We wondered, ‘Why don’t you see more fully fleshed-out battles in movies and TV?’” said Dan Weiss, is a showrunner on the series along with David Benioff. “Then you get into the nitty-gritty of what it takes to actually shoot these things in a way that isn’t just helter-skelter chaos but actually gives you a sense of battle geography and the ebb and flow, and you realize why.”
Shooting this one battle alone took a month, and involved more people and more time than anything else the show has done before. And if that doesn’t get you excited for season six, which begins April 24 on HBO, then I don’t know what will.