Oh, I didn't seethat one coming.
This is the last time we're evergoing to be doing this.
It's completely unexpected.
-I– I mean, I audibly gasped.
-(GASPS) Like, “No!” ♪ (EPIC MUSIC PLAYING) ♪ DAVE HILL: First episodes of every season are always a challenge.
But for the final season, it was a lot of pressure because we had all these characters convening at Winterfell.
WEISS: We thought thatthe arrival was a way to capture what was at stake for Danyand for Jon.
For Arya on the ground, and for Tyrion and Varys, and Grey Worm and Missandei on horseback.
Everybody hasa slightly different take on what's happening here.
Background! Action! David Nutter directedhalf the season for us, and there's no more beloveddirector in the business.
BERNADETTE CAULFIELD: Usually a director on Game of Thrones will shoot for three days, then he has two days prep, and then he maybe shootsfor a full week, but Nutter just had to go all out for eight or nine weeks of shooting.
KIT HARINGTON:I was so happy that he was back for the final season.
David Nutter really feltlike part of the family.
DAVID NUTTER: We shot, uh, a lot of the parade stuff at the end of the year where we had kind of the two shortest days of the year.
Then we came back and kindabrought some scope to it.
Winter's Town is a settlementjust outside of Winterfell.
And so that road was snowed.
We built the little buildings that led up the road.
It was completely redressed to be the Winterfell little town.
It's basically a huge parade.
The ADs sought outbackground villagers' reactions, so you're actually working with the extras in a way so you're getting a performanceout of everybody.
We worked with the military advisers so a lot of these guys looked professional marching step.
(GRUNTING) JAMIE MILES: When we tell them to do something, they do it.
We teach them some very basic drill movements so they know how to stand, everything's under a command, a whistle blast, so they get to learn to react in a military style, in a disciplined style.
CHRIS NEWMAN: Anything that's on the page, we tend to.
show rather than just imply.
If you're gonna say you want to see thousands of Unsullied, then we have to show it.
STEFEN FANGMEIER: It's a significant big scope moment.
So the challenge was definitely to find ways to really make it seem likethousands are arriving.
You have to have a vantage point from higher up.
NUTTER: When I read the opening sequence and I saw this little boyrunning to try to see the parade and see the showand see what he's missing, I felt like that little boy, 'cause I'd been gone for two seasons.
So, in some respects, I kinda was that little boy.
(DRAGON ROARS) SOPHIE TURNER: Daenerys arrives and immediately, Sansa wants to make it very clear that she runs this shit.
♪ (UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ This is a tough crowd.
KIT: I think Jon knows Sansa well enough now that, when it comes to Dany, he knows he's going to have some difficulty.
SOPHIE: Jon is in love with her, has bent the knee, he's got googly eyes on, he's got like, beer goggles on.
NUTTER: I basically sat down with Sophie and told her, you have to remember one thing:This is your house.
JON SNOW: Queen Daenerysof House Targaryen.
Thank you for inviting usinto your home, Lady Stark.
The North is as beautifulas your brother claimed.
As are you.
You're meeting the family!You want to do well! You want them to like you, goddamn it! And, um, you're metwith this stony, stoic silence.
KIT: It's not a comfortable homecoming, no.
There are a lot of people on setkind of like a giant game of “Where's Waldo?” In the first episode, a couple of our friends from the comedy worldwere in a scene.
They gouged my eye out! -(LAUGHS)-They gouged my fucking eye out! They can put it back in, right? -Right?-Yeah.
(LAUGHS)Benioff told me they would.
DAVID BENIOFF: When we found out that George Lucas wanted to visit, we thought maybe it was a practical joke, and then we were really excitedand also nervous because it's George Lucas.
DAENERYS:Your sister doesn't like me.
JON:If it makes you feel any better, she didn't like me eitherwhen we were growing up.
NUTTER: George would be sitting at my director's chair, that was so cool for me.
I had George go outand speak to Kit and Emilia.
Okay, okay, that was great.
No direction for you.
-I don't really care about you.
-(LAUGHS) I don't carewhat happens to you.
-What?!-What's going on? I mean, like the first timelike I could remember telling stories was meas a little kid mashing together these, like Stormtrooper dolls.
For so many of us, he's the one who started our obsession with this kindof big, epic storytelling.
NUTTER: And of course, the input that he put through with the writer Dave Hill'shead.
MAN: Three, two, one, go! (GRUNTS) HILL: I very much learned the lesson that sometimes when you write two words, that you then create so much work (CHUCKLES) for everyone involved.
Oh, I get an axe in the head.
Next thing I know, I'm flying to London, to go out to have my facesculpted, be wrapped in plaster and molded.
The day of, I'm in a chairfor four-and-a-half hours.
(GRUNTS) It was great to seethat we were basically gonna get to take Dave Hill out, one of our writers.
It's quite nice to be able to, um, kill fellow crew members off (LAUGHS) in the nicestkind of way.
HILL: Having to go and bethe one who give the performance is so much more trouble(CHUCKLES) than I imagined.
And I was just tryingdesperately not to screw it up.
And I did, the first time.
And the second time, better at it.
DIRECTOR: And board.
(INDISTINCT CHATTER) ♪ (DISTORTED MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ DEBORAH RILEY: The Godswood Tree is such an iconic piece of the show.
To create that Godswood treeis a huge amount of effort.
Every year, it would have to be painted white.
It would be coated in latex, a sculpted face would be applied to it.
The greens team would go about adding branches to it with flocked red leaves that Kevin Fraser would paint up for us.
It's a process where you takea flock, which is a fiber, and actually adhere itto the leaf on one surface.
So, obviously, you've got some quite interesting dynamics when things were lit and shot.
ARYA STARK:You used to be taller.
MAISIE WILLIAMS: When I first got the scripts, it was like a bunchof lords and ladies talking, and I was thinking, “Are we ever gonna get a scene together again? And then, finallygot to that scene and I was just beaming.
KIT: The really spooky thing was turning around and seeing her for the first time, and what I wanted to try and get was this kind of punchto the gut.
of literally turning aroundand seeing time having past.
JON: You still have the sword.
The most amazing thing happened.
I just didn't have to do anything.
We had two actors who hadn't worked together since season one.
to get a chanceto show pure true love.
(GASPING) NUTTER: The one thing I told the actors in season eight, the audience just wantsto see you breathe.
MAISIE: To watch Kit grow as an actoron the show has been incredible, and I think the fans are gonnalove it 'cause I loved it.
I hit you right in the face.
-KIT: It's all right.
-MAISIE: I'm so sorry! WOMAN: Cut, go again.
Part of the fun of the episodewas bringing back together all these characters.
It's alsothe challenge of the episode because you don't want itto feel like it's, you know, just the reunion episode.
DIRECTOR: Ready and action! ♪ (UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ ARYA: Leave him be.
WEISS: The Hound and Gendry, we thought it would make sense for kind of the one-two punchof these two people who served very, verydifferent roles in her life.
GENDRY:Is that a command, Lady Stark? Don't call me that.
He still thinks that she'sthe same girl that he left beforehand.
You've gotten better.
So have you.
I think for Arya, it'sremembering who she was before.
-I mean, you look good.
Like I used to be that girl, and that's who I was in love with and thought I would followto the end of the world.
WEISS: The Hound-Arya reunion, that's a thing we weremost excited about writing.
You left me to die.
I still robbed you.
Everyone would hope the reunionbetween Arya and The Hound would be laughs and giggles, but actually, it starts off as like cold 'cause it's kind ofa defense mechanism for both characters.
THE HOUND: You're a coldlittle bitch, aren't you? Guess that's whyyou're still alive.
There's also Tyrion and Sansa.
PETER DINKLAGE: There's something between Tyrion and Sansa you can't quite put your fingeron 'cause they're.
“You left me, and then you knowwhat happened to me, and I know what happenedto you.
” Apologies for leaving like that.
Yes, it was a bit hardto explain why my wife fled moments after the king's murder.
It's tricky with them.
They have to watch their wordsaround each other, but at the end of the day, she does trust him.
And at the very end, we have the silent reunion with Jamie and Bran.
If he tells the restof the clan the truth.
I'm– I'm done.
NUTTER: To me, I wanted to make sure that, with respect to people getting back together again, those all had their credence and importance, but also, I didn't wantthe audience to forget the fact that the impending doomwas coming.
MAN: A Camera mark.
♪ (UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ They're coming.
There's no way around it.
(CHUCKLES) This is a greathorror movie sequence that Dave Nutter, um, directed the hell out of.
Somehow, Beric and Tormundsurvived falling down that wall of ice.
We find that it's strangely–there's blood everywhere, but there's no bodies.
Stay back, he's got blue eyes! I've always had blue eyes! Did you find anyone? BARRIE GOWER: The scene in The Last Hearth, we have this mandalaof limbs and body parts the Night King has left behind, which form this kind of pattern, and in the middle of it, we have Ned Umber, who's basically pinnedto the wall on a huge stake.
Obviously, we know what happensto people who are killed by the Night Kingor white walkers.
(SHRIEKING) GOWER: The young boy was suspended in a harness, and then to basically killthe wight, Beric uses his flaming swordand takes out the wight.
We had to shoot thaton a stunt guy called Paul Lowe, who was of a similar sort of stature to the actor playing Ned.
PAUL LOWE: Game of Thrones isthe first time I got a full burn so that's a nice tick.
What I guess a lot of stuntmen wanna have.
And for that, because he wasgonna be engulfed in flames, we had to make a lookalike fire mask.
ROWLEY IRLAM: Are we good?You can hear me okay, yeah? I love– I love what you've donewith your hair.
BERIC DONDARRION:It's a message.
From the Night King.
Being Beric Dondarrion, I'malways setting people on fire.
You have the mask off, you talk through it, what the process is gonna be.
Then we'll roll the cameras, okay? The first three-two-one will beto light the sword, then it'll be three-two-one, action, for Nick to stab you.
You lift your arm up to stabon three, okay? On action, he's gonna stab you.
Hold this position like this.
When you hear me start to count, that's when you start to react.
You then have to go and do it.
They'll gel you, they'll spritzyou and they'll light you.
ROWLEY: One! Action! One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, out, out, out! LOWE: Well, you have an idea of what it's gonna be like but when I was set on fire, you've only got these little small eye holes.
All I could seewere little flicks in my eyesof like a little bit of red.
And the first time we'd done it, and like it went all, and they put me out, I said, “Was I on fire?” And they said, “Yeah, it was massive.
” (CHEERS, APPLAUSE) JON: You've completelyruined horses for me.
It almost seemed like you knewwhere it wanted to go.
-Not quite—Aw, fuck! -(CONTAINED LAUGHTER)-KIT: Fuck's sake.
♪ (UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ We're shooting in Iceland!Isn't it beautiful? We only have about six hours of light, so we all come out about 3 hours before the sun rises.
Grip and electric get to lay about a 40-foot track, our department was laying downall the bones for our nest for our dragons.
BENIOFF: Some of those locales in Iceland are so breathtaking that real environmentsjust help the actors so much, so if it's Kit and Emiliawalking past a frozen river in Iceland and they're shivering– that's real.
Yeah, this fire lady, dragon mama is not used to the cold! No problem, I can standin the snow all day.
I just loved that I couldgo there with Emilia.
I got to show this thing that's been such a.
large part of the Thrones' worl for me.
I got to show her Iceland.
EMILIA CLARKE: Magic dragon ride! I like it, it just felt like, a magic carpet ride! We just sort of.
playing tag on the dragons.
(CHUCKLING) It's beautiful.
FANGMEIER:We were lucky to get a great day of aerial photography in Iceland with a helicopter shooting thesemost beautiful river canyons with beautiful snow coverage.
And then where they land was meant to be a very pristine and gorgeous location as well.
Dan and David said, “You know, maybe– Can we have a waterfall here?” So, we went all the way to Iceland, to this beautiful canyon, and then we end up addinga massive waterfall later on in post because itstill wasn't quite spectacular.
-Ooh! Ugh!-(EMILIA YELPS) DIRECTOR: And.
let's roll, please, rolling rolling.
KIT: I think the actual dragon ride was like.
yeah, it's one bitwhere you gotta convey your love for each otherand you're in a green box on a– on a buck.
So much of what we're doing nowrequires robotics.
So we'll start with previews and in order to then shoot it, we'll go into a green screen stage with a motion base, which is kind of likea mechanical bull, only in this case, it's gota dragon's butt on top of it.
And then the cameras are swinging around on a 3D-controlled wire rig, programmed to matchthe previews.
Don't know how to ride a dragon! Butt work is not easy.
I think what sums up the buck for me was.
there was a bit where Jonalmost falls off the dragon, swings around really violently like this, and my right ball got trapped, and I didn't have time to say stop, and I was being swung around.
In my head, I thought, “This is how it ends.
On this buck, swinging me aroundby my testicles.
” (CONTAINED LAUGHTER OFF-SCREEN) (CHUCKLES) Sorry.
Probably too much information.
♪ (TENSE MUSIC PLAYS) ♪ KIT: It's just.
way too much to take.
I was joking with John like, “How do you, as an– How do you receive all those bits of information? How would you possibly try and act that? When they've got death raining down at them?” And suddenly he finds outthe truth about his life, that he's not a bastard, that everything he's lived by is not the case.
And on top of that, the– his new lo– (SIGHS) his new love of his lifeis his aunt.
Like, I mean, I was like, “Oh, come on.
This is an impossible task.
” I wasn't a king.
But you were.
You've always been.
He wouldn't want to hurt Jonwith it.
He would only tell Jon thatif it were the truth.
If there's one thing he knows about Sam, it's that Sam is a stickler for facts, and Sam is very literal.
SAMWELL TARLY:You've never been a bastard.
You're Aegon Targaryen, true heir to the Iron Throne.
KIT: A way to get around it was disbelief, like, “Sam's gone mad.
What're you talking about?” Quickly followed by itmaking sense and anger.
You're the true king.
Sixth of his name, Protector of the Realm.
All of it.
KIT: I don't care if you're my best friend in the world, I will.
knock you out.
How dare you tell this to me.
My father was the mosthonorable man I ever met.
Ned Stark, he promised your motherhe'd always protect you.
And he did! Robert would'vemurdered you if he knew.
And the truth that Samwelltells Jon, is probably the mostincendiary fact in the entire worldof the show.
Ned Stark understood how dangerous the truth about Jon was, and that's why he protected Jonfrom it.
SAMWELL: You gave up your crownto save your people.
Would she do the same? ♪ (SOMBER MUSIC PLAYS) ♪.