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EW gives you an inside view of the brutal battle for filming Game Of Thrones Season 8

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Game of Thrones Season 8 is coming soon and bringing us unforgettable battles and action sequences as teased by many cast and crew members. While Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) had earlier revealed that the battles this season will make the iconic Battle of the Bastards look like a theme park, Entertainment Weekly has given us a brutal insight in its latest cover story.

Given the fact that Entertainment Weekly is one of the most credible sources we can trust for Game of Thrones, it’s safe to assume that we’re truly getting a bloodier Season this time with multiple character deaths. Well, they recently released 16 new cover photos featuring main cast members along with a cover story that we’ll discuss here in detail.

Well, as teased by James Hibbert from the EW, Game of Thrones this season will feature one of the longest battle sequences ever filmed in the history of television. This confirms what we’re being often told about through interviews of cast and crew members – a complete battle sequence shot for a single episode with a hell lot of hard work of 55 days!

According to David Nutter, who has returned this season to direct three of the episodes:

“The fans will not be let down…There are a lot of firsts in these episodes. There’s the funniest sequence I’ve ever shot on this show, the most emotional and compelling scene I’ve ever shot, and there’s one scene where there’s so many [characters] together it feels like you’re watching a superhero movie.”

Nutter is directing three episodes this season – episodes 1, 2, and 4. As he will be directing the premiere, James Hibbert describes this episode in a nutshell as “a calm-before-the-storm entry that might surprise viewers with its play-like intimacy.”

Hibbert also teased an episode directed by Miguel Sapochnik to be gruesome and as brutal as the Battle of the Bastards or Hardhome. Many of our favourite characters like Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister, Arya Stark, Sansa Stark, and Brienne of Tarth will be fighting for their lives, impossibly outnumbered against a supernatural enemy.

According to Co-Executive producer Bryan Cogman,

“What we have asked the production team and crew to do this year truly has never been done in television or in a movie…This final face-off between the Army of the Dead and the army of the living is completely unprecedented and relentless and a mixture of genres even within the battle. There are sequences built within sequences built within sequences. David and Dan [wrote] an amazing puzzle and Miguel came in and took it apart and put it together again. It’s been exhausting but I think it will blow everybody away.”

This episode took a lot of hard work, along with 11 weeks of continuous night shoots. Around 750 people worked all night long for nearly three months in the middle of the open rural countryside with the temperature falling to the 30s. In words of Hibbert “staging the battle was unprecedentedly brutal.”

For Maisie Williams – whom we are truly looking forward to next season, this was the first ever battle for her in Game of Thrones. She says:

“I skip the battle every year, which is bizarre since Arya’s the one who’s been training the most… This is my first taste of it. And I’ve been thrown in at the deep end.”

While the director Sapochnik had asked her train a year ago before the filming in advance, Maisie had told him:

“And I said, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah…But nothing can prepare you for how physically draining it is. It’s night after night, and again and again, and it just doesn’t stop. You can’t get sick, and you have to look out for yourself because there’s so much to do that nobody else can do… there are moments you’re just broken as a human and just want to cry.”

Getting to the very last, the finale which is being directed by the showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, the secrecy was taken to a newer level. Some of the scenes were shot in a closed set and even the crew members with special badges were only allowed inside the sets. Dan Weiss says:

“When something has been sitting with you for so long, you have such a specific sense of the way each moment should play and feel…Not just in terms of ‘this shot or that shot,’ though sometimes it’s that as well. So it’s not really fair to ask somebody else to get that right. We’d be lurking over their shoulder every takes driving them crazy making it hard for them to do their job. If we’re going to drive anybody crazy it might as well be ourselves.”

“We want people to love it…It matters a lot to us. We’ve spent 11 years doing this. We also know no matter what we do, even if it’s the optimal version, that a certain number of people will hate the best of all possible versions. There is no version where everybody says, ‘I have to admit, I agree with every other person on the planet that this is the perfect way to do this’ — that’s an impossible reality that doesn’t exist. I’m hoping for the Breaking Bad [finale] argument where it’s like, ‘Is that an A or an A+?’”

David Benioff ends by saying:

“From the beginning, we’ve talked about how the show would end. A good story isn’t a good story if you have a bad ending. Of course, we worry.”

So, these were a few insights from the original article, which you can read here. When you think about the new season and it’s the long-awaited return on April 14 – the cravings seem minimal when compared to what we are surely getting from Game of Thrones this year? We’re now surely counting the days up to the airing date. What about you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.






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How did Tormund survive the attack on the Wall? Kristofer Hivju teases a resolution

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How did Tormund Survive Kristofer Hivju Teases but Won’t Tell

Among the many shockers Game of Thrones season 7 finale left us with, the uncertain fate of Tormund Giantsbane and Beric Dondarrion was perhaps the most gut-wrenching. After all, we all knew that the Wall would be breached some way or other, didn’t we? But that it would collapse with Tormund on it was not something a lot of fans (raising my hand here) were ready to accept. Hence the relief was real when the season 8 trailer showed our beloved wildling alive and kicking.

Well, Kristofer Hivju, who plays Tormund on screen, was not too perturbed himself. “I assumed that they wouldn’t give Tormund an offscreen death,” he told RadioTimes.com.

While we are all happy that Tormund survived, this just opens up so many new questions. What happened when the Wall collapsed with Tormund and Beric still on it? How did Tormund and Beric manage to get away with the Army of the Dead already marching in Westeros? Where is that corridor they are seen walking through? Is it Winterfell, or some other castle?

Hivju, of course, isn’t telling, but he does promise the explanation of his (seemingly impossible) escape will be dealt with early on. In his words,

“There will be a resolution of some kind, but as to how Tormund reappears… well, I’d watch.”

Even though he was confident about coming back (though he hid it rather well in interviews), Hivju says he was extremely touched by the way fans worried about his character’s fate and felt grateful. He said:

“I felt a lot of love when that happened. When people were anxious about what’s going to happen. And there have been many moments throughout the season where I have been close to death. The Hound saved me out on the lake. And I think many people thought that this is where Tormund’s going under.”

The world of Game of Thrones is dark and full of terror, and Hivju too hasn’t been immune to the uncertainty that comes with it.

“Every time we get new scripts it’s been like, ‘Am I dying on that page?’ No. That page? No. That page? No. End of the script? OK! But for season eight, it’s a different story…”

Sure. Now that leaves us with the all-important question of whether Tormund will survive the catastrophes the new season brings and manage to win the heart of his lady love, the ‘tall woman’ AKA Brienne of Tarth (and make giant babies with her). Guess we will only find out when Game Of Thrones season 8 premieres on April 14.






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Critics won’t get to review Game of Thrones Season 8 episodes in advance

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James Hibberd from EW has reported that HBO will not send out Game of Thrones Season 8 episodes for advance reviews.

This is not really a surprise, as critics didn’t get to review the last two seasons in advance as well. So this doesn’t come as shocking news for the critics and the fans. However, with so little news filtering out, this will only serve to hike up a craze a few notches higher before the first episode airs on April 14.

This was not always the case, though. HBO used to send out DVDs of the episodes to several prominent TV critics for advance reviews. Critics often got to view as many as six episodes of a new season before it even started to air. This format worked well when Game Of Thrones was not the cultural behemoth it today is.

But everything changed in 2015 when the first four episodes of Season 5 were leaked online even before the season premiered. No critic was held responsible, but the leak did originate from a DVD screener. HBO realized that making the episodes available so widely is a huge security risk and from Season 6 onwards, no advance screeners were sent out for reviews.

However, HBO’s security woes did not end there. Game of Thrones Season 7 too saw major hacking attempts and episode leaks. The hacker, an Iranian national, was eventually arrested and charged by US authorities. For Season 8, hence, security measures have reached new heights.

The red carpet premiere will be held before the TV opening though, and select members of the press are sure to attend. However, given how heavy-handed HBO has been with security, there will almost certainly be an embargo on reporting before the TV premiere.






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Battle of Winterfell will be the longest ever Game of Thrones episode

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Battle of Winterfell will be the longest ever Game of Thrones episode

Winter is ‘officially’ coming with Game of Thrones Season 8 nearer than ever now with less than 30 days in its premiere. 30 days isn’t a long time to wait and it’s much easier if you are an avid book reader or a binge-watcher as you can finish up a new series on Netflix or Amazon Prime within a month at least! But, we on Wiki of Thrones are destined to bring you every update related to the new season of Game of Thrones.  So, the newest update is that the official runtime for each episode of the new season has been revealed by HBO, as recently reported by the most reliable source Entertainment Weekly.

A week ago we reported that HBO had revealed the run time of first two episodes of the new season being 54 minutes and 58 minutes long respectively, along with a later update on rest of the episodes. All of the info seems to be correct except for episode three which now has been officially confirmed to be longer than previously reported. The runtime for episode three is actually now 1 hour 22 minutes – which is a big nod to the epic Battle of Winterfell. Prior to this, the Season 7 finale was the longest episode, having a runtime of 1 hours and 20 minutes, which is same as the runtime of the final two episodes of the upcoming season 8.

Here is an updated list of the official runtime for each episode of Game of Thrones Season 8 as shared by the network:

Season 8, Episode 1
April 14 at 9:00 p.m.
Running Time: 0:54

Season 8, episode 2
April 21 at 9:00 p.m.
Running time: 0:58

Season 8, episode 3
April 28 at 9:00 p.m.
Running time: 1:22

Season 8, episode 4
May 5 at 9:00 p.m. 
Running time: 1:18

Season 8, episode 5
May 12 at 9:00 p.m. 
Running time: 1:20

Season 8, episode 6
May 19 at 9:00 p.m. 
Running time: 1:20

And, so this means that the average run time for Season 8 episodes will be 72 minutes – a big relief to the fans, especially to those who weren’t happy with the runtimes, especially for the Battle of Winterfell episode.

Given the fact that these are longer than the average length of Season 7 episodes, now I’m truly and even more excited for the final season coming out on April 14. What about you guys? Share your thoughts on this update in the comments.






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