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Iwan Rheon (Ramsay) got punched for “an entire day” while filming Battle of the Bastard’s final showdown

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Game of Thrones featured a fantastic cast of some of television’s most infamous villains. The audience applauds an ambitious villain’s ambitions, while others are just nasty. Iwan Rheon‘s Ramsay Bolton was a cross between the two, although more ruthless than ambitious at times. Despite not liking the role, he gave it his all, taking a beating for an entire day in perhaps one of the most satisfying climactic scenes of Game of Thrones.

Iwan Rheon took some real punches for Battle of the Bastards

The director of the episode, and former House of the Dragon co-showrunner Miguel Sapochnik indulged in some behind-the-scenes secrets from Battle of the Bastards in an interview with EW. He recalled, “We spent an entire day beating Ramsay. It was a little surreal but mostly fun. I mean you have to make it fun to take the nastiness out of it on set.”

“Poor Iwan took it on the chin a few times but he did an amazing job. They both did. There’s this weird moment that made the final cut when Iwan stops scrunching up his face to receive the blows and just lets himself relax into it. On camera, it looks like we’ve used some sort of digital effect to make his face change but it’s all real. Really disconcerting and kind of disturbing.”

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Kit Harington punched like he was “kneading bread”

Sapochnik also talked about how Kit Harington prepared for the Battle of the Bastards (check the glorious one hour version of the Jon Snow punching Ramsay Bolton sequence), “Early on, Kit and I discussed what that moment was and how it should be an empty victory for Jon. His character takes a nose dive into darkness this season in some respects. His faith in humanity is fractured and fragile, he’s tired of fighting and living and yet he cannot seem to die and so in a way he’s lost.

From a certain point of view, Battle of the Bastards is all about his journey back to life, at the 11th hour, rediscovering the desire to live.

 
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As we were mulling that over and how we might show this conflict one day, Kit said to me “I’m just going to punch him like I’m kneading bread.'” And I thought fantastic; this is going to be both poignant and horrible.”

Read Next: HBO releases new behind-the-scenes pictures from the Battle of Bastards

 

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