After around two years, the television phenomenon that is Game of Thrones is back!
The final chapter has begun, and in grand fashion. The premiere episode of Game of Thrones season 8 saw a number of characters reunite, kicking off with Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and his return to Winterfell – albeit with the Queen of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), two armies and two of her powerful pets by his side. As shown in a great behind-the-scenes look at the episode released online, this relatively straightforward sequence was perhaps not so straightforward when you needed a tonne of extras, massive sets to bring Winterfell to life, and CG artistry to help deliver some of those wide shots. A little bit of pressure – and that’s without a visit from none other than George Lucas.
“They’re coming. There’s no way around it,” laughs Kristofer Hivju, who plays Tormund Giantsbane. He’s talking, of course, about the White Walkers, and we were given quite the reminder of their impending arrival with the “Ring of Fire” sequence. Limbs and a not-so-dead boy pinned to a wall. Yeah, a creepy-ass scene, and another moment that took quite a bit of work to take to the screen, including setting a stunt guy on fire.
And of course we get a great look at the dragon trip that Jon and Daenerys take, which was certainly romantic – or as romantic as it can be with Harington tripping in the snow and joke-gagging after kissing Clarke. Seeing Harington and Clarke on green “bucks” is hilarious; spare a thought for Harington’s right ball.
The featurette also provides BTS looks at the reunion scenes of Arya (Maisie Williams) and John, The Hound (Rory McCann) and Gendry (Joe Dempsie); Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage); that final look-to-look meet of Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau); and, importantly, that bomb-drop reunion of Jon and Sam (John Bradley).