Game of Thrones Season 8 is promising the biggest battle of all time in any fantasy media, be it TV or movie. It's already been reported for months that the outdoor filming for the primary battle sequence took place over 55 nights, in three locations, breaking the show's own record for "Battle of the Bastards" in Season 6. But who is the final Game Of Thrones battle between? And perhaps more importantly, who is left standing.
This week, Entertainment Weekly revealed everything learned during a secret visit to the set earlier this year. Perhaps the most significant detail the article came away with is fans only thought they knew how long the battle took to film.
Last April a crew member revealed that Game of Thrones had wrapped 55 night shoots while filming a battle. Media outlets around the world ran stories saying the final season’s battle took twice as long as the 25-day shoot for season 6’s climactic Battle of the Bastards. This wildly understated what really happened. The 55 nights were only for the battle’s outdoor scenes at the Winterfell set. Filming then moved into the studio, where Sapochnik continued shooting the same battle for weeks after that.
So who is part of the battle? Apparently, it's everyone:
The battle doesn’t have just one focus, either, but rather intercuts between multiple characters involved in their own survival storylines that each feels like its own genre.
According to showrunner David Benioff, this was to make sure the battle wasn't dull. He told Entertainment Weekly,
Having the largest battle doesn’t sound very exciting — it actually sounds pretty boring. Part of our challenge, and really, Miguel’s challenge, is how to keep that compelling… we’ve been building toward this since the very beginning, it’s the living against the dead, and you can’t do that in a 12-minute sequence.
Fans assume though the ending will be Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen versus the Night King, and the side of good wins. But Bryan Cogman disagrees. "I think it honors very much what George set out to do — which is flipping this kind of story on its head."
And then there's the detail of who is alive in the final scene, which the reporter said he did not expect.
So, who's survival would shock viewers the most? I think Cersei Lannister for one. Everyone assumes she does not survive. Arya would be another — her need for revenge will eventually bring her to a sad end.
But you know who I think would be the most logical person to survive? Davos Seaworth. He's a man who rose himself out of nothing, who was respected by one would-be King and then another, mostly for his pragmatism in battle and in politics. If there's anyone left standing who wins the final battle, it would be Davos.
Could it be Davos versus the Night King in the final battle and the former smuggler who stands as the eventual Hand of the Queen? Fans won't know until Game of Thrones Season 8 debuts in 2019.