Sunday's upcoming episode of Game of Thrones which has been aptly titled The Watchers on the Wall is set almost entirely at The Wall. We'll get to see Mance Rayder’s Wildling army do battle against the vastly outnumbered men of the Night's Watch, as they attempt to defend Castle Black from 100 thousand hardened fighters.
Expectations are high as everything points to this episode being a grand affair. The Watchers on the Wall is the most expensive to date, and judging by the trailer, it looks to have huge fight sequences and cool visuals.
Ever since Jon Snow took "the black" by joining the men of the Night's Watch, master-at-arms Ser Alliser Thorne has hated him. Jon has persistently warned the Night's Watch leadership of the threat they face from Manse Rayder's army, and every time Thorne has done everything in his power to ridicule and make light of Jon's claims. With this attack by the Wildling's Jon is vindicated but in reality it's a hollow victory. I at least hope Jon gets to give Thorne a big fat "I told you so!"
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly David Benioff and Dan Weiss discussed the challenges of filming an episode of this scope.
EW: So for episode 9, what’s uniquely challenging about this battle compared to previous ones you’ve staged?
Benioff: Well it’s at The Wall. Which is tricky. Because there is no Wall.
Weiss: Just the general visual effects integration of this episode.
Benioff: Giants. Giants are tricky. Having Neil Marshall directing it, you have confidence; like going to a really good doctor who’s going to make everything better. Neil is very soft-spoken, but he’s the kind of guy when he’s on the set everyone is calm because he knows exactly what he’s doing. It’s a very intense episode, more intense than Blackwater. We’re seeing it now, even before visual effects have gone in, and it’s still magnificent.
Weiss: With Blackwater when we got the episode in, so much of it was visual effects dependent we were kind of unsure — the performances were fantastic and the action was great, but we weren’t entirely sure what we had until the pieces were put together. But with this, even Neil’s first director’s cut that we saw without a single frame of visual effects finished, just something about it really grabbed us by the neck that’s very rare even with the great directors we’re fortunate to work with.
Benioff: In terms of the sets, our new production designer Deborah Riley did this magnificent top-of-The Wall set, far bigger than what we had before, so you can do walk-and-talks, you can have massive action sequences. It’s completely surrounded by green screen, which is apparently the biggest green screen in Europe.
Weiss: Neil and Deb both spent a lot of time watching the Kubrick film Paths of Glory to get a sense of how to apply trench warfare set-building to an icy top-of-The Wall environment. She did a really fantastic job. It has to be the biggest Styrofoam piece in existence.
In a press release from HBO, they announced Game of Thrones as their most successful TV show.
GAME OF THRONES BECOMES THE MOST POPULAR SERIES IN HBO HISTORY
With two episodes remaining in the fourth season of GAME OF THRONES, the show has now become the most popular series in HBO’s history. Episodes of the show, which debut Sunday nights (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), have an average gross audience of 18.4 million viewers, surpassing the previous record set by the 2002 season of “The Sopranos,” which had an average gross audience of 18.2 million viewers per episode. Season three of GAME OF THRONES had an average gross audience of 14.4 million viewers per episode.
The next episode of GAME OF THRONES debuts Sunday, June 8, followed by the season finale Sunday, June 15. Based on the bestselling fantasy book series by George R.R. Martin, GAME OF THRONES is an epic story of treachery and nobility set on the continent of Westeros, where summers and winters can last years, and only the lust for power is eternal. The Emmy®- and Golden Globe-winning series was recently renewed for a fifth and sixth season . Season four credits: The executive producers of GAME OF THRONES are David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger and Bernadette Caulfield; co-executive producers, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis and George R.R. Martin; producers, Chris Newman and Greg Spence.
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