Brow Beat

Game of Thrones Has Completed a Battle Scene That Took 55 Nights in a Row to Shoot

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, as Ser Jaime Lannister, stands among archers
Macall B. Polay/HBO

Spoilers for Season 8 of HBO’s megahit Game of Thrones are hard to come by, but it was only a matter of time before someone let the direwolf out of the bag. Assistant director Jonathan Quinlan recently posted a revealing photo related to the upcoming season to Instagram, and though he has since removed the post, it’s been preserved by fan site Watchers on the Wall. The photo shows a note from the Game of Thrones producers thanking the crew for “enduring 55 straight nights” in the cold and mud while filming an unspecified battle scene in Northern Ireland’s Toome and Maghermorne.

“When tens of millions of people around the world watch this episode a year from now, they won’t know how hard you worked,” the note continues. “They won’t care how tired you were or how tough it was to do your job in sub-freezing temperatures. They’ll just understand that they’re watching something that’s never been done before. And that’s because of you.”

55 consecutive nights isn’t just long for a single shoot—it also shatters a Game of Thrones record. The showdown between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton took 25 days to shoot in Season 7’s “Battle of the Bastards” episode. If we assume a direct relationship between shooting time and how epic the resulting battle is, then the mystery battle in this Season 8 episode should be almost twice as cool. That’s just math.

Marissa Martinelli is a Slate editorial assistant.