“Game of Thrones” captivated millions of viewers and social media users with its Battle of Winterfell on Sunday, a highly anticipated event that reportedly required a multi-million dollar budget and a grueling production schedule to produce.
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The battle, which ranked as the hit series’ longest episode to date, pitted heroes Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen against the evil Night King and his army of the dead. The episode dominated discussion on social media sites like Twitter on Sunday night and well into Monday, as several notable characters were killed off.
The six episodes that comprise “Game of Thrones’” final season had a $90 million budget, or roughly $15 million per episode, according to multiple reports. It’s unclear how much of that budget went toward filming the “battle of Winterfell” which was one of the most elaborate action sequences ever captured on film.
An HBO representative declined to comment on the network’s production budget for the episode, which featured hundreds of extras, elaborate exterior and interior castle sets, and countless special effects.
The battle required 11 weeks of night shoots in temperatures that often dropped into the low-30 degrees, Entertainment Weekly reported earlier this month. As many as 750 crew members labored on production each night, often wading through rain or mud while working on scenes.
“Nothing can prepare you for how physically draining it is,” actress Maisie Williams, who portrays Arya Stark on the show, told EW. “It’s night after night, and again and again, and it just doesn’t stop. You can’t get sick, and you have to look out for yourself because there’s so much to do that nobody else can do… there are moments you’re just broken as a human and just want to cry.”
There are three episodes left in “Game of Thrones” final season. The series finale is set to air on May 19.