Game of Thrones has done it again, putting together one of the most intense scenes ever made for television. The Battle of the Bastards was a 30-minute opus of death and destruction featuring a literal mountain of corpses. And as it starts, there’s a memorable long single shot of Jon Snow battling against the Bolton army that will go down as one of the most cinematic shots the show has ever pulled off.
Director Miguel Sapochnik, who also happens to be the man behind season five’s memorable Hardhome slaughter, said he took inspiration for the Battle of the Bastards from Akira Kurosawa’s Ran. But one thing he wanted to make sure he did was keep the viewer right in the thick of the action.
“Back in the day you’d see these huge aerial shots of horse charges … the more I watched these scenes the more I felt like those aerial shots that are now so synonymous with a final charge they kind of take you out of the moment,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “That is to say, you experience this moment as an objective observer in all its glory with no sense of danger from the inevitable impact of hundreds of these huge stampeding animals.”
“I was interested in what it must feel like to be on the ground when that sh*t happens. Absolute terror? A moment of clarity? What goes through your head when you are right in the thick of it?”
No shot captures this better than the 50-second take of Jon Snow battling through the Bolton cavalry charge, being buffeted by horses, grazed by arrows, and attacked by numerous soldiers. Game of Thrones is gaining a reputation for excellent shots like this, and they always seem to have Jon Snow at the center of them. He was a part of the 43-second shot in the Battle of Castle Black, and again during the 17-second shot during Hardhome. Now, he’s the star of this latest single shot, undoubtedly the most complicated long take we’ve seen yet. Take that, Daredevil.
Our only question is how Game of Thrones plans to top what we just saw in the seasons to come.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)