Game of Thrones director Miguel Sapochnik did an incredible job shooting what will likely be the multiple Emmy-winning “Battle of the Bastards”, but not every artistic choice was technical. The minute-long shot tracking Jon Snow in the midst of gory battle is what will be remembered by viewers, but Kit Harington’s bravery of being crushed under a mountain of bodies earned the respect of his director and castmates. Kit Harington’s greatest fear is being buried alive, and he was buried alive under his castmates in the Bastard Bowl — all for the sake of a genuine performance.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Sapochnik explained the moment during the battle, and how Harington trusted him while in his dark place.
“Kit had mentioned to me that his worst fear is being buried alive,” says Sapochnik, “so I exploited that to its fullest — and being the amazing game player that he is, he let me.”
“Thematically, it represented a rebirth,” Sapochnik says of that iconic shot. “We actually shot a little section where he just gives up, the light disappears above him and for 30 seconds he’s in darkness and he closes his eyes, then something sparks and he starts to fight back.
It seemed as if it also represented a Jon Snow that wanted to live, despite telling Melisandre not to resurrect him earlier in the episode. Jon went from dark to light, even though neither seemed all that great. Sapochnik praised Harington for allowing the director to make him truly uncomfortable.
“I’ve been lucky enough to do two major sequences with him and he’s not only really really good at what he does, but he’s got humility, a sense of humor and a work ethic that is like a breath of fresh air for a director. I wish I could work with him on everything.”
Oh, Miguel. You say that about all the people that allow you to use their darkest fears in order to produce a more authentic and visceral performance.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)