The Best Excerpts From GQ’s Oral History Of ‘Blackwater,’ The Most Badass TV Episode Ever

OH MAN OH MAN OH MAN. Do you guys remember “Blackwater”? That episode was all like *makes giant explosion noise* and *grabs sword from collection and begins aimlessly slashing the air* and remember that scene where *throws a lit match onto a ball of oily rags in the basement* God I miss Game of Thrones.

GQ spoke to the creative team behind “Blackwater,” including author George R.R. Martin, co-creators Dan Weiss and David Benioff, and director Neil Marshall, in an oral history about the episode that’s 99% awesome and 1% disappointment that the magazine didn’t also interview Rory McCann, the actor who plays Sandor “The Hound” Clegane. “So, after violating some sheep and mutilating a couple of corpses, I had me some f*cking coffee,” he said in my dreams, “and then it was time to get into character.” Here are some notable excerpts:

It was very expensive

Weiss: The battle specifics were constantly evolving to meet our budget. We wanted as much as we could possibly get, but obviously not more than we could afford so it was all about tailoring the budget. [Note: Though HBO won’t divulge specifics, the show’s budget is estimated at between $60-$70 million per season]…I think we asked for $2.5 million. We got $2 million-something. That’s a lot of money in TV. It was a big ask for them, and they understood it was really important. Our point was that the entire season was pointing toward this confrontation. To do what’s normally done on television — the Shakespearean model of talking about battles off-screen — would completely kill the season.

It was shot at night for very practical reasons

Benioff: We decided to change it [from the book] and make the whole battle at night, because our FX guys said it’d be much easier. You can hide a lot in darkness.

Peter Dinklage is boss

Weiss: At the pace we were shooting, we didn’t have much time for dramatic scenes. For [the “Let’s go kill them!”] monologue, if Peter didn’t get it right in two or three takes, he had to move on. And he nailed it.

“Blackwater” was inspired by Nazis

Benioff: Many of the scenes we’ve written are basically just taking George’s characters and putting them into situations they hadn’t been before. (The episode’s concluding scene, where Cersei is about to poison both herself and her younger son, was not in the book. The inspiration came from the wife of Adolf Hitler follower Joseph Goebbels, who poisoned her kids after Hitler committed suicide.)

Is it season four already?

Benioff: There’s another battle bigger than this one coming up, but not until the end of season four. So we’re preparing our speeches for how we’re gonna ask for more money.

As tempting as it is to blab about what they’re referring to (OMGZ BIG BATTLE), I beg of you, fellow book readers, please don’t. Nor should you mention any colors of any kind, if you catch my drift. So, to distract you from spoiling everything for everyone ever, here’s Tyrion cutting a dude’s leg off:

That’s the ticket. Game of Thrones returns March 31, 2013.