Game of Thrones’ next episode, Battle of Winterfell, is “survival horror” according to its director

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When Game of Thrones season 8’s Battle of Winterfell arrives, you know it’s going to be big. You know it’s going to be brutal. Now you know it’s going to be terrifying, too, thanks to an Entertainment Weekly interview with director Miguel Sapochnik. Sapochik was the director of season 6’s Battle of the Bastards (and several other pivotal episodes in Thrones history), and he knew he’d have to do something new to follow that grim spectacle.

“This is survival horror. That’s the whole episode for me,” Sapochnik said. “What we realized is you look at like Assault on Precinct 13 – movies where a group is under siege – usually there’s an ensemble cast and a central theme in there. So I’ve been trying to work out whose story this is. That’s different than the stuff I’ve done previously which was generally from Jon [Snow]’s perspective.

“Here I’ve got 20-some cast members and everyone would like it to be their scene. That’s complicated because I find the best battle sequences are when you have a strong point of view, and here the point of view is objective even when you go from one person’s story to another. Because when you’re cutting back and forth, [the perspective] becomes objective whether you want it to or not. I keep thinking, ‘Whose story am I telling right now? And what restrictions does that place on me that become a good thing?'”

Sapochnik said he spent most of his time on the episode making sure not to let the audience feel “battle fatigue” after twenty desensitizing minutes of clashing swords and spilling blood – like when the Transformers have been punching each other for so long that you just see scintillating metal everywhere even after you leave the theater. He looked to another source of cinematic inspiration.

“For my reference point I watched [The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers] because the siege is a 40-minute sequence, but it’s actually three different battles in three different places intercut. That was the biggest thing I could think of that was contemporary. I was trying to get a sense of when do you tire out. I think we’re going to blow past that. It feels like the only way to really approach it properly is take every sequence and ask yourself: ‘Why would I care to keep watching?’ One thing I found is the less action – the less fighting – you can have in a sequence, the better.”

 

This Theory About The Crypts On “Game Of Thrones” Will Give You A Glimmer Of Hope

With any Game of Thrones season comes so many theories. Everything from the Starks and White Walkers are related to Bran is actually the Night King.

Recently a lot of theories have been focused on the crypts below Winterfell. The most popular one states that when the Night King attacks the castle he will use his powers to raise the dead Starks in the crypts to attack the living.

Not only is this plausible but it seems very possible based on what the Night King has done before.

Not only is this plausible but it seems very possible based on what the Night King has done before.

Well, CUNY professor Steven Attewell has a theory he wrote in a blog post on what he thinks will happen in the crypts.

I don’t think the Starks of ages past, so focused on the coming of winter, buried their dead with iron swords because they were stupid men.

If anything, I think the Winterfell crypts are GRRM’s spin on the Dead Men of Dunharrow.

What he’s basically saying is the dead Starks in the crypts wouldn’t rise to kill people but to actually help them. This theory does have some teeth to it. While a lot of the Starks we know aren’t there — Ned, Robb, and Catelyn — there are generations of Starks in those tombs that go back hundreds of years.

Also, as is tradition many of those Ancient Starks are buried with iron swords to ward off evil spirits. Ned says himself in the A Game Of Thrones book.

By ancient custom an iron longsword had been laid across the lap of each who had been Lord of Winterfell, to keep the vengeful spirits in their crypts. The oldest had long ago rusted away to nothing, leaving only a few red stains where the metal had rested on stone. Ned wondered if that meant those ghosts were free to roam the castle now. He hoped not. The first Lords of Winterfell had been men hard as the land they ruled.

The theory also mentions the Dead Men of Dunharrow for the Lord of the Rings books. In the LOTR trilogy, the Dead Men of Dunharrow were a once-disgraced undead army who defended the heroes of the series in their time of greatest need and redeemed themselves.

So imagine a small army of undead and armed warrior Starks going toe-to-toe with the Night King’s army. That certainly would be cool and would play into the lore and reverence Northerners have for the Winterfell crypts.

So, what do you think — will the dead of Winterfell rise to help, or to harm?

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