Tonight, HBO airs the long-awaited “Blackwater” episode of Game of Thrones. Below is last week’s exclusive interview with Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. The writer-producers reveal the behind-the-scenes battle to mount one of the most ambitious hours of TV ever made.o
Also, check out EW.com’s live recapping of the episode here.
The first part of this interview was conducted in HBO’s Los Angeles offices several months ago. The producers had just finished shooting season two. There’s very minor logistical spoilers in terms of the raw battle components, but nothing that isn’t shown in HBO’s previews.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So how was shooting the Battle of the Blackwater?
D.B. WEISS: The Blackwater stuff was so much fun. I mean, it was miserable. Forty-two degrees and raining and mud up to your ankles.
DAVID BENIOFF: This whole story of Blackwater goes back to the first season because we were supposed to have that battle with Tyrion and we ended up not able to shoot it. And so we had him go down to friendly fire early. We always promised ourselves, we’re gonna have our major battle.
Weiss: We always wanted to do it and we didn’t know if we’d be able to pull it off. I mean, it’s a massive battle and it’s a naval battle and involves so much visual effects. And at the last minute due to a personal emergency the director had to drop out. So we were left without a director and about a week before.
Benioff: We were scrambling. We were like going over the list of who is available. And most of it was really terrifying. And then on that list Neil Marshall’s name pops out. He did Centurion and Dog Soldiers, movies where the guy’s doing an incredible amount of really intensive, impressive action on a thin budget. He had never seen [Thrones] before. We had to give him a crash course. But he’s such a fast learner and so enthusiastic and just fell in love with it and ended up being a great choice. READ FULL STORY