(Spoiler alert. If you haven’t watched the June 19 “Game of Thrones” episode, “Battle of the Bastards,” you’ll probably want to tune out here.)
After the stunning season 5 episode “Hardhome,” director Miguel Sapochnik became a name to remember — the Battle of Hardhome was only the best-staged action sequence in the whole series.
With “Battle of the Bastards,” he one-upped himself, first with the dragon battle at Meereen and then with the titular fight between Jon Snow’s wildling army and the forces of House Bolton.
Near the start of that #BastardBowl, Jon Snow finds himself on foot in the midst of a bunch of soldiers on horses, and it’s incredibly chaotic. Jon survives it essentially by dodging the horses and swinging his sword at anyone who gets close enough, knocking one guy off a horse and cutting down a couple others who are also on foot. He also benefits from a good deal of luck and the well-timed death of unseen (by him) antagonists.
What’s really astonishing about this part of the battle is a large chunk of it — 60 long seconds — is presented as a single long shot. There was no doubt some filmmaking wizardry involved, with CGI mayhem and maybe some hidden cuts in the take, but it’s still astonishing to watch. It’s also a great way to start the battle — any viewers whose attention was divided before the long take probably couldn’t help but have their eyes glued to the screen after.
You can watch the video above.
If you were wishing Sapochnik directed more episodes of “Game of Thrones” — “Battle of the Bastards” was his first since “Hardhome” — you’re in luck! Sapochnik also directed next week’s season 6 finale. So you know we aren’t yet done with really well-shot chaos this season.
'Game of Thrones': Most Upsetting, Shocking and Disturbing Deaths So Far (Photos)
It’s a tough life in the ”Game of Thrones“ universe, and most folks haven’t gotten out alive
Spoiler Alert, obviously. Let's look back at the deaths on "Game of Thrones" that we found particularly shocking, disturbing or otherwise totally messed up. There's been a bunch of them. These are the big ones through the end of Season 7.