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How ‘Game of Thrones’ Pulled Off an Authentic, Visceral, Episode-Long Medieval Battle

HBO releases a behind-the-scenes video which reveals that much of the episode was shot practically.

Sunday night’s stunning Game of Thrones episode spent most of its running time depicting the Battle for Winterfell between Jon Snow’s army and that of villain Ramsay Bolton. The gorgeously shot and produced episode beautifully depicted the visceral chaos and violence of a real medieval battle scene, and much of it was (surprisingly) shot practically, including 80 horses and a cavalry charging at actor Kit Harington (who plays Jon Snow).

HBO has releases a 10-minute behind-the-scenes video of how the episode was constructed: from production design, to camerawork, to visual effects. “As soon as we wrote episode 9, we knew that it was gong to have to operate on a scale that we’ve never operated before,” says executive producer and writer D.B. Weiss. “This is a battle, this is a story of a battle. We’ve never done that before.”