You’ve seen it in the trailer, you’ve read set reports for the better part of a year, but Game of Thrones is finally ready to confirm a mammoth battle toward the end of Season 6. Well, not literal mammoths (but maybe!). The series finally had a chance to shoot a “proper battle” with clashing armies and limited CG, orchestrated by the visionary director that brought us “Hardhome.”

Granted, Game of Thrones has been staging epic battle for years, between “Blackwater,” “Hardhome,” “Watchers on the Wall” and more, the series has never been able to depict two (or more) armies meeting openly in a field, without the aid of extensive CGI. This time around, “Hardhome” director Miguel Sapochnik spent the better part of a month on principal photography for the ninth or tenth Season 6 episode, per Entertainment Weekly:

The upcoming sequence, however, is more like a classic campaign that you typically only see in major films: Hundreds of human soldiers on one side of a field, another army on the other side, and then there is a clash that is highly tactical, yet character-driven, and shown from start to finish.

Said showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff of the upcoming battle, which itself is rumored to take place between multiple factions, and perhaps feature a certain resurrected Stark in the background:

Weiss: We wondered, ‘Why don’t you see more fully fleshed-out battles in movies and TV?’ Then you get into the nitty-gritty of what it takes to actually shoot these things in a way that isn’t just helter-skelter chaos but actually gives you a sense of battle geography and the ebb and flow, and you realize why.”

Benioff: Miguel did such a fantastic job with ‘Hardhome’ we thought we should bring him back – this time with horses. Horses are not easy, at all. And certainly in terms of numbers – number of extras, number of stuntmen, number of shooting days – it’s the biggest we’ve done.

Game of Thrones Season 6 itself will premiere on April 24, though we’ll likely wait until either June 19 or 26 to see the battle for ourselves. What should we expect from the series’ biggest action sequence yet?

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