WATCH: ‘GoT’ Cast & Crew Explain How They Shot That Epic On-Water Battle

Spoiler warning for ‘Game of Thrones’ episode ‘Stormborn’.

have released a behind-the-scenes look at the epic fight sequence at the end of the latest ‘Game of Thrones‘ episode.

Stormborn‘ saw Yara Greyjoy‘s fleet attacked by Euron Greyjoy‘s far superior one, in a fiery and chaotic battle sequence that saw Yara captured, half the Sand Snakes dead, and Theon jumping into the water after flashing back to his traumatic time as Ramsay‘s prisoner.

It was an impressive and confusing as hell sequence that took about a week to shot, if Pilou Asbæk, who plays Euron, is anything to go by.

“I don’t know if I can say ‘fucking’,” he says in the clip, “but that was a fucking awesome week.”

Honestly, it feels like no one is having more fun shooting ‘Game of Thrones’ than Pilou.

Showrunner D.B Weiss describes Euron’s ship ‘Silence‘ as a “big ‘fuck you’ boat built for a big, ‘fuck you’ guy”, and check out what Pilou said about it:

“My ship’s like five times bigger than their little tiny boat. It was like, their boat was this big…”
“…and mine was like THIS big…”

“…and I don’t think it has nothing to do with, y’know. You know what they say about guys with big cars…”
“… they like speed. So do I.”
Side note: Pilou….. hello.

The scene was an absolute monster to shoot (although no where near the most ambitious in ‘Game of Thrones’ overall).
According to various people working on the battle scene – director Mark Mylod, special effects supervisor Sam Conway, VFX producer Steve Kullback, VFX supervisor Joe Bauer, stunt coordinator Rowley Irlam and production designer Deborah Riley – they had 60ft (18m) green screens around the entire ship, filming each bit in quick, ten second cuts.
On the boat itself were 40 stunt members and six cast members, and that’s before you even get to the crew.

“We agreed that the violence should be brutal and feel unchoreographed,” said Irlam. “I wanted it to feel like the violence of a riot or a football terrace, when there’s a flash of violence and it just kicks off.

Gemma Whelan, who plays Yara, said one of the trickiest bits about shooting was the slipperiness of the wooden boat drenched in water, and that the crew had to put chicken wire down to stop the actors from slipping.

She also poured cold water over one of the interpretations about the look between Yara and Theon before he jumps off the ship.

“When Yara gets taken by Euron on the boat and has the axe to her throat, initially she feels like Theon’s back, it’s okay, he’ll do the right thing,” she said. “Then the change that happens in his eyes, When she realises he’s not going to stay, I think she’s heartbroken at that point.

Guess those ‘they shared a look of acknowledgment’ theories can be put to bed where they belong, then.

Have a watch of the full BTS bit below.


Photo: HBO.