The final season of Game of Thrones will have its longest battle ever with a massive cast in its highly anticipated Battle of Winterfell. There are several plot threads left dangling in Game of Thrones that need to be wrapped up before the series finale. The most dire though is the army of dead, The White Walkers, and their invasion of the country of Westeros. When Game of Thrones season 7 ended, most of the major characters decided to set aside their bloody battle for the Iron Throne and band together to defeat the ice zombies from the North. This alliance will culminate in a massive battle at House Stark's ancestral home where humanity makes a final stand against the undead horde.
Like everything in Game of Thrones season 8, the battle is a source of great mystery and secrecy. Few confirmed details have been made available to the public and the audience can only guess at the outcome. Some details have emerged though about the clash of the living and the dead in a new interview with the cast and crew. The Battle of Winterfell will be unlike anything the fans (or the actors) have ever seen on the fantasy series to date.
The details about The Battle of Winterfell emerged in a new cover story from EW concerning Game of Thrones season 8. The publication was on set during some of the filming of the massive undertaking. The battle was filmed over 11 weeks of night shoots, in very low temperatures with over 750 people involved both in front of and behind the camera. The battle will span the entire episode in which it appears, making it the longest battle sequence ever filmed, dethroning a record set by Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers and its 40 minute siege of Helm's Deep. The episode was written by series co-creators Dan Benioff and D.B. Weiss and will be directed by Miguel Sapochnik who directed the episodes "Battle of the Bastards" and the most exciting White Walker episode to date, "Hardhome."
The more interesting information for fans of the series is which characters will be involved in the Battle of Winterfell. Every character wasn't named as that would probably be too much of a spoiler. However, the episode is teased to be the greatest collection of Game of Thrones characters in the same location to date. The Battle of Winterfell will include Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), and Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie). Yet through the course of interviews it also seems that Iain Glen's Jorah Mormont, Rory McCann's The Hound, Liam Cunningham's Davos and John Bradley's Samwell Tarly will also be involved.
This alone is noteworthy but the Battle of Winterfell being the first time that Maisie Williams will actually participate in a Game of Thrones battle sequence as Arya has usually skipped the big brawls. The same can also be argued for Brienne, Davos and Sansa who have appeared in battle episodes but only at the very beginning or very end. For the most part, the actors who have been confirmed to participate in the Battle of Winterfell are those who were in Winterfell or were on their way to Winterfell when season 7 concluded. For this reason, it can probably be assumed that Joe Dempsie's Gendry and Isaac Hempstead Wright's Bran Stark will have roles to play.
There are still some very notable exceptions in the cast list, mainly the Lannisters outside Tyrion. Cersei Lannister, the current Queen of Westeros, decided to break her word to the alliance of humanity and not fight against the White Walkers. However her brother, and father to her unborn child, Jaime decided to keep his word and was heading north to Winterfell when season 7 ended. Nikolaj Waldau-Coster not being included in the confirmed cast list doesn't mean Jaime won't survive to the battle or participate in it. He just hasn't been confirmed yet. Director Sapochnik did explain that unlike previous battle episodes, which usually focused on the point of view of one or two characters, the Battle of Winterfell will be split between at least 20 main characters.
Game of Thrones season 8 premieres Sunday, April 14 at 9pm on HBO.