It’s been months since the final episode of Game of Thrones aired, but that won’t stop us from further discussing its most controversial moments. One of those is when Arya literally launches herself into Westeros history by vaulting off a pile of dead Wights and poking a hole through the Night King’s ice-cold heart. How did she get there in the first place? That’s the next bit of post-Game of Thrones news!
Miguel Sapochnik, the director who crafted many of Game of Thrones’ most memorable episodes including Battle of the Bastards, has shared his directorial decisions behind the season 8 episode The Long Night.
“I questioned everything and we worked long and hard to find the right balance of credibility versus wish fulfillment,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published Monday.
Part of what catches the dragonfire-immune Night King off guard is Arya’s appearance seemingly out of nowhere. While making for great cinematic television, Arya’s unveiling from the dark came off as immensely fortunate in a Winterfell overrun with White Walkers and Wights.
Sapochnik went through many reshoots before concluding why we don’t need to see Arya’s sprint to the finish line.
“Then we shot it and reshot it and found that what was really important was rhythm,” Sapochnik said. “At one point, there was an elaborate plan to have her fight her way into the Weirwood forest, but as we progressed we realized she’d already done that earlier in the episode, so it felt like a repeat.
“In the end, we felt it didn’t matter how she got there — what mattered was setting up that moment when the Night King catches her mid-leap and we think she’s done for, then she pulls her knife switch and takes him out.”
It’s an episode that drew controversy, from not having Jon Snow destroy the Night King as many thought he would, right down to the episode’s dark lighting. The season as a whole was met with frustration from fans, nearly 2 million of whom signed a petition to have HBO redo it entirely. The long night continues…