Things are about to get even bloodier on the already bloodiest bloody show on television. Brian Cogman, a writer-producer on Game of Thrones tells Entertainment Weekly that the show has finally managed to have the budget, story, and production availability to converge to allow them to create “a proper battle, with one army on one side, one army on another side.”
Longtime HBO fans likely will never forget how budgetary constraints caused Rome’s Julius Caesar to defeat Pompey Magnus in the epic Battle of the Jump Cut. Game of Thrones has managed to build some pretty amazing battles despite some of these strains, most notably with last season’s surprise zombie throwdown in “Hardhome.”
Yet, with a source material whose pages sometimes seemed stained with the blood of seemingly half of Westeros, sometimes the translation to a filmed version has made some tough decisions, like scaling down the Battle of the Blackwater to an extremely-effective TV version that still had me sad that Tyrion’s chain got lost in the shuffle. Seriously, Tyrion’s chain!!! He was a strategic genius!!! Sorry, I get upset.
This upcoming battle, which promises to be more akin to a classic military campaign type of fight, shares one thing in common with “Hardhome.” It presents a skirmish entirely unseen by the mind’s eye of anyone, even the staunchest book readers. With this advantage, it won’t be beholden to how someone imagined it for years prior to the airing of the episode, like myself with The Battle of Castle Black in season 4. Now the big question will be, with Stannis’ forces erased and Robb Stark’s head permanently detached from his body, just whose armies will be doing the fighting?