It took 80 horses to film Game of Thrones’ The Battle of Winterfell

Spoiler alert – if you haven’t yet seen the Battle of the Bastards episode of Game of Thrones yet, then watch that first and read this later.

The Battle of Winterfell took place in episode nine of the sixth season of Game of Thrones. The video above goes behind the scenes on the filming of the first large pitched battle of the series.

It was a long wait before we saw this great battle, but the wait really paid off. It features sequences that look far better than what many blockbuster films could achieve. At one part during the battle, you see Jon Snow (Kit Harington) stand towards a wall of charging horses. Kit said “Until the last minute I was stood there facing off against this cavalry charge which is really scary. We were a bit annoyed because I think everyone’s going to think it was CGI, and it wasn’t”. The Battle of Winterfell scenes took 80 horses, the biggest amount ever needed on Thrones, and a whole lot of clever choreography. To capture footage of the horses running at high speed, the crew used a camera tracking vehicle attached to a Russian Arm gyro-stabilised camera crane. An entire day – 10 hours was spent filming the scene of Jon Snow on top of Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) beating him, shooting from every angle possible.

As for Rickon’s appearance, this is what actor Art Parkinson had to say: