Here’s how They Filmed Jon Snow Getting Trampled in Game of Thrones
HBO has been highlighting the work of all the creatives who make Game of Thrones possible. They’ve given us a glimpse at how the prosthetics team creates White Walkers, wights and the mortally wounded. They’ve revealed how the stunt department handles the insane number of pyrotechnics the series demands. (This is what happens when you’ve got three dragons.) Now HBO takes you inside the lens, so to speak. This new video highlights the work of the show’s camera operators, specifically the work of Sean Savage.
Savage has been working on GoT sine 2010. He’s the “A” camera operator, known as the Dragon Unit. Some of his earliest scenes included shooting the Night’s Watch moving through the tunnel and heading north beyond the wall. He’s worked on every episode since then. Savage has shot some of GoT‘s most iconic sequences, including The Battle of Black Water Bay, the Red Wedding, and Hardhome. Yet one sequence stands out above all.
Savage’s favorite moment is when Jon Snow is forced to the ground and trampled in the brutal fight that highlights “Battle of the Bastards.” It really looked like Snow might die (again). You essentially watch him drowning in a sea of writhing bodies as the sociopath Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) looks on with his usual sadistic glee. It turns out the sequence wasn’t entirely scripted.
“Kit went to the ground, I stood over him, and these stunt guys piled in,” Savage explains. “We had a safe word that we could call it off at any point. We had to see that the light closed upon Kit’s face, and at that point, I just urged Kit to get off the ground and stand up again. And I think you can see it’s true a struggle.”
Jon Snow does manage to make it out of that pile of bodies. Shortly thereafter, the Knights of the Vale ride in and help turn the tide of the battle in Jon’s favor. For a brief, beautiful moment, a Stark stood victorious on the battlefield. In season 8, however, the forces he’ll be facing are way more daunting than Ramsay Bolton.
Check out the video here. We’ll be seeing more of Savage’s work when Game of Thrones returns on April 14, 2019.