How HBO Brought the Biggest ‘Game of Thrones’ Battle to Life

Game of Thrones fans have been conditioned to expect big things from each season’s ninth episode, especially after traumatic past events like the naval siege of Blackwater Bay and the infamous “Red Wedding.” But this weekend’s episode “The Battle of the Bastards” was literally the show’s biggest undertaking ever. Now you can see how they brought this epic to life in a new behind-the-scenes documentary from HBO.  While CGI was of course used for certain shots (particularly ones featuring Wun-Wun the giant) the Battle of Winterfell used more real-life elements than any scene previous. The cavalry charge for instance used a whopping 80 horses, 40 of which were actually stampeding right towards actor Kit Harrington. This doesn’t even touch on the number of extras used to portray the fighting forces of Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton, or the breathtaking tracking shots that place the viewer directly on the chaotic field of fighting. It was no cakewalk for the actors either; as Harrington so plainly admits, “it was really, really scary.”

Get all the details in the documentary above, and stay tuned for next week’s season finale of Game of Thrones.