The return of Benjen Stark was one of the dramatic reveals of last week’s “Blood of my Blood.” But not only was the unveiling of the character a dramatic moment, his rescue of Meera and Bran from the wights was a complex fight sequence that involved hardcore stunt work, including a horse and a flail on fire. Even though one could sense the stuntmen were having a *lot* of fun when it came to this sequence, it was still one that had to be plotted out carefully.
That, of course, is where storyboarding comes in. Once again, Making Game of Thrones provides, with a post containing the initial drawings created by Will Simpson.
Note that the prop he’s using is referred to an an Iron Ball, and the idea is that it’s not initially on fire, but springs into flame. Does this feed into the theory that the weapon Benjen used is from the same family as the Children of the Forest’s magical golden grenades? (Also “Magical Golden Grenades” is the name of my next punk band.)
Apparently the sequence we got, which included three separate wights biting it in various manners, from exploding into bits to catching completely on fire, was not originally planned out in the storyboards. I’m guessing that the stunt guys added that in as they choreographed it out (which might explain why that sequence felt like they were having so much fun.)
The other interesting thing is that the ending was apparently a little different then what we saw on screen.
That bit where Benjen, Meera and Bran in tow, crashes through the wights and takes a few out in the process didn’t make it onto the screen. Surely that would have been more difficult to film