Game of Thrones cinematographer reflects on filming the Red Wedding


Time allegedly heals all wounds, and yet four years after the most infamous scene in Game of Thrones history, we are still not over the Red Wedding. One of the men we have to thank for the Stark family massacre, is cinematographer Robert McLachlan. McLachlan has quite the television resume, having shot such dramas as Westworld, Ray Donovan, and of course Game of Thrones (McLachlan filmed several “showstopping” episodes of season 7). McLachlan recently spoke to Business Insider about filming the epic event, the first episode he ever filmed for the series.

"I was aware that the Red Wedding was gonna be a big deal, and we wanted everyone to be incredibly shocked by it — those who hadn’t read the books."

Certainly book readers had an idea of what was coming, though details were of course changed from George R.R. Martin’s novels (Talisa does not exist on the page for instance). For show only viewers, McLachlan went the extra mile to make the scene even more brutal however,

"I really, really didn’t want to tip our hand to the viewers that anything bad was gonna happen, and quite the reverse: I wanted to make them think absolutely for sure they were gonna get the happy ending that everybody was really dying for. So I got the art department — with the blessing of the producers and director David Nutter — to overload the banquet hall with candelabras and torches so that it was, if not by Disney standards, certainly by “Game of Thrones” standards, very bright."

Do Game of Thrones fans ever really expect the “happy ending”? Anyways, thanks for making the scene even harder on us McLachlan. Much appreciated. McLachlan also touched on the high level of organization present on set while filmingThrones,

"Because there’s so many different cinematographers who’ve come and gone on the show — I’m one of the few that’s been there for multiple seasons in a row — one of the things they do is we’re all handed iPads with frames from previous episodes categorized by set, with examples of how each cinematographer has approached that set. The way they organize the whole shoot, it’s absolutely the best organized TV show I’ve ever been on."

Perhaps we could borrow one of those iPads real quick. Just to see if the software is up to date. If not, Game of Thrones season 7, of which McLachlan shot two episodes, debuts July 16. Hopefully they didn’t bring him back for his expertise in shooting massacres.