The Game of Thrones crew has been busy this week at the Winterfell set in Moneyglass, Northern Ireland, and we’ve reported on it a lot. We’ve gotten some hints about what’s coming, but those have nothing on this latest development. We’re talking world-ending, nuclear-grade SPOILERS here. If you don’t want a hugely importantly part of season 8 spoiled for you, you’d best not continue reading. For the rest of you, scroll on.
Okay, how do I put this lightly…the production lit the Winterfell set on fire. Like, they lit it up beyond all repair, destroying any hope that it could be used again. Here’s the video:
Whoa. Well, now we know why HBO went to the trouble of building battlements that were previously created with CGI — they wanted to burn the whole place down.
There’s been a lot of smoke on the set over the last few days, not to mention lots of armed extras, but nothing could have prepared us for this. This is huge. It looks like Winterfell is done for.
The obvious question is: what caused this? Zombie Viserion? Yes, his flame breath burns blue, but that’s only when it’s bursting out of his mouth — it might turn red when it cools for a second. And they could color the flames in post-production, anyway. Fans of the “Mad Queen” theory may think that Daenerys, or at least her dragons, are behind this. And we can’t forget that Queen Cersei Lannister has a history of blowing up important buildings.
Or it could be something we don’t expect. Maybe a cow kicked over a lantern in a barn, Great Chicago-fire style*.
UPDATE: Reporting from close at hand, Belfast Live confirms what we basically already knew: that this fire was part of a battle scene and not happenstance, although the fire department was called over fear that this was an accident.
The biggest thing to come out of the Belfast Live report is a note about the extras on scene. When we first caught wind of the activity at Winterfell, estimates put the number of extras at over 200. Belfast Live puts it at somewhere between 400 and 500, which is about as many extras as the show had on hand for huge sequences like the Battle of the Bastards.
There’s a lot to chew on. What do you guys make of all this?
*I know that the cow story isn’t actually true, but why let that get in the way of an arson joke?