The Battle of Winterfell is “absolutely unparalleled and unprecedented”


Game of Thrones scribe Bryan Cogman — the man responsible for penning “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” — spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about saying goodbye to Westeros forever, his GoT prequel series, and what we can expect from this next Sunday’s nuclear bomb of a battle episode.


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First things first: Cogman revealed that “Knight” was, in fact, the last time he’ll work on something set in the Seven Kingdoms, as the Game of Thrones spinoff he was working on with George R.R. Martin did not get picked up by HBO. The Emmy-winning scriptwriter has been hired by Amazon to create new content and mentions he’s “helping them out with their shows.”

"I’m definitely leaving. I was developing one of the successor shows with George. George has worked with a bunch of the writers, including Jane [Goldman], whose show is being done [as a pilot]. My prequel show is not happening and will not happen. HBO decided to go a different way. So, it is a goodbye. I am done with Westeros. It’s wonderfully bittersweet. I’ll certainly miss it, but I’m excited to go out on my own and try to be in the captain’s chair of my own projects, armed with everything I’ve learned. I’ve learned more than I could possibly imagine from eight seasons of this thing."

Cogman has been one of the series’ most consistent writers — he also wrote Tyrion’s blistering trial scene in King’s Landing and Jaime’s bathtub confession to Brienne, among others — so this is a bummer to hear, but we join him in hoping that his own original projects will be hits. He certainly has the talent to make it.

This also explains why “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” was so important to Cogman, because “it was a goodbye and a love letter to these characters and to this cast.” Cogman says it was important that each character had time to “reflect on their journeys.” Perhaps that’s what made the episode so special; we’ve all invested a lot of emotional energy in these characters, so it was good to relax with them one more time before the end.

"That’s what makes the show tick. It’s the reason we’re here, all these years later. As much as I love all of the incredible spectacle, if you don’t care about what’s happening within it? Then it’s all a bunch of Sturm und Drang. I was grateful to be given the opportunity to explore where these characters are at this moment in the story, and have the time to do that. We determined pretty early on that we would explore this idea of, “What would you do if you thought it was your last night on Earth?” It felt appropriate, and even necessary, at this stage in the game — no pun intended."

Cogman wouldn’t give away spoilers for Episode 803 — an episode that is quickly becoming one of the most highly anticipated episodes in the show’s history. He did tease what he could, though. “This was a part of the story we invested a lot of time in to get right. I can say the effort put in by our crew and our cast in the making of the whole season, but certainly, next week’s episode, is absolutely unparalleled and unprecedented — and I’m going to go so far as to say in the history of filmed entertainment.”

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That’s a bold statement, Mr. Cogman. With showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss writing the rest of the episodes from here on out, and with “Hardhome” and “Battle of the Bastards” director Miguel Sapochnik behind the camera, it just might not be hyperbole.

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