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Watch: A walkthrough of the ‘Game of Thrones’ season premiere in the words of its director

Here is how the Freys’ massacre, the Dragonstone set and the Ed Sheeran scene were brought together.

The seventh season of Game of Thrones has ended and that leaves the show’s fans with a year of speculation about how season eight will pan out. The wait will be tough, and HBO has been kind enough to give fans a short fix for a while, with a new series of videos that will explore the technical wizardry involved in the making of each episode.

The series called Game Revealed kicks off with season premiere director Jeremy Podeswa taking the audience through the making of each key scene in the first episode, Dragonstone.

Arya Stark’s revenge on the Freys was the first sequence to be shot by Podeswa’s team. Maisie Williams, who plays Stark, is made to wear a full-head prosthetic mask modelled on Walder Frey’s (David Bradley) face. Podeswa describes that he loved the scene because audiences would enter the new season shocked, since Frey is dead.

Podeswa then talks about the much-maligned scene between Williams and pop singer Ed Sheeran who stars in a cameo as a Lannister soldier. Though Sheeran’s appearance drew negative reactions, the singer was all laughs on the set. “Just a nice moment for her to really enjoy human company without lies and trickery,” Williams said, explaining the mood of her character in this scene where she, Stark, enjoys a light moment with the Sheeran character.

Next up for discussion is the Cersei-Jaime scene where the Lannister queen (Lena Headey) walks over a floor on which a giant map of Westeros has been drawn. Podeswa talks about the map’s metaphorical value. (“There she is, walking all over it, the known world, when thinking about, you know, ruling it.”) The graphic artist who designed the map, Jim Staines, plays the man who is seen painting the floor in the scene before he is dismissed by Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).

Most of the Dragonstone sequence, which is where Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) arrives at the ancient Targaryen fortress, was shot in both Spain and Northern Island. The fortress, its gates, and interiors were intricately designed by a team working round the clock. Writer David Benioff, in fact, said, “I think it’s maybe the best set we’ve ever built.”

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Game Revealed: Season 7 Episode 1 (HBO).
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