Behind the Scenes of the 'Game of Thrones' Ship Battle [Spoilers]

I'll start with a rather obvious warning: this video and article may contain spoilers for anything that happens up to and including episode 2 of season 7 of "Game of Thrones." With that out of the way, we can look at how the incredible fight scene of that second episode was created.

The first time I saw a behind the scenes video of "Game of Thrones," I was pleasantly surprised at how much of the action was "real," by which I mean not CGI. With any fantasy production, particularly one on an epic scale, there is going to have to be a lot of digital artistry, but the folks behind "Game of Thrones" appear to try and keep that limited as much as they can.

Almost a year to the day I wrote an article on the Battle for Winterfell and I was stunned at how much danger they put the cast in. It's great to see that tradition hasn't fallen away as "Game of Thrones" continues to grow and the casts demands are undoubtedly more outlandish. In Battling the Silence of the last episode, we saw a naval skirmish which was filmed in a car park in Ireland. I'm not sure where I expected this large scale visual delight to have been created, but a car park certainly wasn't one of them.

The two full-sized ships were surrounded by 60 foot green screens and as you can see in the above image, a tremendously complex lighting set up. It's hard to appreciate the coordination required between all the necessary teams in a shoot like this for it to work, and be cohesive. It appears to the untrained eye that it's chaos, but you know there's carefully devised order to it. Even Keisha Castle-Hughes, who plays Obara Sand, remarks that there is just so much going on behind the camera, and it seems to even overwhelm the actors.

What stood out most to you about the behind the scenes footage of this scene?

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3 Comments

Jonathan Klempa's picture

Thank you for posting this, Robert! While I was watching this scene I was wondering how much of it was cgi and how much was practical. Now I know.

I gave up on GOT last season. I just got tired of all of the main characters dying and the one brother that has the magical powers, who had been basically forgotten the majority of the show, started to show back up and I really didn't care about him.

I watched this BTS knowing that there were spoilers and that I shouldn't care because I wasn't going to finish the series but after watching this it has gotten me so excited about it again that I may have to try to watch it again. And now I'm mad that I saw these spoilers.