Game of Thrones is no stranger to special effects and giant battles. They've been par for the course ever since season two.
However, season six's penultimate episode featured a battle unlike anything ever before seen on television. Hundreds of men and dozens of horses were used to create one of the most technically-impressive and downright brutal medieval fights ever seen on screen, and now, HBO is showing fans everything that went into making it all reality.
What makes it all so incredible is just how much of it was real. The shot of Jon Snow facing off against 40 horses charging full speed? All real.
"Until the last minute, I was standing there facing off against this cavalry charge, which is really scary," Jon actor Kit Harington says. "We were a bit annoyed, because I think everyone's going to think it was CGI, and it wasn't."
Filming the horses, and having them appear to collide with one another, proved to be a challenge. The show used remote-controlled cameras attached to Land Rovers in order to keep up and film the galloping horses. The various horses and actors riding them come as close to clashing and colliding as humanly possible, all coordinated by the show's stunt coordinator and horse master.
The impressive results speak for themselves. As for those massive heaps of dead bodies? All real (sort of). They weren't CGI, but were prop bodies, each of which had to be fully equipped in authentic Wildling or Bolton armor before being tossed on the pile.
That's not to say that CGI doesn't have any role to play. It was used to fill in the various armies, used for the various volleys of arrows and, of course, used to bring Wun Wun the giant to life.
The various actors on the show also weigh in on how the battle will change their characters going forward. For Jon, Harington says the battle awakens a "monster" inside of his character that fans haven't seen before.
"He's just kneading bread," Harington says while discussing Jon's brutal takedown of Ramsay. "He's just flattening this person's face and that's what's changed in Jon for me. A monster has risen in him a bit, which I think should be unsettling for the viewers."
Victory at Winterfell came with a huge cost, which fans can expect to be explained in next week's season finale. However, until then, fans can at least appreciate the sheer amount of effort and the huge payoff seen in the "Battle of the Bastards."