You know nothing about long battles, Jon Snow.
Game of Thrones fans who thought 2016’s Battle of the Bastards episode was thrilling, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The HBO hit reportedly filmed a 55-day, three-location battle scene for its final season that tops anything previously seen in the critically acclaimed show.
Fans aren’t supposed to know about the big fight. The apparent news leaked out because of a now-removed Instagram post from assistant director Jonathan Quinlan. Numerous sites, including Game of Thrones mega-fansite Watchers on the Wall, shared a screenshot of a beautifully phrased thank-you note that seems to have been sent to cast and crew.
“This is for the Night Dragons,” the screenshot reads. “For enduring 55 straight nights. For enduring the cold, the snow, the rain, the mud, the sheep shit of Toome and the winds of Magheramorne.” (Both named places are in Northern Ireland, where the show is filming.)
The note continues: “When tens of millions of people around the world watch this episode a year from now, they won’t know how hard you worked. They won’t care how tired you were or how hard it was to do your job in sub-freezing temperatures. They’ll just understand that they’re watching something that’s never been done before. And that’s because of you.” The note was signed, “The Producer Types.”
HBO hasn’t responded to our request for comment, but the note seems likely real to this Thrones follower. We’ve already heard that the final season could be a bloodbath, and that’s not going to happen without a brawl for it all.
Game of Thrones returns to HBO sometime in 2019.