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Game Of Thrones Director Reveals Ayra's Path To Slaying The Night King Could Have Been Entirely Different

Published Wed Aug 14 2019 By Travis
Game Of Thrones Director Reveals Ayra's Path To Slaying The Night King Could Have Been Entirely Different

The director of The Long Night, Miguel Sapochnik, said Arya and the Night King confrontation could've been different.

Over three months since the Game of Thrones finale and we cannot stop talking about the final season of the series. The much talked about and hated final season in the history of television, according to the almost two million petition signee who wanted the final season to be reshot, left fans angry and wanting more after the 'Stark' children took over the whole world of Westeros.

One of the most talked-about episode of the final season except for the stupid decision to turn Daenerys into a crazy person was the third episode of the final season. After eight years of waiting and 70 episodes later the moment finally arrived, the battle between the living and the dead.

Watch: The trailer for The Long Night

The battle for the fate of the entire Westeros and who would rule the land after it is all said and done. ‘The Long Night’ was the episode which was supposed to propel the series to new heights but instead, the episode was derided for the lighting and also the unexpected killing of Night King (played by Vladimir Furdik after season five when Richard Brake was replaced) by Arya.

One thing is clear with the director of the episode, Miguel Sapochnik; he supports the cinematographer Fabian Wagner wholeheartedly. Miguel is nominated for directing the episode at this year’s Emmy award.

Miguel Sapochnik during the filming of Battle of the Basterds.
Miguel Sapochnik directed The Long Night for which is he is nominated for an Emmy.

Source: Fandom

With the creators of the show, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff not showing up to Game of Thrones events, mostly because they don’t want to face the fans and also they just signed an exclusive deal with Netflix for $200 million which restricts them from working for any other company. It seems Sapochnik is the defacto person to answer the choices for the series and the choices made by the writers and creators.

The director of some of the most memorable episodes of Game of Thrones including ‘Battle of the Bastards’ talked about what it was like reading the Arya storyline for the first times.

Watch: The moment Arya kills the Night King

“I questioned everything, and we worked long and hard to find the right balance of credibility versus wish fulfillment,” the director said in an interview with Hollywood Reporter.

The reason most people were unhappy with the way Night King went out was Arya seemingly came out of nowhere. It was all so convenient in a castle overrun by white walkers all of a sudden Arya comes out of the dark and kills the Night King. It all seemed so fortunate she made her way through to the tree without being stopped by the dead walkers.

Arya Stark
Arya Stark arrival at the location of Night King was all to convenient storytelling.

Source: Polygon

The director said they tried to figure out how best to include the scene in the episode, they shot and reshot the scene with multiple sequences but finally came to the realization they don’t need to see the journey to the end.

“Then we shot it and reshot it and found that what was really important was rhythm,” Sapochnik clarified. “At one point, there was an elaborate plan to have her fight her way into the Weirwood forest, but as we progressed we realized she'd already done that earlier in the episode, so it felt like a repeat.”

Watch: Arya fights the walkers inside the castle

It would’ve been awesome to see Arya battle her way through to the Weirwood forest, but it is also understandable they wanted the revelation until the end of the episode, which was another problem for the series, the writers going for shock value instead of character-building stories. Whatever the case, the directors of the series, said they just needed to show the end.

“In the end, we felt it didn't matter how she got there -- what mattered was setting up that moment when the Night King catches her mid-leap, and we think she's done for, then she pulls her knife switch and takes him out,” the director said.

Arya Stark and the Night King.
Arya came out of the shadows to kill the Night King.

Source: Harper's Bazaar

Everyone thought Jon Snow would be the one facing the Night King alone and defeating him at the end, but it was not the case. Jon didn’t even get close to the Night King during the third episode of the final season. 

This was the episode which should’ve been a clear indication the creators were not familiar with the stories they themselves were telling, but we still trusted and got burned by the end of the final episode.

The actors were not at fault for any of the decision made in the final season of Game of Thrones. Michael added to end The Long Night topic, “I loved Maisie's performance post the takedown as well, sharing a moment with her brother, Bran. That weary smile. "Not today."

Game of Thrones will be back with a prequel show which recently finished filming the first episode and the first season is coming in early to mid-2020.