Game of Thrones has come a good distance over the previous eight years, and for proof, all you want to do is look again at Season 1’s greatest second. In hindsight, it isn’t precisely as “big” as it would’ve appeared.
Season 1, Episode 9, “Baelor,” was a game-changing second for Game of Thrones and for style tv total. Though readers of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels could have seen the demise of Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) coming all alongside, it nonetheless caught most of the present’s viewers unexpectedly, and set a complete new tone for the remainder of the collection. The present’s ethical heart, and its solely clear heroic determine at that time, was merely gone, and we had been left watching a collection the place anybody would possibly die at any time, because the present has since confirmed to be true time and time once more.
The execution of Eddard Stark is, looking back, about extra than simply the storytelling ramifications of the scene. As “Baelor” director Alan Taylor explains in a brand new interview with Vanity Fair, the scene can be seen now as an illustration of simply how little the present needed to work with in these early days, and the way far it is come since.
When Taylor — whose credit embody seven episodes of Game of Thrones, together with final season’s huge “Beyond The Wall” — directed “Baelor,” there was no actual established Game of Thrones fanbase past readers of the books who had been inquisitive about how the present would end up. In these days, HBO was making an attempt to do quite a bit with little or no, and that meant finances restraints. So, as Ned Stark was led out to his demise in an excellent courtyard the place all of King’s Landing was imagined to be watching, the set principally consisted of 1 massive statue (the titular Baelor), a couple of dozen extras, and a primary platform with some banners behind it.
“It’s humorous watching it now and seeing simply how small and kind of rinkydink the scene is, as a result of Game of Thrones has gone on to be very well-funded by HBO,” Taylor mentioned. “But at this stage, this was Season 1, no one had seen the show yet, we had no idea if it had an audience or not, and we didn’t have a dime.”
A very fascinating instance of those budgetary constraints could be discovered early within the scene, when Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) walks into the gathered crowd and climbs up onto the statue of Baelor in order that she will see her father. As Taylor factors out, the digital camera continues to crane up increased to point out the highest of the statue, then tilts towards the sky earlier than coming again down to point out the assembled crowd once more. That digital camera angle was chosen as a result of, when the episode was shot, Taylor was anticipating an enormous CGI Great Sept of Baelor to be seen on town skyline, overlooking the courtyard. By the time the episode entered post-production, there was no cash left to create the Sept, so we’re left with an open sky.
“When I watch it now, I see just how little money we had at the time, but I think it still packs an emotional punch,” Taylor mentioned.
For extra massive and small indications of how “Baelor” was made on a a lot tighter finances that Game of Thrones is used to now, take a look at the complete video above. Game of Thrones returns April 14 on HBO.