HBO may be out of new episodes for the next 18 months or more, but that doesn’t mean they’re not finding new and creative ways to keep the interest up during the offseason. When the show concluded on Aug. 28, the channel announced “The Game Revealed,” a “behind the scenes” series that goes episode by episode through the season, available via HBO Go and HBO Now. This week they’ve reached episode 4, “The Spoilers of War,” and it’s a must watch for the behind-the-scenes Arya footage.
Ironically, Episode 4 was the shortest episode of the season, clocking in at under 50 minutes, partly because of the way the major battle that concluded the episode ended: with Jaime and Bronn falling into the water, having narrowly missed being flambed by Drogon. Did they live? Did they die? Rather than answer, the show went to cliffhanger to make us all wait until next week.
But though one might think a behind the scenes look at this episode would be a must watch for fans of battles staged for the camera (and that part certainly is interesting), the real reason to watch this is the *other* major plot point that happened that week: Arya’s return to Winterfell, her reunion with Sansa and Bran, and her one on one fight with Brienne of Tarth.
HBO has put up a teaser to entice you to tune in. Check it out:
Previously, Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner, who are best friends in real life, talked about how hard it was to settle down during those initial takes. Both have grown into fantastic actresses, having learned from the A-list level British talent the show has surrounded them with the past six years.
But since the last time they filmed together was all the way back in Season 1, and barely halfway through the run of it, they’ve also grown up with not having to be those professional people around each other. Sophie and Maisie have always been able to kick back and relax together, turn off, if you will, and be silly teenagers. But in a way, they can’t be with anyone els, because no one else knows their lives quite the way they do.
We get quite a bit a footage of those failed takes in the early days of Season 7 filming, as the two adjusted to being professional adults with each other after years of not having to be. It can’t be all fun and games on the set, but it certainly feels like Mophie tried their damnedest to make it that way.
But that’s not the only joy of this episode. Because the other behind the scenes stage combat scene from this episode is when Brienne met Arya for the first time since Season 4. Check out the promotional clip:
Watching the two of them work out their fight choreography is a joy to behold. Listen, I would watch an entire 15 minute special of the two of them just doing this. It is that awesome.
If you thought the height difference was amazing in the episode itself, check them out during practice when no one is padded out in armor. Gwendoline Christie seems impossibly taller and Maisie is just this tiny little sprite of a thing that she can’t get a hold of. It’s like something out of a fairy tale.
As the video clip says, “Everyone has wanted to see these two together for a long time.” And that’s true. Arya and Brienne are the major two gender non-conformists in Westeros. (Yara doesn’t count, since most of the Iron Islands actually approve of her.) They’re also two of the best fighters in the story. This was a marquee title fight for , and it had to live up to fan’s expectations.
Thankfully it did. You can watch all four of the behind the scenes episodes so far on HBO Go or HBO Now. Episode 5 will be out next Monday.