Game of Thrones’ Isaac Hempstead Wright Reveals What Shooting the Battle of Winterfell Was Really Like

The GoT star talks gruelling night shoots, Bran Stark's arc and reuniting with Jaime Lannister.

By Winsome Walker Apr 30, 2019 7:21 AMTags
Related: Isaac Hempstead Wright Got Emotional Filming Final “Game of Thrones” Scene

The Battle of Winterfell was the biggest bloodbath in Game of Thrones history.

A staggering 750 people worked on the gruelling 82-minute episode, including British actor Isaac Hempstead Wright, who plays the omniscient Three-Eyed Raven Bran Stark.

Hempstead Wright took part in two "pretty rough" weeks of night shoots for what became the longest onscreen battle sequence ever.    

"It's really disorientating when you're working all through the night," the 20-year-old told E! News just before the episode aired. "It's not like when you're on a break you can just text your mates and see what's going on because they're all in bed. Especially when you finish the day and you're like, that's a hard day's work, [let's] go for a pint. It's like, oh no, I can't. It's six in the morning."

To mark GoT's final season, Hempstead Wright caught up with E! News in Sydney to discuss Bran's epic journey, his reunion with Jaime Lannister and the strange mementos he took from the set.

Game of Thrones Battle of Winterfell: Arya Stark Is Our Queen

How are you feeling about the Game of Thrones finale and who will you be watching it with?
I'm really excited to see it. I think I might get a bunch of mates together. My girlfriend said she'll watch it with me but she's never seen an episode before in her life, so I'm not sure she'd enjoy that very much.

Helen Sloan/HBO

Bran spends a lot of time just staring creepily. Did you ever get jealous that he's not on the battlefield fighting?
Kind of! The really annoying thing is the wheelchair had to be set in a very specific way—the furs over it had to be kept between takes for continuity. Whenever the scene cut, everyone else could get up and move around and have a chat and I'd be stuck in my f--king wheelchair being like, guys, can you come and talk to me because I can't bloody move! I think there was one particular [scene] where I was there for a good hour and a half, stuck in that bloody chair.

As the memory of humanity, Bran had a huge target on his back from the Night King. Did you know Bran would be such a crucial character?
No clue. It's been so cool getting to watch him become more and more important over these years. 

There was a nice moment in episode 2 where Jaime apologised to Bran for pushing him off the tower. What was it like to look back on the pilot and reconnect with Jaime?
It was a really cool episode of season 8 because there were so many parallels with that first episode of season 1. It was fun to get to do that and it was fun to freak Jaime Lannister out a bit. Getting to repeat that line to him, the things we do for love. Everyone looks at Bran like, it's that weird kid in the corner again. But Jaime knows exactly what's up.

How did you feel shooting Bran's final scene?
It was really sad. Saying goodbye to Bran and putting that costume away for the last time was like, wow. It was really weird. I'm never in my life going to be Bran Stark again, the person I've got to play for the last ten years of my life. It's a pretty huge chapter of my life to say goodbye to, so it was emotional.

The Game of Thrones Cast Is Paying Tribute to Dead Characters and Here Come the Tears

Did you take anything from the set as a memento?
I didn't grab anything that exotic. It was my last day and I just thought, I've got to grab something. So I grabbed a wooden spoon and a straw bowl and a little wooden tub of Vaseline. I don't know why there was Vaseline in it, I don't know what it was supposed to be. I don't think they'll sell for much on eBay when I'm poor!

Which cast member will be organising the reunion, and where do you think it might be?
I think a lot of us will be keen to do the reunions. We've got a little group chat so people are always popping up ideas in there of when we should hang out. Somebody mentioned Ibiza. We'll have to see.

New episodes of Game of Thrones stream on Foxtel Now and air on Foxtel on Mondays from 11am.

Game of Thrones Sets Up the "Last War": Daenerys Targaryen vs. Cersei Lannister