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Game Of Thrones’ Battle Of Winterfell Director Wanted To ‘Kill Everyone’


The Game of Thrones series finale was a divisive one, that’s for sure. While some viewers were happy with how everything drew to a close, others demanded more from the show, especially in the way of who perished in the final, decisive battle.

If you felt like there could have been a lot more death and destruction coming out of that clash, you’re not alone. Director Miguel Sapochnik, who directed the Battle of Winterfell episode (“The Long Night”), wanted a lot more characters to die during the battle. In a recent podcast interview with IndieWire, he spilled the beans on how he would have preferred that things went.


“I wanted to kill everyone,” said Sapochnik. “I wanted to kill Jorah in the horse charge at the beginning. I was up for killing absolutely everyone. I wanted it to be ruthless, so that in the first 10 minutes, you say, ‘All bets are off; anyone could die.’ And David [Benioff] and Dan [D. B. Weiss] didn’t want to. There was a lot of back-and-forth on that.”

Of course, in the end, a few of the things Sapochnik was interested in making happen did end up coming to fruition, especially in “The Bells,” which he directed in addition to “The Long Night.” So while he didn’t get to do everything he wanted to in the major battle episode, some of his visions lived on in that episode instead.

“I think a key thing is, like, it’s not my show, right? I didn’t come up with the show and make it,” he said. “I am a hired director to go and do that. They have let me in and let me be involved, and I’ve really loved doing that. But final cut is not mine. Final cut is theirs; it’s their choice.”

Sapochnik didn’t elaborate on who he would have killed off or who he would have spared, but it certainly would have been interesting to see his version of the episode compared to the one that aired. But Game of Thrones is now over for good, so the one that aired is canon, of course. We’ll have to be okay with that, whether we like it or not. Still, it would be interesting to hear what kind of things Sapochnik had in store for his cut of the episode.