During the attack on King's Landing there were more than 600 extras involved for the sequences. Many of the shots were also captured from rigs above the ground.
The destruction of King's Landing wasn't filmed on location in Dubrovnik where past seasons took place. Instead a recreation of streets and buildings were done on a lot in Ireland where set designers painstakingly recreated the look. A second version was hidden under the perfect construction so they could show the destroyed ruins over time.
A Slow Burn
Even though Varys (Conleth Hill) perished rather quickly onscreen the scene took far longer to capture. Considering the green screen elements and in-climate weather delays, Hill was forced to play out his death scene over the course of roughly seven months.
Battle of the Battles
If the scene where allied forces approach King's Landing to face the Gold Company looked familiar you wouldn't be wrong. The scene was supposedly mirrored after Season 6's Battle of the Bastards.
Walls Come Crashing Down
In the scene were the Gold Company was taken by surprise with the blast of flames from behind them, there were many factors coming into play. From visual effects, real explosions layered into reality as well as practical effects it was one of the most difficult moments to capture in the episode.
Light 'em Up
This episode included a lot of burning bodies and many of them were real. D.B. Weiss recalls that it's believed to include the most people burned onscreen for an onscreen production.
All Hail the Mad Queen
Showrunner D.B. Weiss commended Emilia Clarke's performance in the scene where Daenerys decides to torch King's Landing despite the surrender bells sounding.
Dragonfire Takes Over
In order to impose flames over the city of King's Landing in the final production, the crew had to film explosions and flames against green screen. Some flames were shot from rigs in the air to capture a realistic effect mimicking what would be seen from Drogon.
Two Danes, One Fight
When it came to Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Euron's (Pilou Asbæk) fight, the crew were nervous about the rocky terrain. Things got even more nerve-racking as the actors conversed in Danish about the scenes — some were worried they may change the script or choreography.
Clegane Bowl Blues
The highly anticipated fight between brothers Sandor "The Hound" Clegane (Rory McCann) and Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) was highly choreographed and included hours of prosthetics for The Mountain's grotesque look. McCann was also subjected to a full day of battery at the hands of his costar as he was thrown around repeatedly.
The Big Escape
Arya's (Maisie Williams) quest to escape the crumbling King's Landing was meant to be one full 7-minute scene and was rehearsed as such. Ultimately the team decided to cut it together with The Hound and Mountain's fight.
Cooling Down Between Takes
Despite the chaotic nature of the episode, extras who were caked in makeup were treated to refreshments between takes. The scene off camera was much more relaxed compared to the onscreen outcome.
Skull Crushing Spaces
The space beneath the Red Keep which housed large dragon skulls was reconstructed for Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jaime's (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) final scene. Due to the destruction that was occurring, there was a large attention to detail in the smaller elements like bricks.
Game of Thronesburned bright during the penultimate installment of the series, and along with it were plenty of behind-the-scenes goodies from "The Bells."
In the accompanying "Game Revealed" segment released on the show's official YouTube page the huge undertaking of torching King's Landing was more involved than you may have thought as extras, special effects and — of course — flames came into play. Plus, the segment also explores the many death scenes fans endured, as well as the actors' takes on them.
HBO just released images for the final episode of the series.
Click through the gallery above for a few highlights from the behind-the-scenes look at "The Bells," and if you'd like to see the whole segment, check out the video below, which clocks in at 35 minutes. Don't miss the series finale on Sunday, May 19, to see how the epic show ends.
Game of Thrones, Series Finale, Sunday, May 19, 9/8c, HBO