The most appreciated moments from the season 6 finale of Game of Thrones were the first 25 minutes, which saw Cersei executing her plan successfully, killing all her enemies with wildfire and ascending to take the Iron Throne herself. The whole King’s Landing storyline felt like a tone poem of destruction and death which was brilliantly executed by episode director Miguel Sapochnik. EW spoke with him recently and he shed more light into staging that epic sequence:
“The main goal of the sequence was to bring all these intersecting storylines surrounding King’s Landing together and end them. Initially I was quite surprised that they chose to blow up the Sept, but [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] always have an eye on the big picture and I think they were absolutely right in their choice.
The first step was looking for a way to achieve it within the constraints of a television budget and schedule. First, the explosion was only seen from outside the Sept but I really wanted to see the High Sparrow get it so I story boarded a sequence that included this and David and Dan liked it so we put it in.
The main chunk of the sequence was essentially a courtroom drama and then lots of little scenes surrounding it shot in many different sets and locations and even countries so it took a long time to get all the pieces into the [editing system] and start actually editing.
Key to all of this was looking for a piece of music that would tie everything together and make it feel of a piece. I fell in love with a piano piece that was perfect but not very Game of Thrones, and so we began searching for something more within the show’s vernacular but still as emotionally charged as the piece I’d chosen. Unfortunately or fortunately, we never did find anything better and so when I submitted my cut I also sent a note to David and Dan explaining why I had left this piece of music in because it conveyed tonally exactly the right mood for this particular sequence.
I fully expected them to replace it with something else other than a piano and so I was surprised and very pleased when [composer Ramin Djawadi] scored such a beautiful piece of score using piano as its main instrument. As The Dude in The Big Lebowski would say; ‘It really tied the room together.”