Cape Town – It certainly qualifies as a daunting TV production record that will likely never be broken: The fantasy drama series Game of Thrones just finished filming a battle scene for the upcoming 8th and final season that is set to broadcast sometime next year - a gargantuan night time production effort that took an unbelievable 55 days to shoot.
The Game of Thrones producers, calling themselves "The Producer Types", wrote a thank you and recognition note to the crew and cast of the show for filming the longest battle scene in television history, stretching over 55 consecutive nights and 3 locations - including Toome and Magheramorne in Northern Ireland and an unknown third location.
The execution of the elaborate shoot and its pre-production that must come with an astronomical production budget, literally took over a month and a half - for just one Winterfell battle scene.
Jonathan Quinlan, an assistant director on Game of Thrones took a photo of it and posted it on Instagram with the caption "Says it all. 55 consecutive nights. 11 weeks. 3 locations. You'll never again see anything like it".
The Instagram note was quickly deleted, but not before Watchers on the Wall saved a copy.
"This is for the Night Dragons. For enduring 55 straight nights. For enduring the cold, the show, the rain, the mud, the sheep shit of Toome and the winds of Magheramorne."
"When tens of millions of people around the world watch this episode a year from now, they won't know how hard you worked. They won't care how tired you were or how tough it was to do your job in sub-freezing temperatures."
"They'll just understand that they're watching something that's never been done before. And that's because of you."
Filming for so long for a battle scene doesn't just make it the longest filming and most expensive battle scene for Game of Thrones but likely in all of television. Ever.
The 8th and final season of Game of Thrones, the world's most pirated TV show, will debut sometimes in 2019 with no broadcast starting date yet set by HBO.
What is a certainty, is that M-Net (DStv 101) that has been showing Game of Thrones seasons Express from the US, will definitely do so again for South African and African viewers on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform.
For the past seasons M-Net showed Game of Thrones episodes at 03:00 in the morning at exactly the same time as in the United States for rabid viewers who simply couldn't, followed by late prime time airings within 24 hours after broadcast in America.