In the early days of the series, there wasn’t any extra money for battle scenes. At that time, a high-minded fantasy epic—or, as co-creator David Benioff first called it, “The Sopranos meets Middle Earth,” The Guardian reports—was no sure thing to be a hit, so the producers had to spend their money wisely. Basically, they only showed the aftermath of a battle, or as they did in Season 1, episode 9, they had Tyrion get knocked out and wake up after the battle ended.
But once Season 2 came around, HBO knew it had a hit on its hands, meaning fans would finally get their first all-out battle on Game of Thrones. “The Battle of the Blackwater” delivered on all fronts: Neil Marshall’s direction takes you from the archers on the castle walls, to Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) giving the Lannister forces one of the most motivating speeches, to Davos (Liam Cunningham) and Stannis (Stephen Dillane) riding into Blackwater Bay on their ships. Then Bronn (Jerome Flynn) shoots a flaming arrow into the bay, setting wildfire ablaze, giving fans a battle they’d never forget.
Watch the making of the battle scene here.