With the July 16 premiere of “Game of Thrones” Season 7 quickly approaching, HBO has been amping up marketing for the show. There have been action-packed new trailers, clips of the main cast cheekily singing “I Will Survive,” and a series of posters showing the cast bathed in icy blue, reminiscent of the Night King and his army of undead. With just 13 episodes left until the last hurrah, the hype for “Game of Thrones” is at a fever-pitch.
To capitalize on this, TIME magazine has released a “Game of Thrones” issue filled with exclusive photos and behind-the-scenes coverage of Season 7 from television critic Daniel D’Addario. Although HBO is notorious for keeping a lid on spoilers when it comes to one of their most prized properties, there are plenty of interesting tidbits in the article just tantalizing enough to make it ripe for speculation, especially where this giant battle scene is concerned.
According to D’Addario, he was present for a pivotal scene in season 7, which was filmed in Belfast. D’Addario writes, “One of [the] big events this season is a battle whose sheer scope, even before being cut together with the show’s typical brio, dazzled me.”
Of course, D’Addario wasn’t allowed to reveal who was taking part in the battle or what was at stake, but he did reveal that the “setting is as grand as the action” and that “the cast and crew were shot through with a frigid North Atlantic wind that whipped everyone during filming, and sent them all flying back to the on-set coffee cart during resets.”
The mention of cold weather is especially interesting when considered alongside this parenthetical tidbit that D’Addario sneaks in: “‘Thrones’ has been promising this clash all along, and when the time comes, the Internet will melt.” Could the White Walkers have finally made it to the Wall?
Of course, Jon Snow has already had a run-in with the Night King, specifically when the White Walkers attacked Hardhome in the eighth episode of season five, but this could be the big battle we’ve been waiting for between the living and the dead: Winter isn’t coming, it’s here.
The TIME article also turned up some interesting quotes from some of the main cast, including Kit Harington’s dissatisfaction with his performance as Jon Snow: “I made mistakes and felt that he wasn’t interesting enough. That sounds weird, but I’ve never been quite content with him. Maybe that’s what makes him him. That angst.”
Sophie Turner also gave some food for thought on Sansa Stark’s rape, which became a divisive topic after it aired: “This was the trending topic on Twitter, and it makes you wonder, when it happens in real life, why isn’t it a trending topic every time? This was a fictional character and I got to walk away from it unscathed…Let’s take that discussion and that dialogue and use it to help people who are going through that in their everyday lives. Stop making it such a taboo, and make it a discussion.”
Read more from the “Game of Thrones” cast over at TIME.