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Emmys 2016: ‘Game of Thrones’ Episode ‘Battle of the Bastards’ Sets a Record

AwardsThis One Episode of Game of Thrones Just Won 7 Emmys

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All hail the Bastards.

Sometimes when you're watching television, you don't realize just how great the thing you're witnessing is until later. Then there are holy fuck moments of television where you have a running tape of "I can't believe this is happening" on loop in your brain. Game of Thrones' "Battle of the Bastards" is the latter—a truly exceptional episode in a series of exceptional episodes. All this was confirmed by the Emmys, who awarded seven Emmys (of the total 12 awarded to Game of Thrones) to "Battle of the Bastards" alone. It's a record-breaking number of awards for a single episode of television. The record was previously held by E.R.'s pilot "Love's Labor Lost."

EDITOR’S PICKHere's How <em>Game of Thrones</em> Created the Battle of the BastardsEntertainmentHere's How Game of Thrones Created the Battle of the Bastards

"Battle of the Bastards," which featured a brutal, stunning medieval battle between the armies led by Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton, was not only a feat of acting, direction, and production design, it was also a feat of planning. Director Miguel Sapochnik explained the challenges, saying:

The sheer logistics of staging a battle scene this size was like a
battle in and of itself, minus the life/death thing… The creative
decisions I make are heavily influenced by simple practical concerns.
Like every time we charge the horses it takes 25 minutes to reset all
the fake snow on the field and rub out the horseshoe prints. So how
many times can we afford to charge the horses each day knowing we need
to give time for a reset that’s 10 times longer than the actual shot?
Another thing was how to make 500 extras look like 8,000 when you are
shooting in a field where there’s just nowhere to hide your shortfall.
It becomes a bit like a bonkers math equation. And finally: How do you
get these guys riled up enough to run at each other and get covered in
mud and stand in the rain and then run at each other again and again
for 25 days, 10 hours a day, without them just telling you to piss
off?

The result was a stunning, emotional, cathartic episode that took home Emmys for:

  • Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic)
  • Outstanding Special Visual Effects
  • Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series
  • Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
  • Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Limited Series or
    Movie
  • Outstanding Single Camera Editing For a Drama Series
  • Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

Game of Thrones also won Emmys for Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series, Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup, Outstanding Costumes for a Period/Fantasy Series, Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary or Fantasy Program, and Outstanding Drama Series.

All hail Game of Thrones. If it were a person, it would rule all Seven Kingdoms.

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