'Game of Thrones' star Daniel Portman says the main cast didn't see the sun at all for 'almost 3 months' while filming the final season's major battle

Helen Sloan/HBOPodrick Payne (Daniel Portman) and Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) on HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones.’
  • Filming a major battle at nighttime for the final “Game of Thrones” season was extremely challenging, actor Daniel Portman (who plays Podrick Payne) told INSIDER at HBO’s red carpet premiere for season eight.
  • “[We didn’t see] the sun at all for almost three months,” Portman said. “It was really hard. But strangely, looking back on it, it was a really happy experience.”
  • Portman also says he thinks fans’ opinion of Podrick “won’t change a bit” by the season’s end.
  • “I think they will still love him, but hopefully they will see a little different side of him this year,” he said.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.

The final season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” will feature a major nighttime battle at Winterfell, and the cast involved for that fight scene say it was brutal work.

“There was a group of us that were all involved in some long nights in the cold outside,” actor Daniel Portman (who plays Podrick Payne) told INSIDER during HBO’s red carpet premiere for season eight Wednesday. “It was hard, but it was necessary to capture what we need to. I really think [it’s] going to blow people away.”

Portman said they filmed the sequence primarily at nighttime during winter in Northern Ireland.

“So you’re working all night and then you wake up in the afternoon and it’s dark already,” Portman said. “You’re not really seeing the sun at all for almost three months. It was really hard.”

Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne Game of Thrones season 7 episode 1 photos Helen Sloan/HBOBrienne of Tarth training with Pod on season seven.

“At the time, we all were going crazy,” he continued. “We weren’t getting enough vitamin D, we weren’t eating well enough, we were all weird. Nobody could go to the gym or anything – it was odd. But looking back it was strangely a very happy experience.”

Based on the early reports of production, directors, and episode run-times, it looks like this battle will take place at Winterfell on the third episode of the final season.


Read more:
Everything we know about the final season of ‘Game of Thrones’

As we saw in the first official trailer, Podrick will be lining up for the fight alongside Brienne of Tarth and the Unsullied soldiers.

“Ah, I think their opinion of him will not change a bit,” Portman said when we asked how fans will feel about Podrick by the end of the series. “I think they will still love him, but hopefully they will see a little different side of him this year.”

Brienne had been training Podrick to be a better fighter, so Portman’s tease has us optimistic we’ll see Podrick’s upgraded sword-fighting skills in action.

“Game of Thrones” season eight premieres next Sunday, April 14, at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

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