Under game of Thrones# 32 nominations are three for the editors of the final season of HBO's fantasy series. Katie Weiland received a nomination for the Iron Throne episode, Crispin Green for Winterfell, and Tim Porter for The Long Night. Porter, who has received three previous nominations over the years and an Emmy for his work on the series, spoke with The Hollywood reporter about this chapter, which contained a massive battle sequence that eventually saw the end of the Night King.
What was the biggest challenge in working on "The Long Night" and how did you approach it?
"The Long Night" is essentially a continuous action sequence from beginning to end with very little dialogue. The challenges were to construct the narrative mainly through the plot. It was a constant search for the right rhythm, building tension, hope and fear, to feel that everything is lost and to find unspoken moments between characters that the audience could engage with.
How did you approach so many different characters and developed their stories?
Integrating all the puzzle pieces and the individual fights throughout the episode made me very excited. It meant finding the right recipe to keep all the characters present. I've spent a lot of time looking for ways to structure and cut the sequences to find the balance.
For me it's a matter of feeling, when something starts to flow, you know that you're in the right place. It was important that this was not just a fast-paced battle episode, as "Battle Fatigue" can start very quickly. The episode worked as three acts. The fore group succeeded slowly to increase the tension. The impending arrival of the Army of the Dead led to wild action and chaos. In the final act, Ramin Djawadi's astounding score slowed down as the interface between the Nightking's entrance and the struggles of our heroes, and ultimately Arya's arrival and her murder of the Night King.
How would you describe how to cut Arya's exciting scene in the library?
The starting point was to limit this sequence to director Miguel Sapochnik's assignment: he described it as a "survival horror". This sequence has never really changed since I cut it for the first time. It was beautifully choreographed and filmed – Maisie Williams (Arya) moves so well and dances silently through the scene. The timing at which they avoided the wights that appear at every turn was really impressive. We end the sequence by running through the endless corridors of Winterfell, pursued by raging Wights, without knowing their fate. The sequence was mainly played without music and the sound team created a fantastic listening experience from their point of view.
You let the audience somehow lose them before the big revelation takes place at the end of the fight.
Since there were so many characters in different battles, we tried to make sure we were not too far from each strike to keep up the pressure on the characters and the public involved in their plight. With the exception of Arya, we wanted to lose her, no longer focus on where she was and what she did until we saw her entering the Godswood to save the day.
The interview was edited in terms of length and clarity.