Game Of Thrones Season 8 Set Leaks Include New Unsullied Weaponry

9.5
  • Drama
  • Fantasy
2011-04-17
White Walkers Attack Bran
The White Walkers are more vulnerable than ever in new Game of Thrones Season 8 set leaks. HBO

Production on Game of Thrones Season 8, the final season, are underway and new set leaks give us some idea what’s in store. One detail points to a battle at Winterfell that might go very poorly for one side. No, not the living.

Season 8 of Game of Thrones is only going to be six episodes long. One implausible explanation is that the White Walkers and their undead army are going to get their asses handed to them with ease. Up to now, it never seemed likely that Game of Thrones would aim for an ironic anticlimax, with the alliance of the living in Westeros easily rolling over their undead opposition, but what other conclusion can be drawn from set leaks of a battle between Unsullied and the undead right outside the gates of Winterfell? Here’s the key detail: every Unsullied has a dragonglass-tipped spear.

We knew this kind of combat was coming. Jon Snow and Daenerys have made provisions to begin mining obsidian and equipping their armies with dragonglass. We also know dragonglass to be an insanely effective weapon against the White Walkers. When Samwell Tarly stabs a White Walker in the back with a dull, toothpick-sized blade, the poor Walker explodes into a thousand shards.

via GIPHY

Now that their weakness is common knowledge, do the White Walkers still represent that much of a threat?

Set leaks documented at Watchers on the Wall outline one upcoming encounter, indicating the Winterfell set in Northern Ireland is not only getting a rebuild, but also a substantial enhancement, particularly to the castle’s exterior. Whereas exterior shots in the first seven seasons of Game of Thrones are typically CGI, this new set will allow for sustained action just outside the Winterfell walls.

Combined with a laborious process of covering acres and acres of green field with white tarp, on which artificial snow will be blown, the images suggest one of the large-scale battles in Season 8 will  take place in and around Winterfell, theoretically the lynchpin of Westeros’ northern defenses.

Despite the advantage offered by their new dragonglass arms, Winterfell seems likely to fall in Season 8. How else would the undead threat endanger the rest of the continent? More leaked photos might show a new set built for King’s Landing as well, suggesting that the battle lines will eventually carry the action far to the south of Winterfell.

Beyond the plot implications, what’s especially cool about these new leaks is what they tell us about the practical aspects of Game of Thrones Season 8. Sure, a CGI ice dragon will be flying around, but the undead Viserion will face opposition from completely real and working trebuchets:

Though the White Walkers have lost their seemingly indomitable advantage since Jon and Daenerys began mining the dragonglass at Dragonstone, they could still achieve victory by overwhelming numbers. Each fallen enemy is a new soldier in the undead army. And while White Walkers might explode from the barest obsidian scratch, wights aren’t so vulnerable.

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