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New TIME magazine cover previews Season 7 of Game of Thrones

TIME

For this week's cover story, TIME television critic Daniel D'Addario goes behind the scenes of the filming of the seventh season of HBO's "Game of Thrones." On a pivotal scene that he saw being filmed while on set with the cast in Belfast:

  • "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. In order to get on set, I agreed not to divulge the players or what's at stake…. It will be all the more impressive knowing 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 setting is as grand as the action. The battle was filmed in what was once a Belfast quarry, drained, flattened out with 11,000 square meters of concrete and painted over with a camouflage effect. All of which took six months and required special ecological surveys. This kind of mountain moving, or leveling, is par for the course for Thrones."