'Game of Thrones': Everything We Know About the Battle of Winterfell (Exclusive)

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'Game of Thrones'
Helen Sloan - HBO

Game of Thrones' biggest battle yet is almost here.

Last Sunday's episode of the HBO series was all about the Starks, the Targaryens (yes, plural, because now they both know there's two of them) and the rest of our favorite characters preparing to battle the White Walkers on their home turf. While pretty much everyone besides Tyrion predicted there's death on the horizon, we'll find out just who survives -- and who doesn't -- in an epic episode that's over an hour long.

From battle stats to death predictions to what the cast thinks of it all, here's everything we know about the upcoming Battle of Winterfell.

What's the Big Deal?

The episode is supposed to feature the longest battle sequence in cinematic history. The episode is being directed by Miguel Sapochnik, who previously helmed impressive battle episodes like "Battle of the Bastards." 

How Long Is the Episode?

An incredible 82 minutes!

How Long Did It Take to Film?

As Sapochnik told Entertainment Weekly, just this one episode took 11 weeks to film, in mostly night shoots. "It's been six- and seven-day weeks, 16-to-18 hour days and, yeah, it’s a lot," he said, calling the episode "survival horror." 

Who's Expected to Die? 

Grey Worm is a pretty solid bet to die this week, after making plans for a post-war life with Missandei in last week's episode (way to jinx it!). Fans are also worried Brienne will meet her demise, after being emotionally knighted by Jaime last week. Theon could be another choice, as he made a big deal about coming back to join the fight. Tormund, Lyanna Mormont, Beric and Dolorous Edd might also be in the mix to have their final episodes this week, while Gilly and Varys being down in the Winterfell crypt suggests they might be on the chopping block (see our next point). 

... And Who's Going to Live Again? 

One of the most discussed theories about the episode is that the good ol' Night King will bring a few friendly faces back to life in the crypts. Ned, Catelyn, Robb, Rickon and Lyanna Stark all have statues down in the crypt, which Arya was seen running through in the show's trailer, with look of horror on her face. 

What Has the Cast Said?

ET caught up with a number of Winterfell’s finest warriors at the Game of Thrones junket and red carpet premiere in New York earlier this month, and we asked the actors to reveal what it was really like to film this grueling episode.

Joe Dempsie (Gendry): “It was in the dead of Northern Irish winter right. I know here in New York you have them pretty harsh too, but it was also [rough] because of the time thing,” Dempsie dished to ET. “Because [the entire episode was filmed] in night shoots. It’s like being constantly jetlagged.”

Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm): “It's really cold, but also imagine that it's actually snowing, so you're cold – all your extremities are cold – but then on top of that, the snow stops and then, suddenly someone shouts in the background, ‘Get the fake snow in!’” the 28-year-old actor said with a laugh. “Then someone just piles you with all this chemical snow. Just when you've got a bit of rest, it's like you just get a little wind and you're like, ‘Oh, I just want it a little bit warmer.’ and then it's like everything starts up again. And everything is difficult again.”

Richard Dormer (Beric Dondarrion): “It was very cold and it went on for like, 50 nights, and it was really cold. We were all in the middle of Northern Ireland freezing in a place called Saintfield,” Dormer recalled during a junket interview alongside Kristofer Hivju who plays Tormund . “It was a nightmare… I just need to go on holiday. Somewhere warm and sunny.”

Daniel Portman (Podrick Payne): “I mean, it’s not looking good is it?” Portman said with a smile when we expressed how worried we are to see Podick on the frontlines in the Battle of Winterfell promos. “But he's always been in many life-threatening situations and he always manages to find the way, so maybe, perhaps there's a little bit of hope… [Brienne of Tarth] is the biggest badass on the whole show, so hopefully some of that has sunk in for Podrick in some states. And if it gets to the nitty gritty, he’ll be able to pull it out of the bag somehow.”

Keep it locked to ETonline on Sunday night because we're going to be live blogging episode 803! Plus, only ET has exclusive answers from the actors who don't end up surviving the Battle of Winterfell.

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.

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