If you aren't pumped for today's Game of Thrones episode, you haven't been paying attention.

In recent days, the show's actors and writers have been out in force building up the hype for episode nine. According to Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow, it features the most impressive battle the HBO drama has ever filmed.

"It's pretty huge. It's the biggest thing we've ever filmed for Thrones," Harington told British TV show The Morning.

That's a big call, considering the show's history. Fans still speak breathlessly about previous action sequences, like the battle at Hardhome last season, or the one at the Wall the year before, or the one at King's Landing back in season two. But the numbers appear to back Harington up.


According to Entertainment Weekly, this week's battle took 25 days to shoot - that's about three times longer than it takes to film most TV episodes. HBO used 500 extras, 70 horses, 25 stuntmen, four camera crews and 600 crew members in total.

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Then there's the cost. We don't have an exact breakdown of how much money was spent on episode nine, but on average, the episodes this season cost $NZ14.68 million apiece to produce. You'd expect this one to be well above that average.

"(Show writers) David and Dan wanted to do a thing of spectacle, a strategic pitchfield battle they hadn't had the resources to do back in season one or two," said episode director Miguel Sapochnik - who also directed Hardhome, by the way.

"Miguel's really outdone himself," added writer David Weiss. "Fully fleshed out medieval battles require a tremendous amount of resources and choreography to get them right. It feels like we're doing something fresh that you don't see on TV and movies very often."

The battle will see fan favourites Jon Snow and Sansa Stark trying to reclaim their family's home, Winterfell, from the clutches of the sadistic psychopath Ramsay Bolton. You can expect most of the hour to be spent on that one sequence.

Get hyped.

• Game of Thrones airs on Sky channel SOHO at 1pm and 8:30pm today. Check back later for our recap of the episode.