There was a lot happening at once during any given Game of Thrones battle sequence. And in the midst of the director, cinematographer, actors, stunt team, animals, and the sprawling film crew, there was Helen Sloan, the photographer responsible for capturing it all in still-frame format. Sloan worked on all eight seasons of Game of Thrones, and her photos captured the most important moments in any given episode. Sloan has collected her stunning camerawork into one of the three coffee table books for fans of the series that hit shelves next week.
In the exclusive video above, Sloan looks back on one of the show's most celebrated and intense sequences of all: the Battle of the Bastards. "During the Battle of the Bastards, you had 60 horses running at you. I'm really scared of horses," she says. "And Camilla [Naprous], the horsemaster, always said, 'There's nothing to be afraid of. These horses are well trained.' And while I know that is true, I'm still scared of horses. So, to have a wall of them running at me with stunt people on top of them, screaming with swords, I think I had about 500 tiny heart attacks that day."
As if her fear of horses didn't make that day difficult enough, Sloan also reveals how the practical effects in that scene added to the chaos of her work. "There's so many things going on at once. They had these little cannon gun things that would fire mud and blood and had 100 extras having an actual sword fight with each other," she explains. "You give those guys a fake sword, but they're still really going for it. They love it. So, you have all this chaos going on around you, but you're being hit in the lens constantly with blood or muck or stones."
Whatever difficulties she faced, though, Sloan still maintains she had "the best job in the world."
The Photography of Game of Thrones contains over 400 pages of colorful, high-definition photographs taken throughout the entire run of the series. Leafing through it feels like reliving the show with particular focus on its richest characters and places. The book also includes some riveting making-of images to complement the more familiar shots from the epic series.
Game of Thrones is available on HBO.