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When the story called for a giant in Mance Rayder's camp, producers called on 7' 1" stuntman Ian Whyte, who's also played a White Walker. Then they used prosthetics, costumes, and CGI to scale him even taller. "It was a lot of people working a long time to get it right," says executive producer David Benioff.
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A White Walker and a cameraman work north of the Wall.
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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau gets a birthday treat in the stockade at Robb Stark's camp, where his character, Jaime Lannister, spent most of the season in chains.
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Jason Momoa morphs into Khal Drogo on location in Croatia. "People say it's easy [playing the stoic Drogo]: 'You're just sitting there!' " Momoa says. "But it's extremely hard to be intimidating and not say anything."
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Rory McCann gets his Hound prosthetics applied.
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Jack Gleeson (Joffrey Baratheon) and Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) share some out-of-character laughs. "[Jack is] not like one of those Method actors that goes into a dark place," says Turner. "If he was one of those guys, he'd be horrible to work with."
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It's hard to be the Hand. Sean Bean takes a respite between scenes as Eddard "Ned" Stark in the countryside. "I thought it was a very courageous move for a television company," says Bean of Ned's short-lived run. "I thought, 'This is pretty incredible if they can pull this off.' This is a journey where his loyalty ultimately causes his downfall."
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The battle between Rory McCann's Sandor Clegane (a.k.a. the Hound) and Gwendoline Christie's Brienne of Tarth was one of season 4's greats. "That is one of the few times I've not had to do any acting," Christie says. "I was screaming, 'F--- you! Come on!' Blood everywhere, going insane. It is f---ing mental."
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Richard Madden (Robb Stark), Michael McElhatton (Roose Bolton), and a crew member prepare for a scene in the Riverlands.
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Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran Stark) enjoys a ride north of Winterfell. But don't look for the Stark seer in the new season. "He's entering a training period, much of which isn't particularly cinematic," Benioff explains. "Rather than being stuck in a cave for a year, we figured it would be interesting to leave him out for a bit."
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While Westeros weddings aren't exactly known for fun and games, Sigur Rós band member Orri Páll Dýrason and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau goof around during the filming of Joffrey's nuptials.
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Maisie Williams shows off her moves as Arya Stark in the Riverlands. "Honestly, I think there will always be a few who will back her no matter what," Williams says. "Because a lot of other characters do the 'right' thing and are left without their heads."
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The crew prepares to shoot "Two Swords."
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Filming at Castle Black puts the cast out in the elements, but Kit Harington (Jon Snow) doesn't mind. "This year I don't think I did one scene in the studio," he says of the current season. "It was all outside. It sucks sometimes, but I always feel slightly sterile when I'm in a studio. It always feels more like Thrones when it's out in the cold and rain."
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Director Alan Taylor works with Jack Gleeson (Joffrey Baratheon) in the boy king's Red Keep while shooting "The North Remembers."
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Extras try to keep cool during the filming of Joffrey's nuptials.
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Kate Dickie (Lysa Arryn), Turner, and Aidan Gillen (Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish) take a careful break by the Moon Door inside the Eyrie.
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Poor Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen); if only he knew, while shooting this scene, what would become of him after trying to conquer Winterfell.