Game of Thrones showrunners: Why Winterfell battle didn't have ice spiders
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We were promised ice spiders. As big as hounds!
Okay so giant arachnids weren’t exactly promised, but ever since Old Nan told her terrifying bedtime tale of The Long Night to Bran in season 1 of Game of Thrones, fans have wondered if the show’s climactic final battle against the white walkers would contain a monster spider or two.
Alas, the Battle of Winterfell — an episode officially titled “The Long Night” — did not have ice spiders, though it was spectacular.
“Big as hounds,” sighed showrunner Dan Weiss when EW asked about the ice spiders. “Didn’t we talk about that for 30 seconds? ‘Ice spiders’ sounds good. It would look good on a metal album cover. But once they start moving, what does an ice spider look like? Probably doesn’t look great.”
It’s actually very difficult to realistically render extra large versions of existing creatures. In some respects, it’s easier to create a creature that doesn’t exist — like dragons — because viewers don’t automatically compare what they’re seeing to a familiar real-life version. That’s one reason we haven’t seen more direwolves on the show as there’s something a bit off-feeling about a super-sized wolf strutting around (sorry, Ghost).
We did, however, get a dragon-on-dragon ariel battle, plus zombie, giant and direwolf action, so it wasn’t as if the episode wasn’t teaming with supernatural creature epicness.
The ice spiders were seen in author George R.R. Martin’s 2020 A Song of Ice and Fire calendar:
For more on “The Long Night,” check out our exclusive coverage:
Read more “The Long Night” coverage:
— Maisie Williams, Kit Harington on the battle’s big Night King twist: ‘I thought it was going to be me!’
— Melisandre actress discusses her final Game of Thrones sacrifice
— Lyanna Mormont actress Bella Ramsey discusses her Winterfell battle fate
— Game of Thrones releases trailer for season 8’s mysterious episode 4
— Our deep-dive recap for “The Long Night”
— Ser Jorah actor Iain Glen breaks silence on that heartbreaking battle
HBO's epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series A Song of Ice and Fire.