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‘Game of Thrones’ Director Alan Taylor Breaks Down Timeline in ‘Beyond the Wall’

SPOILER ALERT: Do not keep reading if you have not seen Season 7 Episode 6 of “Game of Thrones,” titled “Beyond the Wall”

While the “Game of Thrones” episode “Beyond the Wall” had many talking about the insane fight sequences between humans, zombies, and dragons, others were more concerned with gaps in the timeline of the storytelling.

After the episode aired, fans vented frustrations online that Gendry running back to Eastwatch, sending a raven to Daenerys, and Daenerys arriving to save the day with her dragons all happened far too quickly. Alan Taylor, who directed “Beyond the Wall,” explained how the production team approached the timeline during filming.

“We were aware that timing was getting a little hazy,” Taylor told Variety. “We’ve got Gendry running back, ravens flying a certain distance, dragons having to fly back a certain distance…In terms of the emotional experience, [Jon and company] sort of spent one dark night on the island in terms of storytelling moments. We tried to hedge it a little bit with the eternal twilight up there north of The Wall. I think there was some effort to fudge the timeline a little bit by not declaring exactly how long we were there. I think that worked for some people, for other people it didn’t. They seemed to be very concerned about how fast a raven can fly but there’s a thing called plausible impossibilities, which is what you try to achieve, rather than impossible plausibilities. So I think we were straining plausibility a little bit, but I hope the story’s momentum carries over some of that stuff.”

“It’s cool that the show is so important to so many people that it’s being scrutinized so thoroughly,” he continued. “If the show was struggling, I’d be worried about those concerns, but the show seems to be doing pretty well so it’s OK to have people with those concerns.”

This week’s episode also saw an escalation of hostility between Arya and Sansa, who were finally reunited this season after being split up at the end of Season 1. According to Taylor, he witnessed firsthand how much series stars Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner have changed with the characters over the years.

“That was a revelation to me because I was there in Season 1 and 2 when they were kids,” he said. “They were great at doing what they were doing, but they’ve evolved so much as actresses as well as characters. We’re pushing into deeper and darker things, and they’ve really grown to be able to do that. In some of the scenes between them, where it’s really a power play between two matched opponents, you feel the ground shift one way and then shift the other way. The tension between them, they handle it so beautifully. And it’s still Maisie and Sophie, so when you say ‘Cut,’ they start laughing and dancing and listening to music on their phones.”

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