[SPOILER ALERT: This article mentions a key scene from Season 8, Episode 3 of “Game of Thrones”]
At long last, and to the joy of many “Game of Thrones” fans, the infamous Night King is no more.
Killed by Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) in Sunday’s episode – titled “The Long Night” – the reign of the king with ice-blue eyes, crownlike horns and the ability to raise the dead is over. Now, the Night King himself (seasoned actor and stuntman Vladimir Furdik) has broken his silence following the widely talked-about scene in Season 8, Episode 3.
“It was a very emotional day and night. It was so strong. I spent all my energy playing it, and she [Maisie Williams] as well,” Furdik, 48, told The Hollywood Reporter.
“It was not an easy day. It was cold. There was rain. She was on a wire, in a harness, jumping many times. It wasn't just the one time; it was maybe 15 times. When I have to hold her under the jaw and it looks like she dies, we had to spend a lot of energy on that particular scene,” he continued, noting getting it just right was “very, very difficult.”
“We are very good friends. We know each other. It wasn't easy for me to [pretend to] hurt her. When I grabbed her under the jaw, it wasn't easy [on a practical level]. If you make a bad move – if you don't grab her well – she could have an injury. So I was under pressure and she was under pressure. It was not an easy day,” he added.
In fact, Furdik said filming the episode in its entirety – a process which took three months, he said – was “one of the hardest jobs of [his] life.”
“When I heard that it was going to be a three-month shoot, I said, ‘Oh my God. This will be crazy.’ Then I went to the set, where we did one month's preparation before shooting. It was a three-month shoot, and one month before. Then we did another month on a stage inside, reshooting some small pieces. This was one of the hardest jobs of my life,” he said, separately telling The Daily Beast it was a "good decision" that Ayra was the one to kill his "Thrones" character.
“We had meetings with [the individual actors for their own battles], depending on who's fighting with who: Jorah (Iain Glen), Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), and what they are doing. For every battle with these actors, we prepared exactly the movements for them. Every kill and every move they made was prepared over weeks and weeks, and hours and hours. We were so busy. Every move that happens doesn't happen just because; it happens because we prepared it. Every jump — everything," Furdik added.
As for what he’ll miss most about playing the viral character, Furdik had a candid response: He isn’t sure.
“I don’t know,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “I don't have an answer for this. Nothing.”
But, soon after, the stuntman – who also portrayed the first White Walker Jon Snow (Kit Harington) ever killed – noted he will miss the “people who helped me to be the Night King.”
“This was the costume and make-up departments who helped me to be the man who was out in front of the camera. You might not know it, but it's maybe 25 or 30 people who helped me be that man, with the prosthetics, the make-up, the camera department, the lightning,” Furdik added.
“I'll miss these people. It would be a very hard day and I would think, ‘I would like to go home.’ But after one week home? You start missing these people.”