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Here’s a look at the most shocking moments from the finale of the seventh season of ‘Game of Thrones.’
USA TODAY

Anybody who has arranged a reunion party knows it’s a lot of work. 

Well, imagine if that reunion involves shooting a major scene involving Cersei Lannister, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, other major Game of Thrones characters and a computer-generated dragon and you get an idea of the assignment facing Jeremy Podeswa as he directed the dragon-pit summit in Sunday’s Season 7 finale of the HBO drama. 

“It was a really historic moment for the show, with all these people coming together for the sequence,” Podeswa tells USA TODAY. “It also was a very uncharacteristic sequence for the show because it was about 40 to 50 pages of script, which is a huge chunk of material.”

Before the six-day dragon-pit shoot — much longer than usual for a TV series — “We rehearsed it like a play, first in Belfast, then in Spain on location” at a Roman Empire-era coliseum, Podeswa says. “Any questions people had about the script or (character) intentions could be discussed ahead of time. We would work through them and the choreography” of so many characters interacting.

Podeswa had to consider the characters’ arrivals and encounters, including much-anticipated reunions of the Clegane brothers and of Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth; Daenerys’s arrival on her dragon; a scary, sprinting wight; much dialogue and even more unspoken reaction.

“That was a lot of material to work with and make sure everything landed, that every look in that script and every moment that needed to be there was actually going to end up on screen,” says Podeswa, who also directed the season opener.

Liam Cunningham, who plays Davos Seaworth, marvels at Podeswa’s direction of the dragon-pit scenes, “where there was as much going on off the dialogue as there was in the dialogue. (The scenes featured) these wonderful actors standing on a stage. It was like an old-fashioned proscenium arch. This is proper acting, no movie-star stuff.”

Podeswa says the dragon-pit sequence reflects the way Thrones‘ characters and storylines have been converging.

“This season is…