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The Major Game Of Thrones Fight Scene That Took Over A Month To Prep

For eight seasons, "Game of Thrones" stood tall as one of the most fascinating pop-culture sensations of the 2010s. The series, a live-action adaptation of George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy novels, gained notoriety for its shocking moments that stunned audiences and impressive combination of political intrigue, fantasy, and brutal combat. Whatever may have happened as "Game of Thrones" floundered to its finish line, the series marked a high point for prestige television in its time and sparked something of a fantasy revival. In the years since the series ended, other streamers have sought to build out their own content libraries with similar fantasy adaptations — Netflix has made series like "The Witcher," while Amazon Prime Video bets big on its "The Wheel of Time" and "The Lord of the Rings" adaptations.

"Game of Thrones" was successful in part due to its ability to get audiences invested in all of its characters and subplots, not just ones concerning the major players in King's Landing or the specific fates of each individual Stark family member. While characters like Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) and Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann) did not start the show as leads, they grew into fan favorites as they navigated the complicated and deadly war-torn environment of Westeros, often showing the audience the reality of how common people in the Seven Kingdoms lived as compared to the Lannisters and power players in King's Landing.

These two characters clashed in a pivotal fight sequence that took place during the final episode of "Game of Thrones" Season 4 — and it took the actors quite a while to prepare.

Rory McCann and Gwendoline Christie trained for six weeks for their fight

In an interview published by Entertainment Weekly in 2014, Gwendoline Christie recalled she trained for six weeks for Brienne's major fight sequence with the Hound (Rory McCann) in the Season 4 finale episode "The Children." Christie said that the sequence — in which Brienne finally locates Arya Stark with the Hound and unsuccessfully tries to convince Arya that she's working under her late mother's orders — took three days to film and called it one of the most difficult things she's done in her life.

"We were fighting up hills, down hills, rolling, fighting on rock face with a sheer down drop," Christie told EW. "Rory McCann is an amazing actor and a very strong man, and that was a challenge — not just as actors, but as characters. It's a ... really intense challenge."

"Game of Thrones" fans will recall the fight sequence as one of the show's most intense one-on-one fights up to that point. The scene alone is nearly four minutes long and ends with Brienne knocking the Hound off a considerable rock face. Arya leaves the Hound to die at the episode's end, leading many fans to initially suspect that he dies before Season 5's start.

The fight sequence helped the "Game of Thrones" Season 4 finale receive considerable acclaim; TVLine named McCann and Christie its performers of the week for their efforts in the episode. After the episode aired, McCann told HBO.com that he still thought he and Christie could perform the entire fight sequence again in 20 minutes. "We play pool together sometimes and I can imagine having the full-on fight with pool sticks for a laugh," McCann said.