Producers of HBO's hit Game of Thrones were left in a bind when they had to plan the series' memorable Battle of Blackwater, due to budget constraints. In fact, the first plan was to have the entire battle off-screen.
Much like stage plays, producers and writers were going to have battle updates coming from a messenger. The maidens of the castle gathered in Maegor's Holdfast to wait out the battle with the castle's executioner - who was there to give the women a clean death instead of leaving them to the occupying forces.
Imagine, for a moment, a man running on screen and announcing "There was this huge green explosion and it was awesome!" Not quite the same impact of the spectacle we saw Sunday night.
"For budgetary reasons we came very, very close to having all the action take place off-screen, the way plays have handled battle scenes for a few thousand years... Cersei and Sansa would be cooped up in there with the other noblewomen and children, hearing occasional reports from the battlements," said producer David Benioff to Entertainment Weekly. "We went down on bended knee [to HBO]: 'Just this once. Please.' We were genuinely nervous about it for the whole time until we finally wrapped it. "
We say it paid off.