Emerging from the Blood Gate of the Tower of London, the army of the Night’s Watch marched with musicians from the Band of the Coldstream Guards and put on a dramatic sword performance. The military spectacle was orchestrated by Sky Atlantic to celebrate the launch of the hotly anticipated new season of Game of Thrones, starting at 2am and 9pm on 15th April.
Sky Atlantic partnered with the British Army to choreograph the spectacle which took over two months of precise military and musical planning. The crowds had been expecting a Changing of the Guard experience from the Coldstream Guards with the marching classic, The Standard of St George March, before they suddenly switched into the Game of Thrones tune.
The Tower of London which teems with almost a thousand years of history, provided the perfect historical backdrop for the stunt. The Night’s Watch, a military order who defend The Wall in the Game of Thrones kingdom, approached the iconic, British ceremonial parade from the doldrums of the Tower, shocking the assembled visitors who had been watching the Coldstream Guards Band.
We play all over the world at all sorts of concerts and events, but this was genuinely a career highlight for all of us seasoned Members of the Band – I don’t think we’ve ever had an experience like it. Sergeant Major Richard Maddocks
Speaking about the role of the Band of the Coldstream Guards in the stunt, Sergeant Major Richard Maddocks said, “We play all over the world at all sorts of concerts and events, but this was genuinely a career highlight for all of us seasoned Members of the Band – I don’t think we’ve ever had an experience like it. Given it’s a favourite TV programme of many of ours – it made it an extra special experience. The Night’s Watch delighted and I think stunned some of the audience at the Tower. They certainly challenged all us musicians into looking our sharpest and playing our military best!”
Twelve actors were transformed into The Night’s Watch for the stunt, by a team of stylists and make-up artists. They all wore custom-made and specially-designed costumes that took ten weeks to create. The squad of Night’s Watch foot soldiers then took to the main parade ground outside the Waterloo Barracks at the Tower to help celebrate the final series of Game of Thrones coming to Sky Atlantic.
The last defence against Westeros, as they are known in the television series, then displayed a specially choreographed march and battle-cry to the Game of Thrones tune played by the Band of the Coldstream Guards before disappearing back into the darkness of the Tower.
Commenting on the show’s imminent return, Zai Bennett, Director of Programmes, Sky Entertainment UK and Ireland, said: “Getting to enter a unique partnership with the British Army has been amazing! We couldn’t have asked for anyone more special to help us celebrate the eighth and final series of Game of Thrones. It has been a groundbreaking 7 years. As sad as it is to see it all come to an end, we are ecstatic about what’s in store for the millions of fans and viewers tuning in to Sky Atlantic who eagerly await the final battle between the living and the dead.”