HBO's Official ‘Game of Thrones’ Photographer Reveals Her Favorite Pics from All 8 Seasons
If the name Helen Sloan doesn’t ring a bell, her pictures certainly will. You’ve probably seen her photos hundreds of times, and on nearly every major publishers’ site. She’s the official photographer for Game of Thrones, and she recently sat down with Vulture about her favorite photos from the past eight seasons.
The photo of Daenerys Targaryen with "the silver," a horse that was a gift from Khal Drogo, is from season one. “That was the first photograph that David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] referred to as iconic,” Sloan told Vulture. “It was the first time I realized how big Game of Thrones was going to be.”
A photo of Ned Stark in the Godswood of Winterfell is next on her list (though our photo contains Catelyn Stark by his side, while her favorite version does not). “It’s a moment where everything is still okay because he’s still alive,” Sloan said. “Everything was still, everyone was still together, and everything was still kind of okay.” (Amen to that.)
Another favorite photo is from the Battle of the Bastards. “We’ve shot a lot of battles, but that one was really insane,” Sloan said in the interview. “It was weeks of madness and dozens of horses on the battlefield and hundreds of extras. It was such a spectacle. There’s a little scrum of us—we have a few camera operators, boom swingers, focus pullers, grips, and your special effects guys who are chucking a load of mud and blood and entrails—and we’re all moving like a little organism and following Kit. It’s just so impressive, because he really is fighting a battle.”
One of Sloan's favorite shots from season three is the embrace between Jon Snow and Ygritte on the Wall (taken from the same season as the photo above). But it almost didn't happen, she said. “The camera was on this huge platform maybe 60 feet off the ground, and I wasn’t supposed to be up there,” Sloan told the publication. “But I’d been watching them from down below thinking, 'Oh, I’ve got to sneak up there.' I got up there just in time for that little moment.”
The photographer wrote in the caption to this photo from season seven that Iceland is actually one of her favorite countries. While conditions can be intense, Sloan told Vulture she loves the cold weather, but the place actually holds an even deeper meaning for her.
“I remember where we shot that photograph of everybody in a big long row. It was the same spot where, when I was living in Iceland and wasn’t having a great time in my life, I went out for a hike on top of this snowy mountain and was thinking, What am I going to do with my life?” Sloan said. “And then [to be] back on the same hill, looking in the same direction, and just thinking, Look what I’ve done with my life. It was just this lovely moment for me to photograph.”
The photographer's favorite character on the show (which she shares with the author of this article) is none other than dark horse Theon Greyjoy. “I’ve always loved Alfie [Allen],” she said. “I think he has shown the most different facets, and for me, photographically, I’ve seen him in the most different states. I love to shoot Alfie and he gets it and he respects photography.”
For all 14 photos and Sloan's full interview, click here. In the meantime, we'll just be reminiscing on all things Thrones for the next five (!) days. (And wishing Sloan's watch never had to end.)