It was the end of Robert’s Rebellion and Ned Stark rode with six Northern companions to find his sister, Lyanna, who had been ‘abducted’ by the Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen.
They found her at the Tower of Joy, in the mountains that formed the border with Dorne. Guarding her were three men of the Kingsguard, including Ser Arthur Dayne, the best swordsman of the age, who carried a white sword named Dawn said to be forged from a meteor.
When it comes to fighting scenes, the one at the Tower of Joy in the episode “Oathbreaker”, the third episode of the sixth season, was one of the best-done sword fights ever seen on Game of Thrones. This is probably because the show hasn’t always been willing to commit the time and money needed to pull off major fight scenes, or when they do, they’re usually large-scale battles.
Dual wielding swords, Legendary Arthur Dayne “The Sword of the Morning” cutting through the Northerner warriors like they were piece of cake. Ser Arthur Dayne’s dual wielding approach was very different from what it will be in the books, where Dawn is a signature Two-Handed Sword. But most of us were reconciled to the fact that Game of Thrones isn’t the same as A Song of Ice and Fire, and certainly more so when the tv series deviate so spectacularly.
The Castle of Zafra in Guadalajara, Spain stood in for the Tower of Joy in the flashback scene involving a young Ned Stark and Ser Arthur Dayne, as witnessed by Bran Stark and the Three-eyed Raven. Robert Aramayo (young Eddard Stark) spoke about the filming of the scene in an interview following the airing of the episode.
“We all went through a bunch of training, which continued through our three- or four-day shoot in Spain. It was intense. It was not easy. I did not find it easy to shoot that fight sequence. It’s not an easy routine at all. And Luke Roberts, who plays Arthur Dayne, he’s incredible, man.”
“If your move’s getting blocked, you obviously can’t know that, just like when you’re playing a scene through dialogue. You can’t know the response your scene partner gives you is going to be the response you’ll get. You hope it is. Likewise, in a fight, if you’re going to chop somebody’s arm off or stab them in the gut — the intention is to chop that arm off or stab someone in the gut, and you have to play that intention fully. I didn’t expect it, but it takes a lot of skill in terms of acting to play.”
– Robert Aramayo