Get a look behind the scenes at what it took for ‘Game of Thrones’ to pull off one of the biggest battle scenes in history…
It was going to be awfully tough for ‘Game of Thrones’ to top last season’s ‘Battle of the Bastards’ in terms of an epic fight scene but they somehow pulled it off with Sunday night’s episode titled ‘The Spoils of War’.
A triumphant Jamie Lannister is leading his army back to King’s Landing after conquering Highgarden and the last remnants of House Tyrell when he faces a foe unlike anything he’s ever seen before.
For the first time in Westerosi history, a Dothraki horde attacks but they weren’t alone as Daenerys Targaryen rode on the back of her dragon Drogon, raining down fire and brimstone on anything and everything in her path.
It was a very ambitious sequence that required a ton of stunt work, pyrotechnics as well as digital effects.
“I wanted to tell the story of what it would be like to be on the ground in the middle of a dragon attack, to see what it’s like; to be in a napalm attack, to see the birth of a new weapon,” first time ‘Game of Thrones’ director Matt Shakman said to EW. “And all of a sudden the Lannister army — which is a Roman army in a way, an army of order and precision, who can handle pretty much any obstacle — they encounter something they cannot handle and realize that war has changed forever.
“Jaime, especially, is a great soldier and realizes this is going to be a new era.”
The battle sequence set a new standard for special effects on television with one particular sequence setting 20 stunt men on fire at once — setting an all time record. The behind the scenes video also showcases some of the explosions that had to be timed just right to sequence with Drogon’s flame torching wagons and soldiers along the road.
“In one particular shot, we burned 20 stuntmen completely for about 15 seconds, which is the most you can do. It’s a very long 15 seconds as they hold their breath,” Shakman said.
“I understand that is a record. I would refer you to Rowley Irlam, our stunt coordinator, for confirmation, but that’s what he said. In total in the sequence, I remember when we wrapped [there was] a count of around 63 people burned. I also heard online someone say 73, but I remember 63 as the total number of people burned in the sequence. Yeah, I think that was essential to telling the story and the scope of what it was like to be in a dragon battle.”
The behind the scenes video documents the shooting process from start to finish including Emilia Clarke riding on the back of Drogon and the Dothraki warriors jumping up and standing on horseback during the battle sequence.
Check out the video to relive one of the greatest battle scenes in television history from ‘Game of Thrones’ ‘The Spoils of War’…