Sounds like things are going to get pretty HOT in the 7th season of Game of Thrones! Literally. In the past, the series has set several records, such as most Emmy awards ever won for a scripted series but, that just wasn’t enough for the show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Benioff teased that the series just may have broken the record for the most stuntmen ever to be set on fire for a television series. Benioff told EW:
“In one battle scene we set more stuntmen on fire than have ever been simultaneously set on fire. Our stunt coordinator really wanted to get in the Guinness Book of World Records for this.”
EW actually reached out to Guinness for comment and, sadly, they do not track records for setting people on fire. Otherwise, we have no doubt that Game of Thrones would hold that record and it would never be broken!
EW also chatted with Game of Thrones stunt coordinator Rowley Irlam and he explained exactly what happened within the record-setting scene:
“One sequence has 73 fire burns and that itself is a record. No film or TV show has ever done that in a whole show, let alone in one sequence. We also set 20 people on fire at one time, which is also a record. I think in Saving Private Ryan they had 13 on a beach, and on Braveheart they had 18 partial burns. Because of the nature of our attacking animals, we had the liberty to expand on that.”
Of course, when Irlam says “attacking animals” he most certainly is referring to Daenerys’ dragons who, by the looks of the sneak peek photos and based on their appearance in the season 7 explosive first trailer, have grown up to be big and seriously strong! Are they the sole cause of this towering inferno of stuntmen that Irlam is referring to? Possibly!
In all seriousness though, being set on fire as a stuntman is incredibly dangerous, even within a controlled environment. The stuntmen have to wear special protective clothing, cooling gel and a mask before being set a blaze. Once the are on fire, they have to hold their breath because, breathing in could lead to them actually inhaling the flames! Scary stuff! A fire scene like the typically takes about 30 seconds which can seem like a lifetime if you’re the one under the flames.
Irlam says, however, actually being on fire isn’t even the most dangerous part! Being extinguished is. Once you are extinguished, there’s still a possibility that you can catch fire once more. Irlam says:
“The most dangerous thing is re-ignition. There’s a good minute of everybody staying down afterward as you’re still very flammable at this point.”
How crazy is that?! So, as you can imagine, filming one stuntman being set ablaze is a tough job with all that’s at stake. Can you imagine multiplying that by 20 like Game of Thrones has done? Apparently, this whole process took three weeks to film and, during that timeframe, the only casualty was one burnt hand.