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‘Game of Thrones’ Director Revisits Epic “The Spoils of War” Episode

Published on July 3rd, 2018 | Updated on July 3rd, 2018 | By FanFest

It’s been a minute since Game of Thrones graced our screens, but when we think back on the fantastic seventh season there’s one episode that really sticks out. ‘The Spoils Of War’ found the Dothraki fighting against Jamie Lannister’s army and ended with that game-changing scene of Daenerys Targaryen swooping in on Drogon and completely annihilating the Lannister army. It was a truly thrilling moment to watch, but it was also a powerful scene that changed the course of battle for the series.

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Director Matt Shakman recently spoke with Gold Derby about the episode and how he wanted to make sure the audience could:

[row]”See what war is like when it changes forever, like when a new weapon is produced.“[/row]

It was a moment that was inspired by Frank Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. 

[row]”A dragon comes into it and then all of a sudden everything changes forever. I looked a lot at Apocalypse Now, where you are down on the ground with these poor villagers as this fire and napalm takes over.”[/row]

“The Spoils of War” is one of the season’s best installments and while it was a huge undertaking for Shakman, it was the opportunity of a lifetime for a director.

[row]”I’m reading through [the script] and I get to the ‘loot train battle.’ I’m flipping page after page after page, and it’s still going on. I began to realize the task that was ahead of me, and also the opportunity. You’re about to get the keys to the best Ferrari you’ll ever drive, and all they want you to do is put the pedal to the metal

As a director, you live for the opportunity to work on that level and that scale, but also you’re bringing this big action sequence to life that has all these wonderful characters that you’ve loved for years coming together for the first time. So it’s unusual that it’s not just about Transformers tearing up a city, but it’s got real heart and emotion at the centre of it.”[/row]

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Shakman certainly achieved his goal as the episode currently sits at a 9.8 out of 10 ranking on IMDB and set the record for having the most stuntmen on fire simultaneously in a single scene (20) as well as the record for having the most fire burns in one scene (73).

[row]”It sort of just happened. A battle like that, especially when you have a big visual effects dragon, can quickly become something that feels unreal. I wanted it to always feel particularly visceral. People on fire: there’s nothing more visceral than that. It also is one of the most dangerous stunts you can do.”[/row]

Game of Thrones isn’t hitting screens again until 2019, and even though they won’t be attending SDCC this year,  the cast will certainly have a presence at this year’s Emmy awards! Now, please excuse us while we go watch “The Spoils of War” immediately.

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as seen on promo graphic