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While #GameofThrones may be synonymous with its wooly pelts and its tagline of "winter is coming," it sounds like HBO is planning one hell of a barbecue when the show returns next month. Apparently, the seventh season of the ice and fire saga will be leaning heavily on the fire side of its lineage — because it has broken the world record for "the most people ever set on fire by an entertainment production."
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, showrunner #DavidBenioff revealed the huge stunt, which will involve #DaenerysTargaryen and her trio of hot to trot dragons:
“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.”
Fire Up The Dragons
Given that Season 6 contained some 500 trained extras for its Battle of the Bastards, we can only imagine how many poor unfortunate souls will be involved in Season 7's scorching battle sequence. Guinness doesn't actively track "number of people on fire," but Rowley Irlam, the show's Emmy Award-winning stunt coordinator, confirms that Thrones torched 73 actors:
“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.”
You may remember that Game of Thrones set a record back in Season 5 for its Meereen pit scene, and it looks like all involved are keen to one-up themselves this time round. Irlam went on to explain the painstaking steps that go into setting anyone alight, and it isn't as simple as just whipping out a fire extinguisher:
“It’s totally different from going underwater in your bathtub and counting the seconds in your head. If somebody bumps you and you breathe in by accident you will breathe in flame.”
See, having a cast of mythical dragons at your disposal can help out production out every now and then. Away from the oncoming army of White Walkers, Game of Thrones has always been obsessed with its fiery demises. Theon Greyjoy burned two farm boys back in Season 2, Daenerys flambéed the gloating Kraznys mo Nakloz in Season 3, and who can forget poor Shireen Baratheon finding herself on the wrong side of her father's bonfire?
As the show races toward its final two seasons, and with only 13 episodes left, expect the upcoming fire stunt to be equally balanced out by a frosty reception near the Wall. The latest Season 7 trailer is a veritable tour of Westeros, showing that it won't just be Daenerys's travels south that will offer up the action. From the dwindling Lannister supporters to the gathering forces of Euron Greyjoy, the next season promises to be an all out war of epic proportions. Quick, someone fetch the cooling gel — we might be needing it!
One thing's for sure: Game of Thrones is the hottest show around.