Last Night’s Game of Thrones Set a Record-Breaking 73 Stuntmen on FireImage via HBO TV News Game of Thrones
Last night’s eye-popping (and eyebrow-singeing) episode of Game of Thrones marked the halfway point of the show’s penultimate seventh season, and that wasn’t all it marked. “The Spoils of War”—the episode’s climactic loot train attack, to be precise—also made for the most people set on fire by an entertainment production, ever.
Co-creator David Benioff revealed the show’s harrowing achievement earlier this summer, telling EW, “In one battle scene we set more stuntmen on fire than have ever been simultaneously set on fire. Our stunt coordinator”—Emmy winner Rowley Irlam—”really wanted to get in the Guinness Book of World Records for this.”
Tragically, a Guinness spokesperson told EW that number of people set on fire is not something the organization tracks—likely so as not to encourage film and TV productions to max out how many human beings they engulf in flames. But clearly that won’t dissuade the Game of Thrones team, who are all but certain to set many more people ablaze before Daenerys Targaryen and company have completed their invasion of Westeros.
Irlam explained the challenges of safely setting even one person on fire to EW, and needless to say, it’s extremely dangerous. Clad in heavy, fire-resistant clothing, cooling gel and masks, stuntmen have to hold their breath from the moment they’re set ablaze until after they’re extinguished. “It’s totally different from going underwater in your bathtub and counting the seconds in your head,” Irlam said. “If somebody bumps you and you breathe in by accident you will breathe in flame.”
Unsurprisingly, this isn’t even the first time Game of Thrones has set a record for lighting alarming amounts of people on fire. The show hit a similar mark back in season five’s penultimate episode, setting 20 people aflame in just one day while shooting the climactic fighting pits ambush scene in “The Dance of Dragons.”
Read our review of last night’s episode here, preview next week’s here and watch a featurette on the fiery loot train attack below.