Game of Thrones is known for its epic storylines and familial drama, but it’s also known for its crazy fight scenes. But have you ever wondered how they’ve managed to pull those off?
While it’s probably very complicated to get everything right with hundreds of extras, the stunt coordinator, Rowley Irlam, knows how to get it all done. And the end result of his work has been nothing short of spectacular.
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he revealed how he wants the audience to react when they watch one of those epic scenes. “I always want the audience to sit there, and when they see something, to go, ‘Aww, f— me. I’m always trying for the ‘f— me’ moment,” he joked.
And, though they have a lot of stunt experts and stunt doubles to fill in for some of those crazy moments, Irlam explained some of the actors actually want to do their own stunt work.
“They’ve cast some very talented actors that can actually do their own fights. Sometimes you have to hold them back a little. Kristofer [Hivju, who plays Tormund] is very full-on, but in a very positive way.”
He continued, “He’ll go, ‘Hey, Rowley, I’ve got this great idea. I think I’m gonna jump on this guy and kick this guy in the head!’ And you have to go, ‘No, no, Kristofer, we can’t do that.’ Iain Glen [Jorah Mormont] is a very serious actor, and he’s very physical.”
Despite that actors wanted to do some of their crazy stunts, Irlam knows they have to be careful because they can’t afford for anybody to get hurt because recasting for an injury isn’t something that will be appreciated by those in charge.
“It needs to look like a complete maniacal riot, but you have to make sure that no one gets so much as a chipped tooth or a sprained ankle. We’re trying to make it look as dangerous as possible, but we also try to keep it as safe as possible.”
He continued, “When we’re doing these battles and people are screaming and crying and dying, you might not know if anyone’s in trouble. So our safe word was always ‘banana.’ If someone started shouting ‘banana!’ at the top of their voice, you’d know they’re in trouble.”