Fire will be an even bigger (in fact, recording-setting) element in Game of Thrones season 7 than it was in previous seasons. The show is, after all, based on a series of George R.R. Martin novels called A Song of Ice and Fire. Over and over again, fire has made prominent appearances in the show's storylines, as well as its opening credits and even its marketing (see the season 7 release date announcement by way of a melting-ice-with-fire stunt).
There’s the fire that’s breathed by Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons, the wildfire used in the defense of King’s Landing in Season 2's Battle of Blackwater, and the wildfire’s second appearance in the sixth season finale, when it killed hundreds of people in the Sept of Balor. Then there was Dany’s murder-by-torches of the Dothraki lords, also last season, and all of the times Red Priestess Melisandre saw things in the flames, via the Lord of Light. Now, there’s word that when it comes to deadly fire in the Kingdom of Westeros, we haven't seen anything yet.
The upcoming seventh season of Game of Thrones will set a “record” for people being set on fire - not only for the series, but for “any entertainment production,” the series’ co-showrunner said this week in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
“In one battle scene we set more stuntmen on fire than have ever been simultaneously set on fire,” showrunner David Benioff said in the interview. “Our stunt coordinator really wanted to get in the Guinness Book of World Records for this.” And while that’s not an official Guinness record, stunt coordinator Rowley Irlam also told the magazine that one scene’s 73 fire burns - on 20 separate stuntmen in a single shot - is a record for a film or TV show.
The interview implies that the reason for the unusual amount of fire in season 7 is the Khaleesi’s dragons, and that would make sense. The dragons, as always, are bigger and more powerful each season than the last, and in the Game of Thrones season 7 trailers so far, they look quite formidable. And of course, considering the dawn of the Targaryen conquest of Westeros, the upcoming season is likely to feature more battle scenes than is typical for the show.
Then again, between that Dothraki sequence and the Sept of Balor scene, a whole lot of people got burned last season on Game of Thrones, so we’re likely looking at quite a carnage in Season 7. Considering the huge profits the show earns for HBO, let's hope those many burned stuntmen were well-compensated for their danger.
Game of Thrones season 7 premieres July 16 on HBO.