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By Damilola Faustino

Games of Thrones has broken the record of most people ever set on fire by in a film. Setting fire on stuntmen was perhaps unavoidable as Daenerys Targaryen finally reached Westeros in Game of Thrones season 7 with her Dragons.

Stunt coordinator Rowley Irlam won an Emmy for his work on season 5, which saw 20 people set on fire across a single day, but with season 7 they reached that figure at a go.

Rowley Irlam said about the record: “One sequence has 73 fire burns and that itself is a record 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.”

Explaining how the men the stuntmen were set on fire, Irlam said: “Setting even one stuntman on fire, even with modern protective gear, is highly dangerous. The stuntman is covered with fire-resistant clothes, a cooling gel and a mask. But once they’re set ablaze they have to hold their breath until the shot is complete and the flames have been entirely extinguished. The whole process takes roughly 30 seconds. That might not sound very long, but when you’re on fire, cannot see, are wearing heavy gear and flailing around pretending to suffer, it can seem like a very long time indeed.

“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.

“And the most dangerous part is actually after you’re extinguished. At the moment, the active part of the stunt is over and the stuntman naturally wants to breathe again. But it’s always possible the fire could unexpectedly spark back up.”

Congratulations to GOT crew!

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