'Game of Thrones' Showrunners, Director Talk That Incredible Dragon Battle

Sunday night's episode of Game of Thrones, titled "The Spoils of War," featured some serious dragon action as Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) rode her dragon, Drogon, into battle, taking the Lannister army by surprise and ordering Drogon to do his worst.

The resulting firepower was equal parts terrifying and amazing, as Drogon did his mother's bidding and roasted a major portion of the Lannister army, although he was wounded in the process.

Entertainment Weekly shares that the battle set a record for the most people simultaneously set on fire for an entertainment production, involving 73 "fire burns" and 20 people set on fire at once for a single shot.

"It's the first major battle we've ever done that has a cavalry and creature effects — and it happens to include lots of things catching on fire," said showrunner D.B. Weiss. "We've never really blown s— up like we've done in this episode."

Matt Shakman, who directed the episode, noted that he wanted to capture the moment the show's style of war changed in dramatic fashion.

"I wanted to tell the story of what it would be like to be on the ground in the middle of a dragon attack, to see what it's like; to be in a napalm attack, to see the birth of a new weapon," he said.

"And all of a sudden the Lannister army — which is a Roman army in a way, an army of order and precision, who can handle pretty much any obstacle — they encounter something they cannot handle and realize that war has changed forever. Jaime, especially, is a great soldier and realizes this is going to be a new era," he added.

Shankman also shared that the sequence when Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) rides toward Daenerys was meant to be a "beautiful" thing.

"There's a point where we think someone is going to die — either Jaime or Dany," the director said. "And when he charges, it's meant to be the most beautiful death you've ever seen. He's charging through the ash and, in a way, tilting at windmills like Don Quixote. Then he's obviously saved at the last second — from the dragon fire at least."

As next week's episode is titled "Blood of the Dragon," fingers crossed for Drogon's recovery.


Photo Credit: HBO