As we wave goodbye to our favourite characters after the final series I thought I would share some fun facts about the horses from Game of Thrones. I have read some fascinating interviews with Camilla Naprous, The Horse Mistress from Game of Thrones and I thought I would share some facts you probably didn’t know.
1) All the horses were provided and trained by an English company called The Devil’s Horsemen. Run by Brother and sister Daniel and Camilla Naprous and their French father Gerald.
2) The Devil’s Horsemen horses have been in too many films and TV series for me to name but include Wonder Woman, Justice League, Les Miserables & Mission Impossible Rouge Nation. If you see a horse on TV it is probably from The Devil’s Horsemen!
3) Jon Snow can actually ride! Kit Harrington took to riding very well. He learnt to ride for the show and was taught by Camilla. A body double was not needed for his scenes.
4) So can Jamie Lannister! Apparently Nikolaj Coster- Waldau also took to riding very well for the show and when asked who the best riders were Camilla stated Jon Snow and Jamie Lannister!
5) Elle.com stated that the actors often used the same horses. Jon Snow used three different horses during the 8 series Concord, Tornado and Quentin. Jamie Lannister’s normal mount was a grey Andalucian called Dali. The actors apparently became very fond of them and often asked about them.
6) The horses often had to wear make up to appear dirty or injured.
7) The horses also had stunt doubles too. For example Jon Snow’s horse Tornado had his own stunt double!
8) The Battle of the Bastards was the scene that used the most horses. 100 horses were used in that epic battle scene. According to the LA Times, the horse department employed 160 people for that one episode including stunt riders, grooms, lorry drivers and trainers.
9) During the Battle of the Bastards, they shot as much as possible using real horses and actors. The iconic scene where 30 horses are charging towards Jon Snow who is stood on foot was really filmed like that. In an interview with esquire.com the show’s runners have actually since said that they weren’t present that day and would of never let them do that worrying it would be too dangerous for Kit Harrington if they had been there!
10) Jon Snow’s horse Tornado was actually killed off in the Battle of the Bastards but he was used again in the next series as it was decided no one would notice!
11) CGI wasn’t used when the horses fell over. The horses actually did that. They fell onto a mattress and Camilla only allowed them to fall 3 times a day due to the timing and accuracy needed to safely do this stunt.
12) There was a campsite with stables and a riding school to do their training on set.
13) The Dothraki were known as being good horsemen in the show. However to be able to show their weapons and gallop freely. Camilla designed a special rig for the stunt riders so they could stand on top of the horses whilst galloping and swinging around their weapons!
14) The Dothraki horsemen were inspired by Mad Max. Mad Max on horseback if you will!
15) In the earlier series the Dothraki scenes were filmed in Spain, which meant a 3 day lorry ride for the horses used from Buckinghamshire, England.
16) You will be delighted to know that no horses were ever injured, during the filming of all 8 series of Game of Thrones.
Anyone else want to go watch them all over again and look out for all these details?! That’s after I have signed up to stunt rider school obvs.
Copyright of Louise Dando and In Due Horse 2019.