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'Game of Thrones' new season sets record for 'people on fire'

Look, when you let a bunch of dragons just fly around Westeros, things are going to heat up. We're looking at you, Daenerys.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper
2 min read
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Winter is coming to 'Game of Thrones," but so is death by fire.

HBO

The book series that became HBO's "Game of Thrones" is called "A Song of Ice and Fire" for a reason. Fans are familiar with the ice part -- winter is coming, the White Walkers, the Wall, yada yada yada, but next season, fire will help light up the show.

"In one battle scene we set more stuntmen on fire than have ever been simultaneously set on fire," showrunner David Benioff told Entertainment Weekly. "Our stunt coordinator really wanted to get in the Guinness Book of World Records for this."

That's only a little creepy, right? Turns out Guinness doesn't actually keep that record, but if they ever want to add it, Rowley Irlam, the show's stunt coordinator, has all the details.

"One sequence has 73 fire burns and that itself is a record," Irlam told EW. "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."

There's lot of fire in "Game of Thrones," from torches to sacrifices (poor Shireen!), but somehow we have a feeling the majority of the fire next season is coming from Dany's dragons. Irlam pretty much confirms that, saying, "I think in 'Saving Private Ryan' they had 13 (people on fire) 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."

Apparently these pros know how to play with fire -- the three weeks of dangerous fire stunts ended in only one injury, a single stuntman burning his hand.

"We try to think about what this would actually feel like to make it real for the viewers," Irlam said. "We do different performances so hopefully you look through the fire and see a human being in the final throes of life. We try very hard to make it really feel like a casualty of war."

"Game of Thrones" returns to HBO July 16.