Production

MGoT: Flaming swords

The latest Making Game of Thrones post might bear a confusing title, and the photo is that of Stannis’ sword from S2 as well – but the description is one from season three, of another sequence involving a flaming sword. Readers will of course know what it is all about (mark your spoilers in the comments, please). The technical details are impressive, so much work to make this practical effect come alive on the screen:

The fight-sequence sword is a real sword that the workshop team milled with a number of channels, each one stuffed with a dura-blanket material. The flame retardant fiber is then soaked in IPA (isopropyl alcohol). This was then covered in another layer of material to make the blade look uniform and sword-like again. Because of the length of the sequence, the flame has to last (and burn strong) for at least 3 minutes, which was something of a challenge, as the fuel burned off so quickly.

The second sword had blood inside the blade and could be ignited. The sword itself split into two pieces, and the inside was filled with a series of small, sealed channels. Some were filled with gas, the rest with fake blood – that way, when the blade was drawn across any surface, skin or otherwise, hitting a button on the hilt of the blade would release blood through tiny holes down the side, making it appear as if blood was welling up from a cut.

Hear Me Roar: Definitely someting I am looking forward to see. It should make for a spectacular scene!

38 Comments

  • I’ve been pondering this titling error all morning. Is it a way to talk up production without hinting at the actual story to come? Or just a dumb mistake.

    I wonder if we’ll ever see Lightbringer again.

  • That sounds awesome. Was wondering if they would handle any of that with GC, but it sounds like the whole thing might be practical FX.

  • It can’t be possible that Cat Taylor really doesn’t know the characters and thinks that it is actually Stannis’s sword can it?

  • Grijnwaald:
    Second?

    Anyway, if you think that swords are cool, well……….flaming swords!!

    Flaming swords are about as awesome as sharks with lasers on their heads!

  • I suspect, as is true with many publications (newspapers, bigger websites — not small ones like wic), that both the artwork and the headlines are often supplied by the editor and not the writer of the piece.

    It would not shock me if Cat Taylor supplies text and the person in charge of HBO.com finds an image, slaps a headline on and posts it.

    (PS. by small, I mean size of the organization)

  • Off topic for a bit, has anyone seen our Benjen Stark, Joseph Mawle in his new movie,”The Prototype”? The trailer is up on YouTube and elsewhere. It looks interesting, check it out and see what you think.

    PS I was watching “Highlander” today and lo and behold who do I see? Lord Commander Mormont!

  • The Young Wolf:
    I hope they fix up Lightbringer and feature it a bit more.

    So do I. I really hope they don’t cut Lightbringer completely from the show or make it just another generic sword.

  • It always seemed to me as if Lightbringer looked a little too good. It didn’t inspire me, at least, to wonder if it was some charlatan’s trick. Now I wonder if the other flaming sword that we will see in Season 3 will look notably better by contrast?

    And some people have been intentionally posting blatant and revealing spoilers here, especially about the RW. Either the Unsullied need to avoid this site, or we need both increased vigilance and decreased tolerance.

  • Kosis:
    It can’t be possible that Cat Taylor really doesn’t know the characters and thinks that it is actually Stannis’s sword can it?

    I’m so curious to know this. It almost makes me uneasy.

  • D’Arcy,

    Isn’t it possible that the sword in the picture is Lightbringer and it is from the scene where Melisandre burns the statues of the Seven in S2? The photo was a prop, but that doesn’t mean it is the props Cat Taylor wrote about.

  • Finally a flaming sword!
    I was a little disappointed that we didn’t actually SEE Thoros of Myr in the tournament laying waste with his flaming sword and instead heard about him secondhand from… ummm… was it Jamie? (In the book, someone actually talked about how stupid that was and how Thoros ruined his sword every time he lit one up.)
    Now…. Yes!
    If they were going all budget-stingey, Lord Beric could easily have had is big scene using an ordinary sword but it looks like they’re going for the full Monty! Yehaw!
    Hey, in the first season, we DID see Beric when Ned sends him off to deal with Gregor Clegane’s goons. Does anyone know if by any remote chance, it’s the same actor?

  • Chris:
    Hey, in the first season, we DID see Beric when Ned sends him off to deal with Gregor Clegane’s goons. Does anyone know if by any remote chance, it’s the same actor?

    No, not same actor. First one was just an extra, this one is a ‘real’ casted actor. I hope they look a bit alike though.

  • Chris,

    It is a different actor. Richard Dormer is his name. You can see him as Beric with his flaming sword towards the end of the ‘In Production’ video.

  • D’Arcy: I’m so curious to know this. It almost makes me uneasy.

    Trust me, Cat did not make this mistake. This was someone in HBO marketing who either grabbed the wrong photo or put up the wrong headline or both. C’mon guys, she is on set nearly every day, you think she doesn’t know which character uses the sword that she went into very explicit detail to describe?

  • Does no one remember this entry from the production of season 2?

    The entry was clearly about Lommy’s death, and the picture was almost completely unrelated.

    The pictures do not specifically correspond to the journal entries. They never have. Reading into things too deeply will give you ulcers.

  • Maester Tcost,

    The whole thing about Lightbringer in that scene is that it was a way to physically have Stannis pull the sword out of the fire, thus fulfilling that particular requirement of the AA prophecy. While it is Mel who calls that sword Lightbringer, it might not necessarily be the one that is glamoured. This was most likely a trick similar to that of Thoros (before he actually was able do acquire his magic) as we see the flamed put out and the sword discarded (left in the sand).

  • I think they should have just made Stannis’ sword glowing red. The fact that the audience has already seen a flaming sword might make Beric less crazy awesome as a character.

    Not to mention that pulling a sword out the flames is not nearly as special, prophecy-wise, as having a sword that actually glows brightly like Bilbo’s sword.

  • Aryannets,

    Visually, the flaming sword will already be familiar once Beric gets his flame on.

    Best case scenario, people will recognise the flaming sword and tie Melisandre and Thoros together, giving the cult of R’hllor more of a presence in the audience’s mind.
    Worst case scenario, Beric’s fights will have less of an impact because after all, we’ve “been there seen that” with the sword. Making it less exciting than it could be.

    I’m not sure at which point in the novels the fact that Lightbringer doesn’t give off heat is revealed. They might not incorporate that at all, but it’d be a tougher sell if the sword is actually on fire rather than just glowing. We’ll see, I guess.

  • Reverse Nielsen:
    Aryannets,

    Visually, the flaming sword will already be familiar once Beric gets his flame on.

    Best case scenario, people will recognise the flaming sword and tie Melisandre and Thoros together, giving the cult of R’hllor more of a presence in the audience’s mind.
    Worst case scenario, Beric’s fights will have less of an impact because after all, we’ve “been there seen that” with the sword. Making it less exciting than it could be.

    I’m not sure at which point in the novels the fact that Lightbringer doesn’t give off heat is revealed. They might not incorporate that at all, but it’d be a tougher sell if the sword is actually on fire rather than just glowing. We’ll see, I guess.

    Lightbringer was sorta a non-event in S2; I doubt that the general audience will even remember it by the time Beric is (re)introduced. I even forgot about it until I saw the MGoT pic and I’m a book reader and watch the show! LOL (Really, when people think of Mel & Stannis, it’s gonna be SHADOWBABY! rather than Lightbringer, at this point.)

    The fact that it looks like Beric will actually be doing stuff with the sword will probably make it more memorable for everyone.

  • Winter Is Coming,

    I agree, of course she knows the difference. Didn’t she have an article about Stannis and a truck a few weeks back? The lack of faith and contempt some fans have for this crew…I guess its fuck ups by HBO like this that strengthen the haters arguments.
    Look alive HBO, these ASOIAF fans can be pretty crazy not only will they nitpick every frame of the series you are making they will nitpick every decision, every press release every ounce of publicity or misinformation or type-o or incorrect graphic to judge the series.

  • Ioco73,

    James Cosmo was pretty much in any UK historical drama made between 1985 and the present so was always popping up. For some reason that appearance in Highlander always stuck him in my head though despite being brief so I’d always go “its that bloke form Highlander!”. See great appearances also in Ivanhoe (BBC) and especially his turn in Braveheart. Because of all these I just knew he’d appear in GOT somewhere, though I thought he was a shoe in for the Greatjohn. He’s a perfect Mormont also though.