If you sat down for the fourth episode of Game of Thrones this week, you're no doubt still reeling from the way it ended.

* Warning: Spoilers follow ...

Not only does the fate of Jaime Lannister well and truly hang in the balance but Daenerys Targerean looks poised to possibly lose it, just like her father did, and set everyone on fire.

But perhaps the most iconic part of the whole episode - minus the Stark kids' reunion - was the entire battle at the end of the episode.


It was over 10 minutes of breathtaking action and, just like the monumental effect it had on the Game of Thrones audience, it also took a monumental amount of effort to put together.

A scene from Game of Thrones' seventh season.
A scene from Game of Thrones' seventh season.

The show has released a behind-the-scenes look at creating what they dubbed the "the loot train attack" and it sounds absolutely exhausting.

Executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss set the scene by saying the battle would be "like a time travel movie".

"What if somebody had an F16 that they brought to a medieval battle," says Weiss, to give the battle context.

Daenerys, who realises she's becoming better known for losing rather than winning, decides to take matters into her own hands - by bringing her favourite dragon Drogon to ambush the Lannister army.

Jaime Lannister surveys the wreckage after an attack by Daenerys and Drogon.
Jaime Lannister surveys the wreckage after an attack by Daenerys and Drogon.

On paper, the ambush sounds great but bringing the battle to the screen was insane.

Along with a whole lot of CGI and visual effects, the team behind the episode were flat out making the battle seem entirely realistic.

"We have to reshuffle the entire set constantly which means dressing 180 degrees or 360 depending on the camera movement so it means we have to be very particular when it comes to dressing our burnt elements, our unburnt elements, our partially burnt elements," standby props worker Peter Marley says in the video.
Getting the burnt bodies ready.


And obviously, when it came to filming the scene, the team needed a whole lot of cameras.

"We had every toy you could possibly imagine in the making of it. We had four cameras most of the time, sometimes we had up to seven or eight cameras.

"We've got three different tracking vehicles for different purposes on this. A suped up pick up truck with really good suspension for our Dothraki charges, we've got an electric vehicle called a shadow tracker and then a suped up dune buggy with a stabilised head on it that takes all the bounce out," says Weiss.

Drogon gets to work during the Loot Train Battle scene in Game of Thrones.
Drogon gets to work during the Loot Train Battle scene in Game of Thrones.

The creative team also used a spider camera - a camera that sits on a cable between two cranes - that can move at over 100km/hour and a fly cam that is basically a tiny helicopter.

The scene alone had over 80 shots of Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys, riding her dragon.

In the whole of season six, they only had 11.

"Being on this theme park ride, you're strapped in, then looking like you are controlling it when there's so much going on. You've just gotta harness ever single bit of imagination you have and just use it," Clarke says.

"Can you even imagine being on the back of a reptile breathing fire at your command? That's huge," she adds.

And if you thought the start of the battle, where the Dothraki jump on top of horses and shoot bow and arrows was fake, you're 100% wrong.

"So much of these battle scenes now have become visual effects that I hope people realise much of this is being done. It's really stunt men standing up on horses with bow and arrows," the show's creator confirms.

Obviously if you're going to have a battle where a dragon is the centre piece, there's going to be a lot of fire, but the crew behind Game of Thrones took things a step further.

The show's battle scene now features the most full burns every done in TV history after one scene featured 20 men on fire in one shot.
A record 20 men are set on fire during the epic scene.

"There were a few raised eyebrows when I suggested 20, and it wasn't just because it was a record - which it is - but it's because you needed to see the scope of what was happening," the creator says.

Check out the video yourself to see the heart-stopping moment the men writhe on fire for a full 12 seconds before crews with extinguishers put them out.