The extended climax of Spoils of War, the fourth Game of Thrones episode, has raised the bar for battlefield sequences, and not only in the Westeros universe. Even the movies look drab in comparison. In the spectacular sequence, Daenerys and her dragon Drogon rain fire on Jaimie Lannister’s miserable troops, giving them the worst possible death. Daenerys has resorted to the desperate measure after losing her previous battles – the equivalent of dropping an H-bomb on a population that refuses to bend the knee.
YouTube is littered with rips of the episode, variously called “Field of Fire” or “Full Fight”. HBO, the producer and international distributor of the series, is calling the sequence the Loot Train Attack.
The sequence is told through Jaimie’s increasingly alarmed eyes, and has the feel of “an F-16 at a medieval battle”, said the show’s makers and actor in a featurette. Shot in Caceres in Spain, the sequence involved 27 wagon trains, numerous burnt, semi-burnt and unburnt props, an eco-friendly black dye and ash, between four and eight cameras, and extensive visual effects, including 80 shots of Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) riding the dragon, the makers said.
The fifth episode is titled Eastwatch, and follows from where events left off. Daenerys offers the soldiers who survived the battle clemency in exchange for total surrender. Jon Snow meets one of her dragons. Bran Stark has another out-of-body moment.