Horses & Film: The equine stars of ‘Game of Thrones’
If you’re a fan of this HBO smash-hit series, you know that the show is overrun with horses. We decided to look into their story.
Where do all of these highly trained, beautiful steeds come from?
A bit of research revealed the horses’ source: The Devil’s Horsemen, a Buckinghamshire-based stable that specializes in providing horses and stuntmen for the sets of movies, commercials, television shows and events.
The website reads, “We have over 70 horses, each highly trained in various stunts, and each with their own character and performance level. If you want a horse to perform an intricate action scene, or just a stunning horse to carry your main actor on screen, we can provide a fully trained profession horse of any breed, size or colour.”
In addition to Game of Thrones, The Devil’s Horsemen has provided horses and horsemasters for a huge range of films, including War Horse, Snow White & The Huntsman, Les Miserables, Dark Shadow, Jane Eyre, The Other Boleyn Girl, Batman Begins, The Da Vinci Code, and Black Beauty, just to name a few. (Check out the full list of credits here.)
The school also offers riding lessons for actors needing to learn how to ride or brush up on their riding skills in preparation for a role.
Michelle Fairley, who plays Catelyn Stark on Game of Thrones, said in an interview, “I grew up riding horses, so to work with them was a dream. Some of those horses have better CVs than the actors. They work non-stop, are always on time, wear their costumes brilliantly and understand what the word ‘action’ means.”
Of course, the show isn’t all easy-watching for horse lovers. Scenes depicting horse decapitation, the eating of a horse’s heart, half-rotted zombie horses and dead, frozen horses have all figured into previous episodes.
Luckily, there’s enough live equine eye candy galloping around to balance it all out.
Photos from makinggameofthrones.com.
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