Game of Thrones has had great CGI, no doubt, but the show also has had some really well-coordinated stunts. Not only do we have rigs that let our stars fly, like Arya’s charge at the Night King, we also have horses! It’s always tricky to work with animals, but Game of Thrones’ horsemaster Camilla Naprous did very well. She recently discussed her work on Game of Thrones, and even the upcoming prequel series, in an interview with Elle. Read on!
Naprous has a company called The Devil’s Horsemen, and has headed the horse department to Game of Thrones since the beginning. She first spoke of the cast members and how they were with horses:
“If I can get a cast member to understand and love horses like I do, then my job’s done. Kit Harington [who played Jon Snow] was a natural rider, and another favorite was Nikolaj Coster-Waldau [Jaime Lannister]. Michelle Fairley [Catelyn Stark] was amazing as well. I can’t say who was not a strong rider, I don’t want to hurt any feelings!”
She then spoke about her whole process with horses and actors working together:
“I start by reading the person, and then I set them up with the right horse based on personality. For example, with Kit, Kit’s very brave, which is really good, so you can give him a fearless horse. Kit actually had three horses that he used over the eight seasons: Concord, Quentin, and Tornado. I think continuity is important, because a rider and a horse need to build up trust.”
“Once I match a horse and an actor, I take them out to ride in a forest to get a feel for what it’s like being on the horse. It’s actually my favorite part of my job, seeing that human and horse relationship strengthen, and being privy to people learning something new and being like, “My God, this is amazing, I’m so excited right now!” After introductions, we do continual training sessions with the actors and horses before and during shooting.”
She also was asked about her approach to safety in the whole process, to which she replied:
“Luckily, nothing horrific ever happened on set during all eight seasons. The safety of our animals and riders is the number one concern, and I like to think of myself as the voice of my horses. In every other department on a movie set, people can speak up for themselves. The horses, of course, can’t, so I pride myself on making sure their safety is a priority.”
Lastly, she was asked about the Game of Thrones prequel, Bloodmoon, which is scheduled to begin filming soon, and whether there were any horse scenes in it. She said:
“I can’t say! But this project is going to be really fun, because it’s not Game of Thrones anymore—it’s a whole new world. It’ll be interesting to go back without the same faces, with a brand new way of doing things, so I’m looking forward to see how that sits with me.”
Well, we sure hope to see a horse or two in the prequel pilot. What about you guys? Talk to us in the comments, down below!