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‘Game of Thrones’ Actor Talks Fighting With a Flaming Sword: ‘That’s Real Flames Every Single Time’

SPOILER ALERT: Do not keep reading if you have not seen Season 7 Episode 6 of “Game of Thrones,” titled “Beyond the Wall”

Game of Thrones” kept the epic battle scenes rolling this week, with Jon Snow and his “Magnificent Seven”-esque team fighting off a horde of undead soldiers north of The Wall.

Richard Dormer, who plays Beric Dondarrion, got into the action for the first time since his Season 3 fight with The Hound, wielding a flaming sword and standing back-to-back with his burn-faced former foe as the wights descended on the team.

“It was like running a marathon in about 40 kilos of armor and seal skin, with only one eye and a flaming sword that kind of blinded my one good eye,” Dormer told Variety. “It was hellish, but it was worth it. Hard work. It took us five weeks to film that battle sequence.”

Complicating matters even further was the fact that Dormer’s flaming sword was not enhanced by computer graphics, but was in fact entirely real. “The sword is not CGI,” he said. “That’s real flames every single time. It lasts about two minutes, so I could only use it for two minutes and then it would start to go out so we had to start all over again…Also, I had to slow my sword arm down by about 20%. So if I was doing a move, I would just do it quick with the sword. But with the sword on fire, you can’t move that fast otherwise the flame will go out. So you’ve got to move just slightly slower but more effort, you know? Also it weighs three times as much as a normal sword, so it’s just this big club really.”

Despite having only made sporadic appearances on the show up to this point, Dondarrion is one of few characters to have survived this long. With the end of the series so near, Dormer has a few ideas on how he would like his character to go out.

“It’s so weird because at Comic-Con back in 2012 or 2013, someone asked me ‘What would you most like Beric Dondarrion to do in the final season?’ And I said, ‘I want him with his flaming sword riding on the back of a dragon.’ And it came true! So that was pretty cool,” Dormer said. “What I would love to do is fight one of two people: The Mountain or The Night King. And I know I would definitely be killed by The Night King, but I might have a chance against The Mountain.”

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