Skip to Content

10 Facts & FAQs About the Horses of Game of Thrones

10 Facts & FAQs About the Horses of Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones has become one of the most successful shows in cinematic history. Throughout this incredible show, horses were used in many scenes, from jousting and battles.

From how the scenes were filmed to the best riders on set, these facts about the horses of Game of Thrones are well worth the read.

Lots of work was taken to prepare the actors and horses for their scenes throughout the series. There was even a campsite on set with stables and a riding school so the actors and crew could do their training.

Here are ten facts about the horses of Game of Thrones.

1. Camilla Naprous of The Devil’s Horsemen was the Show’s Horse Master

Camilla Naprous of The Devil’s Horsemen worked as Game of Thrones horse master. Naprous first joined filming during a quarter of the way through season one to do a jousting scene. Originally supposed to be just two weeks, the job ended up lasting for the rest of the show.

Brother and sister duo Daniel and Camilla Naprous, along with their French father Gerald operate The Devil’s Horseman. Their company is based out of the United Kingdom and provides horses, carriages, tack, riders, and horsemasters for international films, TV programs, and photoshoots.

Their horses have been featured in movies and shows such as Wonder Woman, Justice League, The Crown, and Transformers: The Last Knight.

Camilla was responsible for choreographing the intense battle scenes of the show. Throughout the series, she not only prepared horses for their roles, but would also train the actors how to ride. In 2018, she became a part of the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame.

2. Kit Harrington Did All of His Horse Riding Scenes

Kit Harington as Jon Snow horse riding in Game of Thrones

Kit Harrington, who played Jon Snow, took naturally to horseback riding and did all of his riding scenes. He learned how to ride for the show under the expert guidance of Camilla.

Over the course of the show, Kit rode three horses, Concord, Quentin, and Tornado. Since he was a brave rider, Camilla gave him fearless horses.

Kit not only enjoyed riding, but would frequently ask about how his equine costars were doing throughout the series.

3. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Naturally Took to Horseback Riding

Another lead actor, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who played Jamie Lannister, took to riding naturally. He too received horseback riding lessons from Camilla. In fact, Camilla said that Kit Harrington and Jon Snow were the best riders in the series.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau riding a horse on Game of Thrones

Also Read: Viggo Mortensen Announces His “Lord of the Rings” Horses Have Passed Away

4. The Horses Wore Makeup In Certain Scenes

People aren’t the only ones to wear makeup in acting. Throughout the series, the horses would wear makeup in certain scenes to make them look injured or dirty.

5. Some of the Horses Had Stunt Doubles

Just like how many of the actors have stunt doubles for action and riding scenes, some of the horses had stunt doubles as well. In fact, Kit Harrington’s main mount, Tornado, had his own stunt double.

6. It Took 100 Horses and 160 People to Film “Battle of the Bastards”

“Battle of the Bastards” was one of the most challenging episodes to film. To create the epic episode, it required 100 horses and around 160 people in the horse department to complete.

Filming the Battle of the Bastards horse charge in Game of Thrones

Of the 160 people, they included grooms, horse trailer drivers, trainers, assistants and stunt riders. Careful training went into preparing all the horses for the episode. For example, when horses would lose their rider, they would pass through two-foot “channels” in order to “clear out.” This would give the appearance of a collision without one actually happening.

“That was the first real-time we could bring a hundred horses out and really just go to town. It was incredible working with Kit because he’s so great on a horse. Being able to have a real actor on the horse galloping toward the army was exciting. I hate watching scenes with double,” said Camilla.

Battle of the Bastards behind the scenes photo

7. Horses Actually Charge Kit Harrington

In the episode “Battle of the Bastards” 40 horses actually charged towards Harrington. This heart-pounding scene did not use CGI.

“When we had horses charging past me, those are all real horses. Until the last minute, I was standing facing off against this cavalry charge, which is really scary. I’m a bit annoyed because I think everyone will think it’s CGI, and it wasn’t,” said Harrington.

8. Horses Would Actually Fall in Scenes

The scenes where horses would fall were actually real, not CGI. The horses were carefully trained to fall on cue and when they fell, they landed on mattresses so they wouldn’t get hurt.

Camilla would only allow the horses to fall three times a day in order to keep them safe. It took timing and accuracy to achieve these stunts.

See some great behind the scenes filming with horses in The Battle of the Bastards below:

9. Stunt Riders Used a Special Gig in the Dothraki Horseman Scenes

In Game of Thrones, the Dothraki are famous for their horsemanship skills. In order to showcase their skills, Camilla created a special rig created for the stunt riders.

These special rigs let the stunt riders stand up while wielding their weapons. This allowed them to sport the skills that the Dothraki are famous for.

Also Read: 17 Famous Horses in Movies and TV Series

10. The Dothraki Horsemen Were Inspired by Mad Max

Mad Max is famous for its action-packed scenes with extreme vehicles and skilled drivers that go on insane raids. This eccentric film became the inspiration for the Dothraki Horseman.

Dothraki horse riders in A Game of Thrones

Were Any Horses Hurt During the Filming of Game of Thrones?

No horses died or were injured throughout all eight seasons of Game of Thrones. The horse crew took exceptional care of all the horses used in the show, ensuring that they were safe and well cared for at all times.

What Horse Breeds Were Used in Game of Thrones?

Throughout Game of Thrones, many different horse breeds were used, however, most were Andalusian and Lusitano breeds, along with some Welsh Cobs.

Kit Harrington’s main mount, Tornado, is a Hungarian Warmblood gelding. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau often rode Dali, an Andalusian gray gelding.

Also Read: 10 Incredible Facts About Andalusian Horses

Where Did They Film “The Battle of the Bastards” Horse Scenes?

The “Battle of the Bastards” filming locations were in Antrim, United Kingdom, and Almería, Spain. It took 25 days to shoot with 500 extras, 100 horses, four camera crews, and a budget of nearly $10 million.

A special remote-controlled device called a “Russian Arm” would track the horses as they galloped. A crew member would drive a Land Rover with the Russian Arm attached.

Though in the episode, Jon Snow’s horse dies in battle, the same horse returns for the next season. The producers figured no one would take notice that it was the same horse.