Game of Thrones use a safe word during battle scenes 7 months ago

Game of Thrones use a safe word during battle scenes

Not a word you'd immediately associate with Westeros...

As much as we've all grown to love the compelling Game of Thrones storylines, the truth is the HBO show simply wouldn't be the same without its gory bits.

Over the seven season aired to date, GoT's battle scenes have produced some of the show's most iconic moments - think Battle of the Bastards or Battle of Castle Black (RIP, Ygritte)...

As you can probably imagine, lots of preparation goes into these scenes, with Rowley Irlam - Game of Thrones' stunt coordinator since its fifth season - responsible for ensuring all goes well and without any serious injuries.

"It needs to look like a complete maniacal riot, but you have to make sure that no one gets so much as a chipped tooth or a sprained ankle," he told Entertainment Weekly ahead of the release of the final season in April. "We're trying to make it look as dangerous as possible, but we also try to keep it as safe as possible."

So that it's easy for those involved to recognise when an actor or a stuntperson is hurt, Irlam uses a safe word, to be be shouted only when someone needs to stop.

"When we’re doing these battles and people are screaming and crying and dying, you might not know if anyone’s in trouble," he explains. "So our safe word was always 'banana'."

Clearly, banana is not a word you'd expect to hear uttered in the Seven Kingdoms too often. This, however, is deliberate - a way for someone who is in need of help to make it immediately clear to those around them.

"If someone started shouting ‘banana!’ at the top of their voice, you'd know they’re in trouble," Irlam adds.

Game of Thrones Season 8 arrives on April 14 in the United States, screened for the first time in the UK the following day.