Hardhome… The Battle of the Blackwater… Drogon's return. What do all of these things have in common? They're the unforgettable battles that have taken place on Game of Thrones throughout the series' five-year run. And, while fans have re-watched these epic moments more times than they can count, it's an entirely different experience getting to take part in the action firsthand. Luckily, Bustle was able to chat with Game Of Thrones stuntman, Bobby Holland Hanton, who gave us a behind-the-scenes look at a few of the GoT battles he's been apart of, which sometimes included working "on set for 16 hours" at a time. (Remind me never to complain about 8-hour workdays ever again.)
But, aside from the grueling hours, Hanton has participated in some truly magnificent stunts even just in Season 5 alone, having battled the White Walkers at Hardhome and been set fire to by Drogon himself. (OK, so the dragon wasn't real, but the fire sure was.) "I was part of the Hardhome sequence when the White Walkers and the half-dead all take over the village," Hanton recalls. However, it wasn't these ice cold killers that stuck out in his mind as being the most memorable, but rather the instantly iconic arena scene where he experienced his very first complete body burn as one of the Sons of the Harpy. "As the dragon came in and landed in the pit, we all got set alight," Hanton explains. "Taking it all on in the heat in Seville as well as [getting] set on fire, it was pretty memorable… definitely a standout for me." (You can catch a glimpse of that at 1:45 in his showreel.)
As you can imagine, facing off against White Walkers and dragons is no easy feat, so it makes sense that aside from his stunt fighting capabilities, Hanton is also a Dove Men+Care expert, which offers the perfect product line to get him fresh and ready for whatever exciting challenges the day has in store. "As soon as I wake up in the morning, I jump in the shower and I use the Dove Men+Care body and face wash... it jump starts my day," he tells Bustle. Something that I'm sure has also proved handy throughout his many other incredible jobs, such as stunt doubling for both Thor and Captain America in the new Avengers: Age of Ultron movie.
However, there's no product out there that could've prepared him for the massive shock he received upon learning the fate of Jon Snow at the end of the season — a twist that not even he had seen coming.
"I could not believe what I saw. When we were out there working, I didn't even know that was part of it. I wasn't there for that scene, so when I saw it I was like, 'No way! How can he be dead?!' But I really don't know what happens next. I don't know if he will come back, I don't know if he won't. I have not got a clue what happens next, so it'll be interesting to see. If I don't work on it or if I do work on it, I'm very much looking forward to the next series."
This further proves just how hush-hush this whole Jon Snow ordeal really was. Not even people working on the set knew it was coming. Perhaps that further indicates that his death won't stick? Maybe I'm merely grasping at straws here, but when you've got this much mystery surrounding a story arc, one can't help but grow suspicious that there's much more to all this than meets the eye. Jon Snow knowing nothing is one thing — but when practically nobody on set knows what'll happen next, then that's a whole other thing entirely. And so our watch for answers continues…
Images: HBO (2); Bobby Holland Hanton; admittedlynotspartacus/Tumblr