There’s no shortage of eunuchs in the Game of Thrones universe—Grey Worm and the Unsullied, Lord Varys, and Reek (nee Theon Greyjoy) all come to mind. But, in a new behind-the-scenes interview released by HBO, Kit Harington revealed that while filming a scene for Sunday’s season 8 premiere he came perilously close to losing a testicle in real life.
The scene in question: Jon and Daenerys flying around on dragons. Real dragons are, sadly, fictional, so they have to use some trickery to create the effect onscreen.
Both Harington and Emilia Clarke took turns on a motion base in front of a green screen. Visual effects producer Steve Kullback described the setup, known as a buck, as “kind like a mechanical bull only in this case it’s got a dragon’s butt on it.” And like a mechanical bull, the risk of serious injury is nonzero.
As a novice dragon rider Jon Snow doesn’t have the control Daenerys does. She’s the mother of dragons, after all. But in an effort to create a realistic scene, Harington wasn’t expecting his character’s close call to turn into one of his own.
“There was a bit when Jon almost falls off the dragon, swings around really violently,” Harington recalled before getting into the painful details with a grimace
“My right ball got trapped and I didn’t have time to stop and I was being swung ’round and in my head I thought ‘This is how it ends: on this buck swinging me around by my testicles, literally.'”
Yikes. Thankfully for Harington, disaster was averted and he made it through filming unscathed. He conceded that the story was maybe a little too much information, but given the insatiable desire Thrones fans have to learn more about the show, we can’t imagine too many complaints.
You can watch the entire video, which includes much more than this one painful anecdote, below.