A stunt performer who was part of Game of Thrones is suing the series two years after it ended due to career-ending injuries sustained during the filming of the Battle of Winterfell. Casey Michaels suffered from a “serious fracture and dislocation of her left ankle” while filming the final season in February 2018, according to Variety.
Michaels was injured while dressed as a Wight, a zombie controlled by the White Walkers, filming a scene for the third episode of the eighth season. According to Variety, in the scene “a large group of Wights climb the castle battlements, clamber onto a sloped roof inside and walk off the edge to continue fighting below.”
The performers were required to fall from an approximate height of 12ft onto a box rig that was comprised of cardboard boxes and mats. As per the court documents, “By their nature, however, the cardboard boxes are not durable and become damaged as each stunt performer lands on the box rig and also as each stunt performer climbs off of the box rig after landing.”
According to the stunt performer’s claim, she landed feet first onto the rig, sustaining injuries which have since required several surgeries and have severely affected her range of motion and quality of life.
In their defence, Fire & Blood Productions has denied the claim, stating that the box rig in question was “durable and was not compressed when a stunt performer stepped off onto the mattress and rolled away.”
The stunt required performers to walk off the rig as if unaware of the fall, in typical zombie fashion. According to the production company, the stunt performer did not fall as instructed, instead falling in a “vertical manner”, “like a pencil” and landing on her feet.
They claim the injuries were “caused either by the Claimant’s failure to execute the pleaded stunt properly and/or with the skill and care of a reasonably competent stunt performer or by pure accident.”
Michaels has since been unable to work and also struggles to do basic tasks such as shopping, gardening and cooking. According to Variety, neither of the parties responded to a request for comment.