Next week will mark the three year anniversary of the airing of “The Iron Throne” — the largely hated season finale of HBO’s fantasy series Game of Thrones. But while you may hate the final season of the show, there’s one person who allegedly has a lot more reasons to hate it than you. Casey Michaels, a stunt performer who worked on the final three seasons of Game of Thrones, is suing the people who made the show.
Earlier this week, Variety reported that Michaels had filed a lawsuit against Game of Thrones makers: HBO’s subsidiary Fire & Blood Productions. According to the outlet, Michaels is claiming she was injured in February 2018 during the filming of the Battle of Winterfell sequence — in the final season’s third episode, “The Long Night” — suffering a “serious fracture dislocation to her left ankle.” Michaels claims that in the years since her injury, she has undergone multiple surgeries on her foot. Her lawsuit says she has lost range of motion in her foot and is unable to skydive, ski or run. It also claims she has difficulty with basic, everyday functions like shopping, and that it has led to trauma and depression. Below is a tweet from Casey Michaels from before the injury, with the performer made up as one of the Children of the Forest from season 6.
Michaels claims the Game of Thrones makers didn’t provide adequate safety measures. Variety says the injury occurred while Casey Michaels and 27 other stunt performers, dressed as wights, were instructed to walk off the edge of a roof. After a 12 foot drop, the performers landed into the “box rig” made of “cardboard boxes and mats.” Michaels was reportedly the last of the performers to make the drop and landed on her feet. The injury allegedly occurred in spite of Michaels wearing pads on her shins, knees, elbows, hips and back. Her lawsuit says the box rig was not adequate for the stunt performers’ safety because “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.”
While the Game of Thrones makers don’t deny the stunt performer was injured, Fire & Blood Productions has denied Michaels’ claim that the box rig was inadequate, and instead say her injury was caused either by her “failure to execute the pleaded stunt properly and/or with the skill and care of a reasonably competent stunt performer or by pure accident.” They say Michaels failed to walk off the roff in the manner instructed, but instead did so “like a pencil.”
One interesting thing to note is that while Variety reports that Casey Michaels’ lawsuit claims she “has been unable to return to work” since the injury, this seems to potentially contradict the stunt performer’s work history as listed on IMDb. Michaels’ page on the site lists her as working as a stunt performer on the 2019 sequel Maleficient: Mistress of Evil, the 2020 Swedish thriller Horizon Line, the 2021 live-action animation hybrid Tom & Jerry: The Movie, and last year’s Black Widow; all of which began production after February 2018, when the injury took place on the set of Game of Thrones.