We recently caught up with some of the cast, both old and new, to talk favourite characters, the plot so far, direwolves, Game of Thrones the musical, and even some all new memorable lines.
First up, Michelle Fairley (Catlyn Stark) plays one of the most pivotal characters in the first two series and we started by discussing Lady Stark’s motives and Game of Thrones’ portrayal of fiercely loyal and persuasive women.
Do you think Catelyn’s choices have brought the story to where it is?
I think a lot of her actions are responsible for what’s happened. She captured Tyrion Lannister and then she lost him in the duel in the Eyrie, so she has been at the centre of some of the worst decision making but I don’t think she does it on purpose. She is genuinely a woman of her word, for example she knew if Tyrion won that battle he could go free and she kept her word. With Jamie, she totally believes that she will get her girls back because Littlefinger has planted the seed that they’re still alive and she’ll get them back. Ultimately all she wants is to get her family back together again. She has been responsible [for a lot of what happens in the story], but I don’t like to admit that because when you play somebody you love you have to understand they’re not just random actions and that everything she does comes from a good place, whether or not it’s the right decision.
So far we’ve seen women make a lot of instrumental decisions. Decisions that have led to terrible consequences. Would you agree with that?
I think George R.R. Martin has got a great sense of how to do drama and in this world he has very strong women. They are incredibly strong but they’re not infallible, they make their mistakes. The other thing is they don’t think like men so they come from an emotional place, and emotion is not the right thing sometimes in order to make their decisions. But this is what I love about them. They are complicated, they’re mothers, they’re queens, and they are insecure. They may be strong but behind strength there’s a massive insecurity about containing it or achieving it. Am I successful enough?
What’s been your favourite moment so far?
There are some things you love doing and some actors that you love working with and you like to think of everything you do as a work in progress and you’ll always get better. I loved in season one having all the family together because as the season progresses everyone disperses.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a towering 6ft3” Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) interrupts us with a hugging embrace for Michelle. Clearly a bond has formed between these two off-stage as well as on.
Gwen, how much have you enjoyed being a part of this great cast so far?
It’s been an amazing thing to be a part of, not just because it’s become the most amazing phenomena, but the cast and the creative team are really so amazing. Everyone is so dedicated to the integrity of the show. Everyone’s so dedicated to making it happen and it’s just a riot with such fantastic writing. The adaptation is incredible and it really captures the essence of the scenes. It’s such a fascinating story with so much about human relationships and emotions. It’s all very extraordinary and I couldn’t be happier to be honest.
To prevent a crick in the neck, we move on to the more diminutive youngster, Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran Stark).
Isaac, do you miss having Sean Bean around?
He was a really cool dad but I didn’t spend an awful lot of time filming many scenes with him because he spent a lot of his time in King’s Landing and I was in Winterfell. But the few scenes I had with him were lovely. He was quite quiet but a really lovely chap.
How was it working with the direwolves?
It was ace. In season one they were quite small but they were real dogs on the set. But in season two and three they are CGI now, so we have this giant sort of stuffed toy plush direwolf, Fluffy, that hangs out on set and they’ll place it in for the effects which can be quite odd.
Have you read the books?
No, when I started I was ten and there are things in the books at that age I shouldn’t probably be reading! Also, because Bran is still quite young, I think you don’t really have to play a character quite as complex as Tyrion or Cersei so I think it’s a good thing at the moment that I haven’t and keep it simple.
Is this series going to be as exciting as the previous two?
Yes! Last week was the first time I’d seen the episode we’re going to see first and it’s insane, it’s like a feature film. It’s really, really fantastic.
You’ve got some new actors working with you this season. How was it working with them?
It’s lovely to have some new faces because Bran has sort of been stuck in the same place and hasn’t really had any interactions with anyone except Maester Luwin and Hodor so it’s nice to have new people on board to give a new dynamic to Bran’s storyline and help Bran understand the unsettling dreams he’s been having.
Speaking of new faces, we next turn the questions on Paul Kaye (Thoros of Myr).
Paul, tell us about your character. He is fighting for the greater good?
I’m one of the goodies, well with some bad moments. He gets more religious the more he drinks. When I got the job I was watching the first series because I hadn’t seen it and I got that big-up of “They’ll never forget Thoros” and that was the beginning of when I got really excited. Thoros is a complex character. The older he gets he’s had to face probably his biggest fear, finding out that the things he was most cynical about turn out to be true. Which is just another reason to drink more.
Can we expect lots of fire?
Lots of fire, huge fires, in fact when I came back to London I was lighting fires in the garden and I was missing my sword, my armour and my sword.
Tobias Menzies (Edmure Tully) is another who’s new to the series.
Tobias, what’s been your favourite scene so far?
One of things I had to learn was some archery which is how I enter the show, There’s this fantastic scene, which is my first scene, on this river. It was a gorgeous way to arrive into it. It really encapsulated all the things Games of Thrones has, in terms of scale and the richness to it.
Music plays a big part of explaining the history of Westeros throughout the books, such as “The Rains of Castamere”. We asked Natalia Tena (Osha) who’s in the band Molotov Jukebox, if she could put a group together from the characters.
Natalia, who’d be in your group, what would they play any why?
Melisandre would be on bass, no, actually she’d be on drums because some weird s**t comes out of her. I reckon that’s part of her rhythm. Bass player would have to be Theon. He’s a bit confused trying to hold it together but trying to please everyone. Trumpet player, obviously Tyrion. Joffrey on triangle and put him in a box in the corner. That would be great! Percussion I would have…John Bradley [Samwell Tarly], I’d definitely have him. And I’d have Oona Chaplin [Talisa Maegyr] singing with me, some sort of Latin movers and shakers.
That sounds like a YouTube video waiting to happen?
One of these nights! Yeah, we all hang out quite a lot. It’s one of the few jobs I’ve done where, most of the jobs you get close but then you move on, but because we’re all on location we all hang out together in London which is great. A Game of Thrones team!
If there was to be a front man, how about the Knight of Flowers himself, Finn Jones (Loras Tyrell).
Finn, we’ll see even more of the Tyrell’s this season then?
Yeah, well they’re the hot new kids and they are here to f**k s**t up.
Having Dame Diana Rigg (Olenna Redwyne) play your grandmother must be incredible. It seems she’s been well cast?
Oh yes, when she was cast I thought yep, they’ve nailed it.
We even managed to catch a moment with the man behind the most fearsome character of them all, sharing a nervous handshake with Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister).
Do you think Tywin has any feelings of love for Tyrion? Any at all?
No, I don’t think so.
There was a great scene in season one when you’re brutally skinning an elk. Could teach us how skin?
Someone showed me how to do it and I just got on with it. So maybe!
With so many complicated characters we ask the cast who they’d want to be if they weren’t playing their own characters. But it is no surprise who wins the most votes…
Tyrion, because he’s has the best lines and in all of it.
I’ve been asked this a few times, but I think I’m going to change my answer and mix it up, I think I’d want to be Joffrey.
I think I’d be either Tyrion or Daenerys, Daenerys because she has dragons and Tyrion because he’s funny.
It’s got to be Tyrion right? Is that a really boring answer? A dragon would be a close second.
And finally, we even manage to retrieve some non-spoiler quotes for this season too!
Catelyn Stark, “Let them know what it feels like to lose someone they love.”
Thoros of Myr, “Not easy to find black Myrish rum in war time.”
Yara Greyjoy, “Anything with a c*ck is easy to fool.”
The third season will soon be upon us – Enjoy!