Game of Thrones‘ fifth season is less than two months away, and if you’re looking for a way to pass the time you’ll be pleased to hear that the last season has just hit store shelves on DVD and Blu-ray. If you haven’t watched it yet, get on board! To celebrate the release, two of the show’s most interesting characters have shared a few thoughts on the filming and future of the hit series. Spoiler warning!
In Game of Thrones‘ most recent series, much of the story revolved around the travails of the one-handed Jamie Lannister and the warrior-maiden Brienne of Tarth. GoT‘s fourth season has just come out on DVD, and as part of the festivities we thought we’d share a few choice comments from the characters actors, Nikolai Coster-Waldau and Gwendoline Christie — on the process of filming, how they work with the show’s creator George R.R. Martin, and what to expect in future seasons.
Images credit: HBO
What was filming season four like?
GC: It’s been really extraordinary. I absolutely loved filming season three, too. It was some of the juiciest material I’d ever had to work with. I was just so excited by it. In season two I said, ‘Please, please let us get to season three,’ so that we could possibly get to do all those amazing things: bear fighting, sword fighting, that amazing monologue that takes place.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was so brilliant, and working closely with someone who’s just so good, and so skilled, and very willing to work with you, as well. It was an enormous pleasure. And I don’t think – certainly not in terms of any film acting – I’d ever had that opportunity before, so it was a whole education.
NCW: I think the difference [from the first season] is that you know the crew, and you know people, so there are familiar faces when you get back. In the first season it was all brand new and the scale seemed enormous. It seemed almost impossible on every level of production, in front of and behind the camera.
I still don’t know how they do it, but they have a system that works. They know how to produce this show, and the scale, so you feel that you walk into a very well oiled machine, but it never feels old, and it never feels like just another day at the office – it still feels really fresh.
Do they actually like the characters they play?
GC: Yes. I spoke to George R.R. Martin about this, and he said that it was always his intention with Jaime and Brienne to take the classic Beauty and the Beast story, and turn it on its head. Brienne is not ‘unconventionally attractive’, she’s ugly, and she’s ugly to society. She is the beast.
What’s brilliant about George is that he’s very interested in exploring female psychology, and how society relates to women. He does it in a really deft way, but without commenting and without being patronising. It’s a very balanced viewpoint.
NCW: It’s such a great character. George R.R. Martin created this character, and Dan and David have developed it even further, I think, in the series. With your character, you always want some secrets, you want some surprises, and you want some obstacles. He’s a little treasure trove, really.
You knew that if we got lucky, we would get to tell the whole story, so you want to take him as far in the beginning of the whole show, in season one, towards the arrogance and the ego, the selfish guy and the brutal man, so you have as big a drop as you could. Because I knew what was coming, I was trying to plan it. At the same time, you also want to plant the seed, so it doesn’t come as a complete surprise, what he becomes.
Have they talked to GRRM about how the story will end?
NCW: Of course. I would love to know, but it’s a question you don’t want to hear yourself ask, because you know he’s going to say, ‘I can’t tell you.’ I was asked that earlier, if I’m afraid of dying, and yes, I am as a person, but I’m not afraid of Jaime dying, because it’s such a great thing to be a part of, either way.
Like the Red Wedding last year was such a spectacular episode, and of course you’re sad to see Richard [Madden] and all those guys leave, but at the same time, we had a great time, and it’s been a great job, and there’s nothing to mourn here. It’s a television show, and they went out in style.
Was filming season four physically difficult work?
GC: Yes, it was. And this season culminates in me performing the biggest and most challenging fight that I’ve ever had in my life. It was absolutely insane. They trained me for it for two months. It’s against someone else in the story that you do not expect, and you think she might die. That’s episode ten. We filmed that, and both of us got properly beaten, punched – like beaten up.
But was it fun?
GC: Oh absolutely — it was huge challenge but incredibly fulfilling and fun, too. I’d tell you more about it but I don’t want to spoil anything for the audience. But all that training and hard work paid off because it’s spectacular. And when you think of spectacular in Game of Thrones terms, you know that it really is!
The fifth season of Game of Thrones is so close, we can taste it. We’ll let you know when and where you can watch it in Australia a little closer to the April 12th premiere date, so stay tuned. At the moment, Foxtel is your go-to. [HBO]