SFX: What were your highlights from the first series?
Iain Glen: Just getting on board in the first place. It was a big thing to come to the UK, and you know the word was in the air about HBO doing this massive new series, and because it was set so far back in time that European and British actors were in the loop for it. And it’s a big slice of work to come here, to Ireland in particular, but we’re been working in Scotland, Morocco, Malta and stuff. So it was a highlight getting on it and for it to be picked up, which you never know – they’re quite brutal about if it’s functioning or if it’s not functioning, if they like what you’re up to or don’t. They’re hard on the writing, hard on everything, and so the pilot taught everyone a great deal, and they’re willing to spend the money to get it right.
What are the big challenges of playing Jorah?
He’s got a lot going on. I like that he offers in some way a contrast to a lot of the relationships in it, which are fairly tortured or dishonest. Although the beginnings of his relationship is slightly suspect, he’s very pure in his intent once he gets going with the princess. He loves her and admires her, and I think that stays true through the course of the series. He’s a good guy in a world where in which there are not too many.
Have you read any of the books at all?
Yeah, when I was initially offered it I looked at the book. They have to give you a kind of outline as they’re asking you to commit years ahead, so I got a sense of what’s unfolding. Initially we weren’t sure how far it would roll so you don’t want to be disappointed reading ahead and then finding out you’re not doing it. And also there’s a slight complication after a while, the writers are doing their jobs very, very well, but in some ways the sentence they least want to hear begins with “but in the book my character does...” So you back off! It’s fantastic for research, but not really for trying to get everything that’s in the books in to the screenplays.
There’s a lot of information in there…
There’s a lot of lovely, fantastic information, it’s the history of the world in which it’s all taking place, and it’s all there in his books.
So what can we expect from season two?
Well, I think more of the same, but you’re not burdened with having to set all the story lines up. I think it’s really on a roll, and there was great confidence coursing through everyone with the second series. It’s lovely to have a thumbs up critically and audience wise, it went really well and so now you can just really enjoy it and get on with it. And I felt that was right through production, crew, actors, you think "ah, this is great, we’re on something that’s working.”
And there’s a lot more action in story for you this season?
There is, it’s great. Our story always travels, the Dothraki are nomadic people so our landscape always changes, and we meet different problems all the way along the line. You meet us at the beginning of the second series at a very low ebb, near starvation. So there’s great contrast in our storylines this season.