We travelled to London to meet the Game Of Thrones cast...
It’s not often that you get to meet a cluster of the Game Of Thrones cast all together. So when 10 of them (including Charles Dance, Richard Madden and Michelle Fairley) gathered together to promote the season two blu-ray and DVD box set (which launched on Monday) in a posh London hotel, we had to be there. A lengthy feature will be included in the forthcoming SFX Book Of Game Of Thrones , but here are some previews and outtakes from the junket…
How do the Lannisters justify their often cruel actions?
Charles Dance: We’re in a mythical world. If it’s likened to anything it’s like the medieval period, which was ruthless and cruel and feudal. That’s the way people behaved.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau: And the thing is, this family, the Lannister family, are at the height of power. I think even today if you want to be at the very top that kind of comes with the territory. You have to make some very tough decisions and you have to be ruthless.
Isaac, are you allowed to watch the show at home? Do you get a five minute censored version?
Isaac Hempstead-Wright: It was a process really, because at first I was only about 10 years old. My parents would let me watch it but my mum sort of felt compelled to give me lectures on everything that was happening. I do watch it now because I'm a bit older and I understand all the violence is just a guy pumping blood out of a fake body.
How do you get into the mood for killing enemies?
John Bradley-West: Being on set with Kit Harrington for two years…
How was working with the dogs on season one?
Sophie Turner: It was fairly difficult, because they just don’t behave. Well mine didn't anyway. The trainers are fantastic but my dog was not good so they just had to get rid of her. So I adopted her.
Richard Madden: Overall it's much easier acting with a big silver ball on a stick than it is with an actual dog. You'd think it would be the other way around, but it's actually much easier to do the tennis balls and CGI stuff.
Kit Harrington: There were a lot of scenes cut because they realised they were never going to get the dog jumping on the back of a horse, or whatever. CGI wolves are a lot easier. It’s a tennis ball on a stick. You would think that would be a lot less enjoyable but actually it’s a lot more fun.
How would you describe the development of the TV industry over the last ten years?
Charles Dance: The dividing line between film and television is becoming more and more blurred now. I think that the quality of television, especially coming out of America now is really, really good. Gone are the days when we would rather pompously say in this country, “we make the finest television in the world”. Well we don’t anymore. We used to and we still produce some pretty good television, but the best of American television is phenomenal. They spend money in the right places. In this country we seem to be more concerned with making junk reality television. There’s some very, very good television being made.
What was Kristofer Hivju like to work with on season three?
Kit Harrington: I think you are going to love what he does this season. He brings this wonderful energy and eccentricity to that part [Hivju is playing Tormund Giantsbane]. He was such a joy to work with. I wasn't familiar with his work up onto working on Thrones. I hope to keep in touch with him. He is really, really good. He just is that character. He has got quite a big personality.
Rose Leslie: Yeah, definitely. He just sort of dominates the room.
ON THE SEASON TWO BOXSET
How was it coming back into season two knowing that the show was a success?
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau: What was funny was that we [Nikolaj and Charles Dance] had the scene in the tent in season one, where you were cutting into that stag. Anyway, we were sharing a ride talking about it and I said, “well Charles, it would be great if Game Of Thrones gets to season two. You’ve got great things coming up”. And he said “What? I’m not coming back for season two!” And then “let me just call my agent…” [mimes a phone] “Hello darling… have they got me signed up for season two? Oh that’s brilliant!”
Charles Dance: You are so full of shit! (laughs)
Where are your characters at in season two?
Richard Madden: Robb in season one is thrust into a position, and in season two you see him take up that flag. He's been pretending to be a King and pretending to be a leader and season two sees him become a leader and a King. You see him making choices and driving things rather than being pushed and pulled by other people. He's come into his own.
Sophie Turner: At the end of season one we kind of saw Sansa going from a young girl to a young woman very fast. Season two is about her surviving all these hardships that are thrown at her - and there's a lot! She finds herself putting her trust in Shae and she forms friendships and little alliances. She's learning the politics of Westeros. Season two is Sansa in survival mode pretty much.
Game Of Thrones - The Complete Second Season is out now on Blu-ray and DVD.