Con of Thrones exclusive: Esme Bianco makes her picks for ruler of Westeros, praises Theon’s arc, and more

Caption

Esme Bianco as Ros in Season 1 of ‘Game of Thrones.’

It’s not too often you get to make a celebrity’s day, but when Watchers on the Wall sat down for an exclusive interview with Game of Thrones star Esme Bianco at this year’s Con of Thrones, that’s exactly what happened. She began to answer the question of who should sit on the Iron Throne versus who probably will when things took a turn.

“I pray it won’t be Littlefinger — ” she started, before being reminded that Petyr Baelish (Aiden Gillen) met a grisly end at the hands of Arya and Sansa Stark in Season 7.

“I completely forgot!” Bianco laughed, clapping her hands. “That’s lovely! You just made my day.”

Bianco admitted that it’s hard to “keep track of who’s not around anymore,” but she’s kept up on the series since Ros met an untimely end in Season 3 — and like any fan, she has her picks for the Iron Throne. Tyrion is “an obvious answer,” she said, but “I like him too much to be burdened with having the throne.”

“Jon and Dany, or one of the two of them, that also seems too obvious, doesn’t it?” she added. “But the way they’re taking this show, you just don’t know. They could go toward an easy answer and then have something completely different happen.”

Another, more surprising, choice for ruler of the Seven Kingdoms was the Spider himself, Varys (Conleth Hill).

“In reality, he’s a good guy and he wants what’s best for the realm,” Bianco said. “Unless he’s such a great schemer and he’s so cunning that I haven’t figured out what his game plan is yet.”

Although Ros met her fate before the worst of the fighting in Westeros, many a fan has wondered which side she would be on at this point in the war or if she would pick up stakes for a less bloody part of the realm.

“Maybe she would have taken over the brothel? I can’t imagine her staying in King’s Landing, especially after Littlefinger left,” Bianco said. “She was a smart cookie, and I don’t think hanging around King’s Landing is a smart thing to do right now.”

If Ros had to choose a side, though, there’s no question of which one it would be: that of Ros’ fellow Northwomen.

“Oh, the Stark girls, definitely,” Bianco said. “Ros was a Northern girl and they have to stick together. And the Stark girls are amazing, kickass women — they’ve been through a lot and survived a lot, and Ros would want to back her fellow amazing, strong women.”

Bianco also weighed in on watching the story continue to unfold — from whether or not anything has really shocked her to which character has been her favorite to watch.

“I was definitely a little bemused at the excursion beyond the Wall last season, but not shocked, really,” she said. However, Jon and Dany finally meeting “really melted my brain.”

“That whole storyline surprised me, because I didn’t expect such too disparate plots and characters to somehow come together,” she said. “I haven’t read the books, so maybe it’s a little more clear in there, but it never occurred to me that they would meet in the way they did.”

Bianco also really, really wants an Emmy nomination (and win) for Alfie Allen for his work as Theon Greyjoy/Reek. Watching his character evolve has been one of her favorite aspects of Thrones.

“Theon is an absolutely fantastic character and Alfie is an incredible actor,” she said. “It irks me he’s never been nominated. The way he’s woven this character in between Theon and Reek has been amazing to watch.”

 

31 responses

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    1. It was time for an actor to worry about Alfie Allen. Even Martin thought of Sophie Turner once, but never named Alfie.

      Theon is my favorite character. I hope he is the king of Pike.

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    2. Nice to hear one of the thespians pulling for Alfie Allen to get more recognition, including well-earned award nominations.

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    3. I know there were a lot of people grumbling about Ros early, how ‘intrusive’ it was for a show created character, but I don’t think I’m alone when I say I was starting to appreciate her. It was an unusual start for a character being ‘on her knees’ in her first scene, bent over a chair in her second, flashing her hoohaa in the third, and then of course the sexposition scene, which didn’t help. Once they actually started making her a character and not an object I felt like they could have taken her places, beyond what they did.

      While not being a book character it would have been weird (to readers at least) for her to keep getting stuck into storylines. As the post mentions though, if she were it’s an interesting question regarding what she’d have done. Initially I assumed she would have stayed running the brothel, but once all the High & Mighty Sparrow business began I think she may have fled KL for her safety. There’s a bit of a gap but perhaps she would have started making her way back to Winter town. Maybe she could have been brought on as Sansa’s handmaid once Winterfell was taken back and that’s where she’d be now going into S8.

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    4. Clob: Maybe she could have been brought on as Sansa’s handmaid once Winterfell was taken back and that’s where she’d be now going into S8

      Although… I’m not so sure D&D would have wanted to stick such a sultry redheaded lady in Sansa’s scenes too much. 😛

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    5. Clob,

      Is that why Megan Parkinson was relegated to one line – three words? (“Now and Always!”)

      I really thought that when they cast a sultry redhead as Alys Karstark, she’d have a more prominent role, e.g., distraction for gingerphile Jon Snow; foil for Lady Sansa, or rebound gf for Tormund. (Forgive my ignorance: Wasn’t there some subplot in the books where Jon Snow arranged a wildling-Northerner marriage? Or is that just my delusional fanfic?)

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    6. Ten Bears,

      “Sultry” to describe Megan Parkinson as Alys Karstark? Honestly don’t see it myself but then again, I’m not a man.

      In the books, Alys Karstark flees to the Wall to escape an unwanted arranged marriage, and agrees to another (yes to a Wildling) that Jon suggests.

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    7. Clob,

      Right?

      Actually I’d forgotten about Alys Karstark in S7, but now I recall thinking that it was interesting that they turned her into a redhead (in the books her hair is brown). I’d wondered at the time if it was going to come into play somehow – e.g. an opportunity for mistaken identity with Sansa. But it was probably just a coincidence.

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    8. Esme just seemed an ‘extra’ the first season , was surprised in the 2nd her showing acting chops , I was impressed.

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    9. It’s always nice to see GoT actors praise Alfie Allen. Of course, they all do but it’s nice all the same.

      Esme made an impression on me right from her first scene. Ros is definitely a character you remember and I believe Esme could have been a great Cersei too. She’s got that sneer when she wants to.

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    10. I liked how they took the book character and fleshed her out (um, sorry….) Didn’t care for all the sexposition in that first season, but I still liked her and esp later when she cried over Robert’s bastard being pulled from his mothers breast, and when she really was trying to protect Sansa. IIRC Varys did offer her money to leave KL – or was that just Shae and the women in Meeren?

      Anyway I do love how she mentioned Alfie. Has anyone asked him how he feels not to be nominated? Or did he ask them not to? He’s such an amazing actor, I was hoping that our season 7 episode election would have given him something (I know he was nominated, but don’t think he won anything, again)

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    11. Ten Bears:
      Gwidhiel,

      Well, maybe her proximity to Kit H.added a few increments of “sultry.”

      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ct3uPBLW8AAzVl3.jpg

      If you say so, Ten Bears! 🙂 But I wouldn’t put her in the same category as Esme Bianco. Show!Sansa is in no danger of being eclipsed by Alys Karstark, and I say that as someone who felt, particularly in the early seasons, that Sophie Turner wasn’t a great choice to play Sansa.

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    12. Gwidhiel: I say that as someone who felt, particularly in the early seasons, that Sophie Turner wasn’t a great choice to play Sansa.

      What!? Who would ever (*cough*) think such a thing (*cough)!?? 😉 Yeah, I became known for ripping on her too much… I think I made up for most of it by overly praising her for S7 though. 🙂
      Having said that though, if we’re talking “sultry” I’m still going to say Esme is head and shoulders above Sophie.

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    13. Clob: What!? Who would ever (*cough*) think such a thing (*cough)!?? 😉 Yeah, I became known for ripping on her too much…I think I made up for most of it by overly praising her for S7 though. 🙂
      Having said that though, if we’re talking “sultry” I’m still going to say Esme is head and shoulders above Sophie.

      100% agree about both, although I started to warm to Sophie’s Sansa portrayal in S4 and am largely reconciled to it now. Sophie’s a beautiful young woman, but IMHO Esme’s lovelier.

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    14. I’ve been a huge Varys fan since Season 1; he’s criminally underrated. I love the guy and agree that he would probably actually be a good choice…if he lives. (Which I’m sadly not counting on, unless Mel was just trying to freak him out and really meant that he’d eventually die of old age or something in Westeros. xD; Or was mistaken again, but I don’t think that either.)

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    15. Shelle:
      I’ve been a huge Varys fan since Season 1; he’s criminally underrated. I love the guy and agree that he would probably actually be a good choice…if he lives.

      Agree and agree!

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    16. ash: I liked how they took the book character and fleshed her out (um, sorry….)

      What book character? There was no Ros at all in the books.

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    17. Firannion,

      Ok, I was remembering in the book the brothel at Winterfell, and their might not have been a women named Ros, but Im remembering someone, maybe? Yikes Im mixing up the images I made in my head while reading with the images from the show. Im so confused (mea culpa!)

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    18. There was no Ros in the books, but I always felt that the showrunners kind of merged bits of the book characters of Chataya and Alayaya into the show’s Ros character.

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    19. Shelle:
      (Which I’m sadly not counting on, unless Mel was just trying to freak him out and really meant that he’d eventually die of old age or something in Westeros. xD; Or was mistaken again, but I don’t think that either.)

      It would be pretty strange for such a prophetic statement from Mel to amount to nothing, or something very banal. And it’s not like she’s been outright wrong in her predictions in the past, but rather that they were misinterpreted. In any case, I agree that Varys’ death odds are almost a certainty. He could have been a good adviser to whoever is in power at the end, but at least they’ll have Tyrion, right? 🙂

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    20. Alfie Allen has done such a superb job on the character of Theon, I think he makes it look too easy. He is so convincing playing Reek/Theon, making the flow and change seem effortless, when in reality this guy has worked his ass off. At first we hated him, then felt sorry for him, now we are rooting for him. That is quite an accomplishment for an actor in one character. It would be nice to see him recognized, esp since we are in the last season.

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    21. my 2 cents: As a Sansa fan- Sophie is HOT; but Esme is SCORCHING !
      My extra 1 cent – 30 ish to 40 ish woman will beat out most 20 ish girls on the hot meter.
      ETA: The IT! factor.

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    22. The Many-Faced Goddess:
      There was no Ros in the books, but I always felt that the showrunners kind of merged bits of the book characters of Chataya and Alayaya into the show’s Ros character.

      In the books, there was a Wintertoun tavern wench called Kyra that Theon fancied, and brought into WF when he was “Prince of Winterfell”. After the sack of WF by Ramsay, he took her as his sex toy but ultimately hunted her and then named one of his hunting dogs after her, as was his wont.

      In the books, the high-class prostitute Alayaya is mistakenly believed by Cersei to be the “Tyrion’s whore” so Cersei captures her for a hostage against the well-being of Joff. Alayaya suffers innocently instead of Tyrion’s real whore, Shae.

      The show conflated the northern tavern wench Kyra and the KL prostitute Alayaya, and I think it was a good choice. Even a better choice was to expand the role from mere prostitute or sexposition scene prop to an actual character. Ros was smart, cunning, even unscrupulous, but she had a warm heart and a moral compass. Her final scene was horrendous: full of quorrels and Joff smirking like he just came in his pants, but we know LF catered for “all tastes”, plus LF had learned Ros had been spying on him, so he actually got well paid for someone else getting rid of his problem. Uuugh!

      Esme Bianco did her role with aplomb and it’s nice to her from her.

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    23. talvikorppi,

      T

      he show conflated the northern tavern wench Kyra and the KL prostitute Alayaya, and I think it was a good choice. Even a better choice was to expand the role from mere prostitute or sexposition scene prop to an actual character.

      Thanks for that clarification, and yes to your comments about her growth!

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    24. Enharmony1625: It would be pretty strange for such a prophetic statement from Mel to amount to nothing, or something very banal. And it’s not like she’s been outright wrong in her predictions in the past, but rather that they were misinterpreted. In any case, I agree that Varys’ death odds are almost a certainty. He could have been a good adviser to whoever is in power at the end, but at least they’ll have Tyrion, right?

      Oh, I could not agree more! I don’t think she’s been completely wrong, and there’s no way the whole bit between those two (both of whom I’m a fan of) isn’t leading up to something. Not looking forward to their deaths, which seem guaranteed, but at least expecting them to be very significant…hopefully going out in a blaze of glory. *fingers crossed* {:-3 I had always pictured poor ol’ Varys being by the side of a worthy new leader in the end, yes, in a relatively happy scenario…but, there is hope for Tyrion yet…!

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