Revelations, reunions, and Drogon – oh my! Game of Thrones’ fourth episode, “The Spoils of War,” was the season’s shortest, but they certainly didn’t skimp on the action. We saw the return of the catspaw dagger from season one, more proof of the White Walker threat, another Stark coming home, and a stunning display of dragon power that should shake Cersei and her allies to their cores. We have several behind the scenes interviews and videos to discuss, so let’s take a look!
Entertainment Weekly brings us the reactions of real life BFFs Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams on their characters – Sansa and Arya Stark – reuniting at last. “Our first scene together was our reunion scene and we f—ed up so many times,” Turner recalls. “We couldn’t keep a straight face! Our relationship is so close, but it’s only that fun side, never the business side…It’s like performing for your mom. When somebody is watching you don’t do it quite as well.”
Williams agrees. “It was the weirdest thing when we shot our first scene together. We were both embarrassed to do our thing in front of each other,” she says. “Later it was fine on set and we could concentrate, but it was so hard to get into character with Sophie in front of me.”
Williams was also apprehensive about the reception their scenes would receive. “I don’t do scenes with women much on this show and I thought it would be like back in season 1 where people constantly compared us,” she confesses. “We’re two completely different girls playing two completely different characters and I thought, ‘Well, it’s going to be that all over again, with people comparing us as characters and as actors.’ So, in the beginning, I was nervous. But then my brain took over and I realized this is actually going to be really good fun.”
For more on how they felt about working together again, head over to EW.
Last night brought us another reunion as well – that of Arya and Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie). In an interview with Newsweek, Christie gives insight into Brienne’s feelings about the Stark girls and her oath to their mother. “Brienne’s mother died when she was young, so she’s never had this mother figure in her life. So she meets this incredible woman and develops a deep love and respect for her,” Christie admits. “She wants to honor Catelyn and the oath that she’s made. Brienne is an intensely loyal and consistent person.”
What does she think about that sparring match with Arya? Christie believes it lead to a “a deep respect and pure love” between the characters. “It took months of training. We did all of it [ourselves] and filmed it over two days,” she says. “The pair of them are matched in skill, and it reaches a climax whereby it’s a total stalemate. We don’t want to kill each other. It’s a total display of those two characters’ skills. It’s quite spectacular—you see the meeting of two warriors.”
Now that both Stark girls have returned home to Winterfell, where does leave Brienne? “She’s spent so many years thinking about Sansa and Arya, and where they might be, and how she can help them, how she can return them home. The deep guilt and pain and regret she feels for somehow not being able to protect both of them from the horrors of the world that they’ve seen,” Christie explains. “You also see Brienne start to entertain something she hasn’t thought about before, which is have these two girls turned out the best way, and what can be done to help them?”
Check out the entire interview at Newsweek.
In another Entertainment Weekly interview, Nikolaj Coster Waldau shares his thoughts on that fiery battle scene and Jaime’s fate. He believes Jaime and his men are the “bad guys,” but that doesn’t make the battle any less horrifying. “Even though Daenerys is the hero and the Lannisters are the villains, being burned alive is not great,” he admits. “It’s a terrifying thing when this monster flamethrower comes along and incinerates thousands and thousands of men who are just doing their job.”
Coster Waldau also gives his opinion of Jaime’s heroic(?) charge toward Daenerys and Drogon. “Jaime is such an idiot that he thinks for a second, ‘If I can do this, I can win the whole thing in a Hail Mary,’” he explains. Jaime’s situation looks dire at the end of the episode, and the script direction isn’t very comforting. The actors were told, “One of our main characters is about to die.” Coster Waldau remains tight-lipped about Jaime’s future, so we’ll have to wait until next week to find out if he survives.
Read the rest at EW.
In our final EW piece, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and director Matt Shakman provide their perspectives on the filming such an epic – and dangerous – scene.
“It was an extraordinary directing from Matt Shakman, who came in with a lot of pressure on his shoulders,” Benioff says. “He’s never done a major battle like this. And it worked because of the massive planning he put into it and the crew really coming together. It’s very difficult to shoot a three-dimensional battle in terms of like the ground forces, the sky element … it was a lot to pull off.” Weiss adds, “It’s the first major battle we’ve ever done that has a cavalry and creature effects — and it happens to include lots of things catching on fire. We’ve never really blown s—t up like we’ve done in this episode.”
Shakman describes his vision for the battle. “I wanted to tell the story of what it would be like to be on the ground in the middle of a dragon attack, to see what it’s like; to be in a napalm attack, to see the birth of a new weapon,” he explains. “And all of a sudden the Lannister army…they encounter something they cannot handle and realize that war has changed forever. Jaime, especially, is a great soldier and realizes this is going to be a new era.”
That leads to Jaime making a split-second decision that may not survive. “There’s a point where we think someone is going to die — either Jaime or Dany,” Shakman says. “And when he charges it’s meant to be the most beautiful death you’ve ever seen. He’s charging through the ash and, in a way, tilting at windmills like Don Quixote. Then he’s obviously saved at the last second — from the dragon fire at least.” It seems everyone wants to keep us guessing until the next episode.
Go to EW for more.
Earlier this year, we reported on New York Mets’ pitcher Noah Syndergaard’s involvement in season 7; he was slated to have a small cameo as a “Lannister general.” If you watch last night’s episode closely, you see Syndergaard using his throwing skills to take out a Dothraki…before unfortunately being roasted to death by Drogon. He took to Twitter after the episode to defend Team Lannister.
— Noah Syndergaard (@Noahsyndergaard) August 7, 2017
To my sides defense….they had a FRICKEN DRAGON!!! 🔥🔥🔥
At least I didn’t throw behind him.
— Noah Syndergaard (@Noahsyndergaard) August 7, 2017
In this week’s “Inside the Episode,” David Benioff and D.B. Weiss discuss Arya’s homecoming, the meaning behind those cave drawings, Daenerys’ predicament, and that big battle.
We go deeper inside the Stark reunion with commentary from Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, and Isaac Hempstead Wright.
Finally, the cast and crew gives a detailed breakdown of “The Loot Train Attack.”