Game of Thrones Showrunners Tease War & Aidan Gillen Confirms Arya Theory

Dan Weiss and David Benioff teased by Emilia Clarke during filming

Dan Weiss and David Benioff teased by Emilia Clarke during filming

Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are always elusive during the off-season, so when their interiews begin you know it’s almost time for our yearly dose of Game of Thrones. The time has arrived, and they discuss everything from the convergence of characters and the new pacing to the massive battle scenes. Of course, they also get into the cause for all of this: as the endgame approaches, the Great War is finally here.

EW first asked the showrunners about what strikes them most about season seven:

“There’s a whole bunch of reunions and first time meetings that people have been waiting for for a long time,” Weiss began, “and when you put it on paper you just want to do justice to the work that these guys have done building these characters over so many years. You want to give them as much as you can.”

Benioff focused instead on the noted improvement across all aspects of the production: “Every department constantly improves, from the effects to the acting. [Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner] have been great from the beginning and how they’ve grown as actors — I mean everybody in the cast has, but in them it’s especially pronounced since they started as kids. Now we’re coming into the final season and it’s very gratifying.”

As for the much-discussed faster paced in this seven episode season, the showrunners were quick to note they didn’t rush things because of that:

“For a long time we’ve been talking about ‘the wars to come.’ That war is pretty much here,” revealed Benioff. “So it’s really trying to find a way to make the storytelling work without feeling like we’re rushing it. You want to give characters their due.”

How is that possible, despite the shorter season? Apparently, many characters have more screen time, not less. Weiss explaibed how that’s possible: “If you kill enough people, [those] who are left just by default need to carry more dramatic weight. As the worlds start to converge characters who haven’t met each other before start to meet each other and there are more and more main characters together in each other’s storylines than there have ever been before. Ever since Tyrion crossed the Narrow Sea and met Dany it’s been the show’s general direction.”

That general direction has now taken us to a seventh season that, if the promotional material is to be believed, will be chock-full of elaborate action sequences, and apparently they weren’t a walk in the park to produce:

“It’s the first time we shot two battles at the same time in different countries,” Benioff reveals, regarding Spain and Northern Ireland. “It was really hard in terms of a strain on resources and manpower. That was a difficult month but we managed to get through it.”

Now that the seventh season is in the bag and about to air, what about the eighth and final season? According to Benioff, “it’s nearly completed”… though Weiss wouldn’t “go that far.” They were similarly unclear about a definitive air-date.

If you wish to learn about how they try to avoid leaks, the Ed Sheeran cameo, the original plans for a less action-heavy season seven and more, read the interview at EW.

Littlefinger

Aidan Gillen was also interviewed by EW, and as well as discussing the relationship between Petyr and Sansa in season seven, he also touched upon an oft-forgotten surprise encounter with Arya back in season two: Baelish went to Harrenhal to broker the Tyrell alliance with Tywin, and there was Arya passing herself off as a cupbearer, but Baelish said nothing, despite seeming to take notice of the disguised wolf girl. Did he recognize her? If so, why didn’t he say anything? These are five year old questions in the fandom, and Gillen finally provides answers, at least from his perspective as an actor:

“It was unclear if he recognized her or not, but I have my own thoughts on that: yes, I did recognize her — I just didn’t say anything or do anything about it.”

Now, that is interesting. Every storline is converging now, and a Stark family reunion has been teased, so it wouldn’t be out of the question for Petyr and Arya to meet again, properly this time. Should we expect this old detail to be paid off in any way this seventh season, or was this just a way to highlight Littlefinger’s perceptive powers and nothing more?

95 responses

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    1. Dany, put that dang ladle down! Mass execution via Weasel Soup is Arya’s gig, not yours! Stop trying to steal her storyline!

      (Joking, joking…)

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    2. Always wondered if he actually noticed her. Though in season 3 LF tells sansa he saw arya. Sansa asks surprised if arya’s alive but LF just instead gives her a suspicious smile and quicky averts topic. Never quite understood that scene. Anyway here’s to me hoping that.sansa/arya reunion is in all fucks worth it. Not similar to jon/sansa’s. I wonder how they will do it to evoke enough emotions to us viewers.

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    3. Enjoyed D&D’s shout out to Breaking Bad and the interviewer’s reference to The Leftovers. Still relishing the ending to The Leftovers earlier this month. Great sci-fi thought-provoking conclusion!

      – Who watches this show on a smartphone? Really? That’d be awful.
      – Enjoyed the digs at the leakers.
      – Watching GoT with commercials? Ugh.
      – I like their term “human collisions”
      – Tormund & Brienne ad hoc hilarity. Fun!

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    4. I don’t think Gillen is confirming anything on this score, since it’s just his opinion. I believe Cogman was asked about this years ago and said they hadn’t really discussed it either way.

      Given how it plays out, I think his not recognizing her makes more sense. If he had figured out who she was, he would do something with that information, since possession of her is valuable.

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    5. I’d like to listen in on the creative discussions when they get to scenes when two of the cast are meeting for the first time or reuniting after many seasons. It would be so tough to keep from throwing my own thoughts in.

      They’ve ended up going different ways for the initial entrance; unexpected, following one going to the other, watching one has the other comes to them… Daenerys and Tyrion for example were both in the same scene as it went back and forth between them before they come face to face at the end. Jon and Sansa on the other hand was a Jon scene with Edd and then Sansa just kind of ‘interrupted’ it.

      To me it makes a difference, it feels different, to have even main characters just pop into a scene of this sort without seeing them coming. They feel sort of like a stranger for a second in this scenario to me. It’s not a bad thing, just different. I’m not sure which I’d prefer for a BIG meeting, like say Jon and Daenerys for instance. A Jon and Arya reunion I’m pretty sure I’d prefer the unexpected pop-in method though. 🙂

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    6. Sean C.:
      I don’t think Gillen is confirming anything on this score, since it’s just his opinion.I believe Cogman was asked about this years ago and said they hadn’t really discussed it either way.

      Given how it plays out, I think his not recognizing her makes more sense.If he had figured out who she was, he would do something with that information, since possession of her is valuable.

      I agree with you, Sean. Sounds like Aidan is just relating how he chose to play the scene – which is certainly his prerogative, if neither the showrunners nor the director of that episode gave him specific instructions otherwise.

      But personally, I prefer the interpretation that Littlefinger’s observational skills are not 100% perfect. As far as we know, the only time he ever met Arya before was in the stands at the Tourney of the Hand. He might not have marked her well, considering how intrigued he was with Sansa at the time. He’s more interesting if he isn’t quite an omnipotent supervillain, in my view.

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    7. That’s all I need: Littlefinger trolling me less than twenty days before S7 starts. Aiden Gillen qualified his statement to give his personal opinion whether LF recognized Arya as Tywin’s cupbearer:

      “It was unclear if he recognized her or not, but I have my own thoughts on that: yes, I did recognize her — I just didn’t say anything or do anything about it.”

      Gillen’s “own thoughts on that” – after stating that it “was unclear” if LF recognized her or not – carry 0 weight with me.

      Asserting that LF did recognize Arya but didn’t say or do anything about it makes no sense. Mr. Master “Game Player” stumbles upon perhaps the most valuable chip on the board…and does nothing? Come on…

      He’s sitting right there with Tywin scheming to broker deals to enhance his own position. He could’ve scored mega bonus points just by identifying her to Tywin.
      He could’ve waited ten minutes, grabbed Arya, and walked back in to present Tywin with the most valuable hostage imaginable, ssying “She looked vaguely familiar; her disguise threw me off at first.”

      Or he could’ve tried to whisk her away and return her to her family. He would’ve scored major gratitude points with Catelyn and Catelyn 2.0.

      He could’ve set up a hostage exchange or ransom payment in exchange for his knowledge of her whereabouts.

      He achieved NOTHING by leaving her there and saying nothing.
      That is NOT the way LF works.

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    8. I liked Game of Thrones just as much when HBO didn’t invest millions of dollars in big battle scenes…

      season 2 The war of the kings is outstanding

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    9. Hodors Bastard:
      – Who watches this show on a smartphone? Really? That’d be awful.

      I know a couple of people who do, actually. I also know a few people who just stream it online in a blurry 240/360 version, though. That’s even worse.

      I usually shout SHAME. SHAME. SHAME at them.

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    10. They said a thing about human collision being as important as battles and I really agree.Also considering how I see this season as just part 1 of act three it makes sense that it’s not as explosive as season 6.

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    11. I’m subscribing to the thought that if LF had recognized Arya for sure, he’d have told Tywin about her….OR maybe order for her to be kidnapped. who knows….he might ve thought that returning her to Cat might put her in his debt……and we know

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    12. Ten Bears,

      Littlefinger already had a plan in place to score major points with the Lannisters, a plan that needed to happen, or else Stannis would have took King’s Landing and ruined everything. Littlefinger is not loyal to the Lannisters. Giving them a valuable piece would have been the wrong move. It’s possible he planned to take Arya for himself at some point, but then she escaped and Gregor Clegane supposedly killed all the prisoners held at Harrenhal.

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    13. Ten Bears,

      Not necessarily, considering we know Littlefinger’s true ambitions now it wouldn’t make sense in my opinion to tell the Lannisters’s who Arya is or give Arya to the Stark’s. For Littlefinger to become king he wants the Lannister house decimated so unless it forwards his own plans, his not gonna help them unless it personally rewards him. He also needs the Stark house decimated except for Sansa, he wants her to rely and need him alone to take the crown with the north’s support. If the north ever found out about him kidnapping or killing Arya, Sansa and the North would never back him. It’s better for him for Arya to fade in the background, die somewhere else or if she does reunite with Sansa know he “protected Arya” from the Lannister’s killing her by staying quiet.

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    14. To all who think that LF would have tipped his hand in front of Tywin:
      He was already scheming to get Sansa, but if that had failed, he’d know exactly where to find Arya. I don’t think it would necessarily occur to him that she could escape with Tywin’s army all around. It was clear that Tywin was clueless as to her identity, and Sansa is the more important prize as she is the elder. Perhaps it played into his desire to be Lord of Harrenhall as well, who knows? Makes sense in the tv!Westeros to me. Am I missing something?

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    15. Ten Bears,
      I see where you are coming from but I have to confess I fail to understand why Arya would have been a valuable chip to Littlefinger, especially at that moment in time.

      Baelish’s standing with the Lannisters was already fairly secure. We can somewhat safely deduce that he was already busy brokering a marriage deal with the Tyrells, a deal the Lions desperately needed to come to fruition because a) they had been singlehandedly bankrolling the Crown for more than a decade, b) their mines had run dry a couple of years ago, c) the Roses were one of the only other families with enough funds to take over as the unofficial “Bank of Westeros”, and d) the Reach had a large army that could come in handy in the war against both Robb and Stannis.
      Littlefinger was also the key to the Vale. Everyone knew of both Lysa’s “positive inclination” towards him and the military power the Falcons yield, including in the snow (which is a big plus when fighting a Northern army).

      Furthermore, had Littlefinger denounced the younger Stark sister’s presence, the other Direwolves might have found out about it. Now, while I doubt Baelish ever cared what Robb or Bran might think of him, I tend to believe both Catelyn’s and Sansa’s opinions mattered quite significantly more to him. Being known as “the man who delivered Arya to the Starks’ enemies” would not have gained him any brownie point in that department. Already, it is quite a miracle that news of his betrayal of Ned did not spread like wildfire (no pun)…

      Finally, it appears that Baelish had been plotting to get Sansa for himself for quite some time (another reason why he worked on the Margaery-Joffrey engagement). Denouncing Arya meant sending her back to King’s Landing where she would live with her sister, thereby de-isolating Sansa and making her less likely to follow him if he offered…

      I may be completely biased though, considering I always assumed Baelish had recognised Arya. I have to admit I was even surprised when I discovered the scene was broadly perceived to be ambiguous (I fail to spot such things sometimes ^^). After all, Arya’s disguise was hardly mystifying (she cut her hair) and Littlefinger had seen her up-close at the tourney barely a year beforehand.
      But, obviously, I may very well be wrong !

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    16. Ten Bears:

      Gillen’s “own thoughts on that” – after stating that it “was unclear” if LF recognized her or not – carry 0 weight with me.

      Asserting that LF did recognize Arya but didn’t say or do anything about it makes no sense. Mr. Master “Game Player” stumbles upon perhaps the most valuable chip on the board…and does nothing? Come on…

      He could’ve waited ten minutes, grabbed Arya, and walked back in to present Tywin with the most valuable hostage imaginable, ssying “She looked vaguely familiar; her disguise threw me off at first.”
      Or he could’ve tried to whisk her away and return her to her family. He would’ve scored major gratitude points with Catelyn and Catelyn 2.0.
      He could’ve set up a hostage exchange or ransom payment in exchange for his knowledge ofher whereabouts.
      He achieved NOTHINGby leaving her there and saying nothing.
      That is NOT the way LF works.

      Totally agree, TB. I often argue this. LF could have played this card with the one person it would mean the most to, at the time it would mean the most (Tywin’s concern that Robb was winning), and likely have achieved the highest reward for it. Additionally, Cersei had threatened him shortly before about not finding Arya Stark. It is completely ridiculous for LF of all people to not pounce on this literally golden opportunity. And since this is AG’s opinion NOW, I think LF really didn’t know. Tywin twice interrupted him while LF was trying to place the face…and when LF looked again she was gone. LF could have at least asked some questions about her if he was suspicious. My tinfoil theory is that right after Arya left the room, LF suggested the outline of the Red Wedding to Tywin as a final solution (!) for destroying the Starks. And the cup bearer was forgotten. BTW, are you aware that some months ago Gillen named Arya as his favourite character?

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    17. Besides the premiere red carpet date and the episodes titles that we dont have yet, im starting to worry about the season itself.

      i do pay atention in every detail of each season, and one that is bothering me a lot this season is the same that bothered me before season 5 airs, the cast and the producers are not praising the season too much, they are not saying things like ´´ its de best season´´ ´´its fantastic´´ ´´its epic´´ its insane´´ ´´its the best by far´´ ´´we don have a single week episode´´ things like this that show how much they are excited and proud of what they ve done, and wee saw a LOT of this in season 4 and season 6 and they were my favorites, all i read is, ´´yeah , very interesting season´´ ´´yeah, great new meetings´´ ´´yeah, he/she might do that, and hes not safe…etc´´ but never excited about the season and saying how epic will be, The only time we had someone hyping was emilia, and maise , saying we ´re not prepared and would be crazy ,but they were just talking about the scripts, they didn even started at filming, and even now emilia that is ALWAYS prasing every season dont hype, im really worried not gonna lie, i noticed in season 5 the same thing , was a good season but not as i expected.

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    18. Aguero,

      You know, I noticed that as well. I try not to pay too much attention to this stuff, but it is true that the guys usually hype up the seasons they are particularly proud of. If I remember correctly, they did it prior to Seasons 3, 4, and 6. They have been curiously mute on the subject of quality this time around.

      Then again, this really isn’t evidence of anything but of the fact that I spend way too much time thinking about GoT. For example, contrary to popular opinion, I found Season 5 excellent, better than the last season.

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    19. About the “convergence of characters”, and what Weiss describes as “a whole bunch of reunions and first time meetings that people have been waiting for for a long time”:

      • (1) This is admittedly a long shot: Ever since “Hardhome” and Birgitte H-S’s ambiguous statements afterwards, I’d been wondering if we’d really seen the last of Karsi. The final shots of the reanimated recruits newly inducted into the Army of the Dead conspicuously showed as a blue-eyed Karsi. I had always thought they wouldn’t bring in such a great actress for just a half-episode cameo. As I recalll, in BH-S’s post-episode tweets, she kind of went back and forth about the possibility of returning, ultimately saying she didn’t know one way or the other at the time.
      Any thoughts?

      • (2) Isn’t it almost inevitable that a known character will be turned into (a) a wight; or (b) a hybrid like Benjen; or even (c) a White Walker ?
      The set-up is there: In a Bran-O-Vision glimpse into the past we saw the Children of the Forest plunge the dragonglass shard into the chest of that tied-up guy to change him into a WW.
      Uncle Benjen said the COTF used the same DG technique on him after he was killed but before the WW tried to reanimate him, turning him into (what I call) a hybrid: still sentient, still the same person…not completely dead but not quite alive.*
      I’m not sure if the technique requires some kind of COTF pixie dust, and whether there are even any COTF left after the fiasco at 3ER’s cave in “The Door.” [Yeah, nice work Bran.]
      I had a far-fetched suspicion that one of our good guys might even willingly undergo the Benjen hybridization process. Not so sure about that anymore.

      • (3) Do we know if the finger to the cheek method used on the Craster Baby only works on infants? If not,
      or if the WWs themselves can use the DG shard to the chest option, might we eventually see a WW version of a known character? Maybe even a Night Queen [Hi Sansa! You get to be a queen after all!] Our boy NK deserves a little love…

      • (4) Aren’t there going to have to be a bunch of freshly-minted wights? Benioff and Weiss tease “the wars to come.” That’s got to mean casualties. If there aren’t enough battlefield support crews to torch the corpses, or when skirmishes end without anyone left to cremate the casualties, won’t there be new wights soon enough?

      Request: 🚱🚱🚱🚱

      Please, if “the leaks” address any of this, kindly refrain from spoiling it for me. If Sansa winds up with a frosty blue wig walking down the aisle with NK in E7, I’d like to be surprised.
      Likewise, if this season’s iconic image equivalent to S6’s Swingin” Olly is a shot of wight Littlefinger with just his head atop a skeleton with all flesh rotted off, I don’t want to know in advance.

      * Cue the faint voices from bodies in Monty Python & The Holy Grail: “I’m not dead yet”…”I’m getting better!”

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    20. Ten Bears: Likewise, if this season’s iconic image equivalent to S6’s Swingin” Olly is a shot of wight Littlefinger with just his head atop a skeleton with all flesh rotted off, I don’t want to know in advance.

      Please, if LF were to become a wight, he would immediately start negotiating with the NK, furthering his position until eventually replacing him… 😉

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    21. A Dornish Tyrell: Please, if LF were to become a wight, he would immediately start negotiating with the NK, furthering his position until eventually replacing him…

      Ha ! 😛
      And then he would broker a Craster-like deal with the humans but, this time, he would ask for girls so the White Walkers could reproduce independently, multiply and eventually become numerous enough to ensure a victory against mankind. ^^

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    22. Aguero,

      They’ve outdone themselves every sesson.
      And last season, we had no inkling that there would be that long spectscular sequence of Team Dany + 3 dragons vs. Masters’ Armada. Nobody “hyped” that up.

      I say they’ve earned the benefit of the doubt. The quantity of superlatives in interviews isn’t necessarily proportional to the quality of the finished episodes.

      You know what? Even if S7 isn’t as good as S6, I’d bet it’s still going to be better than anything else on TV

      #HolyBalls!

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    23. A Dornish Tyrell,
      You couldn’t more right ^^
      He sure is not picky; lush greenery, spiky mountains, icy wasteland… As long as it is a thing and it can be ruled, he wants to rule it.

      Petyr “Littlefinger” of House Baelish, First of his Name : King of Anything… Come on, just give the man a damn crown, will ya ? He’s worked hard enough for it ! 😛

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    24. Jack Bauer 24,

      Why wouldn’t it? That has been confirmed officially by HBO. They just want to keep the tension by not telling the episode titles yet. And a Red Carpet premiere is not necessary for the season to start. Maybe it’s too difficult to organise this in july instead of april?

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    25. Stark Raven' Rad,

      • Good point about Cersei. I’d forgotten she had jumped all over LF for not finding Arya: yet another reason there’s no way LF would recognize Arya.. and then say and do nothing.

      And for LF to just leave her there, and then depart Harrenhall himself, would make no sense if he had really recognized her. It also meant that he couldn’t “play this card” later: who knows if she’d still be around, or if somebody else spotted her

      • This would be like spotting $100 bill on the ground. Do you: (a) pick it up and put it in your pocket, and sing “Oh Happy Day!”; or (b) leave it on the ground and do nothing and don’t tell anyone; or (c) leave it on the ground and come back some other time and hope it’s still there

      • Particurly with the Cersei factor you brought up, pressure was on LF to find Arya; he didn’t have the luxury of contemplating maximum chaos scenarios or considering his options before seiezing this unexpected opportunity.

      • He never told Sansa about seeing Arya at Harengall. When she was threatening to kill him in Molestown, that would’ve been a good time to tell her – if not on countless other occasions

      • Speculation: I wonder if AG’s assertion that he recognized Arya but chose not to say or do anything, is a reaction to criticism of his character being uncharacteristically ignorant, after the debate over LF’s purported lack of awarenes of Ramsay’s procliviities.

      • I was not aware AG said Arya was his favorite character. He’s certainly not alone.

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    26. Ten Bears,
      I am really sorry to ask again but why would Arya be of value to Littlefinger ?

      Baelish has never been shown to be terrified of or loyal to Cersei or any of her relatives. He has proven time and time again that he is more than willing to promise the Lannisters many things only to stab them in the back five seconds later. The Lions gave him Harrenhal and sent him to the Vale to ensure the Falcons’ participation in the War of the Five Kings, yet the Knights of the Vale never helped out the Lannisters and Baelish organised the assassination of Tywin’s grandson… Littlefinger provided Cersei with ammunition against the Tyrells and promised her Sansa’s head on a platter and then immediately proceeded to hand the Lioness’s own cranium to Olenna and the Faith… There is a bit of a pattern ^^

      Baelish does whatever serves his interests. So which of his interests would have been served by denouncing Arya ?

      The younger Stark daughter, being outranked by her brothers and her older sister, is the last in line of succession and, as such, does not have any meaningful birthright Littlefinger could have hoped to benefit from attached to her name.
      The Lannisters managed to keep the outside world ignorant of Arya’s escape so, while Cersei did fear the truth would come out (it never did), the girl’s absence was not a loss in actual bargaining power for the Lions.
      Baelish’s standing with the Lannisters was already secure due to his matchmaking operation in relation to the Tyrells and his unofficial control over the Vale.
      He had nothing to gain from risking being known as the man who gave Arya back to her family’s enemies.
      He had everything to gain from Sansa being willing to follow him. Now, her willingness was directly proportional to her isolation so reuniting the two Stark sisters would have been, at the time, quite counterproductive. As for telling Sansa that he had spotted Arya for thirty seconds barely 6 months after her escape, I struggle to see how that would have advantaged him at Mole’s Town.

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    27. ACME,

      Petyr “Littlefinger” of House Baelish, First of his Name : King of Anything… Come on, just give the man a damn crown, will ya ? He’s worked hard enough for it

      Hee that worked so well for Dany’s brother.. 🙂

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    28. Ten Bears,

      If I recall, Arya was moving quickly around, making sure her back was to LF. Its very possible he didn’t see her, and if he did, he’d certainly take advantage of the moment

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    29. Im sure that LF recognized Arya and he purposely didn’t say anything… he likes to have an ace up his sleeve..

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    30. The Saturn awards are tonight
      Game of thrones are up for 3 awards,

      best supporting actor For Kit, Ed harris won for westworld.

      Best Actress for Lena, we lost this one to Melissa Benoist from supergirl…… I don’t watch it, so I can’t really comment XD

      and Best Fantasy of course.
      Outlander won for the second year in a row, well we have two more years ^^

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    31. Hodors Bastard: Who watches this show on a smartphone? Really? That’d be awful.

      Didn’t you tell me that you use your smartphone when getting ingredients for those great pork pies of yours?

      By the way, why do I keep having fits of laughter since I ate those?

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    32. Ice Dragon: Im sure that LF recognized Arya and he purposely didn’t say anything… he likes to have an ace up his sleeve..

      There is not any reason to think that he knew what Arya looked like.

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    33. Wimsey: Didn’t you tell me that you use your smartphone when getting ingredients for those great pork pies of yours?

      Yes! Just download the most excellent Manderly Pie Kitchen app. It now offers 24×7 drone delivery to most regions above the Neck. My favorite order is Peas and Frey. Arya gonna try it?

      Fits of laughter? I was hoping for lascivious snickers instead. 😉

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    34. Mel,

      The detail on the lions on Cersie’s shoulder was just incredible! I blows my mind that someone can come up with such amazing costumes for so many characters, for so many years. Pure genius.

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    35. Mel,

      After reading that my only question is will dany get a crown later and does Clapton knows about the exact moment to introduce it.

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    36. I always thought that Littlefinger was having a laugh and a bit of one-upmanship on Tywin Lannister as he had one of the Starks right under his nose and didn’t know.

      I’m sure it will bite him in the arse eventually

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    37. The biggest takeaway for me from this interview is that they’ve still not finished writing S8 and they still don’t know when it will air. Earlier there were reports filming would start in September I’d say that’s becoming very unlikely at this point given how much planning will be required once scripts are done.

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    38. Wimsey,

      Except for the fact that he must have seen her multiple times in KL. He at least saw her the one time at the Tourney of the Hand, when she asked him why he’s called “Littlefinger”.

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    39. I always wonder why D&D always praise Sophie and Maisie (rightly so) but say nothing about Isaac. kind of unfair

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    40. Stoneheart,

      I’ve noticed the same. Well, I think there are multiple reasons. First of all Isaac has had very few appearances since Season 2, compared to the girls. He was prominent in the first two seasons, but has not appeared nearly as much as Sophie or Maisie in the last four years. Plus he missed Season 5.

      Additionally, Bran simply hasn’t had the kind of material that Sansa and Arya have. He may be talented, but he certainly hasn’t had the opportunity to show off the kind of range that Sophie and Maisie have displayed.

      Beyond that, even though I like him as Bran quite a bit, I do think the girls are simply stronger performers than he is.

      So I think all these things factor in to why he doesn’t get the same level of praise.

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    41. Markus Stark,

      I agree.

      I also just want to state that Bran’s storyline and material is just so far removed from what the show really wants to do… Which is to say, its really high fantasy, and also internal… Its really hard to portray greenseeing and warging on the TV series.
      His storyline almost needs its own TV show in order go in depth with it.

      And also, Maise and Sophie really are terrific actresses, and their characters in the TV series are more prominent than Issac.

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    42. Stoneheart,

      I love Isaac, but he doesn’t do that much…. due to the nature of his role. He did way more when he was younger. But since season 4, it has been minimal. And I don’t think its anything against him.

        Quote  Reply

    43. “It’s the first time we shot two battles at the same time in different countries,” Benioff reveals, referring to Spain and Northern Ireland. “It was really hard in terms of a strain on resources and manpower. That was a difficult month but we managed to get through it.”

      A battle on two fronts!!!!

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    44. Hodors Bastard: Yes! Just download the most excellent Manderly Pie Kitchen app. It now offers 24×7 drone delivery to most regions above the Neck. My favorite order is Peas and Frey. Arya gonna try it?

      Fits of laughter? I was hoping for lascivious snickers instead. 😉

      There should be a Frey of the Day on the menu, right? Like a Soup of the Day, but better. “Today, we have French Freys.” “Would you like a side of Freys with that?”

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    45. Of the 15 photos HBO initially released from season 7, the one of Brienne and Tormund drew the most interest from our readers. Has fandom fascination in Tormund’s attraction taken you by surprise? And has that inspired you to play with that a bit more this year?

      Benioff: That scene last season when Tormund was eating and lasciviously staring at Brienne was one of our favorites. Usually, when we really love something there are a few other people who like it as well. It’s great because there was no dialogue written for that, or major stage direction, there was just a line like, “He stares at Brienne because he’s never seen a woman like that before.” And then we let the actors do what they do.

      Weiss: There was the episode where they’re all leaving Castle Black together and there’s a shot — it wasn’t scripted at all — of two of them on horseback and she looks at him and he smiles at her. It’s not something you could ever write. It’s just this moment where this guy is creeping out on her and he smiles in a way that makes her very uncomfortable and she just looks away. I saw it 150 times and every time it made me laugh; it’s purely the two of them.

      Benioff: It inspires us because we need to kill one of them now because there can’t be a happy ending or any romantic connection on the show. But we’re not going to tell you which one.

      Ha! … at least, I assume you’re kidding.

      Eek!

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    46. ash,

      Just finished watching The Crown and didn’t realise that Michelle Clapton designed the beautiful costumes for that and Nina Gold was casting. Didn’t think I would have enjoyed it but it is worth the watch. Loved Matt Smith as Prince Phillip.

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    47. HelloThere,

      I think it will only be those two.. on the left side of the page it shows the follow:

      Features

      Interviews
      Emilia Clarke
      Kit Harington

      Plus:
      Behind the Cover
      Exclusive Photos
      Essential Episodes
      Season 7 Theories

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    48. HelloThere,

      I know
      she doesn’t seem like the type who likes giving interviews

      Is this a spoiler?!!!!!!!!!?!?!?!?!

      Kit:
      “I had certain theories and things up until this last year, so many theories. As a group of people, we do theorize a lot; long hours in the green room. I am so excited to receive next year’s scripts, because I genuinely have no idea. [For my performance,] I shouldn’t be trying to endgame.”

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    49. ash,
      Ha ! Come on, Viserys did not work, he just whined ! But he did have fabulous hair 😉

      Flayed Potatoes,
      Ha ha ha ! Now, I am imagining Sophie Turner giving an interview in which she would echo Aidan Gillen and say Sansa is becoming as clever as Littlefinger… I wonder what the reactions would be 😛

      In a way, it reminds me of an interview Liam Cunningham gave shortly after the end of season 6 in which he stated the Battle of the Bastards was won thanks to Sansa and Baelish because Jon had screwed up. The related thread was calm and peaceful. Then, Sophie Turner said virtually the same thing in one of her interviews and, for a few days, the world appeared to collapse onto itself.
      Perhaps some notions and ideas are more or less palatable depending on who expresses them 😉

      That being said, I enjoyed Aidan Gillen’s description of the Baelish/Sansa relationship : a Mexican standoff between two people who enjoy each other’s company.

      H.Stark,
      Fantastic find ! Thanks a bunch !

      They do look gorgeous, don’t they ? And the cover may mean we will get a Lena Headey interview. I am proper happy !

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    50. Dee Stark,

      I love how Kit doesn’t hesitate to talk about the mistakes he did.

      ACME,

      Did Liam say such a thing? I don’t remember reading this interview. Personally, based on the show alone (without taking into account all the interviews), I think both Jon and Sansa screwed up, that’s why it’s grating to see one character get all the praise.
      And I did notice Aiden’s statement (I definitely don’t think Sansa on the show has done anything so far to warrant such a comparison), but I didn’t comment on it because I did not want to start that topic all over again 🙂 .

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    51. Omg I can’t believe they got the cover of Time magazine.Love the interviews with Kit and Emilia and the pictures.The cover is so weird but it holds an appeal.I like it.

        Quote  Reply

    52. Ginevra: There should be a Frey of the Day on the menu, right?

      You know, they are looking for a sous-chef to assist with seasonal items. Interested?

        Quote  Reply

    53. ACME,

      Or maybe it depends on how they express their ideas. Aidan never brings down other characters to prop his own. 😉

      The reasons why I liked his interview are: his ideas about the Arya theory are interesting, he confirms that I was right about how he was planting seeds of doubt about Jon to Sansa throughout season 6, he has a good grasp of his character. And like Ghost of Winterfell, I don’t remember reading that Liam interview you speak of.

      ghost of winterfell:

      I love how Kit doesn’t hesitate to talk about the mistakes he did.

      But…. but…. he isn’t enthusiastic all the time!!!1111 He must be so over this character and the show!111 He doesn’t try like other actors do!111

      just kidding 😛

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    54. ghost of winterfell,
      I agree 100% with you. Both Jon and Sansa screwed up massively; Sansa by not telling Jon about the possible arrival of the Knights of the Vale and Jon by charging alone to get to Rickon in spite of being told of Ramsay’s personality and plan for the youngest Stark child. So, as you very rightly said, giving all the credit for the battle’s outcome to either one of them is quite ridiculous.
      Thus, when the Northern lords did precisely that, naming Jon King in the North in recognition of his leadership role in the battle while thoroughly ignoring Sansa, Baelish and the Vale (and the Free Folk !), and when Sansa apologised to Jon for not informing him of the Knights’ potential participation but he did not apologise for not dismissing her advice as “obvious”, it looked a lot like a setup for future tension, didn’t it ? ^^

      The Northern lords… They never fail to disappoint.

      As for Liam Cunningham’s interview, it was with Access Hollywood
      Access : Davos had the best plan and it turns out Ramsay was the one who was actually able to use that. I’m kind of curious how you think your character felt, just watching Jon charge into battle with no patience and not listening to either your character, or Sansa. Both of you guys had great ideas.
      Liam : Well, exactly. That’s the whole thing. At the beginning, we have this — for the eagle-eyed, you can see when I run up, having jumped off the horse, and run up and have the sword out ready to fight, there’s a little look between the two of us, which basically says, ‘You’ve f***ed us here,’ and Miguel [Sapochnik, the episode’s director] threw that look in, which wasn’t kind of scripted. But we kind of knew as we were shooting along that there’s obvious kind of things that happen, and you know, it’s the same with Sansa telling him stuff. But he’s young and he’s not battle hardened. He’s fought, but he’s not an organizer of battle. He’s a reactor, and Jon Snow being a young man, he takes the bait. Ramsay played him and scuppered us and nearly got us all killed, and all that. Thank heavens for Sansa, and thank heavens — for once — for Littlefinger. So, we were saved when victory was grabbed from the jaws of defeat, as they say.

      (I cannot help but giggle at the very begrudging “thank heavens for Littlefinger” 😉 )

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    55. How the heck do I lay my hands on this magazine and please don’t say the newsagents because they won’t have heard of Time magazine only soap mags and crossword books. Oh I’m in UK btw.

        Quote  Reply

    56. Flayed Potatoes,
      You most certainly do have an excellent point !

      But perhaps the line between putting down and fairly criticising a character is finer than it seems. And the more attached we are to a character, the more criticism of him/her tends to feel unwarranted to us…

      I know I have at times been “accused” (for lack of a milder and more appropriate term) of “putting down” characters even though a) it was never my intention, b) they were characters I actually like, and c) I merely intended to examine critically the characters’ behaviour. I also have at times perceived some critiques as more stringent than they objectively were possibly because they focused on characters I appreciate.

      Criticism requires a nuanced and subtle alchemy to be audible 😉

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    57. Carole H,

      Ebay or Amazon most likely.

      ACME,

      I see what you mean. In writing certain nuances are lost and certain word choices are probably not the best… I remember your use of betrayed 😛 . I tend to be pretty snarky and sarcastic, but that probably comes out differently in writing. With Sophie, however, we have both audio and written words, so the intent is pretty obvious and more is expected of her as an actor too.

        Quote  Reply

    58. Sorry about this; is it July’s edition? My friendly neighbourhood newsagents has agreed to try and order it but needs to know the month and I can’t see it on the cover.

        Quote  Reply

    59. Carole H,

      Yes, the costumes were so incredible in that show too. All the acting was great, but John Lithgow as Churchill was pure genius. He’s all bravado, then that scene where he sees his nurse in the morgue….wow. Can’t wait for season 2 in November!

      Wow, that Time cover – so garish and over the top but so much fun! Looking forward to reading the interviews.

        Quote  Reply

    60. ACME,

      The king in the north scene didn’t make sense in that respect to me. I get why they would prefer a straight forward warrior, who is northern through and through, as king, but it made no sense for them to not even acknowledge Sansa and her contribution, while she was sitting there. She is a true born Stark after all, and the knights of the Vale, who came for her, were sitting right there. It seems to me that the writers wrote the scene that way because they wanted Jon to be made king, but at the same time wanted to give Sansa what seemed like a reasonable reason to feel slighted. But that made the northerners act unnaturally.
      Besides, there is the fact that none of the northerners, especially Lyanna Mormont , minded that Sansa let them go into battle withholding the information of the Vale army. So it’s like they neither gave her any credit, nor did they blame her. For whatever reason, they just completely ignored her.

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    61. ghost of winterfell: Besides, there is the fact that none of the northerners, especially Lyanna Mormont , minded that Sansa let them go into battle withholding the information of the Vale army. So it’s like they neither gave her any credit, nor did they blame her. For whatever reason, they just completely ignored her.

      The only Northern Houses that could have any reason to resent Sansa not telling Jon about the army of the Vale were the two or three of them that actually responded to the call (being House Mormont the only one with a speaking part.) The other Northern Houses have no moral grounds to say a word.

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    62. ACME:

      (I cannot help but giggle at the very begrudging “thank heavens for Littlefinger”)

      Oh, HELL. I made a comment about Gigi the other day (in regards to Sansa’s feathered dress), and now I have Thank heavens… for Leetle Finger… spinning in my head in Maurice Chevalier’s voice.

      WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?

        Quote  Reply

    63. Flayed Potatoes,
      I most certainly agree with you on this one.
      One “wrong” word here or there (betrayal, betrayal, betrayal 😛 ) can indeed cause quite an accidental stir, regardless of the author’s initial intention.

      In regards to Sophie Turner’s interviews, I have to admit I fail to see how anything she says is any worse than what many of her colleagues state. Liam Cunningham’s answer could very easily be read as him putting down Jon and propping up Davos (“‘You’ve f***ed us here,’ (…) But he (Jon)’s young and he’s not battle hardened. He’s fought, but he’s not an organizer of battle. He’s a reactor, and Jon Snow being a young man, he takes the bait. Ramsay played him and scuppered us and nearly got us all killed, and all that. (…).”).
      Yet, when said interview was published here, none of us interpreted it like that, even though he repeated the same points (basically : Davos had a great plan which Jon screwed up because he is inexperienced) in pretty much every interview he gave about the Battle of the Bastards, be it in print or live.

      Liam Cunningham’s assessment of Jon’s behaviour during the Battle is about as harshly critical as it gets but we did not find it offensive or demeaning. So, while I agree wholeheartedly with you that precedent and tone do (and should !) contextualise an interviewee’s answers, the intensity of the reactions to similar answers does appear to vary somewhat depending on the interviewee’s identity 😉

      But I may very well be wrong (or biased or both… Wouldn’t surprise me ^^)

      ghost of winterfell,
      That is a very interesting take indeed.

      Funnily enough, to me, the KitN scene seemed perfectly “in character” for the Northern lords. Time and time again , they have been shown to be impulsive, easily riled up, docile in the face of “strength” (i.e. physical violence and shouting), fairly vengeful, fairly misogynistic, quick to resort to somewhat cheap jingoistic rhetoric and not worthy of their own self-proclaimed reputation.
      After all, the North is alleged to be the single most loyal region in the Seven Kingdoms yet we have witnessed more backstabbing and downright betrayals taking place between the Wall and the Neck than anywhere else in Westeros, with the possible exception of King’s Landing ! ^^

      The dynamics of the KitN scene implies that the Lords did not really choose Jon as their King, they were humiliated into submission by Lyanna who then picked the White Wolf as her, hence theirs, chieftain. At its core, it was not a truly collective decision; it was the Lords rallying around the Bear Cub and following her lead out of shame, guilt, nationalistic excitement and a desire to maintain their myth-inspired self-image.
      I believe the writers’ intent was to show us that Davos was right and Ned was wrong : Northerners are normal people; they follow winners, obey whover “feeds” them and then dress it up as historical loyalty.
      That’s “da Norf” to me. The same as everywhere else, just colder and with 153% more pimp-y fur coats 😛

      The myth vs. reality theme even extends to Ms. Mormont herself. She waxed lyrical about her fellow lords failing the ever-remembering North and the inherently-awesome Starks yet her own decision to side with the Direwolves was not motivated by those arguments (presented to her by Sansa) but by the fear of ice zombies Davos instilled into her… Hypocrisy much hypocrisy ? ^^

      As for the Lords not blaming Sansa for withholding information about the Vale, they also let slide Jon jumping into Ramsay’s trap. I would be tempted to guess they, including Lyanna, are unaware of both events,

        Quote  Reply

    64. A Dornish Tyrell,
      I would love to see Lord Glover try to dazzle anyone with his moral superiority, after he called an innocent doctor who was stabbed to death while pregnant “a foreign whore”… Now that would be a challenge ! 😛

      Wolfish:
      Oh, HELL. I made a comment about Gigi the other day (in regards to Sansa’s feathered dress), and now I have Thank heavens… for Leetle Finger… spinning in my head in Maurice Chevalier’s voice.

      WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?

      Excellent. My work here is done.

      (*slowly walks away with Sympathy for the Devil playing in the background*)

        Quote  Reply

    65. Ser Broccoli McBroccoliface,

      Indeed. I watch it first on smartphone because in Belgium it is shown at 3 A.M. in the morning. At that moment I’m to tired to go downstairs and put on the television but at the same time I’m too curious to wait so I watch it in my bed on my smartphone. When I get up a few hours later, I do watch it on my big television screen. But I must say both images are quite good.

        Quote  Reply

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