Gwendoline Christie and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau reflect on their years with Game of Thrones

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With Game of Thrones season 8 encroaching ever closer, I thought it best to have some fun with our latest interview roundup. Sure, lots of the cast and crew are talking (and talking), but why not truly match two characters whose destiny is sure to intertwine in some way or another? I’m talking of course about Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) and Ser Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.) At Emerald City Comic Con, Gwendoline gave a thorough interview on her career, touching (naturally) on GOT quite a bit. Meanwhile, Nikolaj talked to Modern Luxury about the good and bad sides of Jaime (and we know that there’s quite a bit of both.) Let’s dive in…

Gwendoline can’t seem to let it sink in that GOT is coming to an end: “I actually don’t think it has. It’s a funny thing, you know that the show has been such a huge part of my working life, and my…life, and it’s so beloved that actually, you kind of got used to the show, and you’d film it, and you felt like you were having this private experience because you love the work and you love the people you working with, and then you go home and you’d go back to your life, and I’d always be shocked that it was on television…I’d be so shocked that this sort of private experience was watched by all these people. And it is increasingly emotional to think that it will be the last series, but…they really squeeze the orange on this one, so I think it will be very memorable for everybody.”

Wow that is a mouthful (of orange?), Gwen. I love the way she describes it here. Oftentimes on film or TV sets, the cast and crew don’t get to see the fruits (oh, the puns) of their labors for months, sometimes years! And the fond memories of what was once an intimate experience suddenly becomes public, or in the case of GOT, global. I can’t imagine what that’s like, but I can imagine, well, dream, what is so emotional about the final season. However, there was one thing that Gwen will not miss about production:

“The armor is…incredible…but I will not miss the physical pain of that particular costume. It was made for me and it was beautifully designed by Michelle Clapton. It operates, it functions, but I think it weighs…2 and a half stone.”

Thankfully an audience member was able to translate that 2 and half stone to 35 pounds. Jeez – she is a trooper. I can’t imagine wearing that for 7 seasons straight. There’s a ton contained in this interview. For more details on her ending speculation, as well as Gwen’s wishes of storylines lost in translation from book to screen (hint – Lady Stoneheart – hint), watch the interview!

Meanwhile, Nikolaj doesn’t like it when Jaime is referred to as a 100% good or bad person: “We learn that maybe you can actually do horrible things and, also, at the same time, be an honorable man.” And this is true from the outset – I mean, when we are first introduced to this character, it is through the lens of Ned Stark, with whom Jaime clashes and borderline challenges him to a duel in his own manor, only to follow him through the lens of Ned’s son several scenes later, in which he is revealed to be sleeping with his own twin, and attempts to murder a child in the pursuit of keeping the secret safe. “I knew this was a great character the first time I read the script,” Nikolaj says. “His motives were, as he said himself, ‘the things I do for love.’ He wants to protect his family, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes…What I love about my job is you try to examine why we act the way we do… what it means to be human.”

Well…I’m not 100% positive that ‘being human’ means pushing a kid out of a window, but hey, you just gotta live, ya know? At least the ending did Nikolaj the actor proud, though, not perhaps Jaime the character: “There’s a pride to being part of something that didn’t overstay its welcome…The producers did an amazing job. It’s so tricky because the world is so vast. There are so many storylines. They found the balance between the beginning and the ending. There’s very few happy endings in that world. They did a great job in not being complete downers about it, but also being true to that world.”

This would fall right in line with the word ‘bittersweet’ we’ve heard tossed around so often these past few months…check out the rest of Nikolaj’s interview and let us know your thoughts on both below!

35 responses

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    1. “This would fall right in line with the word ‘bittersweet’ we’ve heard tossed around so often these past few months.”

      _______
      Arghhh! 🤯Hearing or reading that word is like being assaulted by the Knights Who Say Nee!

      Nee!
      Ow!
      Nee!
      Please, please, no more!
      We shall say Nee! again if you do not appease us!

        Quote  Reply

    2. As the kids say nowadays, “I can’t.” I just can’t. Can we delay this 3 months or so? I can’t stand the thought of not seeing these two every year together. This show has so many actors that I really like, having them scattered to the wind again almost hurts me.

      I may have been really dumb in picking the month of April to return to work.

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    3. Pigeon:
      As the kids say nowadays, “I can’t.” I just can’t. Can we delay this 3 months or so? I can’t stand the thought of not seeing these two every year together. This show has so many actors that I really like, having them scattered to the wind again almost hurts me.

      I may have been really dumb in picking the month of April to return to work.

      I’d rather they move the date UP 3 weeks.

      Can’t delay the inevitable. All things must end.

      #ForTheThrone

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    4. Legless:
      Why not convert the weight properly into 15.9kg? Stones, pounds, cubits? Are you guys still living in Westeros?

      Two and half stone was immediately relatable to me as I’m English not Westerosi. 15.9 kilos, I would have to convert to stones lol

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    5. Instead of B_____s___t, I am now just saying Bitter Dregs. (The song Spock sang in Plato’s Stepchildren.)

      Maiden Wine lyrics (better known as Bitter Dregs):
      “Take care, young ladies, and value your wine
      Be watchful of young men in their velvet prime
      Deeply they’ll swallow from your finest kegs
      Then swiftly be gone, leaving bitter dregs
      Ahh-ah-ah-ah, bitter dregs

      Your time hold precious, for youth is your gold
      Your beauty, like silver, will tarnish when old
      Memories and dreams shall comfort you not
      When the flow of your sweetness is gone and forgot
      Ahh-ah-ah-ah, gone and forgot

      With smiling words and tender touch
      Man offers little and asks for so much
      He loves in the breathless excitement of night
      Then leaves with your treasure in cold morning light
      Ahh-ah-ah-ah, in cold morning light..”

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    6. Gwendoline can’t seem to let it sink in that GOT is coming to an end.

      Me neither.. 🙁 In fact, I have a bottle or two of wine to help me cope after the finale.

      On a brighter note, both Gwen and Nikolai have been fantastic as their respective characters. The Jamie/Brienne story has been one of the best parts of the show, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out. Or can I..?

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    7. OT – for those who love to listen to the voice of certain characters.
      In the series of character “History of…” videos told by the actors, a new one popped up a few days ago for Jorah.
      Here’s hoping for a Beric video 🙂
      https://youtu.be/B8aDQUH0ZLg

        Quote  Reply

    8. Enharmony1625,

      They have been FANTASTIC! And more importantly, they play two of the best characters that GRRM has written. These two are complex and layered personalties. The GOT cast is excellent even actors will relatively minor parts (like Roose, Freys, etc) have knocked it out of the ballpark.

      In the case of Jaime Lannister, we have an astounding character played by an actor giving an excellent performance. In this series, for me, Jaime is GRRM’s finest creation.

      The depiction of this romance is a masterpiece. Using very little time and an active ongoing marriage by Jaime to some-one else, D&D still managed to portray two people deeply connecting over shared values.

      How it will end on a personal level? It seems to be fairly common knowledge they have the big love/sex scene of S8. Do they marry? No idea. Last fall, Gwen Christie posted Instagram photos bearing “#Hear me Roar”. Plus we know that in early promotion photos, Brienne is included in the Lannister family photos with Tywin etc..

      Will they survive? Both are warriors and are at very high risk. At this time, I prefer to believe they do. I also prefer to believe they are our king and queen. Because I can and because I think this is one of the endings that elevates the series. (Same would be if Tyrion or Sansa end up as leaders/king/queen.). For me, the final quality of the series depends a lot on the fate of Jaime. Not only in the sense that I love Jaime. But in the sense that it helps define the story they are telling and its meaning.

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    9. Winterkat,

      Oh!

      How do I fix it?

      I do not know how to cover a section of the written bits. How could I request deletion? Any advice?

      I could be wrong…I rarely know anything that is not already well known. So am surprised to have a spoiler in my post.

        Quote  Reply

    10. Mango,

      I am pretending you have no clue, la-la-la just more speculative noise lol

      Unfortunately I have no idea how to fix it…I am really a novice on anything but reading here, and have only just recently noticed (after not posting in a lonnnng time) that there isn’t even an edit option anymore (on my phone anyway) if you hit Post Comment too soon…

        Quote  Reply

    11. They have been FANTASTIC! And more importantly, they play two of the best characters that GRRM has written. These two are complex and layered personalities. The GOT cast is excellent even actors will relatively minor parts (like Roose, Freys, etc) have knocked it out of the ballpark.

      In the case of Jaime Lannister, we have an astounding character played by an actor giving an excellent performance. In this series, for me, Jaime is GRRM’s finest creation.

      The depiction of this romance is a masterpiece. Using very little time and an active ongoing marriage by Jaime to some-one else, D&D still managed to portray two people deeply connecting over shared values.

      How it will end on a personal level? No idea. Last fall, Gwen Christie posted Instagram photos bearing “#Hear me Roar”. Plus we know that in early promotion photos, Brienne is included in the Lannister family photos with Tywin etc..

      Will they survive? Both are warriors and are at very high risk. At this time, I prefer to believe they do. I also prefer to believe they are our king and queen. Because I can and because I think this is one of the endings that elevates the series. (Same would be if Tyrion or Sansa end up as leaders/king/queen.). For me, the final quality of the series depends a lot on the fate of Jaime. Not only in the sense that I love Jaime. But in the sense that it helps define the story they are telling and its meaning.

        Quote  Reply

    12. Enharmony1625: In fact, I have a bottle or two of wine to help me cope after the finale.

      My husband’s going to find me passed out on the couch in the morning with Stark scotch dripping off my chin.

        Quote  Reply

    13. I’m halfway through Season 4 on my re-watch, and last night I saw the scenes where Jaime gives Brienne the sword, and the one where they way goodbye. So much emotion there without any words. Just truly brilliant acting. I hope they get a love scene next season, but I think he will die in her arms anyway….

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    14. Roberta Baratheon,

      …. Then you’ll probably soon enjoy (again) one of my favorite Jaime moments. Though it’s very brief, there’s “so much emotion there without any words” by NCW.

      It’s in S5e4, when Jaime is on deck of Dorne-bound ship:

      Jaime: “Is that Estermont?”
      Captain: “Tarth, Ser Jaime. The Sapphire Isle.”

      The look on Jaime’s face at the mention of Brienne’s home is worth a thousand words.

        Quote  Reply

    15. Ten Bears,

      Lovely acting job by NCW.

      Even more telling, D&D put this scene into the script and spend CGI budget to do so. This romance is an important story.

      Yet there are fans that watched this scene and are convinced that this is just professional respect between knights. Just a few days ago a regular poster here told me exactly that. There are many many different types of viewers.

        Quote  Reply

    16. The photograph in this article was taken at the midpoint of their first date. Making memories!

      It was a blind date, sort of. Brienne’s boss fixed them up. Jaime was a bit reluctant but he did want to get out for a bit of fresh air. So they went on a long hike, thinking they could talk as both are outdoorsy. Well, things quickly got out of hand – literally.

      Early in the hike, they got into a fight – using sharp weapons. Perhaps they should have paid closer attention to their Tinder profiles and figured out that “sword fighter” as a hobby for both may have some downsides.

      Then they got mixed up with a bad group of guys. It was downhill from there. You know a date is not going well when one of the parties decides to try suicide in the middle of the date.

      Anyway, this photo was where they were stopping for some refreshments before heading on. Jaime will probably take the opportunity to wash up a bit. They had run into a bit of dust along the way there.

      You would never expect it after such a bad first date, but they decided to see each again. Love, ya know? Makes us all fools.

        Quote  Reply

    17. I have always been sure it’s love between these two characters – both in the novel(s) and in the show.
      I’m afraid I’ll be crying my eyes out for them.

        Quote  Reply

    18. I’m not 100% positive that ‘being human’ means pushing a kid out of a window, but hey, you just gotta live, ya know?

      Maybe in this aspect he’s referring to survival instinct. He didn’t automatically pushed Bran, I think he was weighing his possibilities. Cersei, himself and all their three kids would have been executed by Robert and everyone knows that should Bran ever have told anyone what he saw. So finally he pushed him. Definitely not the must humane (as in kind, self sacrificial) decision, but then again he’s Jamie Lannister son of Tywin Lannister. However survival instinct is in fact a human trait.

        Quote  Reply

    19. I know a lot of people are frustrated at Jaime for not leaving Cersei earlier but there was always an (in my view) honorable reason why he could not (and this is beyond the whole abusive relationship thing).

      Why didn’t he leave after Tywin died (beginning of Season 5)? He wanted to prove “he could be the man he was meant to be”, which now meant to protect his children, and establish the Legacy of the family – hopefully a better one than Tywin had in mind. He gives Brienne Oathkeeper to signify he cares about the other duty he has (to the Stark girls) as well.

      Why didn’t he leave after he returns from Dorne (beginning of Season 6)? His daughter has just died in his arms, his basically-wife has just been publicly humiliated, and his son is on the throne. No one who has children should be asking this question IMO.

      So why didn’t he leave at the start of Season 7? Now there are dragons and a Dothraki horde attacking Westeros. It’s an existential threat to the realm, Ned and Robert saw it the same way in Season 1. When he suggests surrender, Cersei pulls the family/children card again by claiming to be pregnant (or she actually is?).

        Quote  Reply

    20. Jaime is my favorite character from GoT and Asoiaf, and one of my favorite characters in fiction. His depth, complexity and the incredible way NCW played him. I’m ready to see the ending of GoT, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to have Jaime disappear from my screen.

        Quote  Reply

    21. QueenofThrones,

      I agree with you.

      Jaime was not just concerned with Cersei. He has concerns with Tommen, with House Lannister and the wellbeing of Westeros.

      Once his father was killed he had to stay – Tywin was their shelter. No-one recalls that he was agreed to leave Casterley Rock (to save Tyrion) when his father was alive. Tywin could be entrusted with all the major matters including little Tommen.

      Once Tywin died, Jaime has few options. Then the daughter dies as well. It would be horrific if he left then. Plus he is grieving as well and must be focused on Tommen and a disttressed Cersei.

      When Tommen dies and the Sept is blown up, he is now grieving Tommen. (And the Sept was the destruction of a group of rebels PLUS too many others. This is a bad event but they were not all innocents. And no, the Sept explosion of one building is NOT comparable to blowing up an entire city.) Anyway, Daenerys arrives around the same time, so again he has to act to protect Westeros from invasion. It would be a terrible time to leave.

      I am not sure when was the time to leave…except when he did!!!

      (And from a movie-making point of view, what were they going do with Jaime? Have him row and row like Gendry?)

        Quote  Reply

    22. Beak:
      Jaime is my favorite character from GoT and Asoiaf, and one of my favorite characters in fiction. His depth, complexity and the incredible way NCW played him. I’m ready to see the ending of GoT, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to have Jaime disappear from my screen.

      Agreed. Jaime is my 3rd favorite overall and it’ll be sad to see him go as I think there’s practically no chance he survives. However, I am 100% ready to see how GoT ends. It’s time to get the conclusion.

        Quote  Reply

    23. I’m currently re-watching S1 and Jamie is such a scumbag in that season, amazing how far he has come and how well NCW has played him. I highly doubt he survives the story and suspect Brienne recognises his honourable deeds to end his arc.

        Quote  Reply

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