Iain Glen promises closure in Season 8, Kit Harington looks back on Game of Thrones & Season 7 location gets tourism boost!

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The last season of Game of Thrones is coming and the cast is getting all nostalgic. And a bit anxious, too! Kit Harington looks back on all these years on the show and forward to what his life looks like after it, while Iain Glen speaks of what we can expect from season eight. Also: apparently using the show as a tool for tourism really, really works!

At ET Canada, Harington eliminates the possibility of participating in the planned spin-offs, though considering they’re all supposed to be prequels, probably set dozens if not hundreds of year before Jon’s time, this isn’t a shocking revelation. So Harington’s time in George R. R. Martin’s world of fantasy is definitely over … but what a time it’s been!

“It’s a weird one when you find that career-defining thing in your first job,” Harington reminisces. “[The second] season was the most significant for me because we realized it was a show that was successful, we were suddenly in this incredible location – and I was with the girl that I fell in love with,” he adds, referring of course to his former co-star and current fiancée Rose Leslie, who played Ygritte in seasons two through four.

As for Harington’s future, the end of the show made it uncertain … yet ultimately exciting: “I freaked out. That’s ending, what am I going to do now? And then I suddenly realized that next year I can do two films and a play. Or I could do another show which I’ve never been able to do since being on ‘Thrones’. And… I could take two months off and spend them with Rose! We can go off somewhere! I suddenly got really excited about it. I’ve always wanted to do a boxing movie. But before I get too old!”

Beyond the Wall Jorah

Meanwhile, talking to The Express Tribune, Scottish actor Iain Glen doesn’t look back on the show or forward beyond it, but at what we’re most interested in: the last season. In this interview, he addresses the expectations of season eight, namely whether it provides a satisfying conclusion, from a fan perspective as much as a cast member:

“Yes, I hope [it does]. I can’t tell but I am one of the few people who have read the script and I know the ending. When I read it, I thought it was rather brilliant. I am a bit of a fan of the series as well so it satiated my expectation and hopes,” Glen assures us, though he warns that “with something this big like Game of Thrones, you cannot please everyone.”

As for the twists and turns we can expect, he was as coy as one may expect: “There may be surprises but you will just have to see what happens up ahead.” So elucidating!


In other news, Spanish newspaper El Correo reports that Itálica’s Roman amphitheater, whose remains can be found in the modern town of Santiponce, Seville, has seen a great boost in tourism since it appeared in the season seven finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf.” You may recall these nearly forgotten ruins appeared as the Dragonpit of King’s Landing:

King's Landing Dragonpit 7x07 (1)

Itálica might have been the birthplace of two Roman emperors, but it’s never been the economic engine for Santiponce that the site’s history deserved. That is, until Game of Thrones! Since appearing in the show, it’s reported that visits to the Roman ruins went up 43% in 2017, almost reaching the established limit of 200.000 visitors.

Itálica may never become the most visited landmark of Andalucía (the south’s largest and most iconic region,) but these numbers make the old roman city the historic site with most visitor growth of last year. Surpassing it in overall visitors are Granada’s Alhambra, followed by Córdoba’s synagogue, Málaga’s Roman theater, and Almería’s Alcazaba, the latter of which we know well as the main Dornish location in season six.

This tourism bump isn’t unprecedented in Spain. For example, the Basque Country’s San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, which provided Dragonstone with those iconic stairs, was flooded by tourists last year. It seems that, wherever Game of Thrones goes, it leaves a mark!

45 responses

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    1. “[The second] season was the most significant for me because we realized it was a show that was successful, we were suddenly in this incredible location – and I was with the girl that I fell in love with,” he adds, referring of course to his former co-star and current fiancée Rose Leslie, who played Ygritte in seasons two through four.”
      —–_________

      Awwwww. ⛄️💘🏹

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    2. If only I knew whether or not the ending will be bittersweet.

      j/k, I wish Kit all the best in his post-GoT future. I wouldn’t have expected him to be a part of a future GoT project anyway. He’s already spent a decade of his life playing Jon Snow. I’m sure he loves it, but there’s a time when a person is ready to move on to something else, shed his/her skin, and evolve from a caterpillar into a butterfly .

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    3. he warns that “with something this big like Game of Thrones, you cannot please everyone.”

      Understatement of the year.

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    4. ///// “I freaked out. That’s ending, what am I going to do now?/////………….. Jon is going to die ..and leave his child [with Danny]an orphan….That gonna hurt..damn it ..HODOR …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..“Yes, I hope [it does]. I can’t tell but I am one of the few people who have read the script and I know the ending. When I read it, I thought it was rather brilliant. I am a bit of a fan of the series as well so it satiated my expectation and hopes,” Glen assures us, though he warns that “with something this big like Game of Thrones, you cannot please everyone.”……………………….I think Jorah is gonna die doing his duty by protecting Danny or Jon or both or their son….just as Sir Arthur Dayne did for Lyanna and baby Jon..I feel it..his death is going to be heroic and epic..thats really HODOR ………………………………………………………../// “There may be surprises but you will just have to see what happens up ahead.” So elucidating!//////……….THATS GONNA BE …HODOR

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    5. I remember reading about the influx of tourists at Gaztelugatxe, and how the location was trying to manage it because it wasn’t used to those numbers. And if I recall – Luka, didn’t you and Petra do a glass candle dialogue from there?

      I have my theories for season 8 as I’m sure we all do, but in Iain I trust. As long as it makes sense, and that we have closure, I’ll be happy with the series finale. Need to start planning my next GoT related travel destination!

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    6. Jorah and Iain Glen have always been firm supporters of their Khaleesi, so if the ending satisfied his expectations and hopes, there’s reason to be optimistic.
      Though if I’ve learned anything in the past, is that one shouldn’t read too much into interviews.

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    7. Artemisia,

      The way I look at it is that there are a bunch of characters living on “borrowed time”: could’ve and should’ve died but didn’t. Jorah is one of them. All he ever wanted to do was serve his queen. He will die doing so.

      Fare thee well, Jorah the Andal.

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    8. Dark Sister: I remember reading about the influx of tourists at Gaztelugatxe, and how the location was trying to manage it because it wasn’t used to those numbers. And if I recall – Luka, didn’t you and Petra do a glass candle dialogue from there?

      Yup! It was great.

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    9. Luka Nieto,

      Has there been any mention if/when the show will return to film in Spain/ Santiponce? I thought there was rumour of shooting there but renovations to the site were conflicting with shooting schedules?

      I’ll be in Girona/Zaragoza in a couple weeks…looking forward to seeing some of the filming locations 😝

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    10. Ten Bears:
      Artemisia,

      The way I look at it is that there are a bunch of characters living on “borrowed time”: could’ve and should’ve died but didn’t.Jorah is one of them. All he ever wanted to do was serve his queen. He will die doing so.

      Fare thee well, Jorah the Andal.

      i agree…he surely will die serving her

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    11. I’ve always wanted to do a boxing movie. But before I get too old!”

      What……mind the face for God’s sake 😯

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    12. Carole H:
      I’ve always wanted to do a boxing movie. But before I get too old!”

      What……mind the face for God’s sake 😯

      He can just pick up where he left off pummeling Ramsay’s face.

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    13. I’m a simple woman. I see Iain, I click.

      And his opinion I can trust, so whoop! Having expected Jorah to die in every season since 4, I can hardly complain if he does in the endgame (but I will, vociferously and dramatically), but I can be assured that if Iain thinks it’s rather brilliant, it’s rather brilliant. Because he’s actually a fan as well as a part of it. Best of all, he always has good projects going on outside of Thrones, so wheeeeeee.

      https://m.imgur.com/gallery/bAPXKaU

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    14. “There may be surprises but you will just have to see what happens up ahead.”

      I’m wondering if these surprises are more like: this character will die. Or something we will find out about somebodies past. Or will it be that some characters are going to have a change of heart, from good to bad or bad to good. And surprises is at least 2.

      My favorite ending would be this: Jon being the King, maybe changing some things that there will be more of a democracy. Dany liberating other regions. Arya going into the west. Sansa ruling the north for Jon. Bran changing back to his old self (maybe magic will die out and he losing his ability which would make him himself again). Tyrion ruling Casterly rock. Samwell the south. Gendry the riverlands.

      but I think this will be too happy.

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    15. “… I am one of the few people who have read the script and I know the ending. When I read it, I thought it was rather brilliant. I am a bit of a fan of the series as well so it satiated my expectation and hopes,”

      How utterly refreshing to hear that a cast member is a true fan of the show. I’m not talking about other actors who play main characters – they all seem to be fans of the show, enjoying the story and invested in the outcome. But we have heard from others who have appeared in the cast who were not real fans – “tits and dragons” comes to mind. Even dear Sean Bean said that he hasn’t followed the show since Ned was killed.
      This makes me love dear Jorah even more. I hope he doesn’t get offed right away, that he makes it all the way until the last, or next to last episode. It won’t seem the same without him. Oh drat, it’s not going to be the same anyway, it will be over. But he says we will be satisfied. I hope, in his bit of Jorah wisdom, he is right.

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    16. Ten Bears:
      Artemisia,

      The way I look at it is that there are a bunch of characters living on “borrowed time”: could’ve and should’ve died but didn’t.Jorah is one of them. All he ever wanted to do was serve his queen. He will die doing so.

      Fare thee well, Jorah the Andal.

      In fairness Jorah lusts after Dany and there is an even bigger age gap in the books and it’s kind of gross. That said, I’m fairly sure he will die before the end he’s certainly one of the more likely candidates but I’ve also been saying that for a couple of seasons now like Cersei and Greyworm.

      As for Jon, there was talk one of the spin offs would focus on him so I assume we can rule that out now.

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    17. Thronetender: Oh, I second that. And don’t let him get knocked on his beautiful ass too much, either.

      ———————-

      I may have said it before, but I’ll say it again. Kit Harington and Iain Glen are living proof that Thomas Jefferson was wrong: All men are not created equal.

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    18. Thronetender,

      The only thing that gives me pause is that Iain Glen warns that “with something this big like Game of Thrones, you cannot please everyone.”

      Another GoT actress or actor said something similar recently.

      I want GoT to have the most spectacular conclusion in the history of storytelling – if only to spare GRRM from blowback from his criticism of the ending of “Lost”, which he likened to fecal matter left on his doorstep.

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    19. Ten Bears: if only to spare GRRM from blowback from his criticism of the ending of “Lost”, which he likened to fecal matter left on his doorstep.

      He said that? Then my estimation of him goes up tenfold, because that’s pretty much what I thought of the ending of Lost. Sorry to all you true fans, but we are all entitled to our own opinions – I happily watched the first season and abandoned it after the second. It got … lost. I watched the ending with the intent of catching up on the seasons I missed if the ending showed that there were nuances I must have missed. Nope, didn’t have to watch it. That ending proved that there was never a true story to begin with.

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    20. Thronetender,

      I never watched “Lost.” People I know who did were so enthusiastic about it – but then were frustrated that it started to meander after a while, and then were extremely disappointed with how it ended. So I never felt the urge to binge watch it. All I know is there was something about survivors of a plane crash on an island and a smoke monster. I said to myself “Sounds silly. And I hate spending time watching shows that start wth a bang and then fizzle out. I’ll pass. If I want to see folks marooned, I can watch that movie with Tom Hanks and Wilson the volleyball, and Wolfgang Petersen’s underrated guilty pleasure movie “Enemy Mine” with Dennis Quaid, Louis Gossett, Jr., and the actress who played Minuet, Riker’s holodeck dream girl in ST:TNG.”

      Anyway, here’s what GRRM said about “Lost” in a 2011 New Yorker article and Time interview…..

      From 2011 New Yorker article, “Game of Thrones Author and Damon Lindelof Feud over ‘Lost’ Ending”

      “George R. R. Martin, author of the Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novels and a producer for the upcoming HBO adaptation Game of Thrones, attacked the ending of national TV phenomenon Lost in an interview with The New Yorker.
      The author echoed the sentiments of many Lost fans, claiming that the finale failed to pay off on the series’ many twists and turns. Martin stated that he hopes the ending for his Song of Ice and Fire novels – and one can only assume Game of Thrones as well – doesn’t disappoint in the same manner.

      Like many Americans, Martin was a faithful viewer of Lost right up until its conclusion in 2010. He said he felt “cheated” by the ending, and dreads the prospect of his own series ending in the same fashion.
      “And then I felt so cheated when we got to the conclusion… I want to give them something terrific. What if I f*** it up at the end? What if I do a Lost? Then they’ll come after me with pitchforks and torches.”

      —————–
      Lindelof replied:

      “I don’t take issue with his opinion, I take issue with the fact that he coined ‘Pulling a Lost’ as empirically ‘f–king up the ending,'”

      _____________________
      In an April, 2011 Time interview, GRRM said about “Lost”:

      “When I reached the end and they hadn’t pulled it altogether, in fact, they left a big turd on my doorstep,” says the author bluntly, “I was pretty upset…”

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    21. Ten Bears,

      Of course not everyone’s going to be pleased, that’s impossible. People have a specific idea in their head of how they want to see the ending or how they expect it to end but I’m sure there’ll be some twist and turns that will surprise the endings and, of course, some of people’s faves will die. It won’t just be “good” people alive “bad” people dead. So in that sense, people might also be upset but it’s GOT and let’s be real we haven’t really had an impactful character death for a while.

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    22. Thronetender,

      You can’t really judge it if you never watched the later seasons. For me the ending was perfect one of the best endings I ever saw. (six feet under has the best ending in my opinion). The problem for me wasn’t the final of lost, it was the last season as a whole. The ending itself was already drafted in season 1. Yes things changed because of new character but the idea was always there.

      The big problem with lost wasn’t the writing of lindelof it was 2 things. 1 the influence that abc forced. Lindelof wanted 5 seasons. Season 4 and 5 2 big seasons of 24 episodes. ABC wanted 6.so they needed to change the way they told the story into 3 seasons of 16 episodes. Same as HBO would say. Hey season 3 and 4 of got needed to be 3 seasons instead of 2. It would have fucked up got.

      Then season 4 started and after 8 episodes the writing strike happened. So they shortened the later half of the season. Skipped some background because of time. So they needed to change the story 2 times. That’s what fucked up lost. Lindelof is an amazing writer. Look at leftovers how he write when he isn’t interrupted by the big boss of the network.

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    23. Ten Bears:
      Thronetender,

      The only thing that gives me pause is that Iain Glen warns that “with something this big like Game of Thrones, you cannot please everyone.”

      Another GoT actress or actor said something similar recently.

      I want GoT to have the most spectacular conclusion in the history of storytelling – if only to spare GRRM from blowback from his criticism of the ending of “Lost”, which he likened to fecal matter left on his doorstep.

      He was right. But the show defined its title long before the end. Oof.

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    24. Never saw Lost. I just hope the ending to GoT makes sense and brings the closure that the crew is claiming we will get. I have faith that D&D will give us a great ending

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    25. Unfortunately I don’t see George delivering an ending, so perhaps he spoke to soon when he went on to diss Lost‘s ending. What Lost did correctly, in terms of the ending, is that it focused on it’s characters and gave them closure. I can only hope Game of Thrones does the same. It’s easy to throw a bunch of money into action sequences and making them look pretty. Likewise, they can try and answer every mystery (PtwP, Valonqar, White Walker motives, etc…) but inevitably some will be unsatisfied with the answers. If instead most of the focus is on the characters and their journeys, I think I will be happy with it.

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    26. Ten Bears: I want GoT to have the most spectacular conclusion in the history of storytelling

      But what does “spectacular” even mean? What you consider “spectacular” might well be considered over-the-top or Deus ex Machina or dull or any number of other things by other viewers.

      Glenn’s point really is just that, and particularly true for the fans as opposed to Joe & Jane Viewer/Reader. And it is not just that fans want different endings: different sets of fans want fundamentally contradictory types of endings.

      Again, we only have to look back 11 years to the conclusion of Harry Potter. A lot of fans hated it: but those fans that did hate it generally had expectations that were just way out there. Harry’s eyes were going to have deep magical powers. Voldermort was going to be a red-herring and Snape would be revealed to be the true “evil.” Characters that never appeared in the books but were mentioned once would be really important in the finale. My all-time favorite: we’d learn that Neville, not Harry, was truly the “main” character of the series!

      The one common link to these loony ideas is that the ideas that proved to be correct (Harry’s scar being a piece of Voldemort’s soul, Snape having been in love with Lily, etc.) couldn’t be right because “they were too obvious.” In other words, people wanted flagrant violations of Chekhov’s Dictum topped with copious helpings of Deus ex Machina: and it would be terrible writing by Rowling (or any other storyteller) if she (he) followed the rules of good storytelling…..

      And that takes us back to Glenn’s point. Most of the subset of the audience that wants a particular ending is going to be very disappointed because the ending will not be what they wanted. That subset is a small portion of the total audience, however. In the end, the series will be judged based on whether the ending makes sense to people who watched it without ever “studying” it. If people feel “I should have seen that coming,” then it will be well-remembered. If not, then it won’t!

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    27. Jay Targ: What Lost did correctly, in terms of the ending, is that it focused on it’s characters and gave them closure. I can only hope Game of Thrones does the same.

      I never saw what the big deal about Lost’s ending was. It certainly was not inconsistent with the show as it had been setup all the while. That stated, I was a viewer, not a fan: I was not invested in any particular ending.

      What did hurt the Lost series was the “Feast for Crows” season, where they focused on a bunch of irrelevant side-characters that were not relevant to the ending. However, that was the fault of the network: the show-runners wanted to start the final phase of the series, but the studio would not let them start the conclusions while the show was still a cash-cow.

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    28. Wimsey,

      But what does “spectacular” even mean? What you consider “spectacular” might well be considered over-the-top or Deus ex Machina or dull or any number of other things…”
      —————

      Of course you’re right. “Spectacular” is an empty word, just like “awesome.” Now, I certainly don’t mean a dreaded Deus ex Machina, or out-of-left-field resolution.

      To be more precise: an ending that makes perfect sense in retrospect but will have lots of viewers thinking “Damn! I should’ve seen that coming! All the signposts were there along the way…but I must’ve been distracted.”

      It will also have to earn the seal of approval from the Big Three: (1) William of Occam; (2) Anton Chekhov; and (3) Wimsey. 😕

      And Arya cannot die.

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    29. Ten Bears,

      lol! It does not need my approval: it needs approval from lots and lots of people of all sorts of types!

      Ideally, a Sixth Sense ending would be wonderful, but that is probably impossible for a series: people have been group thinking this for far, far too long. Indeed, I have always thought that it would be a great experiment to get a bunch of people who’ve never seen 6th Sense to watch it at the same time and live-tweet what they thought was happening. I’m pretty sure that in most runs, the group would figure it out.

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    30. Thanks for sharing!

      Just a quick bit: Alhambra is in Granada, not Sevilla. Also, the one in Cordoba is weird cause over the centuries it’s been a church, synagogue, and mosque; though, I think it’s mostly referred to as a mosque at the moment.

      Both beautiful landmarks I highly recommend!

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    31. Ten Bears: “Spectacular” is an empty word, just like “awesome.”

      It can also be alarming word, to people who focus more on the character moments than on the action-movie sequences, if taken in the literal sense of ‘spectacle.’ Let’s say (for the sake of argument, though it’s not going to happen because there was no setup for it in the show) that the battle and dragonfire at Winterfell were to trigger some reaction in the hot springs, causing a volcanic catastrophe comparable to the Doom of Valyria. That sort of over-the-top CGI-heavy ending would certainly qualify as ‘spectacular,’ and probably delight a certain segment of the GoT audience. It would be highly unsatisfying to me, and many others as well, I suspect, because we want to come away from the story knowing how the survivors among our emotionally-invested characters find their footing at the end. For me, the final scene needs to be a conversation, preferably with Tyrion getting in the last philosophical quip (unless it’s Arya waving to someone onshore from a ship heading across the Sunset Sea, which would also be acceptable).

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