Interview Roundup: Who’s taking home which storyboards, D&D on extras, and the cast makes their choice for the Iron Throne

Caption

Adding to a 20-foot-high bodypile for a battle scene? All in a day’s work for an extra.

Directors and showrunners will agree that extras don’t often get a lot of money, attention or even thanks for what they do — but they’ll also be the first to admit that without the multitudes of never-credited background actors, a show like Game of Thrones that requires armies, battle scenes and city streets alike would never be possible.

Showrunners Dave Benioff and Dan Weiss recently talked with EW about the “spectacular” extras they’ve worked with on Thrones, especially those on the Northern Ireland set where epic scenes like Season 6’s Battle of the Bastards was filmed. According to EW, extras were separately trained for each army in the battle to develop a group’s sense of comradery, coordination, and teamwork, while some had the grueling job of serving in 20-foot-high body pile, spending all day intermingled with gory mock corpses.

Weiss noted that the “enthusiasm and the realism [the extras] brought” made all the difference.

“They work so hard with these insane hours,” he said. “You think back on how many of our scenes where the extras play such a major part.”

“Many of these guys kept long hair and beards purely for the show, and they even came up with character names and backstories for themselves, their childhood traumas, what House they owed allegiance to, even though [those details] are not in the show,” Benioff added. “It really adds to the believability of so many shots — whether they’re behind Jon Snow at Castle Black or at Winterfell or wherever — that these dudes really take this seriously and have passion for it.”

Benioff and Weiss feel incredibly grateful for the dedication of extras and their understanding of what it means to be “in the background” of a shot — especially when high-profile extras like celebrities are part of a shot and don’t realize what they’re getting into.

“A lot of people — especially bands that would come on the show — would come on [as extras] and we would warn them: ‘You realize this is going to intensely, numbingly boring for you.’ And they say, ‘No, no, it’s great,’ and then six hours into their three-day shoot you have Sigur Ros asking if they can go home and you’re like, ‘No, you’re in this shot, and this shot lasts for three days,’ ” Weiss said. “They were as far from being divas about it as you can imagine but you could see this little piece of them die when they realized they were going to be there for another two-and-a-half days.”

Speaking of battle-hardened warriors, cast members like Richard Dormer (Beric Dondarrion), Rory McCann (Sandor Clegane), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) and others told Radio Times that they were gifted with storyboards from the production team that commemorated their time on the show and their role.

Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran Stark) got one of the scene in which he’s pushed out of a window; Conleth Hill (Varys) received a storyboard from the scene where he reveals his backstory to Tyrion and “unboxes” the sorcerer who cut him; Coster-Waldau was gifted a reminder of the scene where his sword hand was severed; Carice van Houten (Melisandre) was given an impression of her birth of a shadow assassin in Season 2; and Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth) received a reminder of the wildfire explosion during the Battle of the Blackwater.

Interestingly, some cast members received storyboards from the upcoming final season, which would seem to indicate that their biggest, most defining moments are still to come.

“I just got a scene, one where I…it’s one of the scenes of this year,” McCann said. “It’s just a small scene I can’t discuss yet.” Ditto for Christie, who said that she couldn’t divulge the scene “But not because I don’t want to – I just can’t.”

Dormer also added his storyboard was of his last scene, which he “can’t say anything” about yet. Pease not that storyboards are usually reserved for action setpieces and any scene that needs heavy pre-visualization; this being Beric’s last scene, it doesn’t bode well for him that it’ll likely be an action sequence.

Finally, ChannelNews Asia posted a quick interview clip with Christie, Dormer, Cunningham and van Houten making their picks for who should or will sit on the Iron Throne will the series is all said and done, and they ranged from sensible (if a little far-fetched) to the unorthodox.

“I’m currently favoring one of the direwolves, because it’s not gone well with humans,” Christie said. Van Houten chose Samwell Tarly (John Bradley), simply because “there’s no way he’s going to be on the Throne,” and Cunningham had an interesting choice: himself (or at least his character Davos).

“Character-wise, wouldn’t it be nice? I’m not saying he does, not saying he doesn’t, but he’s a decent man,” Cunningham said. Dormer agreed, although he noted that Davos would have to have a strong right-hand man — a “bad cop” to Davos’ “good cop.”

The eighth and final season of Thrones premieres April 14th!

57 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Storyboards yet to come…. Hmmm, that’s interesting. Particularly for the Hound, who has had a few iconic scenes already.

        Quote  Reply

    2. How lovely! I hope they release those storyboard illustrations this year after the episodes air like they did with the last season.

      I believe Sophie also revealed that she received a storyboard but didn’t specify whether or not it was from the final season. I think she mentioned it was an important scene for Sansa. I personally think it was the scene where Sansa walks away from Ramsay being eaten by his dogs. That one was a pretty powerful scene.

      Shoutout to the extras!! Two years ago I took a walking tour in Dubrovnik led by Robert who currently plays one of Cersei’s Queensguard members. He was super professional and did not spill any GoT related tea. He was originally cast as “P44,” one of the peasants from the riot scene in season 2 after someone threw cow shit at Joffrey. He said all he wanted was to make it to Season 8 and he did!! 😂
      https://www.game-of-thrones-dubrovnik-tour.com/

        Quote  Reply

    3. That rock-style music though, lol.

      The people who would be best on the throne are generally the ones who wouldn’t want it! But I still tend to think there isn’t going to be a throne in the end.

        Quote  Reply

    4. costello,

      Beric’s more than ready to die. He’s almost looking forward to it. As he confided to the eminent theologian in S7e6:

      Sandor: “Careful, Beric, you’ve lost your priest. This is your last life.”

      Beric: “I’ve been waiting for the end for a long time. Maybe the Lord brought me here to find it.”

      Sandor: “Every Lord I’ve ever met has been a c*nt. Can’t see why the Lord of Light should be any different.”

        Quote  Reply

    5. costello:
      So Beric is getting his last scene…gotta be quite a scene. Heroic death I’m sure

      My best bet is that he’ll probably deliver the Kiss of Life from the books to somebody else in the show (not Catelyn Stark obviously). The Hound? Jon? Dany? Arya?

        Quote  Reply

    6. We’re hearing so many actors/actresses talking about their final scenes… I can’t help but feel there will be a few very disappointing “ends”.

      I’m not worried about stupid deaths for the sake of drama, but I wonder which characters will die unceremoniously. Like, what if (insert favorite character here) gets their head chopped off mid-battle, from behind, and that’s it. Cut to next shot.

      Something like this will have to happen to at least one of the main characters (if there are as many deaths as most expect). Otherwise, the season risks being a series of slow-mo, anti-climactic farewells.

        Quote  Reply

    7. Some Guy:
      We’re hearing so many actors/actresses talking about their final scenes… I can’t help but feel there will be a few very disappointing “ends”.

      I’m not worried about stupid deaths for the sake of drama, but I wonder which characters will die unceremoniously. Like, what if (insert favorite character here) gets their head chopped off mid-battle, from behind, and that’s it. Cut to next shot.

      Something like this will have to happen to at least one of the main characters (if there are as many deaths as most expect). Otherwise, the season risks being a series of slow-mo, anti-climactic farewells.

      I anticipate a portion will be raised by the NK as wights.

        Quote  Reply

    8. Jack Bauer 24,

      Hopefully no patterns develop. I.E., quick death = Wight. Drawn out screen time deaths for “final” moments. Or, super character moment beginning of episode, sacrificial death end of episode.

      They’ve built these characters and their arcs so well, that any contrivances would stick out and probably “tip off” the dedicated viewer.

      I fear the Greyworm/Missande scene in the trailer was the proverbial “Kiss of Death”… But, alas, I hope not

        Quote  Reply

    9. Some Guy,

      They’ve gotta pepper in at least a few unceremonious, brutal deaths. I always thought it was rather odd that characters never die in battle in GoT despite all the battles there’s been. Seriously, is there a character of any import who’s died in the midst of a real battle? Other than Ygritte, I suppose.

        Quote  Reply

    10. costello:
      Some Guy,

      They’ve gotta pepper in at least a few unceremonious, brutal deaths. I always thought it was rather odd that characters never die in battle in GoT despite all the battles there’s been. Seriously, is there a character of any import who’s died in the midst of a real battle? Other than Ygritte, I suppose.

      Selmy.

        Quote  Reply

    11. Jack Bauer 24,

      I suppose that qualifies as a minor battle. But look at Blackwater, Battle of the Bastards, Hardhome, the Loot Train…nobody important actually died during the battles!

        Quote  Reply

    12. costello:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      I suppose that qualifies as a minor battle. But look at Blackwater, Battle of the Bastards, Hardhome, the Loot Train…nobody important actually died during the battles!

      Yeah that is odd now that you mention it. Just Ygritte in Watchers on the Wall like you said.

      I’m pretty certain there will be at least one big casualty in The Battle of Winterfell. Possibly multiple. I could see Jorah and Grey Worm for sure with Beric, Tormund, Edd, Pod and even Jaime falling in this battle. And of course the Night King and Undead Viserion. Throw in Varys and Melisandre too.

      And like I said a few posts up, I expect to see at least a couple raised as Wights.

        Quote  Reply

    13. costello,

      Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any major battle deaths… Perhaps that trend continues…

      What I was trying to point out is that I think alot of viewers are expecting most (all) of the major characters to have huge final moments and conclusive ends to their arcs. I can’t imagine GOT being so generous to the audience.

      So, which character(s) arc doesn’t conclude?

        Quote  Reply

    14. Ten Bears,

      That was a fight. Like the one Ned had with Jaime. I wouldn’t count Selmy’s death as a battle.

      And so far is true. Few characters died on battles. Fewer mains died on battles.

        Quote  Reply

    15. Speaking of armor and battles – was the Lannister army seen in any of the trailers?

      This is a large army that will be a bit of a wildcard.

      As Jaime heads north, I expect them to stay south under Cersei’s command. When the Lannister sons come south and the fighting starts it becomes a bit more tricky.

      This is their father’s army, both brothers have fought with them. It will be interesting if the Lannister army is put under the command of the Ironborn or the GC.

      I wonder if this will sit well. This a disciplined professional army but the fighting men based in the Westerlands branch may have to make a tough choice. These guys are the “men of the west”. It is not an accident that the Lannister family is assigned to the Westerlands. It will be interesting what Bronn get up to as Jaime travels north. And what happens with this group in the southern part of the battle.

        Quote  Reply

    16. The fact that Brienne’s storyboard hasn’t happened yet means something wonderful (head of someone’s Queensguard) or something terrible (Jamie dying in her arms).

        Quote  Reply

    17. Rory McCann got a storyboard for a “little” scene that he can’t discuss because it’s in Season 8?

      C L E G A N E B O W L
      O
      N
      F
      I
      R
      M
      E
      D

        Quote  Reply

    18. Mango,

      Beric and Jorah are also knights. In the books Edmure is a knight. The Vale army is named the Knights of the Vale. Kings can also knight someone.

        Quote  Reply

    19. I’d think that almost everybody’s biggest moments would be from the final season…but I guess maybe they didn’t want to give everyone a board from the same season…or didn’t have boards of everything, or went with ones they thought would look best on their walls or be most amusing or whatever…or simply couldn’t decide… x-p

        Quote  Reply

    20. costello:
      Jack Bauer 24,
      I suppose that qualifies as a minor battle. But look at Blackwater, Battle of the Bastards, Hardhome, the Loot Train…nobody important actually died during the battles!

      The most notable death in Blackwater was arguably.. Matthas (Davos’ son). In Hardhome it was Karsi. Then in BotB there was Wun-wun. And even though Yrgitte died in the battle at The Wall, she got her moment with Jon and was killed by Ollie, so it wasn’t a totally random death. (Although it’s different in the books; it is pretty random, and Jon just finds her dead after the fight.) So yeah, no real big deaths in battles so far.

      The trouble with killing main characters randomly in battle is that it would be incredibly unsatisfying and bad storytelling (unless there was some meaning or importance with their character arc).

      I definitely feel that the battle at Winterfell will need at least one (of not more) weighty deaths. I don’t think it will be Jamie (or any other main character), but a well-loved supporting character like Pod, Greyworm, Beric, Tormund, Bronn.. they are all good candidates, sadly.

        Quote  Reply

    21. Ten Bears:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      Well, he got armor on. So it was a battle.

      Hahahaha I even heard it in his voice.

      Enharmony1625,

      This, a death needs to be meaningful. A battle is more for shifting the power (or keeping it), not necessarily the place for a death.

      Blackwater: The plan of Stannis is shifted that made his whole season 3 to 5 arc possible. Even the introduction of the Tyrells. The departure of Sandor.
      Watchers on the wall: Ygritte died which changed Jon. the deaths of Grenn and Pyp. Yes they are major in my book, not main but still major. It made sure Jon become Lord commander. And the defeat of Mance. It was even the first step (How ironic even) the come together of the NW/Jon and the free folk.
      Hardhome: deaths, big portions of the wildlings. Making the NK even more powerfull with getting more wights. bond with the wildlings better. It was a slaughter showing us the horror the WW bring. No major death was needed.
      BoB: Deaths of Wun Wun and more important the deaths of Ramsay and the oatbreakers (who broke the oath to the starks). The rebirth of Jon, who want to live again. The death of poor rickon.
      SoW: The death of the lannister army, shows us the horror that dany can bring (instead of Ice it’s fire). But still not really a big battle in my opinion.
      BtW: Death of Thoros. Showing us that the WW can kill dragons. Jon bowing to Dany etc.

      Every battle is more about the characters than a death, that’s what GoT stands out with other shows and movies. Where most shows and movies uses a useless death to make things interesting because they lack story, GoT doesn’t need to resolve to that. Yes deaths can feel dumb in GoT but it still comes down to character. With dumb I mean like Robert killed by a boar. sounds silly, but it comes down to his stubbornness and the cunning of Cersei.

        Quote  Reply

    22. kevin1989,

      This is a very good description of how GOT has used deaths.

      They are used major turning points including to close out the storyline of a character. The Sept explosion was used to close several characters stories.

      Battles are used for political shifts (as they are in real life) and the deaths of main characters are not in the thick of the battle. The battle-related deaths (Stannis, Ramsey, Oleanna) are usually separate from the battle, done in a two or three-hander (meaning two focal characters meet) and used as a major dramatic event.

      It is very odd that so many of the fans believe that Jaime will die in a battle due to a strike by a wight or white walker. That would be such a waste of a dramatic opportunity and D&D are not stupid.

      Perhaps, the use of a boar by Cersei in Robert’s demise is related to ancient mythology about a “Circe” that had connections to boars.

        Quote  Reply

    23. Enharmony1625,

      I also agree here.

      WF will see some of the characters go out – especially the ones that have no real previous “presence” or political role in the events in KL. In a real sense, their storyline naturally ends there.

      I am hoping that Bronn makes it however – castle and all.

        Quote  Reply

    24. Well this is quite funny, remember how there was some comments about Faye Marsay in season 6 as the waif, running in “Terminator mode”? Well someone who lives nearby apparently saw Faye out jogging the other day and she runs exactly like that in real life…

      Yeah, I assumed she was paying homage to the T1000, but it turns out she just runs like that. It ruined the trip to Sainsburys, if I’m honest.

        Quote  Reply

    25. Dark Sister,

      Actually, I saw MW’s 24-hours-in-Paris video. Nothing special.

      What was really impressive was her recent “TED” speech. Another commenter posted the link elsewhere. She talked about her aspirations to be a dancer; her fortuitous entry into acting; and her “Daisie” app. She’s an excellent public speaker.

        Quote  Reply

    26. Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

      Thanks for that link to “Becoming a knight.”

      So, any knight, or the king, can anoint someone else to be a knight.

      I navigated around that “Wiki” page a bit, and saw some books’ quotes that I wish had made it into the show, e.g.:

      “He is no true knight, but he saved me all the same. Save him if you can, and gentle the rage inside him.”
      – Sansa Stark, praying to the Mother during the Battle of the Blackwater, about Sandor.

      I could keep you safe. They’re all afraid of me. No one would hurt you again, or I’d kill them.”
      – Sandor to Sansa

        Quote  Reply

    27. Mango,

      Thank you.
      If Jaime dies in battle it will be made clear before hand in my opinion. Like he made clear he is going to sacrifice himself. I don’t think it will happen just in battle.

      But I don’t think Jaime will die in battle of winterfell. Neither does brienne I think. I think pod can die and will die. Because he is a side kick and that dead can give emotion for brienne tyrion. And maybe even Jaime.

      But we will see. It all depends what the plan of nk is and who his target is.

        Quote  Reply

    28. Kevin1989,

      It’s hard to say. IMO, Pod has to do something heroc during the Battle of Winterfell. We have to see the prove that he has become an experienced fighter as Brienne said and that doesn’t match with him dying. Death would be a defeat, and Pod has to win. Meanwhile, for Jaime dying in the battle of Winterfell would be a satisfying ending (as for Cersei, if she gets strangled, it should be Tyrion – a self fulfilling prophesy, so to speek).
      Regarding others, IMO, Jorah is a gonner, maybe, Gendry (based of Arya’s face in the trailer), not sure about Grey Worm – IMO he should survive at least till Ep 5, cause the Unsullied need a face.

        Quote  Reply

    29. Inga,

      I don’t think even one unsullied survive the battle of winterfell. And if he does. I think it will not be good news for Dany if he survives. (cersei maybe using him to let misandei betray Dany)

        Quote  Reply

    30. Kevin1989,

      1. I agree that Jaime will not die at Winterfell.

      I do not expect him to die at all – I am that willing to stand alone. Yes, I know there is a good probability that he will die and that no-one is safe.

      If Jaime dies it will be in KL.

      2. It certainly looks like Pod will die. I was very amused to see him standing next to Brienne at the front of the Vale soldiers she was leading. This guy is her squire and his main job was cooking rabbits and so so. Pouring wine for Tyrion. How did he manage to find himself up front in a war? He really needs to join the squire’s union and demand better working conditions. (yes, I know he was training to be a knight.) Yes, Jaime will need to comfort Brienne and Tyrion and Bronn and himself.

      3. Yes, I expect the majority of Daenerys army to be wiped out at Winterfell. Some will survive and go to KL where they will be wiped almost entirely.

        Quote  Reply

    31. Beric is clearly going out in the battle at Winterfell. The Hound I feel is destined to face his brother but may still perish before the end especially if Dany or Cersei go hard on Kings Landing.

        Quote  Reply

    32. costello:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      I suppose that qualifies as a minor battle. But look at Blackwater, Battle of the Bastards, Hardhome, the Loot Train…nobody important actually died during the battles!

      I agree and it’s why I was disappointed Bronn did not go down in the loot train massacre. At least at BoB we lost some minor characters like Wun-Wun.

        Quote  Reply

    33. Eonwe:
      Those who were at Sevilla several days should be alive until episode 6 and maybe beyond.

      The problem was/is they brought half the cast to Seville for a party and nobody really knows who/what was shot there. Yes, I know Friki Doctor has speculated that he knows some of the characters involved but he’s been wrong before on a few occasions. We only know that

      Emilia was not there as she was in the US at the time

      .

        Quote  Reply

    Jump to the Top

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *