Gwendoline Christie and John Bradley hype up Season 8 ahead of today’s premiere; Ramin Djawadi promises “intense” score

Brienne of Tarth Winterfell Season 8

Is there anyone better at hyping up Game of Thrones than Gwendoline Christie? The actress behind Brienne of Tarth discusses the final season with such passion and honesty that I’m now looking forward to it even more. Also: John Bradley (Samwell Tarly) explains why the show’s ending now and teases the state of Westeros after the ending, and composer Ramin Djawadi talks about his new work on season eight!

The magnificent Gwendoline Christie was as radiant as ever earlier today at Good Morning America, where she approached the final season more openly than most:

“This show has been an enormous part of my life, and what’s wonderful about that is it’s only mirrored in the audience,” Christie ruminates. “They have a great experience watching the show. They love watching it, they have a communal experience, which now extends beyond just our living rooms into the rest of the world, with the internet.”

“[When I received the scripts], I was doing some work in Canada, and I woke up at 4 AM. I checked my e-mail because I heard the scripts might be coming through, and they dropped in. And I sat there, and I read them all the way through. From the start to the end. It was a real emotional roller coaster, because things happened that deeply started me—upset me,” she admits. “It was a really extraordinary experience, and I realized [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] had pulled out all the stops for this one.”

“At the final episode, I put it down with a very heavy heart, digesting everything that occurs. Some things are put to rights, and some things truly are not,” she teases.

Watch the video interview for more, including hilarious bits such as Christie deciding not to tell her partner about the ending, joking (she was joking, right?) about being open to monetary offers from fans who want her to divulge the ending, and more.

Sam Tarly, Winterfell, Season 8

After interviews with Carice van Houten and Hannah Murray, Build Series sat down today with John Bradley, who gave us a wonderful forty-minute conversation:

“When you go into the final season of anything,” Bradley explains, “you just don’t wanna be one of those shows you can name that you loved all the way along and you get to the very final season and it’s… not quite landed. I think you’re in danger then of forcing people to reevaluate everything they’d seen before, because it let them down right at the very last minute. We just didn’t want to be a show like that… and that’s why we’re not doing 20-25 seasons of this, though I’m sure HBO would like that, as I’m sure a lot of the fandom would as well. But the fact is we’re telling this story in eight seasons and getting out while we still think we’re doing work of the standard that we’ve set.”

Regarding the upcoming prequel pilot and other potential spin-offs, Bradley says “the great thing about George’s writing is it’s as detailed as history… There’s a mythology to it,” before adding something that may make your ears perk up if you believed season eight would end with total nihilistic annihilation: “And there’s a future to it as well that’s ripe for exploring—it’s fertile territory for drama and further exploration.” You don’t say? It’s been made clear all the spin-offs in development were prequels, but still, it’s nice to know there will be a world around after Game of Thrones, even if it’s just in our minds.

Bradley also talks about how he first got the job, the anxiety of safe-guarding spoilers, his relationship with Kit Harington, Sam’s romance with Gilly, and much more.

Ramin-Djawadi-conducts-a-suite-of-his-music-from-Game-of-Thrones

At Variety, award-winning composer Ramin Djawadi recalls that, though the show’s score “started out intentionally small,” that soon changed: “As the story expanded, the dragons arrived, the battles grew, the drama got bigger and bigger, the music had to grow with it. We added bigger orchestras, more choir, more instrumentation all around.”

For this final season, the score “definitely gets intense and more epic than ever,” Djawadi says. “This season will have new material that we haven’t heard before, but lots of the existing themes will also return.” To accomplish these new levels of intensity and epicness, season eight’s score was recorded with “the largest ensemble yet: a 60-piece orchestra, a 40-voice mixed chorus and a 12-voice children’s choir.”

“[Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] are always very clear about the direction we’re heading in, so I know what I can set up musically,” singling out the early appearance of “The Rains of Castamere” in season two and Jon and Daenerys’s theme.

For more about Djawadi’s career, the famous Game of Thrones concert tours, and his list of five most memorable Game of Thrones scores, read the interview here.

97 responses

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    1. The music from the trailers alone is amazing
      Edit – my original comment – AHHHHHHHHHH – didn’t make it – is this a double Hodor
      Also I can’t remember how many days left anymore – it’s like I’m living 1 very very long day till April 15th (Aussie) but the hype is as crazy as if there is only a day left
      #thedeadmustdie

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    2. The composer that was promised. His work on this show elevates it to a whole new level.

      I booked tickets to his Live Concert early next year. Hoping it will include his work for the final season as well. Either way, can’t freaking wait!

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    3. “the largest ensemble yet: a 60-piece orchestra, a 40-voice mixed chorus and a 12-voice children’s choir.”

      Ohh boy… sounds like we could be in for some more haunting “Light of the Seven” type children-chanting!! Exciting!! 🙂

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    4. It’s annoying listening to the photographers telling them to stand (there), turn this way and that. My thoughts… they’re dicks!

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    5. Alright, volume OFF. There are a couple of really loud NYC assholes yelling instructions at them that is just too much.

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    6. Wow…I never knew journalists could be so obnoxious. Walking the red carpet seems to be a ‘job’ in itself what with all the instructions being yelled at them.

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    7. I’ve just been reminded of two things:

      1. The utter horsesh#t that comes out the cast’s mouths in promo season.

      2. The total insincerity of US talk show hosts. 🙈

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    8. Clob:
      Indira did come.Hmm…Lena and Gemma might be the only two from the series that don’t show up.

      Pascal too! Did you see him reanact the head squash lol?

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    9. Eh. I think I’ll check back later. Maisie’s probably still taking a bath with Sophie, vaping weed and scarfing pizza. 🍕🍕👸🏻🕊

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    10. Jack Bauer 24,

      Thank a lot, Jack!
      I watched for a while – God, I’m glad, that I only have a round red carpet to walk on *round and round and round* and no one’s watching me!

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    11. I was wondering why Maisie was so far in front of Sophie… coming back wasn’t unexpected.

      Was the bald guy Yuri Kolokolnikov that played Styr?

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    12. For this final season, the score “definitely gets intense and more epic than ever,” Djawadi says.

      Inject this directly into my veins. Or my ears. Either one works. The Master has spoken, and all men must listen!

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    13. The New York Times is doing a GOT conversation call for its subscribers next Tuesday. We will be with its entertainment journalists (yes, time actually uses a proper journalist for TV!) and other guests. NYT has a serious arts team – so I hope for some good conversation.

      I registered!!! I blocked it my calendar as a pro bono client meeting.

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    14. Boojam:
      Anyone see Bella Ramsey?

      Nope

      I wasn’t looking for her though. 😛 I guess to me she’s on par with Lords Glover and Manderly, and I didn’t expect those actors to show up.

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    15. I would have loved if Diana Rigg could have come ditto, Alexander Siddiq and Dean Charles Chapman. I feel bad Richard Madden and Lena, Michele Fairly missed the opening. But the turnout was just amazing. Truly. I love Pedro Pascal.

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    16. Guess Tom Wlaschiha was occupied elsewhere?
      You know at one of the after the premiere parties a number of cast not on the red carpet , surprise, showed up, hope someone keeps track of this.

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    17. Boojam:
      Guess Tom Wlaschiha was occupied elsewhere?
      You know at one of the after the premiere parties a number of cast not on the red carpet , surprise, showed up, hope someone keeps track of this.

      No Michiel Huisman or Gethin Anthony either.

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    18. Boojam:
      Guess Tom Wlaschiha was occupied elsewhere?
      You know at one of the after the premiere parties a number of cast not on the red carpet , surprise, showed up, hope someone keeps track of this.

      A Man has patrol duties.

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    19. No Vladimir? He’s the only one from the main marketing that wasn’t there I think. Besides Lena. All the characters that got posters are there.

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    20. As much as I love quirky outfits, you just can’t top a good suit. Sean, John, Jacob, Aidan, I’m looking at you. Dayum! Nikolaj is pulling a Scarlett O’Hara and wearing the curtains. Gwen looks like SHE should be Phoenix, love it. Don’t like Maisie’s dress at all. Rory the Beard always cleans up well. And I love the dress that Aidan’s wife (?) is wearing.

      Pedro Pascal is like the male version of Emilia Clarke – he makes me smile whenever I see him.

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    21. Pigeon,

      Agree with all that. I didn’t care much for dresses of Maisie and Emilia. Gwen’s was awesome and you could tell she loved it. That might be the best I’ve seen her, imo. Nathalie and Natalie looked great as I mentioned above.

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    22. It seemed like on the stage they had the GoT “couples” So Kit & Emilia, John & Hannah Murray, Nathalie and Jacob, …and Nicolaj & Gwendoline…..in her GMA interview this morning she did say that while she was reading the scripts her face turned beet red, and she had to stop and get up and walk around. Then she had to go outside for a walk…I wondered what could have made her face turn beet red…

      BTW: Podrick was at the Premiere. He walked the red carpet, but he has mustache now and it took a minute for me to realize it was him. Same his picture on Twitter.

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    23. Big bummer that Lena didn’t make it.

      I’m already getting nostalgic with this being the final premiere.. I also can’t wait to hear Ramin’s music for this season. I’m sure it’s going to be amazing!

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    24. Jack Bauer 24,
      “Fantastic” and “some epic sequences” sound pretty darn positive to me. 😃

      Now, I just hope my small charter plane trip gets me back and forth safe tomorrow so I live to see it. 😯

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    25. Clob: I was curious why Rose wasn’t on stage… but I saw a video of them bowing and saw she was way over on the left, not shown in Hibberd’s shot.

      Now Sean Bean is in that group photo?

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    26. but lots of the existing themes will also return

      House Baratheon theme, please come back. (Not wishing Gendry to get legitimized, just wanting to hear the beautiful theme!)

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    27. Clob:
      Pigeon,

      Agree with all that.I didn’t care much for dresses of Maisie and Emilia.Gwen’s was awesome and you could tell she loved it.That might be the best I’ve seen her, imo.Nathalie and Natalie looked great as I mentioned above.

      N-squared are two of the really, really, ridiculously good-looking people in the world. And I agree with you, I swear Gwen looked about to float away in glee. 🙂

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    28. Jack Bauer 24, Episode description is up:

      The Great War has come, the Wall that has protected the Seven Kingdoms has fallen and the Night King’s army of the dead marches towards Westeros.

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    29. Oh wow, someone that went posted a short clip of the intro and it’s awesome! It only shows KL, but they have updated the intro.

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    30. Is that Hillary Clinton laughing in Gwendoline Christies interview? I´m scared to death. She definitely cant run for president.

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    31. Ser Shiz of Renia:
      Is that Hillary Clinton laughing in Gwendoline Christies interview? I´m scared to death. She definitely cant run for president.

      Go back to the kids table, and let the grown-ups talk.

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    32. Jack Bauer 24,

      Can’t believe she was allowed to do this.. It looks awesome though. I’ll mark title sequence spoilers as spoilers just to be sure.

      Reveals they start at the hole in the Wall instead of KL, then move south (with ground turning to ice, probably to show AotD movement) with Last Hearth included.

      In another IG story you can see them moving inside the castles, including the dragon skull dungeons and the throne room as the ending of the sequence.

      Side note 1: Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams are now 6th and 7th credited, ahead of Liam Cunningham.
      Side note 2: based on the regular credit order, Carice van Houten will probably not be in the first episode.
      Side note 3: Miguel Sapochnik and David Nutter are credited as executive producers!

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    33. So it was all a lie then and scripts were sent out to actors rather than being available only in Northern Ireland. At least they managed to stop any leaks this year which I am very grateful.

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    34. Pigeon: Go back to the kids table, and let the grown-ups talk.

      I´m sure you wouldn´t consider my comment as humor, but please get at least some. You´re not grown up if a few words like mine offend you.

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    35. Jack Bauer 24,

      Thanks Jack, interesting to read premiere will have a lot of violence and plenty of witty one liners. I’m not looking for plot details just a few teases of what to expect.

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    36. Ser Shiz of Renia,

      Except it was not funny, and the grammar sucked.
      Look, we all do a lot of good-natured ribbing here. Some of it borders on the political. If an attempt at political-tinged humor falls flat, why not just apologize and move on? Alternatively, warn against it up front, and cover the potentially offensive text with spoiler-coding.

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