Several interviews with the cast are hitting the internet these days to promote the imminent release of the Season Four boxsets (scheduled for February 17th). We have rounded up three of them here, namely with Nathalie, Sophie, and Kit, but more can be expected.
The Telegraph wrote a piece centered on the question of race in Game of Thrones featuring quotes from Natalie Emmanuel, who plays Missandei on the show. She talks about the storyline she is closely involved with:
I understand people’s feelings on the issue, but, at the same time I think the show is really good at creating characters of all races and colour that have power and education. It’s not just a stereotype of ‘white powerful person’ and ‘enslaved non-white person’: I think it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Daenerys as a character, she’s been sold like a slave, for the advancement of men, to gain power – so it’s a different type of slavery, but it still counts. Regardless of how you feel about the fact that you’ve got this white woman saving all these slaves, she’s coming from a place where she understands and almost feels that she’s been in a similar place. They [the programme-makers] just show a girl who has seen something she finds wrong, and is doing something about it. To bring race into it – obviously it’s relevant, but it’s not fundamentally what it’s about.
The article recalls earlier comments from George R.R. Martin on the same issue. He brought up the showrunners’ efforts to promote diversity, such as casting a black actor for Areo Hotah, the honorable guard in the Dorne storyline whose race is not clearly specified in the books. GRRM also said:
Westeros around 300 AC is nowhere near as diverse as 21st century America, of course … but, that being said, I do have some ‘characters of colour’ who will have somewhat larger roles in Winds of Winter.
The interview with Sophie Turner by The Huffington Post touches on a number of topics, the central ones of course revolving around Sansa’s character development. About Joffrey’s death, she says:
It’s bittersweet for me because, yes, I’m happy for Sansa that he finally dies. But also I think, you know, Jack Gleeson was such a wonderful person to be able to play off and I’m really gonna miss him.
On her relationship with Littlefinger:
I kind of love the storyline. I mean, for some viewers, it’s very creepy, but that’s kind of what it’s supposed to be. It’s supposed to be this very messed up, twisted relationship in which Sansa knows she can manipulate Littlefinger to get what she wants, and he can do the same with her. And together they create this amazing kind of tag team. And, you know, to outsiders, it’s very messed up and strange, but to her it’s the only way she can get what she wants, and finally she has that power, so she’s gonna use it.
Finally, she also promises an even more exciting season five. What else did you expect.
There’s some massive moments, perhaps even more shocking than the Red Wedding type of thing. There’s like a lot going on this season. There’s also, you know, a lot of blood, a lot of death. And a lot of people kind of come far. And there are a few familiar faces around as well.
Kit Harington, talking to The Telegraph, plays the role of GRRM’s champion, speaking up against the pressure, and yes, even abuse, directed at the author, and internet abuse in general. Prompted to speak about any pressure he personally feels from the obsessive fans, he says:
The only thing I get p–sed off about is that, as far as George RR Martin goes, there’s a lot of fan pressure on him – a lot of nasty, manipulative, quite vicious fan pressure that’s aimed towards him, about his health, and about when he is producing the next book. I get quite angry about that.
Kit consideres George a professional friend, if not a “friend friend”. He talks a little about the show definitely going past the books in certain bits of season five, and how when it comes to his character’s future, he knows nothing, just like Jon Snow.