Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on the Sept scene controversy & Weapons Master Tommy Dunne on the many armies of Season 7

Jaime, Season 7, Red Keep

TIME continues publishing their interviews for their Game of Thrones cover story. Today, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau looks back on the past, in particular the controversial scene between Jaime and Cersei at Joffrey’s funeral, and Tommy Dunne looks ahead to the much greater scope season seven offers for his job as weapons master.

The cast and crew involved in the season four Great Sept sex or rape scene have repeatedly addressed the controversy, making it clear their intentions were to create a disturbing moment, but not rape, which differs from the general interpretation. In this TIME interview, the Danish actor went on the longest response to the issue yet:

“It was difficult to avoid,” begins Coster-Waldau, regarding the controversy. “Sometimes, things just take on a life of their own. Most people who saw the scene, it was messed up. We knew it was messed up. This is weird, pushing all of the wrong buttons, if you will, because there’s a dead son and they’re having sex. That’s fu-ked up. That was also what I thought was really interesting and made sense to me,” justifies the actor. “They’d been estranged for a while — there was so much pain, there was so much anger, there was so much need for each other that it became this. Throughout their lives, they’ve had to grasp these moments of very passionate intimacy when they could. That way of expressing the need they had for each other. We didn’t think of this as a rape.”

“It became about the whole idea about whether you should show rape on TV or film or whether you should not, and that’s a discussion to be had, sure, but it took it away from what we thought we did. I do remember saying ‘This could be interpreted,’ but we never thought it would go that extreme”, Coster-Waldau admitted, and then went on to explain: “Two scenes after, you have wildlings attacking this village and you have a crazy man grabbing a boy and saying ‘I’m going to kill your mama and your papa.’ It was truly traumatizing for that kid, but no one thought that was too much. My point is, I find it very difficult to anticipate what scenes people would discuss the most afterward.”

For the entire response about the controversy (there is much more), the difficulties of filming without a hand, Jaime’s relationships with Cersei and Brienne, the showrunners’ protectiveness now that they are truly off-books, and more, read the TIME interview.

47 Lannister men

TIME met the weapons master at the Game of Thrones armory in Belfast, where every sword, spear and piece of armor we have ever seen is forged. These weapons are made for (fake) killing, and there accomplished their job rather well in this death-ridden story, but that doesn’t mean Tommy Dunne is now out of a job. Quite the opposite, in fact:

“Obviously, it’s a show that creates a lot of new armies, a lot of new characters. This year, we have a lot more armies, a lot more numbers,” Dunne revealed. “You’re replicating armies and adding new ones as well. And it seems to have worked.”

Despite the ballooning armies for season seven, Dunne is quick to point out safety concerns remain paramount: “Anytime you’re on horseback or fighting, it’s rubber. For harder action, it might be aluminum. We only ever use the steel ‘hero’ for close-up.”

“My big thing is the numbers. I hope it won’t frighten me.” For the Battle of the Bastards in season six, “200 6-foot-6 shields and 250 16-foot-long spears” were produced, and those numbers aren’t going down anytime soon. “I might be worried about season 8, we might be in trouble on that one,” Dunne admits. “But it has to finalize somewhere.”

90 responses

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    1. Great comments by Nikolaj. I am in the minority regarding this scene and try to stay out of the controversy regarding it.

      This is kind of OT but not really since it is about Jamie:

      I watched S6Ep08 yesterday, and I came out of it with an annoyance towards Jamie.

      His scene with Edmure (which was amazing), he talks about how it is only him and Cersei. Does he actually feel that way? Or does he THINK he feels that way?

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    2. Dee Stark: I watched S6Ep08 yesterday, and I came out of it with an annoyance towards Jamie.

      His scene with Edmure (which was amazing), he talks about how it is only him and Cersei. Does he actually feel that way? Or does he THINK he feels that way?

      I’m doing the memory lane for that episode and I have strong thoughts on the subject. But I shouldn’t say too much yet. You’ll see in a few days 😉

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    3. I find it interesting when Nikolaj talks about giving suggestions as an actor in prior seasons, vs this season, where D&D would say no, do it as it is written.

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    4. Flayed Potatoes: Can’t wait for the return of Valyrian rubber.

      Lol. How does an editor not see that? I would actually like to see the scene again with at least a wooden broomstick in the sheath. I wonder if out of all the takes, this was the best one? Oh well, it doesn’t matter…but it does remind me of a Mad magazine cartoon that depicted a great middle ages battle being filmed and a plane with a contrail is flying overhead. The director shouts “Never mind what’s in the sky, the audience only cares about what’s on the ground!”

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    5. Dee Stark:
      Great comments by Nikolaj. I am in the minority regarding this scene and try to stay out of the controversy regarding it.

      This is kind of OT but not really since it is about Jamie:

      I watched S6Ep08 yesterday, and I came out of it with an annoyance towards Jamie.

      His scene with Edmure (which was amazing), he talks about how it is only him and Cersei. Does he actually feel that way? Or does he THINK he feels that way?

      It’s not clear whether he feels that way or not, and this is one of the problems with how the show has characterized Jaime.

      What is certain is that at this point in the books, Jaime most certainly does NOT feel that way.

      So we’ll have to see how it’s played this year. As Luka said, perhaps this is a discussion best saved for Memory Lane of 6.08.

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    6. Flayed Potatoes:
      Can’t wait for the return of Valyrian rubber.

      http://i.giphy.com/xT8qB2C54Mwfovy9SE.gif

      Giddyup!

      Good lord. This, and the mistake regarding the word “Mhysa” in 6.01, both have to be among the worst if not the worst oversights by editors in the entire show. How these things can be so sloppy is really hard to understand, for a show that used to be meticulous about details.

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    7. Markus Stark,

      Well, my sister and I were discussing it, and thought maybe he is trying to convince himself that is how he feels, but it isn’t the truth.
      Youre right, will wait for a few more days.

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    8. I wasn’t ‘bothered’ by that scene but I did understand people talking about rape. Part of the problem was that the book version wasn’t. All that was needed to be seen to change most of the perspective was a (bigger) sign of her just acquiescing to his advancement and appearing to want ‘it’ herself. Perhaps when they filmed it there was a little more to it that was cut in editing but there wasn’t enough of or even a little of that in the final product. *shrug*

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    9. Luka, I love ya man but why oh why did you have to specifically focus on this little bit of the interview about the Sept Scene?! There was so much more interesting stuff that is not beating that particular dead horse…

      I thought one interesting point he made was how now that the show is their baby, D&D are a bit less willing to take feedback from the actors. I also like how he points out what I thought was crystal clear from the scene – that Jaime is Acting the part of a man without honor in the scene with Edmure.

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    10. Markus Stark,

      Whether you agree what was shown on screen was clear, it’s definitely the case that NCW believes Jaime was acting. And since unlike the book we can’t read Jaime’s mind, I’d say taking the actor’s word for it is a good idea, since he does have that information about his character:

      There was a great scene last year when he was sent on this stupid mission to reclaim Riverrun and I guess the futility of it was so obvious. But I thought the way he handled that was very interesting. He used his reputation, if you will, as leverage to convince Edmure to surrender. That’s what he’s learned these last few seasons — what it means to be a father and that bond. Of course it was taken away from him the second he felt it.

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    11. Clob:
      I wasn’t ‘bothered’ by that scene but I did understand people talking about rape.Part of the problem was that the book version wasn’t.All that was needed to be seen to change most of the perspective was a (bigger) sign of her just acquiescing to his advancement and appearing to want ‘it’ herself.Perhaps when they filmed it there was a little more to it that was cut in editing but there wasn’t enough of or even a little of that in the final product. *shrug*

      Book version was assault. Cersei said no no no and hit him repeatedly and he ignored that. “She was into it later” is not a valid excuse for ignoring consent.

        Quote  Reply

    12. I’m with Dee in a way. I’ve never really understood the outrage about that scene or the Sansa wedding night scene. When compared to the torture and cruelty scenes, it pales into insignificance for me, and yet that doesn’t seem to upset people to the same extent. Why?

      I genuinely don’t get that.

        Quote  Reply

    13. I’ll never understand how they left that scene with the rubber sword as it is.It was obvious the moment they shot it,when you see the first raw footage.I can’t believe it was that hard to just have another take for Jon mounting the horse,a couple more minutes of work would have been enough.Just those two seconds.

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    14. Dee Stark,

      I am always annoyed by Jamie and I don’t get the amount of admiration viewers have for him. Jamie, especially the show version, is someone who as of late is very aware of his failings as a human being yet in the end he refuses to do anything about it. And you can’t even argue that he does it because he is content with himself, that he loves himself, because he doesn’t. He is often times disgusted with himself. That makes him, in my eyes, worse than Cersei who at least doesn’t really give a damn. She is who she is so let the heads roll. I find Jamie to be a really weak person, whose personality is coated in banality, he has allowed others to define him, especially the undeserving Cersei who uses him and abuses him as she likes. Jamie, in my opinion, is a pathetic character who could be so much more if he were to actually do something about it.

      The scene with Edmure was great though, I know people criticized Edmure’s decision but I couldn’t help but admire his integrity. In a way he was defending his people, rather than the castle. Castles that stand can be retaken, people whose lives are taken, are gone forever.

        Quote  Reply

    15. Danny,

      I completely agree with you!!!!!
      I am usually annoyed with Jamie as well… you explained my feelings about him really well.. the scene with Edmure was the icing on the cake!

        Quote  Reply

    16. Dee Stark,

      1. I thought he was exaggerating a bit to persuade Edmure, ie, “I don’t give two s****s about anyone or anything but Cersei, and every minute I waste here is another minute I’m away from her. So I’m gonna launch your baby from a catapult and make you watch unless you accept my terms. And unlike those Frey dweebs with their stupid hats and empty threats, I’m not joking.”
      I think Jaime played up his “bad reputation” to convince Edmure he had no compunctions about killing all Tullys if it’d hasten his return to
      Cersei.

      2. In effect, though, Jaime was keeping his word to Brienne to try to resolve the siege without bloodshed.

      3. What I don’t get is that after Jaime promised Edmure comfortable accommodations with his wife Roslyn and their son at Casterly Rock if Edmure surrendered Riverrun… Walder Frey later boasted at the Lannister-Frey banquet that Edmure was “back in his cell.”

        Quote  Reply

    17. The Dragon Demands,

      Sigh. Let me just say:

      A. YOU are NOT the GoT Wiki, you are simply an editor who has granted himself an unhealthy amount of influence on the website.
      B. You shall do no such thing, surely.
      C. Who do you think you are? Seriously.

        Quote  Reply

    18. HelloThere,

      I know right… You (DD) know these are fictional characters. Do you (DD) advocate the same way for real men and women? If so , I will stick my foot in my mouth.

        Quote  Reply

    19. Halfman: When compared to the torture and cruelty scenes, it pales into insignificance for me,

      Yeah, Cersei is the wrong person to use as an example for the SJWs. To identify a few things:

      1) She killed a childhood friend in order to keep a secret
      2) She’s been screwing Jaime since they were pre-teens
      3) She approved of and witnessed Jaime’s attempted murder of Bran
      4) She planned her husband’s “accident”
      5) She screwed Lancel when Jaime was not around
      6) She raised a psychopath
      7) Oh, and she planned and watched the murder of hundreds of royalty with a subtle grin, then immediately proceeded to setup the torture of Septa Unella.

      No matter how the scene played out, Cersei, beautifully portrayed by Lena Headey, was not a victim. But the way this series warps things, I actually felt sympathy for Cersei during her “walk of shame!” Such manipulated extremes are very well depicted on the page and screen. Lena’s and Nikolaj’s reactions are spot on.

      The Drogo/Dany and Sansa/Ramsay scenes are very different from this scene and should be considered separately, imho. There is no comparison.

        Quote  Reply

    20. Chuck,

      I haven’t read the books and I think that book and show are two different things

      Even though he was over exaggerating with Edmure, I truly think that he has gone back to cersei more than he should have. Will see what happens next season

        Quote  Reply

    21. Dee Stark,

      I think it’s great, actually, “upgrading” the character’s personality (rather than changing it, which I do agree sounds a bit weird). He hasn’t really been memorable in his brief appearance so far.

        Quote  Reply

    22. The Dragon Demands,

      Again, “She got into it later” is not a valid excuse for ignoring consent. Your “edit” would be nothing more than whitewashing sexual assault.

      And not to mention banal and annoying fanwankery…. no1curr about your wiki dude.

        Quote  Reply

    23. Markus Stark,

      Honestly Ive watched that episode at least 3 times and never noticed the floppy sword. If thats the worst editing on the show then fantastic.

      Battle of the bastards was one of the most involved in tedious shoots of the entire series and probably all of television.

        Quote  Reply

    24. Danny:
      Dee Stark,
      I am always annoyed by Jamie and I don’t get the amount of admiration viewers have for him.Jamie, especially the show version, is someone who as of late is very aware of his failings as a human being yet in the end he refuses to do anything about it.And you can’t even argue that he does it because he is content with himself, that he loves himself, because he doesn’t.He is often times disgusted with himself.That makes him, in my eyes, worse than Cersei who at least doesn’t really give a damn.She is who she is so let the heads roll.I find Jamie to be a really weak person, whose personality is coated in banality, he has allowed others to define him, especially the undeserving Cersei who uses him and abuses him as she likes. Jamie, in my opinion, is a pathetic character who could be so much more if he were to actually do something about it.

      The scene with Edmure was great though, I know people criticized Edmure’s decision but I couldn’t help but admire his integrity.In a way he was defending his people, rather than the castle.Castles that stand can be retaken, people whose lives are taken, are gone forever.

      I love Jaime and yet I think this is a great analysis of his character, despite being critical.

      He has been to put a finer point on it, very… lazy in his life. He has let others define him, but even more so he has let others make his choices for him. He let Cersei & Aerys put him into the Kingsguard for their own reasons, he stuck around with Cersei even though she married Robert for power. He did whatever his dad told him to do, even though his dad is an evil A-hole (maybe worse than Aerys) and he knows it. He didn’t stand up for Tyrion in the Tysha incident. I think that is why Jaime is so proud of his finest moment – killing Aerys – and so resentful about how others see that ironically as his lowest moment. He’s like, I finally made my own choice to do something that was morally right and now everyone hates me, well I think I’m going to go wallow in self pity for the next 20 years.

      Fact is Jaime was a coward for most of his life. Brienne points it out to him in Season 3 and that becomes a nagging seed in his heart that begins to change him. He doesn’t want to be that guy anymore – he’s tormented about it. He still thinks he has an oath to his son and the crown in S6, and I think protecting Tommen’s rule was a fairly honorable charge. But I agree until he actually does something about it, he’s still a coward – especially without a kingsguard oath to hold him.

      So yeah I like tormented morally gray Jaime and I think there is still hope. I don’t see any resolution of his arc that isnt’ at least somewhat redemptive. Maybe it will be too little too late though.

        Quote  Reply

    25. QueenofThrones,

      well said…
      some would argue that Danny’s comments are because the writing for Jamie is bad, in the SHOW
      I truly feel like that is how he is supposed to be…

        Quote  Reply

    26. Ser Broccoli McBroccoliface,

      I never noticed it either until it became an internet thing. It’s pretty silly looking when you focus on it, but in all honesty there’s so much going on during that episode that I personally could care less about the floppy factor.

        Quote  Reply

    27. QueenofThrones: Book version was assault.Cersei said no no no and hit him repeatedly and he ignored that.“She was into it later” is not a valid excuse for ignoring consent.

      Ugh. I don’t profess to be an expert, but “she was into it later”, like “her words said no but her body screamed yes”, are myths that are still perpetuated by rape culture.
      Seriously…in the real world does it EVER really happen that a woman refuses consent, a man forces her anyway, but then she is “into it later”?
      I’ve noticed that some men, especially from “older generations”, exhibit what appears to be a warped subliminal delusion that “I’m supposed to be the aggressor; her reticence is part of the act; she’s expecting me to persist until I overcome her feigned resistance.”
      Still, there are lots of young men today who need to be taught: “this is what an enthusiastic ‘Yes’ looks like.” Because they do not seem to know.

      Unqualified amateur rant over.

        Quote  Reply

    28. Dee Stark,

      You wouldn’t presume to think so, simply based on the level of sanity you would expect from a person. But, unfortunately, yes, he is “for real”.

      At least that’s what he thinks. In the end, all he has done is turning the GoT wiki from a great informative website into his personal rant and rave blog and barred anyone who spoke against it, to the frustration of many on here. His claim that this website (as if it represents anyone besides him) could “demand” (as if this were a lawsuit of somekind) anything of anyone, is laughable.

        Quote  Reply

    29. Sorry fam, but it’s rape in the books too. No clearly means No, not “I’m playing hard to get” or “I’ll change my mind in a bit, just give me a sec”.

        Quote  Reply

    30. I haven’t read the scene/chapter for years so I don’t remember specifics. I’ve just been going by what people said about it in comparison. So if it was it was… and then we’re saying that the show scene was true to the books and people shouldn’t complain about it I guess.

        Quote  Reply

    31. Dutch Maester,

      I seem to recall that dragon demands was trying to push some petition to have D&D removed as writers of the show as well. Hmmmmm, I wonder how well that’s working out?

        Quote  Reply

    32. Mr Derp,

      I think he called it a “campaign” to have D&D replaced.

      I would’ve thought by now we’d be getting promo shots and clips from his more “faithful” adaptation of ASOIAF. Did I miss them? Or is it still in pre-production?

        Quote  Reply

    33. A Dornish Tyrell,

      Jenny,

      UGH!

      Why on a Friday afternoon???? I wont be able to discuss with my peeps!

      I never get on the site over the weekend. No time.
      I usually do it while I am at work! Haha

      Oh well. Maybe its for the best. Stay away from possible spoilers.

        Quote  Reply

    34. Ten Bears,
      Word.

      Honestly that PoV chapter is very unsettling to read b/c we are literally in the head of someone who is assaulting someone but doesn’t realize that’s what he’s doing. If this is what their sex life is like normally (which seems to be the case) that’s even more upsetting.

      F— rape culture.

        Quote  Reply

    35. But wait! It’s only the first 3 episode titles! That must mean the last 4 episodes are delayed!!! AHHHHHHHHHH

        Quote  Reply

    36. Ten Bears:
      Mr Derp,

      I think he called it a “campaign” to have D&D replaced.

      I would’ve thought by now we’d be getting promo shots and clips from his more “faithful” adaptation of ASOIAF. Did I miss them? Or is it still in pre-production?

      He’s posting his fan videos all over the forum but everyone ignores his threads.

        Quote  Reply

    37. Episode #61: “Dragonstone” (July 16)
      Jon (Kit Harington) organizes the defense of the North. Cersei (Lena Headey) tries to even the odds. Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) comes home.
      Written for television by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss; directed by Jeremy Podeswa.

      Episode #62: “Stormborn” (July 23)
      Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) receives an unexpected visitor. Jon (Kit Harington) faces a revolt. Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) plans the conquest of Westeros.
      Written for television by Bryan Cogman; directed by Mark Mylod.

      Episode #63: “The Queen’s Justice” (July 30)
      Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) holds court. Cersei (Lena Headey) returns a gift. Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) learns from his mistakes.
      Written for television by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss; directed by Mark Mylod.

        Quote  Reply

    38. Dee Stark,

      Actually, I prefer it this way!! I usually don’t comment here on weekends. Plus, some people have been a little bit careless with the spoiler tags… And being so close to the premiere, it would be a shame to be spoiled.

        Quote  Reply

    39. A Dornish Tyrell,

      You are right.. after I sent the comment I realized that the post would possibly filled with spoilers!!!!!!! So I guess it is a good thing for you and I 🙂

      The titles and descriptions have hyped me up so much though…. cause I wasn’t hyped already lol

        Quote  Reply

    40. Mr Derp:
      But wait!It’s only the first 3 episode titles!That must mean the last 4 episodes are delayed!!! AHHHHHHHHHH

      What? Something must be wrong! We’ve never gotten the first three episode titles and then had to wait this long for the next ones!!

        Quote  Reply

    41. Dee Stark,

      As always Dee they are very vague so not much spoiling going on there.But considering you are the Queen of the Unspoiled maybe you should skip them.

        Quote  Reply

    42. So the first three episode titles and their directors are:

      Dragonstone – Podeswa
      Stormborn – Mylod
      The Queen’s Justice – Mylod

      [*sees Jack Bauer’s tinfoil disintegrating like White Walker struck by Longclaw*]

        Quote  Reply

    43. Dee Stark: The titles and descriptions have hyped me up so much though…. cause I wasn’t hyped already lol

      I know!! Same here… 😀

        Quote  Reply

    44. Jenny,

      Ohhh I already read them. I don’t mind reading those. I meant being involved in the comments/thread on the titles which is coming soon I am sure. Thankfully I usually dont attend the website on the weekends so I wont be in the midst of all the episode/spoilery talk.

        Quote  Reply

    45. Dee Stark,

      Um as far as I know they oversee every script.Everything is approved by them.Bryan has admitted that sometimes they add or change things.It’s a collaboration.

        Quote  Reply

    46. Ten Bears,

      He was also promoting his site, for the umpteenth time, and by this point it’s turning into spam. But yes, his general behavior was also a factor. I don’t have any idea how he believes acting like that won’t have consequences.

        Quote  Reply

    47. QueenofThrones: Book version was assault.Cersei said no no no and hit him repeatedly and he ignored that.“She was into it later” is not a valid excuse for ignoring consent.

      Probably too late to comment now, but there were so many comments on this topic that I immediately thought of this video I saw a few months ago called

      * Predatory Romance in Harrison Ford Movies

      Of course this isn’t an issue only in HF movies, but this is how a lot of men/women romances were portrayed in many, many movies and media in general and helped to normalize this type of action as romantic, even to women. Many people just are so used to it that you don’t notice it or remember it negatively, I know I usually never did until I saw this video (been a while since I’ve seen most of these movies, but even so I never took issue with them in the past).

      Of course so much is really in the moment between two people and how well they know and understand each other and what they are feeling in that moment, I can see how both sides are valid in how they are interpreting what is happening, depending on their viewpoint, but as an outsider observer, yeah it looks bad.

      Our society and understanding is changing, so I do think it is fair to point these thing out, but I don’t judge them too harshly as it seemed normal at the time.

      * I learned later that the creator of this video is rather controversial, I don’t want to push any agenda on people, I just thought it was an interesting video and apt to the topic. If you are unsure why some people see assault or rape in that scene – maybe watching this will help you understand where they are coming from and why you feel differently.

        Quote  Reply

    48. While I haven’t read it recently, what I mostly got from the book version of the sex-in-the-sept scene was that Cersei wasn’t reluctant to have sex per se, but that she was uncomfortable with the place and the circumstances.
      “We shouldn’t be doing that here!”
      I do wish they had brought that out better in the show scene.

      As a female, I relate to it with various occasions where I was like “no! Somebody might come in!” but then the excitement took over and I went with it because I wanted to.
      So I don’t agree that an initial ‘no’ inevitably = rape. I’m not comfortable with such a rigid interpretation. It’s all about the context.

        Quote  Reply

    49. Flayed Potatoes:
      Can’t wait for the return of Valyrian rubber.

      Giddyup!

      The guy behind him looks like he saw it and was expecting the director to say, “Cut! Let’s do another take.” 😉

        Quote  Reply

    50. Grandmaester Flash:
      While I haven’t read it recently, what I mostly got from the book version of the sex-in-the-sept scene was that Cersei wasn’t reluctant to have sex per se, but that she was uncomfortable with the place and the circumstances.
      “We shouldn’t be doing that here!”
      I do wish they had brought that out better in the show scene.

      As a female, I relate to it with various occasions where I was like “no!Somebody might come in!” but then the excitement took over and I went with it because I wanted to.
      So I don’t agree that an initial ‘no’ inevitably = rape.I’m not comfortable with such a rigid interpretation.It’s all about the context.

      150% very well said. I have said no (because not here or not now), then went with it
      Definitely all about context. And to be honest with you, that is exactly how I interpreted the scene (I haven’t read the books so I cannot compare to how it was described in the books)

        Quote  Reply

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