Rory McCann on the Hound going North & Gemma Whelan on action scenes and Yara looking at the bigger picture in Season 7

Hound Sandor Clegane Season 7 Header

As Brother Ray discovered during their therapy sessions, Sandor Clegane is not the most talkative fellow around. Thankfully, Rory McCann is more open to talk things out… though, as you’ll learn, he isn’t above telling fans to “fuck off,” apparently to their delight. If you have watched the latest trailer, you might have noticed the Hound fighting in the snow, and McCann has a few things to say on season seven filming on Iceland.

There is also an interview with Gemma Whelan, who discussed Yara’s journey so far and what’s to come, including action scenes and the ironborn’s new path under her rule.

Daily Record chatted with McCann about everything from his famous fight with Brienne to workplace injuries, though he did clarify they were the fault of his fun-loving side: “I’ve been limping for two or three months to be honest,” the Scottish actor began, before admitting: “But the main injury was my shoulder over-stretching throwing too many snowballs in between takes in Iceland and I’m not getting any sympathy for that.”

What is the Hound doing in Iceland? We have him fighting alongside many other warriors in a frozen environment, which is probably dangerous, but McCann wouldn’t be happier, as he lived in Iceland for a year working as a carpenter, before Game of Thrones. There’s also that, despite the freezing cold at the glaciers and the many snowball-related injuries, he found a way to make it all easier, and you’re not gonna believe it: Rory McCann, who plays various instruments, and some co-stars started a band, “The Brotherhood Without Banjos,” which should give you an idea of the actors involved:

“It was really great,” McCann described. “We had five or six of the actors all playing. We brought musical instruments with us, yeah it was good, good fun.” And that wasn’t the end of it: “I had to sing for my supper a few times in Seville (where the show also filmed), playing piano and stuff.” I must say, this man really is talented! Is he a man of words, too? Depending on who you ask and what they’re into: “I mean you just get people shouting out, ‘Hey you’re the Hound’ and I tell them to ‘fuck off’ and they seem happy and I carry on.” I kind of want him to tell me to ‘fuck off,’ is that weird? I think that’s weird.

21 Sandor

As for what we can expect from the Hound in season seven, aside from the knowledge that behind the scenes Sandor was jamming with the Brotherhood, McCann is more tight-lipped: “I can feel your frustration already because we can’t tell too much but I’m sore from killing things – or was it just chopping wood?”, he jokingly teased, before addressing the rumors he will save Westeros from the White Walkers: “Really? Nah.”

Alongside Gemma Whelan, McCann also sat with Stuff and discussed Sandor’s journey further: “It’s getting colder … Most of our scenes, if they haven’t been in a blizzard, have been pretend blizzards. We have been lip reading to each other most of the season because there is a fan going wheeeee and someone throwing snow in my face.”

“There was a feeling that he was coming to peace with himself,” he said about Sandor’s inward journey: “It only lasted an episode and suddenly he’s got an axe in his hand and he’s chopping people’s heads off so that was a fleeting thing. He was left with the question, ‘Do you want to join the Brotherhood Without Banners and fight this evil that is coming our way or do you want to carry on down that road with your axe and your rage?’ I won’t tell you which path I took if you don’t mind. It will be worth the wait.”

“Most people realise I think, The Hound, he’s not a bad guy,” Mccan told Stuff. “He’s damaged goods but he’s sometimes morally doing the right thing. You’ve seen in the past The Hound guarding with his life the Stark girls and trying to keep them safe and maybe that’s to do with his past, of being bullied by his big brother and that kind of thing.”

THeon Yara

Gemma Whelan, meanwhile, isn’t as keen on action scenes as McCann. Reportedly, she used an actual axe for some stunts until her excessive force made that untenable:

“When you learn the fighting choreography you learn it in a huge tent, by yourself, on a load of mats with no other people around, and do it very slowly and you take it step by step. But one of the really important things that I didn’t get taught was pulling, so that when you go in to hit somebody you don’t actually hit them. You almost but then pull.”

“And for some reason, I’d either not clocked that or hadn’t been taught it and so I was really whacking people. I was given a rubber axe to start with and then they thought because I was a dancer I was quiet coordinated, I had a good awareness of space, they gave me a real axe. They said, ‘I think you’ll be alright with this because the lads have got protection on and stuff.’ They called action and we had one take of this scene in this really confined space with everything going nuts and I nearly killed a Liverpudlian man and they took it off me very quickly and said, ‘It’s not going to work for us.'”

“The fight scenes are enormous fun to do, but they need such respect and precision and often you are not given a great deal of training because there is not time,” she lamented.

44 Yara Theon

It’s not all about fighting, however. At least, not since she signed up with Daenerys and agreed to “no more reaving, roving, raiding, or raping” from her people, which would mean completely changing the ironborn’s traditional way of life: “It’s a great testament to her ability to be open minded about how she needs to change in order to move on. She really has a great idea about taking care of the whole, the bigger picture, and not just taking care of herself even though she’s gone about it in her own unique way.”

I hope she’s right, because if the ironborn can’t keep up with the times they will be left behind. In a way, they already are. Is Yara their last hope for relevance, or even survival?

38 responses

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    1. Rory McCann:
      “He was left with the question, ‘Do you want to join the Brotherhood Without Banners and fight this evil that is coming our way or do you want to carry on down that road with your axe and your rage?’ I won’t tell you which path I took if you don’t mind. It will be worth the wait.”

      Well if those promo shots of the Hound with a grumpy face in a blizzard are any indication….

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    2. Roocat:
      Why does it seem like Rory McCann would be one of the more fun people from the cast to hang out with :-).

      Maybe so, but you know what’d happen if you’re sitting across a table from him and you get too chatty…

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    3. Now that Sandor Clegane has returned to the fray, I love that Rory McCann has been more involved with the promotion in advance of the new season. He’s an extremely interesting guy. And indeed, he’s one of the few people from whom receiving a hearty “fuck off” would be cause for delight, rather than sadness or indignation. He’s most certainly not the Hound in real life, but there’s a reason that he embodies him so well on screen. The man tells it like it is, and suffers no fools.

      Gemma’s great as well. That she came close to killing a guy while wielding a real axe obviously isn’t ideal, but considering that no one was actually hurt, it certainly makes for a good story!

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    4. It is always such a delight to hear from Rory McCann ! Not only is his character one of my favourite but the man himself is a treasure. Amused and bemused by his own success. Truly a great guy !

      As for Sandor’s future, well, we already know that he has decided to join the Brotherhood so… Up north, he goes !
      I so badly want him to meet Brienne again. The begrudging respect with which he alluded to her (“he was a woman”) when talking with his fellow Bannerless men made me yearn for a new encounter between them.

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    5. I’m way behind the spoilers. Have we given up on GleganeBowl? I don’t think the arc will be complete without a nesting of his brother!

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    6. Ten Bears: Maybe so, but you know what’d happen if you’re sitting across a table from him and you get too chatty…

      There’s hope! In the Daily Record interview Rory said: “I’d like to carry on with Arya, to be honest, I had a great time working with her and that was a bit of a road trip. That was fun.”

      We just have to make sure they’re stocked with chickens. When Maisie interviewed Lena Headey, she commented “Because playing Arya is pretty lighthearted most of the time. Rory [McCann, who played The Hound] and I had some amazing times on set together. Although for one of the seasons he was on this crazy training diet. Rory is a great laugh, but Rory minus food…”.

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    7. Pigeon: *cough*

      Interesting. That was what my doctor told me to do as she put on her rubber gloves.

      Any words from McCann/Hound makes me smile! The man has a code…most of the time. Injured while throwing snowballs? Hah!

      Any possible collision between Sansa/Brienne/Hound this season would be quite interesting indeed! I’m excited and a bit worried about what the BwB can do in the north. Maybe R’hllor/Thoros can spread the flames to others’ swords as well!

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    8. @ Luka:
      Do you know if these titels and short descriptions of the first three episodes are legit:

      Episode #61: “Dragonstone”
      Debut: Sunday, July 16 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)
      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”
      Debut: Sunday, July 23 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
      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”
      Debut: Sunday, July 30 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
      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.

      http://www.comingsoon.net/tv/news/866111-game-of-thrones-season-7-episode-details-and-more#/slide/1

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    9. Molestown bastard: Luka are you staying up to watch it live?

      Yup. At 3AM my time. No regrets!

      Ortrun,

      I mean, we did publish them a few days ago, so yeah, we believe they’re legit 😛

      Seriously now: they came directly from an official HBO press release.

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    10. Hodors Bastard,

      ” Any possible collision between Sansa/Brienne/Hound this season would be quite interesting indeed! …”
      ——————–

      While it may be my imagination, in one of the tiny on-set promo shots of The Hound, the pattern on his costume looked exactly like Arya’s in those makeup trailer shots a few months ago.

      ~ FanFic Interlude ~
      Sandor Clegane pledges to be Lady Arya’s Sworn Shield. They come upon Sansa and her Sworn Shield Brienne of Fuc*king Tarth.

      Needless to say, they’d all have a lot to talk about. Hopefully without groin-punching and ear-biting this time.

      Isn’t CleganeBowl obsolete? I thought the “hype” died as soon as Tommen outlawed trial by combat, if not before.

      Sandor vs. Brienne II: The Rematch.
      That I could get into, though it’d be better if they’re on the same side.
      (Brienne: “OMG! It’s the Night King!”
      Sandor: “F*ck the Night King.”)

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    11. Ten Bears: Isn’t CleganeBowl obsolete? I thought the “hype” died as soon as Tommen outlawed trial by combat, if not before.

      It is obsolete for me. Never was a fan of G vs S actually. They had their scuffle in S1.

      Since Tommen is no more, the Queen’s justice shall be swift and blunt. Unfortunately, the Night King’s justice will also be quite swift and blunt without certain sword and blade enhancements.

      I find the Hound’s alignment with the BwB to be awe-inspiring. If they come across either Arya or Sansa/Brienne, I will be on the edge of wetness. I honestly don’t believe the Hound would be vengeful around Brienne. I just hope the BwB are not on a suicide mission up north, but I fear the worst.

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    12. Hodors Bastard: I find the Hound’s alignment with the BwB to be awe-inspiring. If they come across either Arya or Sansa/Brienne, I will be on the edge of wetness. I honestly don’t believe the Hound would be vengeful around Brienne.

      The Hound has nothing but respect, no matter how begrudging, for Brienne, I believe. She defeated him fair and square and Sandor gets it.
      I cannot wait for him to meet his former protegées again… Come on, Brotherhood ! Rush to the North, now !

      PS “The edge of wetness” is now officially my favourite assortment of words.

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    13. Hodors Bastard:

      “I find the Hound’s alignment with the BwB to be awe-inspiring. If they come across either Arya or Sansa/Brienne, I will be on the edge of wetness. I honestly don’t believe the Hound would be vengeful around Brienne. I just hope the BwB are not on a suicide mission up north, but I fear the worst.”

      ——–

      The way I look at it, when The Hound told Arya “F*ck it. I’m ready”, he was content to conclude his life, which hadn’t had much purpose for him.
      Anything after that is a bonus – and first Brother Ray and then Beric have drummed into his head that he’s still around “for a reason” and the god or gods “have plans for Sandor Clegane,”
      First Ray told him “it’s not too late” to start helping people. “It’s never too late to come back.” Then Beric recruited him to join Brotherhood without Banners to go north with them because “you can still help alot more than you’ve harmed Clegane. It’s not too late for you.”

      What I’m getting at is that I think Sandor is destined to go out in a [literal] blaze of glory, probably sacrificing his life so that others may live. In a way, he’s living on borrowed time. If he’s on a suicide mission, I think he’d embrace it if it’s for the greater good.

      I think The Hound is a fantastic character. I don’t know how he’s portrayed in the books but Rory McCann has been amazing bringing him to life. I’d hate to see him go, but then again he came back from death and is living a second life just as much as Jon Snow is.

      He’s gonna have at least “one happy memory” when he goes out this time. I cannot envision him being cut down before he’s able to “help alot more than [he’s] harmed.”

      (I would not be surprised if his “second” death scene is a rerun of the first one, except this time Arya is all broken up and crying over him. …Yeah, Maisie and Rory could sell that big time. )

      – End Sandor Geekfest Installment –

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    14. ACME: “The edge of wetness”

      Ssshhh! I borrowed it from 70s SNL! Don’t tell anyone! 🙂

      Ten Bears: What I’m getting at is that I think Sandor is destined to go out in a [literal] blaze of glory, probably sacrificing his life so that others may live. In a way, he’s living on borrowed time. If he’s on a suicide mission, I think he’d embrace it if it’s for the greater good.

      I can accept that and I appreciate your thoughts on the matter. I hadn’t thought that the Hound could go out during the defense of either Sansa or Arya but that is intriguing. I do agree that he is living on borrowed time.

      I’m looking forward to his reaction when Beric fires up his sword again! Seriously though, Sam should FedEx Heartsbane to the north! And where oh where is BR’s Dark Sister??? All I am saying is give the Hound a chance!

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    15. ACME,

      ” PS “The edge of wetness” is now officially my favourite assortment of words.”
      ———–

      Yeah, I think Hodors Bastard has come up with the unofficial slogan for S7.

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    16. Hodors Bastard,

      Well, I have already given last rites to my Sandor = Warrior of Light tinfoil theory, based on the Rory McCann interview. But maybe he will wield the burning sword after all….
      If The Hound does turn out to be the prophecied warrior, I suppose Rory McCann would be expected to dismiss that possibility in an interview. (“Nah.”)

      Nice reminder about “Dark Sister.” Did Arya mention that VS sword in her history conversation with Tywin just for background? Or was it a VS gun that was hung that will be fired in S7 or S8?

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    17. Hodors Bastard: Interesting. That was what my doctor told me to do as she put on her rubber gloves.

      Well, at least she wasn’t also grabbing a plunger. *rimshot*

      (Seriously, why have those pork pies of yours left me so block up????)

      Ten Bears: Did Arya mention that VS sword in her history conversation with Tywin just for background? Or was it a VS gun that was hung that will be fired in S7 or S8?

      Given the fact that it came up once in Season 2 and never since, it’s really not a hung gun. The long-term hung guns (Jon’s mother, the Promised Prince, etc.) get brought up every season. Without this repetition, people are not going to remember it as an outstanding issue: and on this sort of TV series, that is the “big deal” that Chekhov said to not make unless it will become important.

      Hodors Bastard: Ssshhh! I borrowed it from 70s SNL! Don’t tell anyone!

      heh, half of the posters now are thinking: “They had TV when my grandparents were kids? I didn’t know that!” 😀

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    18. Hodors Bastard: Maybe R’hllor/Thoros can spread the flames to others’ swords as well!

      Huh, good question there. I mean, it’s been set up that R’hllor’s magic can do this, and they never made it seem like it had to be one particular sword.

      Of course, that is one fantasy trope to which GRRM clung: undead spontaneously combust when slapped with flame! In reality, shoving a flaming sword into a frozen corpse would result in sizzling, the smell of rotten pork being cooked for a moment, and the sword being extinguished within a couple of seconds. Frozen clothing would not catch fire, either, as it not only would be very cold, but also filled with ice. Basically, you would need a really good accelerant to keep a fire going after encountering a wight!

      Wait, rotten pork smell……

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    19. Wimsey: Wait, rotten pork smell……

      Another pie coming right up! Look out your basement window in a few minutes; the drone will drop it nearby.

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    20. Ten Bears: “Dark Sister” is a cool name for a sword.

      Yeah, I hoped it would be found north of the wall, or in CB’s storage areas. BR’s mysteries hopefully will be explored at some point (on the page).

      Who knows…they may find a bunch of stashed swords in addition to obsidian as they explore Dragonstone!

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    21. Wimsey: Well, at least she wasn’t also grabbing a plunger.

      Hah! Then I found out that she wasn’t a real doctor! All these years…

        Quote  Reply

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