The women of Game of Thrones cover Entertainment Weekly this week!

Brienne cover

Photo: MARC HOM for EW

Entertainment Weekly is focusing on Game of Thrones in a new double issue, going behind the scenes with season 6, with six of the show’s starring actresses taking the forefront in new profiles.

“The women are rocking this season — and I’m not just saying that because they’re on your cover,” HBO programming president Michael Lombardo is quoted as saying to EW. “Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) always does, but also Brienne (Gwendoline Christie), Arya (Maisie Williams), Sansa (Sophie Turner), Cersei (Lena Headey), Margaery (Natalie Dormer), and other characters too, like Yara (Gemma Whelan). They power this season. It’s organic to the storytelling, yet a radical shift. It’s the women that are the hope that we’re watching as the chess pieces move this season, and it’s very exciting.”

Christie, Williams, Clarke, Turner, Headey, and Dormer are each featured on their own Collector’s Cover of the double issue. You can view Christie (above) and Clarke’s covers here- swing by Entertainment Weekly to check out the remaining four. The magazine will be on newsstands Friday, or  you can order it online, choosing a specific cover.

The ladies also discuss who would make the best queen of Westeros in this new video from EW:

Emilia cover

Photo: MARC HOM for EW

109 responses

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    1. They really dont want to reveal anything of the season. Even the costumes the characters wear on the covers look like season 5 costumes.

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    2. Holy airbrush! They went overboard with the photoshop.

      I like Arya’s cover the most (Needle!!!). Glad my girl Brienne got a cover. Can’t wait for Cersei to destroy everyone in KL.

      Hopefully

      Bran, Jon and my girls Melisandre and Yara got their new plot armor ready for the season. No hope for Rickon based on all the interviews we’re getting.

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    3. To echo others, I was wondering why they were all in last season’s costumes tbh (although I think Cersei’s is slightly different, I can’t tell. Was she wearing all black last year?). Aside from Cersei and Sansa’s hair, this literally could have been lifted from last year.

      Last year, they showed Maisie in her Cat of the Canals outfit, and seeing as we don’t have the same kind of knowledge about this season, you’d think they would have used this as an opportunity to tease a bit more.

      I have to say though, and I think I’m in the minority here, I really do like Sansa’s old Alayne dress. Even though it doesn’t fit with the books – as a self-described book purist lmao – I do think it really suits Sophie tbh.

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    4. EW always goes WAY overboard with the Photoshop/airbrushing. There’s something especially unnatural about Natalie’s photograph.

      Honestly the general level of EW’s quality has gone down in all areas in the last few areas, it’s why I unsubscribed. But I’ll buy one of these issues- Brienne, probably.

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    5. Flayed Potatoes,

      Sophie’s is definitely wonky (look at the neck/bust). Natalie’s is also overly airbrushed. I think the others are mostly fine. Maisie’s is the best; really nice shot.

      They’ve already released photos and trailer images of all of these characters, so I find the use of the Season 5 costumes a bit weird. I don’t know if in Dany’s case they wanted her to have something a bit more glamorous on than the Dothraki travel chic she’ll probably have for most of the season, but that nice fur ensemble that we got a glimpse of Sansa wearing in the trailer would seem like it would have been fine for the cover instead of the raven dress (I guess it looks better without the black hair, which really didn’t suit Sophie, in my opinion). Margaery I guess could go back to her old wardrobe if she gets out, though clearly she’s not going to start the season looking like that.

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    6. Lyannaes,

      Cersei is in mourning (Tywin and probably Myrcella). I expect she’ll wear lots of black. The costume designer also said they reused a lot of the older dresses for Cersei to signify her loss of power.

      Dressing Dany and Sansa in their season 6 costumes might be huge spoilers. I don’t think the new costumes might look as good on the cover as these dresses (especially in Margaery and Dany’s case, looking at where they were left off last season).

      The Cat of the Canals outfit didn’t seem like much of a spoiler to me. It seemed like a showcase of how Bravosi fashion looks like and I’m sure most of us were looking forward to Arya getting a wardrobe change haha.

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    7. Sue the Fury,

      Yeah growing up I remember EW as being a great magazine where I wanted to read almost every word. Now I just skim it and something tends to make me headdesk in every issue.

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    8. Well I know what I’ll be swiping from my roomie’s stack of mail.

      That video was great! Love those ladies! And my gods that black dress Lena is wearing: WANT.

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    9. I wanted to see Emilia wearing Dany’s dothraki clothes we got from leaked images from the set but I knew it wouldn’t happen. They just don’t want to spoil anything about the next season.

      I also think they went only with the girls not just to avoid the Jon Snow issue but also because of all the shit they got last year because of Sansa’s storyline so they want to show them as in a position of power, when in reality all of them are pretty much in bad positions atm in the show.

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    10. Sean C.,

      Yeah the rags Dany and Margaery were wearing in their last episodes wouldn’t have been glamorous enough for the cover. And I agree about the Dothraki spoiler.

      That Darth Sansa outfit is iconic at this point lol.

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    11. Flayed Potatoes,

      Yeah, I think the Cersei one makes sense tbh, esp with what we know is coming in her storyline, both generally and specifically.

      I would agree with you on the Dany and Sansa part, except we’ve already had a trailer and some promo pictures. We know Sansa gets a fur …. something in the trailer, and we’ve had several images of both her and Dany in outfits from the images. I can understand them wanting the women to look “pretty”, but I don’t think it would have been too difficult to make them look good in basic or dirty clothing – Maisie looks nice, after all, despite the plainness of her outfit. I get what you’re saying, though, I just …. meh lmao ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

      (I deffo agree, though, the Cat of the Canals outfit was such a nice change for Arya though, esp with the hair. I just think that, even though it wouldn’t have meant much for show-only viewers ASIDE from adopting the Bravosi culture, for book readers or dedicated fans it was a definite confirmation.)

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    12. Meh Brienne’s armor is looking very clean and tidy considering that she has supposedly been living on the road for months??? , I hope GoT isn’t going down the road that every BBC medieval drama goes down where everybody looks like they just came from an appointment with a stylist and is rocking spotlessly clean brand new clothing.

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    13. I really hope the Brienne or Margaery one is in my mailbox!!… and.. holy Photoshop on the Emilia one….shame, she doesn’t need it.

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    14. The photoshop on these covers is horrible, especially considering that the women are all naturally gorgeous. Maisie’s cover is the best, because she appears the least photoshopped to me.
      I hope that Daenerys will finally start to wear some color instead of the incredibly bland costumes of Season 5. But poor Marge will probably spend most of Season 6 in prison rags.

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    15. The addition of Dolly Parton cleavage on Sophie is appalling. The photoshop Sophie, Natalie and Emilia is awful, and it’s all pretty much the exact same cheekbone emphasis.

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    16. A Man Grown,

      Great mag?! Really? I am and was always excited when I get bits and pieces that address shows that I like because they do tend to speak to EW first many times, and they do have decent articles but I never considered it a great one at any point in time.

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    17. It really seems that our girls will be big in season 6.

      Daenerys
      Sansa
      Margaery
      Cersei
      Arya
      Brienne
      Yara
      Melissandre
      Lady olenna

      Even missandei and gilly has everything to be more important season 6.

      And we have Meera back too. And a want to see lyanna so much.

      But fat walda for sure will be the diva os this season.

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    18. Like most everyone, I hate the Emilia/Sophie/Natalie covers. They look like plastic people and they’re all very naturally beautiful. I hate that at such a young age, everyone wants to sexualize Sophie so much. She was just a baby. 🙁

      That said, the Gwen/Lena/Maisie covers are the best, though could have done without all the hair covering Maisie’s face.

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    19. Excited to see many of the women represented. That Arya cover is absolutely fantastic. Was excited to see her on the cover last year but this one is even better.
      Wish they didn’t feel the need to go nuts on the Photoshop. We know Sophie has boobs, but really? I guess because Sansa is a “woman” now, they need to sex kitten her up. Gross. Though, I do love that dress and still wish we got more Alayne time.

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    20. I don’t know; to me, this all feels like HBO pandering to the Mary Sues or Jezebels of the world to try to win them back after Sansagate- only the awful Photoshop job on most of these actresses reveals how tone-deaf their publicity staff actually is.

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    21. I have an EW subscription and logged in to see if I could download the issue. It’s not yet available.

      Yeah…it is pandering to women, but I like being pandered to. Pander more please. Put more women on magazine covers. Emphasize women’s roles and importance more. I like it.

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    22. Dany is wearing her season 5 cover dress isn’t she? Coundn’t she wear anything else? First covers for Sansa, Brienne and Margaery right?

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    23. Kells:

      Wish they didn’t feel the need to go nuts on the Photoshop. We know Sophie has boobs, but really? I guess because Sansa is a “woman” now, they need to sex kitten her up. Gross.

      I have no problem with that! Perhaps Sofie has had a ‘boob job’ in the meantime 😉

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    24. HotPinkLipstick:
      Yeah…it is pandering to women, but I like being pandered to. Pander more please. Put more women on magazine covers. Emphasize women’s roles and importance more. I like it.

      oh my god same lmao i know they’re using me but don’t care, give me more women

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    25. No women or 6 covers of women, 1/2 of which are poorly photoshopped. HmmmmMmm….Hmmm, think think think, what would I choose….

      By the way, I would also consider it pandering to women if they had a shirtless Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kit Harington and Michael Huisman covers. In fact, can we please pander to women by getting more hyper sexualized magazine covers of men please?

      *stretches out on her chaise lounge, champagne in one hand, a plate of cake by her side*

      I’m ready for my pandering.

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    26. Maisie has turned into an absolutely stunning young woman. She has such a unique look which the standard Hollywood dime-a-dozens can’t hold a candle to. 🙂 Love that Needle made the cover.

      I am so over the cleavage photoshop. Not everyone has to have a big rack going on – both Sophie and Emilia have perfectly lovely figures and don’t need ‘alterations’. (this is coming from a large-busted woman, I know what I’m talking about dammit). I love Nathalie but wtf is with all the shopping? Argh.

      I’ll buy Arya’s cover, but Brienne is possibly my favourite. Gwen is a queen. 😀

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    27. I want Marge’s dress. I have Melisandre-red hair, and that delicate green would go well with it, I think.

      HBO should really start a GOT fashion line, I think. A missed business opportunity here. I’m sure that many gents would love themselves some Jaime jackets as well.

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    28. Without jumping down my throat…

      One of the main reasons it’s all women is because they cannot put Kit Harington on one of their covers and the only other strong enough male presence on the show to sell magazines is Peter Dinklage. So instead they decided to go with an all female presence. And that’s great. But I doubt it’s some massive statement about girl power in season 6 either.

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    29. Glad the women of GoT get to be front and center for this issue, but JFC, they just couldn’t help themselves with the over-the-top photoshopping. I hope I get the Arya or Brienne covers since they at least look most like themselves. Plus, they’re holding their weapons. Yay for Needle!!

      I did laugh when I saw how EW dealt with the troublesome Jon Snow issue: let’s dedicate all the covers to the women! I can’t wait to see how other mags (Vanity Fair, TV Guide) deal with it.

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    30. Aw come on. Ever heard of beauty shots? Many are “shopped”, I think these all look lovely, some better than others. These are not meant to be “action shots”. And like has been said, what would half the women wear if they were to be depicted from last season or this?

      They are meant to look stunning. And for the most part they do. I have never looked as good as any of those six even on my best day. And I am not that hard on the eyeballs. Cut ’em some slack.

      *plops down next to HotPinkLipstick and brings an iced pitcher full of bloody mary’s.*

      Cake will only get a lady so far. Let the pampering begin, please.

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    31. *waves her celery and scooches over*

      I’m more annoyed by the sexualization of young girls than I am of photoshopping as a whole. But I will gladly review photoshops of male abs. I mean…if anyone needs the service.

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    32. I don’t like Melisandre getting neglected. She’s more important and popular than Brienne. Maybe Carice was unavailable or something. Carice is the most beautiful GOT woman.

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    33. phantomstrife:
      I don’t like Melisandre getting neglected. She’s more important and popular than Brienne.

      I enjoy Melisandre as a character, but there’s no way she’s more popular than Brienne. As for important, I guess we’ll see. They’ve both slain Kings so far, both been pretty important.

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    34. I, too will volunteer to screen the male actors’ photo shoot, I can supply my own version of refreshments! ?

      For Science.

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    35. Good recognition of the female star power in Game of Thrones. When you see them together like that. Really good actresses doing well.

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    36. HotPinkLipstick:
      *waves her celery and scooches over*

      I’m more annoyed by the sexualization of young girls than I am of photoshopping as a whole. But I will gladly review photoshops of male abs. I mean…if anyone needs the service.

      That’s a great idea. With all respect to the girls, when we will get the naked men ones?

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    37. It would be nice if all this talk of the female characters coming into their power this season actually turned out to be true, but it just sounds to me like some advertising copywriter was looking for a theme to hype this Harington-free shoot.

      Totally agree about the decision to Photoshop bigger cleavages onto Natalie and especially Sophie being cheesy and unnecessary.

      Brienne’s cover is definitely the best! Wonder if I’ll be able to find one.

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    38. Wow, Oathkeeper looks magnificent in that shot. Kudos to the blacksmith who crafted that beautiful sword.

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    39. Firannion:
      It would be nice if all this talk of the female characters coming into their power this season actually turned out to be true, but it just sounds to me like some advertising copywriter was looking for a theme to hype this Harington-free shoot.

      Totally agree about the decision to Photoshop bigger cleavages onto Natalie and especially Sophie being cheesy and unnecessary.

      Brienne’s cover is definitely the best!Wonder if I’ll be able to find one.

      LOL I was just thinking that I’ve heard this whole girl power is coming shtick a few seasons ago. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not, but I just don’t trust anything that’s meant to generate publicity for upcoming seasons of a show. I’ll watch and judge on my own.

      Anyways, they all look beautiful, I wish Carice had gotten one too, Sansa seems overly sexualized, and I think I’ve hit all the main points I want to cover.

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    40. Al Swearengen:
      Wow, Oathkeeper looks magnificent in that shot. Kudos to the blacksmith who crafted that beautiful sword.

      Indeed. From that angle, the pommel looks more like wolf than lion.

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    41. Ah clever, they have a “Star Wars Force Awakens unseen scenes” and “Game of Thrones/Dame of Thrones” and the one actress whose a nice segway to both

      That said there were a fair few GoT characters in that Bar scene, my bet is Oberyn was the Alien (aka Pedro Pascal was in the suit) sitting on the couch with that informer chick

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    42. Alright, so I got my issue out of the mailbox. I skipped the profiles on the women and went straight to main article. It start off with:

      Two armies clashing beside a towering pile of dead bodies, a storm of clanging swords that fill the breadth of your vision amid raging screams and black smoke; thick mud and shifting horses.”

      Hibberd goes on to describe the battle a bit more but doesn’t say where this battle is taking place. We obviously know he’s talking about the Battle of the Bastards. What I find interesting is that the bit I highlighted seems to give a bit more weight to the Reddit post from a few days ago. Hmm.

      Not many new pictures we haven’t already seen. Though there is a Sansa and Theon image of them holding each other as they trudge through the woods. And another of Tyrion and Varys in the streets of Meereen, and Varys is handing a coin to a woman with a baby in her arms.

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    43. phantomstrife:
      I don’t like Melisandre getting neglected. She’s more important and popular than Brienne. Maybe Carice was unavailable or something. Carice is the most beautiful GOT woman.

      I wouldn’t say Melisandre is more important than Brienne. I think there are the “leads”, who the stories revolve around, and the supporting players who help guide them. Both ladies might fall into the latter category but both are significant. YMMV, of course.
      One thing that has always bugged, I know I’ve mentioned it here, is Oathkeeper. After Brienne was called out for “Lannister gold”, why wouldn’t she change that pommel? Sure, a blacksmith probably is hard to come by but for someone trekking into Stark territory, wearing Lannister colors (with lion’s head emblems on the belt) and carrying a sword bearing the sigil of an enemy house isn’t very slick. It’s a small, insignificant beef but it has always irritated me.

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    44. BunBunStark:
      Alright, so I got my issue out of the mailbox. I skipped the profiles on the women and went straight to main article. It start off with:

      Not many new pictures we haven’t already seen. Though there is a Sansa and Theon image of them holding each other as they trudge through the woods. And another of Tyrion and Varys in the streets of Meereen, and Varys is handing a coin to a woman with a baby in her arms.

      Thanks for the info. There’s no other info at all?

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    45. Kells

      I kind of see that as part of Brienne’s mission. She’s trying to find the girls but she’s also doing it for Jamie’s honour. Oathkeeper is symbolically a Stark/Lannister hybrid sword.

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    46. Jack Bauer 24: Thanks for the info. There’s no other info at all?

      Most everything in the article was already posted by Sue the last few days. This is a very spoiler-light issue. Nothing we don’t already know.

      Dany struggles as a Dothraki captive. Sansa tries to escape the clutches of Ramsay and hopes to reclaim Winterfell. Arya is blind and living on the streets of Braavos where she encounters the travelling band of actors. Bran will use his newfound powers to literally step into scenes from the past and the present. Jaime & Cersie reunite and will uneasily unify to try to put down the Faith Militant. There’s some Iron Island action. There’s some Dorne and the Sand Snakes are back.

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    47. Considering that this photoshoot took place months ago, you’d have thought that the people in charge of retouching the photos would have had the time to do a more skillful job with the photoshop. They’ve got a lovely 19-year-old (who didn’t need any retouching) in Sophie, and they altered her face and her cleavage so damn noticeably. Maisie’s cover is probably my favorite, it seems somewhat less noticeably retouched and she look beautiful.

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    48. Aguero: gilly has everything to be more important season 6.

      Gilly is going to get a

      loving mother this season. I bet she will be transformed into a lady the next time Sam sees her. Randyll & bro will probably die in battle at some point & Sam & Gilly will be Lord & Lady Tarly. The End.

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    49. BunBunStark: Most everything in the article was already posted by Sue the last few days. This is a very spoiler-light issue. Nothing we don’t already know.

      Anything on

      Euron

      and any mention of Jon at all?

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    50. Jack Bauer 24: Anything on

      and any mention of Jon at all?

      Nothing about

      Euron in the main article. But there’s a Westeros map and for the Iron Island there’s a blurb that say “Can both (Yara & Balon), along with the much-feared Euron, prove that when it comes to the Ironborn, what is dead may never die?” Whatever the hell that means.

      As for Jon, the article straight-up says “there’s not much we can say about him, other than ‘He’s dead’ – and we bet you’ve heard that once or twice already”. Later, it’s stated that the cast and crew are eager for the premiere to air so they will stop being asked about Jon Snow.

      Weiss says that they are aware of the lengths fans go to to get spoilers. He mentions the guy in Spain who hiked 18 hours through a desert to take pictures, and the other guy in Northern Ireland who crawled through mud to take a picture.

      I’m fairly certain he’s talking about the guy who filmed the ToJ scene and the guy who took the picture of Kit in Stark armor.

      Not surprisingly, Weiss and Benioff were pissed.

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    51. I’m sorry, the cover pic of Emilia is not good. She’s an attractive young lady, I don’t know how they succeeded in making her look weird but they did.

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    52. Emilia Clarke looks really weird, I would actually say that she looks bad. And didn’t she just win a title of the most beautiful woman in the world?? Bad job with the photoshop.

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    53. Christian,

      Arya looking like a proper water dancer? DEEEYAAAAMM.
      Cersei bout to cut a bitch? DEEEEEYAMMM.
      Dany’s gorgeous eyes? DEEEEYAAMMMM.

      NO RED WITCH?

      DAMN! (of thrones)

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    54. Honestly, it makes sense that they would choose Brienne over Melisandre. Melisandre is merely a supporting character and a minor antagonist in Davos’ storyline. Brienne, on the other hand, is a minor protagonist (she’s not the “Big 5/6” but she’s certainly in the next tier alongside Cersei). Brienne is more important than Melisandre.

      If anything, the one who stands out in that group of 6 women is Margaret. Margaret and Melisandre occupies the same tier (supporting character / minor antagonist). My guess is they went with Margaret because of Natalie Dormer’s involvement with “Hunger Games.”

      Would’ve been nice to have Melisandre with the women, though. 7 kingdoms, 7 women! Actually, now that I think about it, they could’ve used that motif.

      The North: Arya
      The Riverlands: Brienne
      The Vale: Sansa
      The Westernlands: Cersei
      The Stormlands: Melisandre
      Highgarden: Margaret
      Dorne: Daenerys

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    55. BunBunStark: Nothing about

      As for Jon, the article straight-up says “there’s not much we can say about him, other than ‘He’s dead’ – and we bet you’ve heard that once or twice already”. Later, it’s stated that the cast and crew are eager for the premiere to air so they will stop being asked about Jon Snow.

      Weiss says that they are aware of the lengths fans go to to get spoilers. He mentions the guy in Spain who hiked 18 hours through a desert to take pictures, and the other guy in Northern Ireland who crawled through mud to take a picture.

      Not surprisingly, Weiss and Benioff were pissed.

      Thanks!

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    56. Josh L.:
      Honestly, it makes sense that they would choose Brienne over Melisandre.Melisandre is merely a supporting character and a minor antagonist in Davos’ storyline.Brienne, on the other hand, is a minor protagonist (she’s not the “Big 5/6” but she’s certainly in the next tier alongside Cersei).Brienne is more important than Melisandre.

      This in the books, in the show Lena (Cersei) is the first billed leading lady.
      The show’s big 5 is Peter,NCW,Lena,Kit and Emilia.

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    57. Vlad: Emilia Clarke looks really weird,

      Although any shot of these uniquely attractive women is appealing, it does look like they elongated her image. I would love to see the original photo and compare. I’ve chuckled at most magazine covers for the past decade or so. Photo editors indulge in fantasy.

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