Tom Hopper talks Dickon jokes, Jane Goldman says what she can about spin-offs, and cinematographer Robert McLachlan keeps Kit Harington’s feet on the ground

Tom Hopper has heard all of your Dickon jokes.

Tom Hopper has heard all of your Dickon jokes.

When Tom Hopper took a role on Game Of Thrones, he had a sneaking suspicion he wouldn’t be long for the world because, after all, “it was Game Of Thrones.”

“It’s fine, because I think you go into a show like that, and as long as you have a good run, you get a few episodes out of it, it’s great, it’s a bonus,” Hopper, who played Dickon Tarly, said in a recent interview with Elle. “I had a great time on it, and I had a few episodes there where I got to do a lot of good stuff. I was very fortunate, I thought.”

Despite his limited screen time, Hopper became a fan favorite — mostly because of Bronn’s belly laugh when Dickon introduced himself and his role as Billy Bones on Black Sails. The two provided ample fodder to the internet for numerous, er, adult puns.

“There’s ones on [Dickon’s] name, and there’s the intensely gratuitous things that have been said about his name and linked to me,” he said. “With Billy Bones and Dickon, between the two it’s the funniest name you can make. It’s been great and really fun to see that reaction.”


What’s next for Westeros

As the most-watched show in its history, HBO can’t be blamed for wanting to capitalize on the popularity and explore the option of a spin-off. Currently, there are four in development for the network, although there’s no guarantee any will make their way to the small screen.

Jane Goldman, known for writing Kingsman: The Secret ServiceX-Men: First Class and Kick-Ass, is writing a pilot for one of those spin-offs and spoke with IGN about the process so far – or at least, what she could say about it.

Screenwriter Jane Goldman looks like she's right at home writing a "Game Of Thrones" spin-off.

Screenwriter Jane Goldman looks like she’s right at home writing a “Game Of Thrones” spin-off.

“I think as a book reader or as someone who watched the series, you would say, ‘Oh, that! OK,'” she said. “Yeah, it would be recognizable as a past event, but I think that’s probably as far as I can go.”

She added that the magic and supernatural creatures that Thrones viewers love might certainly might be a part of her spin-off, since they’re things “that exist in the universe that George has created” and “that’s an aspect that I love.”

“I’m sure there’s an element of that in anything that’s being developed but, yeah. I feel like I’m saying way too much! I can say absolutely nothing,” Goldman said.


The perils of production

With a scale of production that keeps getting bigger each season, Thrones has a crack team behind the camera to keep the battles epic, the costumes gorgeous and the sets beautifully crafted.

Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Robert McLachlan is one of those behind-the-scenes faces, and he spoke with Kim Renfro at Insider recently about everything from Thrones getting darker — literally — to the perils of shooting a scene cliffside.

Stay put, Jon Snow!

Stay put, Jon Snow!

“I think the show has gotten darker over the years,” he said. “If you watch season one again, there’s a lot of unmotivated backlight. Even day exteriors, you can tell that they’ve been lit. The cinematographers who’ve been doing it since then, I think we’re all very much on the same page where we’re trying to be as naturalistic as possible.”

McLachlan also talked about the challenges of filming in a studio versus out in the elements — and how star Kit Harington had to be literally tied down for an iconic shot.

“A great case-in-point is the one where Jon’s on the bluff [at Dragonstone] and Dany comes in and Jon meets the dragon,” he said. “The problem … was that there was a howling gale blowing, and it was blowing towards the ocean off the land. In fact, it was blowing so hard that we had to put a safety cable on Kit Harington when he was meeting the dragon because his cape, which is very heavy fabric, was about to turn him into a kite. We were afraid it would blow him right off the cliff. I’m not kidding. It was that windy.”

42 responses

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    1. Jane Goldman (Kick Ass and Kingsman) writing a pilot for one of the “past event” spinoffs? Ultra hip, cool screenwriter. Great news. Will she be working with Matthew Vaughn?

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    2. Oh God! Is Jane Goldman involved with the spin-offs?

      Okay, I’m out.

      Stardust, Kick-Ass, the X-Men films, Miss Peregrine’s Home for blah blah blah… please tell me nobody actually considers these quality films? Right?

      They’re all superficially entertaining at a basic level, but good lord the Game of Thrones spin-offs can do better than that, surely?!!!

      I’m not even joking. Please, tell me who else is involved. Quickly. Reel me off a list of incredible names because this project already needs saving from the gutter.

      The mere mention of her name makes me want to weep for the future of this fictional universe.

      Just hire Guy Ritchie and cast David Beckham as Aegon Targaryen for an Aegon’s Conquest spin-off.

      That’s the equivalent barrel they’re scraping with Jane Goldman. Truly.

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    3. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      Oh God! Is Jane Goldman involved with the spin-offs?

      Okay, I’m out.

      Stardust, Kick-Ass, the X-Men films, Miss Peregrine’s Home for blah blah blah… please tell me nobody actually considers these quality films? Right?

      They’re all superficially entertaining at a basic level, but good lord the Game of Thrones spin-offs can do better than that, surely?!!!

      I’m not even joking. Please, tell me who else is involved. Quickly. Reel me off a list of incredible names because this project already needs saving from the gutter.

      The mere mention of her name makes me want to weep for the future of this fictional universe.

      Just hire Guy Ritchie and cast David Beckham as Aegon Targaryen for an Aegon’s Conquest spin-off.

      That’s the equivalent barrel they’re scraping with Jane Goldman. Truly.

      You’re acting Snobbish as hell.

      Xmen First Class, Kingsmen and Kick ass are all awesome films with strong writing. Personally I think Goldman SHOULD be the winner out of the lot.

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    4. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      We can hope that if her script/storyline is chosen that existing material and continuity with the style of GoT will help.

      I was more interested in the mention of “creatures” because the periods that would involve them are on the top of my list for another series.

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    5. Bearded Onion: You’re acting Snobbish as hell.

      Xmen First Class, Kingsmen and Kick ass are all awesome films with strong writing. Personally I think Goldman SHOULD be the winner out of the lot.

      If I’m acting snobbish then it’s primarily in relation to the fantastic quality we’ve had from Game of Thrones so far.

      Anybody choosing to pretend that Stardust, X-men First Class or Kick Ass are anywhere near the quality of Game of Thrones is truly kidding themselves.

      I’ve seen them all. They are all entertaining in different respects. But they are not all equal. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

      Her track record is not good.

      Ser Broccoli McBroccoliface:
      Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Hers is only 1 of 4. Back away from the ledge.

      Thank god. If hers is chosen, then based on her track record it’s the death of this franchise from a mature and credible point of view.

      I’ll step back from the ledge when they announce that she has nothing to do with the show in any respect ever.

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    6. One of my favorite shots of the season was when Drogon first attacked and they cut to Dickon and you could see the disbelief in his face as he looked through the flames.

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    7. Jane Goldman’s spinoff has the creatures and magic that viewers would like? That instantly tells me dragons. Either Aegon’s conquest, or D of the D, or a story set in old Valyria. The last would be really nice!

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    8. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      Oh God! Is Jane Goldman involved with the spin-offs?

      Okay, I’m out.

      The mere mention of her name makes me want to weep for the future of this fictional universe.

      Just hire Guy Ritchie and cast David Beckham as Aegon Targaryen for an Aegon’s Conquest spin-off.

      That’s the equivalent barrel they’re scraping with Jane Goldman. Truly.

      Its just occurred to me that she’s married to that dickhead/arrogant talk show presenter Jonathan Ross! It now all falls in place why that pretentious prick often gets invited onto Thronecast – The UK’s GoT followup program after a new episode has been aired.

      I had no idea she was involved with GRRM or had been selected as a possible writer for a GoT prequel! Having never seen any of those movies mentioned, I can’t comment on her ability as a screenwriter, but simply being the wife of JR is enough for me to have doubts 😉

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    9. Jack Bauer 24,

      Yeah, I thought that was a fantastic shot too.

      Really sold the shock element of the dragon assault.

      Dickon is a novice on the battlefield and it conveys the horror he and the other soldiers are suddenly confronted with.

      The likes of Jaime and Bronn are seasoned warriors and even they later remark on the shock of what they saw.

      It adds to Dickon’s character that he was not only able to hold himself together in the face of such devastation, including saving Jaime’s life, but that he also refused to bend the knee to Daenerys presumably partly in light of what he saw.

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    10. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: The mere mention of her name makes me want to weep for the future of this fictional universe.

      Lol. As if the screenwriter is alone in the process. Over dinner, I rewatched Kingsman in your honor. In the context presented, The Kingsman and Kick-Ass were not rubbish. But who knows how much JG brought to those films, or was it all Matthew Vaughn (as I implied in my comment above)? Perhaps your concerns are valid, but I hope that whatever the spinoff is (1 of 4), it is not just a rehash of the GoT look and feel.

      Take a look at DB Weiss’ CV before GoT.
      D Benioff had a strong CV but then he also did XMen: Origins – Wolverine. Yippee! Ya gotta eat.

      One of these days, we’ll get to see the failed pilot that D&D made of GoT before having to reshoot/rewrite it entirely. Way too early to judge.

        Quote  Reply

    11. Kay:
      Jane Goldman’s spinoff has the creatures and magic that viewers would like? That instantly tells me dragons. Either Aegon’s conquest, or D of the D, or a story set in old Valyria. The last would be really nice!

      Creatures could also mean the long night and the battle for the dawn

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    12. How about a tale of Southeros? Cannibals, dinosaurs, and nubile maids from just offshore isle of Naath?

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    13. A man needs no name:
      How about a tale of Southeros? Cannibals, dinosaurs, and nubile maids from just offshore isle of Naath? A combination of Jurassic Park and Lost with dread pirate Euron and unrepentent slavers

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    14. I know we’ll never get it, but I would love me some Lovecraftian / new weird horror craziness for a spin-off. Carcosa, Five Forts, Asshai, cyclopean ruins of Yeen, mad fisherfolk worshipping monstrosities from the deeps. And of course, oily black stones everywhere. Go full tilt insane with Martin’s worldbuilding and show us what’s lurking beyond the known world.

      Never gonna happen sadly…

        Quote  Reply

    15. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Ugh. Guy Ritchie style is not my preferred. We went to see Beauty and the beast because I thought I’d enjoy that however it was too much of a musical which was not in the mood for so we trotted across the hall sipping into King Arthur and I’m thinking yeah, now this is going to be more up my alley. Nope. It had so much potential, but I don;t like the way it was shot. What’s it even called?

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    16. Clob:

      I was more interested in the mention of “creatures” because the periods that would involve them are on the top of my list for another series.

      YES! I wish for a Battle for the Dawn spinoff personally: I’d like to see the beginning of all of that; Azor Ahai and etc.

        Quote  Reply

    17. Jane Goldman has a mixed record. She botched Stardust, Kick-Ass was OK, X-Men First Class was good but full of groan-worthy lines like “Next I’ll be losing my hair” like, God, that is so funny cos he does lose his hair…where was I? Oh, yeah, The Kingsman was just awful. Woman in Black was kind of forgettable, as was the one with Jessica Chastain as a Mossad agent. What was that even called? The Debt? Is that it?

        Quote  Reply

    18. Ser Hogwyn,

      The Kingsman was awful? Really,probably one of the best spy movies in years,even better considering it’s more of a spoof of the spy genre,it came out in the same year as Spectre,guess which was better .

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    19. Kris Logan,

      Same with the dragons in Aegon’s conquest and Dance of the Dragons. We’ve seen the frozen zombies, we’ve seen the dragons. So what creatures exactly?

      Spin-offs have great potential for disaster, as they’re always compared to the original movie. They need good story and likable characters more than creatures, if they are to be a success.

        Quote  Reply

    20. “keeps Kit Harrington’s feet on the ground”

      I thought this was going to be a joke about how he has to stand on boxes in half the scenes because of how short he is.

        Quote  Reply

    21. ygritte,

      Watched King Arthur last night mainly because I like Charlie Hunman and Sons of Anarchy. All I can say is that it’s 2 hours of my life I won’t get back .

      permaguest,

      Small and perfectly formed 😍

        Quote  Reply

    22. Kris Logan,

      I said that somewhat with tongue in cheek! Was more to have dig at her husband than Jane Goldman. I’ve never seen the films where she was involved in the screenwriting so cannot say whether they were good or bad.

      The only thing I recall with Jane Goldman was years ago when she presented a show about the paranormal, witchcraft and the like and it was quite good from what I remember.

        Quote  Reply

    23. Carole H:

      Black Raven,

      Never mind she may give JR a starring part lol

      Perish the thought! I certainly wouldn’t have objected if JR had been cast as a White Walker that Jon Snow can shatter to ice with his Valyrian steel sword LOL 😀

        Quote  Reply

    24. Carole H,

      Ah, thanks for the reminder Carole. Yep, I’ll be watching that along with another showing of Ep6.

      Should be a good Thronecast if ex-Roose Bolton and his ex-missus (Fat Walder) are guests on the show 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    25. She’s a very attractive lady (despite the hair colour) what the hell is she doing with Jonathan Ross?

      Have to say Kick Ass and Kingsman are both quality films but the tone and style they are written wouldn’t fit at all well with Westeros, GOT or ASOIF.

        Quote  Reply

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