Game of Thrones is a site for the HBO-series based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.
New to the series? Read our spoiler-free review of A Game of Thrones.
It’s always a pleasure to interview writer and story editor Bryan Cogman, who has so far written an episode of each season, including what are amounting to two of our personal favorites of the series: “What is Dead May Never Die” and his season three episode, “Kissed by Fire”.
Below, I talk with Bryan about the episode, the introduction of new characters, his proudest moments, and much more. It’s a lengthy one but, we hope, a good one. Enjoy!
All right, thanks so much for taking the time, first off!
Now, often episodes seem to have their titles decided at the last minute—George’s episode went through a couple of different names before it was settled. Was “Kissed by Fire” always the title you preferred for your episode?
Continuing our interview series, next up is actress Rose Leslie, who had a memorable turn as Ygritte last season.
In this interview, she gives some hints about things to come, discusses just how often Kit Harington smiles, and much more. I note one place where she laughs… but truth be told, she laughs often and was clearly enjoying herself immensely at being involved in a project like Game of Thrones.
What can you tell us about season 3?
Why is Ygritte interested in Jon Snow? What piques her interest?
Continuing our series of interviews, this time it’s Iain Glen on board. Playing Jorah Mormont, he may be rather (a lot) different from the character in the novels, but the dignity and gravity he brings to his performance is a terrific counter-point to Daenerys Targaryen’s youthful energy and determination. In the below interview, we touch on topics such as his luck in filming locations, his views on the violence in the show, and just how Jorah feels about Daenerys.
How is this season for Jorah and Dany this season?
Last week, we received the first four episodes of season 3 of Game of Thrones to review, courtesy of HBO. While our individual episode reviews and coverage will be held until the corresponding episodes air, it has become something of a tradition to share our general impressions of those early episodes. We did it for the first season, and we did it for the second season, so it seemed only right to do it again. The process of discussing even vague impressions will probably reveal some semi-spoilers, so reading on isn’t going to be a good idea if you prefer to stay unspoiled!
But lets just give a general summing up first, and get into the nitty gritty after: these four episodes are on the whole quite good; not perfect, but they may well be the strongest first four episodes as a whole for the series to date (certainly, they’re stronger as a unit than last season’s first four, though none of them are as good as “What is Dead May Never Die”). Some of our biggest fears going into this season seem, so far, to be unfounded. But there are some issues, such as the fact that a number of the anticipated new characters are rather underwhelming when they finally hit the screen and that there are one or two (largely invented) storylines that don’t really feel like they’re gelling for us. Still, each subsequent episode goes from strength to strength, each one better than the last. So why do we feel cautiously optimistic? We recall that last season, too, the third and fourth episodes impressed us the most and left us pretty excited about what was to come… and then the cracks started to show and real problems developed that led to some major disappointments. Four episodes in a show like this is not enough to really gauge how the rest of the season will be, especially in terms of how well they’ll translate what’s in the novels to the screen.
Now, on to some more specifics.
This is the third in our series of actor interviews leading up to the premiere of Game of Thrones on March 31st (April 1st in the UK, Scandinavia, and elsewhere).
And as it happens, this is also our third interview with Nikolaj to date, and he remains as charming and entertaining as always. The interview transcript below doesn’t really go very far to indicate just how engaging he can be to talk with, and how funny. Despite the provison from HBO that details for season 3 were not really permitted to be discussed, Nikolaj provided some small suggestions about how the story may go in the course of discussing the series, his character, and the fans.
So, what can you tell us about the new season?
One of the real pleasures of the press junket this year was getting to talk to a member of the cast I’ve not met previously… and perhaps no cast member has really excited me as much as Gwendoline Christie, the imposing Brienne of Tarth.
The actress seemed practically born for this role, and she made quite an impression in her all-too-brief appearances in the second season. The third season promises to give us a lot more of the Maid of Tarth, as she travels through the dangerous, war-torn riverlands trying to deliver Jaime Lannister to King’s Landing as Catelyn Stark commanded her to do.
What can you tell us about this season of Game of Thrones?
This is the first of a series of interviews that we’ve had with actors from Game of Thrones, ahead of season 3. It was nice to say hello again to some of the actors, who are starting to become familiar faces, and also to meet some actors (both old and new) that I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting before. First up, here’s our interview with Michelle Fairley, who plays Catelyn Stark!
What can you tell us about Catelyn in season 3?
The release of Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones was a chance for fans the world over to get a closer look behind the scenes at the making of the series, thanks to the writing of series story editor and writer Bryan Cogman having penned the book, filling it with the insights he was able to take from fellow members of the production team and the cast.
And now the collector’s edition has been released (Order: Amazon US, Amazon UK), and it adds an additional wrinkle: among the various bits of swag, such as the scrolled maps, is a whole second volume, this one containing storyboards from artist Will Simpson which are a key part of the process of creating and producing the series.
To explain more about the books, and what they reveal and what’s contained within, we had the opportunity to interview Bryan so that he can provide a better understanding of what fans can expect to find.
Over at our Youtube channel, we’ve been posting various videos since last year—first discussing the A Song of Ice and Fire novels and then, this year, sharing our thoughts on each episode after they aired (plus a bit of A Song of Ice and Fire stuff, as well). Now that season 2 is a wrap, Linda and I have put together a long, two-part video covering each section of the story in rough, geographic area (very rough in some cases), and have discussed what we liked and disliked, what the differences in our reactions were from season to season, or hopes for the next season, and more.
Before “Valar Morghulis” aired, I had the chance to interview Alfie Allen about his role as Theon Greyjoy, his character’s arc, the pranks that a certain pair of executive producers love to pull, and more.
Alfie’s story this season has been one of the highlihghts of season 2, something which I told him and which, as you’ll see, he was quite pleased to hear!
Varys would’ve been a hell of a TV critic. Think about it:
“Adaptation is a trick, a shadow on the wall. And sometimes a very dense source material can cast a very pale shadow.”
With such a statement, the best informed eunuch in the history of fiction would probably shed some much needed light on heated discussions over the second season of Game of Thrones. Yes, adapting a story from one medium to another is quite a tricky business, and also pretty abstract one, especially if you’re adapting something from the non-visual medium to the screen, as it’s almost always the case. No rules are carved in stone there.
Well, some rules are, in fact. For example, the rule that touches not only adaptations, but also the very nature of motion pictures: don’t move them too fast. Pictures, that is. Don’t move them faster than human eye can catch them, or you’ll get strange, rapid action that is bound to look both clumsy and cheap on screen. In short, don’t do what Game of Thrones did in episodes 5 and 15.
One of the most recent departures from the show has been that of Irri, the Dothraki handmaiden and companion to Daenerys Targaryen. Played by actress Amrita Acharia, Irri showed herself to be spirited and dutiful, and it seems that last trait may well have led to her character’s very unexpected death on the series. We had the opportunity to speak to Amrita about he role, what it was like to be involved in a production of this scale, the difficulties of acting when speaking an imaginary language, and the problem of being one of the Horse Lords but without ever riding a horse… !
Unlike most of our interviews, this one has been published at Suvudu, where I’ve contributed a number of reviews and articles related to Game of Thrones. So go ahead and read the interview!
One of the key deviations from the novels this season is that Robb Stark, played by Scottish actor Richard Madden, will be followed in his journey through the narrative when the book pulled away and kept him in the background.
In past interviews, the executive producers have said a large part of the reason was that they loved Madden and his presence on the show, and they wanted to see more of him. It’s difficult not to see their point: handsome, capable of playing stalwart and naive by turns, and charismatic, Madden draws the eye whenever he’s on screen portraying Eddard Stark’s son, who is now the King in the North.
We had a chance to speak with Madden on the phone while he’s in L.A. doing the press thing, and decided to ask him questions (and, in one case, make a proposal) based on what fans submitted to us. See the results below!
Almost a year ago, we first had a long chat with writer and keeper of the mythos, Bryan Cogman, about his role in the first season, which included writing the episode, “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things”.
Bryan was there almost from the ground floor, helping during the time of the pilot, and becoming the right hand man to David and Dan as they developed, wrote, and produced the show. Going into the second season, he received the title of story editor… and he wrote the extremely well-received third episode of the series, “What is Dead May Never Die”.
In the interview below, Bryan discusses various aspects of the episode, his overall role on the show, and more. Insightful as always!
The Westeros network consists of several different sites, including a forum and a wiki, for all your A Song of Ice and Fire needs.