“There’s some humanity in every character. No one is your typical hero or villain in this world.” - hmv.com talks to the cast of Game Of Thrones
As the fifth season of Game Of Thrones comes to DVD (you can order the series and all the show’s previous outings on the right-hand side of the page) we sat down with a number of the cast members to find out all about the experience of filming Season Five, why the show has smashed all expectations and who they want to end up on the Iron Throne in the end…
(Be warned, there are a few spoilers…)
It’s fair to say the most controversial moment of Season Five was the rape scene involving Sansa Stark and Ramsey Bolton, how did you find making the scene and the reaction it got?
Alfie Allen (Reek): “Sophie dealt with the whole thing superbly. It was horrific and something no one should have to bear witness to."
Michael McElhatton (Roose Bolton): “It was a brutal scene, but it had to happen. I don’t think it was gratuitous and I thought it was handled beautifully by the writers and actors. I wasn’t surprised by the reaction it got, but what did surprise me was a few episodes later we’ve got a child being burnt to death in front of her parents because her father thinks it might help him win a battle and people seemed okay with that. I found that extraordinary.”
Iwan Rheon (Ramsey Bolton): “That scene gave me sleepless nights. It was a horrible place to go, but we had to portray the world of Game Of Thrones truthfully. We had to get on with the job and trust the people making the show that they would treat it respectfully.”
Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth): “It’s a grown-up show, made by grown-ups for grown-ups. If you take the sex and violence out then it would really diminish the show. Not everything is pleasant in any walk of life.”
What was the hardest moment of Season Five to film?
MM: “We had a lot of giggles at the wedding. Me and Iwan got to really bask in our evilness, it was the lack of compassion and the pleasure our characters took in these people’s pain.”
IR: “Filming it was fun. The situation was horrific, but it’s in all this beautiful scenery and you’ve got all this horror to Sansa and Reek. Sophie was laughing and joking around the whole time too, it made it hard to go back to the bleakness.”
Ian Beattie (Ser Meryn Trant): “Filming my scene in Episode 10 where I beat the three girls was very tough. I’m a proud and happy father and it was very upsetting to film, but that’s the sort of challenge an actor lives for and what Game Of Thrones gives you.”
Dean Charles Chapman (Tommen Lannister): “It was quite difficult being thrown onto the throne quite so suddenly, but you take it as it comes."
Maisie Williams (Arya Stark): “It was hard, but I loved dressing up as Lana and suddenly starting fresh after such a long-time as Arya.”
How difficult is it to keep up with all the changes to your characters?
AA: “My character has been through many changes, but viewers long for grand arcs now, people are so wise to formulaic characters now that you have to keep evolving. It’s wonderful, I don’t think I’ll know how special this show is until it actually finishes.”
IR: “Every year the characters get filled out a little bit more and the writers are wonderful, no one is lazy, another curveball is always on the way, it’s a great privilege of working on this show. There’s some humanity in every character. No one is your typical hero or villain in this world.”
MM: “You get to work with new characters every year. We know between eight and 10 characters are going to die each series, but the writers still surprise you with who ends up dying.”
MW: "Every season with Arya has been so rewarding. In season five and in season six she’s really been stripped right down. She isn’t the girl I auditioned for when I was 12, there have been so many layers to this character. She’s not got the upper hand in season five.”
What do you think it is about Game Of Thrones that makes it so special?
IB: “Game Of Thrones has changed the rules. You do not know what’s going to happen next and no one is untouchable. When Ned Stark’s head came off in Season One it changed everything. There are always shocks, the Red Wedding is still the most shocking thing I’ve ever seen."
AA: “The scale is incredible. It’s a fantasy show in the HBO way, all the resources and respect that you could give anything.”
IR: “It’s not just fantasy. It’s family and politics, it’s just so rich in every way.”
IB: “Game Of Thrones is perfectly put together, everything is so incredibly well crafted and the detail is so wonderful. I think people will be watching this show in 30 years time and still enjoying it as much as they do now.”
MW: “Definitely. In the same way comedy isn’t funny unless it’s real, fantasy is the same, these are real characters and that’s why it’s been so successful.”
How long do you think the show could last?
LC: “I don’t think it’ll last much longer. The accountants at HBO would probably like another 50 series, but they won’t get it.”
MW: “From the start we’ve known there'd be an end. David Benioff and Dan Weiss have always known where the end was and it’s important to stop and not do things to death.”
Who do you think will end up on the Iron Throne in the end?
MM: “I’d have said Jon Snow, but maybe Arya, she’s made of the right stuff.”
IR: “I’d have picked Jon too, he’s the most honourable, but it’s too late for that. I’d say Daenarys, she’s got dragons, that’ll help. Ramsey definitely shouldn’t, that’s for sure.”
AA: “Yara Greyjoy, she’d be a great Queen, but I think Bran Stark might have a good chance too...”