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May 08 2013

Faking, Baking and Quaking: Behind the Scenes of Episode 304, 305 and 306

By Cat Taylor

Poor old Jaime, having to fight with only one hand. Don’t worry – those three men taunting him weren’t extras with vicious natures, but rather part of the stunt team.

As for Varys' special delivery, our man in the box required no stunts. The sorcerer was played by a local actor and the crate he arrives in was specially made – as so many of the props are – to a finish of appropriate roughness. One of a few designs, it was eventually chosen for its sturdiness.

On the other end of the scale is the perfect finish and grandeur of the Sept of Baelor. The Sept is actually a little over half a sept; the appearance of a full circle was created using camera angle tricks and VFX. The massive space where the Sept was built in is shared with something unexpected, that you don’t get to see until Episode 306: the huge ice wall that Jon and Ygritte must climb with the wildlings.

The ice wall was built by our amazing construction team and it took six weeks of testing and sampling to find a construction method and materials that worked. This was then tested by stunts for safety, and once filming of the climb began, we had crews working through the night to repair the damage done during the day's shooting.

In Westeros, the Wall and King's Landing are thousands of miles away from each other, but things are a little different in the real world. In Belfast, you’ll find the Wall sandwiched between the Throne Room and parts of the Red Keep, and more specifically Tywin’s new chamber, where Cersei confronts her father.

Reposted bywilcza wilcza

April 30 2013

“Kissed by Fire” Round-Up: Oaths, Obligations and a Trial by Combat

"Valar dohaeris," the Valyrian expression, translates to "all men must serve." It’s this sense of duty that looms over “Kissed by Fire,” with kings and commoners alike examining their obligations.

First, there are those who betrayed their oaths. Weary of his "Kingslayer" nickname, Jaime Lannister reveals the whole story to Brienne. In an interview with, Executive Story Editor and episode writer Bryan Cogman explains the significance of Jaime’s confession: It’s “the first time he's told ANYONE what really happened during the sack of King's Landing—that includes Tyrion and Cersei.” Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne, shares how Jaime’s revelation resonates with her character in HBO GO’s Interactive Features. Now that Brienne sees the honor in Jaime, she considers them “kindred spirits.”

King in the North Robb Stark has found a confidante in Talisa but their union meant breaking a promise the Starks made to Walder Frey. Executive Producer David Benioff calls Robb’s marriage his biggest strategic mistake in this week’s Inside the Episode. The King in the Narrow Sea fares no better; Stannis Baratheon’s broken marriage vows only resulted in guilt.

In Tywin Lannister's opinion, family and strategy are entwined. Case in point, he uses Tyrion and Cersei as pawns to secure the Lannisters’ hold on the Iron Throne. James Hibberd of Entertainment Weekly points out, “as much of an emotionally abusive father Tywin Lannister is, if he ran a corporation, who wouldn't want to invest?”

For the Brotherhood Without Banners, questions of duty and morality are decided by the Lord of Light—including the Hound’s fate. For a behind-the-scenes look at his fiery trial by combat, check out the video below, which was featured in HBO GO’s Interactive Features:


Arya’s reactions to the trial struck a chord with viewers. Her scenes where the “most powerful of all,” according to Rolling Stone’s Sean T. Collins. “Every line seemed like a cruise missile aimed at your heart.” That includes Arya’s discussion with Beric Dondarrion. Time’s James Poniewozik sums it up: “Who would have thought that ‘Could you bring back a man without a head?’ could be such a touching line?”

"Valar dohaeris" is traditionally the reply to "Valar morghulis," which means “all men must die,” but as Lord Beric’s scars prove, things are seldom so black and white in 'Game of Thrones.' Who did you find most and least honorable in this episode? Share your thoughts below. 

April 26 2013

Bryan Cogman Has His Own Dark Dreams, Wouldn't Want to Warg

This season’s fifth episode, “Kissed by Fire,” was penned by Executive Story Editor and writer Bryan Cogman. Wondering why things happen when they do in the season? In an interview with, Cogman explains how scenes are mapped out, his take on Jaime’s turning point, and who he thinks is the richest family in Westeros.  Photo: Riley Stearns

How did you come to tackle Episode 305? Are there any benefits or drawbacks to writing the midseason episode?

Well, the benefit was certainly that, at this point in the season, the storylines are really cooking and I had several juicy scenes to play with. And, of course, it’s 'Game of Thrones,' so we’re still introducing new characters (Selyse & Shireen Baratheon) so it had a little bit of everything. I suppose the biggest challenge was that I was writing it without having the benefit of seeing 303 or 304 (I think I had seen drafts of 301 and 302) so it’s kind of difficult building on arcs that haven’t been written yet, but we even all that out in the revision process.

Continue to to read the full interview with Bryan Cogman.

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