Game of Thrones season 7 kick-off was directed by famous TV director Jeremy Podeswa and now that the episode has finally released, he shared some information from the episode and also his notions on directing the episode. In a conversation with the Hollywood Reporter, Podeswa went to talk about the super-hyped Ed Sheeran Cameo. “The only thing he asked is if he could change the key of the song he was singing, and he asked it very tentatively. (Laughs.) He wanted to do a good job and was very concerned about that. He hung out with everybody on set all day, with all of the other guys sitting around the campfire. He was a team player,” said Podeswa.
So far, Sheeran’s sequence had no significant impact on the storyline and a mixed bag of reactions was witnessed concerning the same. He went on to discuss the heart winning opening sequence, where cold blooded Arya poisons the entire House Frey (save the girls) to death. Her well cheered line “Winter came for House Frey” was an extra win.
“When you’re directing it, you hope that moment happens in an interesting way that gives the audience pleasure. Maisie’s performance at the end and says what she says to Walder’s wife … I had chills when we shot it and I hoped I would have chills when we cut it, and I did. I knew it was a great scene from the moment we shot it, really.”
Speaking of Sam’s disgusting montage, he shared that initially the scene had a run time of 7-8 minutes which would have been more terrible to watch but thanks to showrunners, the sequence was shortened.
“I love doing [the Sam montage], generally. It’s something where you go into the cutting room with an idea of what it might be, and then it’s really finessed and made manifest for real in the cutting room. It was very complex both tonally and practically because there were so many different sets and component pieces. Many of these sets only appear really for this montage: the mess hall, the infirmary, the privy, the washing room … so many different elements that had to be built.”
About the White Walker army sequence, Jeremy admits that the idea was given by showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. However, Podeswa mentions that the idea to end the sequence on a giant’s eyes was pre-scripted.
Director says “We knew it would be one shot. Nothing fancy in terms of camerawork. But it’s a shot that very slowly reveals itself over time, and we take that time.”
Podeswa also spoke with Insider and revealed that there was a conversation sequence shot between Tormund and Brienne which unfortunately could not make it to the final cut.
“There is one thing that they scripted and they riffed on that, which is Tormund says something about his relationship with Sheila the Bear. And nobody knows what that means or what that’s all about, so that’s meant to make Brienne look at him askance. He’s either trying to shock her or he’s just oblivious that he’s saying something that’s crazy.”
Sheila is the bear, with whom Tormund had his rumoured relationship. Maybe, this was what Brienne and Tormund could have been talking about.
Jeremy also talked about the fabled ending to the episode. The one, where Daenerys finally arrived at Dragonstone. While Stannis had his command over the castle, only a few sections of it were put on show. But the last sequence of the episode left the viewers in a pool of amusement.
“It was a very big sequence and very exciting to shoot — every single aspect of it, cinematographically, was amazing. There was so much to work with on location and in those fabulous sets. Creating this new geography was a very big challenge, but a good one.”