As soon as it began, Game of Thrones started creating a name for itself. In a very short time, it had gained massive popularity; which then kept rising with each season. And although fans stand divided over the last season, it would be safe to say the HBO show still ranks high in their recommendations. But in the early stages, if one hadn’t watched it before, they might just have passed saying it sounds too loaded. That’s what happened with Game of Thrones star Gemma Whelan, who played the fearless Yara Greyjoy on the show. Talking to Metro, Gemma revealed that she didn’t think she would like Game of Thrones; this was before she had joined the cast. Read on to find out more.
While discussing her pick of the TV shows, Gemma was asked about a show that she did not expect to like in the first place. “I guess Game of Thrones!” she answered. But, things changed quickly once she sat down to watch. “I thought ‘Oh God, what’s this medieval, dragons thing? Oh dear, I don’t know about this’…Then, just as I’ve said to you, I just watched the whole series in one night, the first series (season)…because it’s so much more than what people think it might be,” she said.
We know GoT is not an easy show. It rallies the viewer headlong into drama and action, with emotions flying all around. Every season punched us somewhere we loved but also somewhere it hurt a lot. With perhaps the most talked-about final season ever, the whole experience of the show was indeed bittersweet. And withs swords, kingdoms, and ancient knights, it might be too much for the uninitiated. But once you’re in, you are in it for the long haul. The intriguing drama unfolds at a rapid pace and keeps you engaged in those binge treats.
That’s what happened with Gemma. According to her, the last thing she binge-watched in one sitting was the first season of Game of Thrones. “I watched all of season one in one go. In order, I thought I’d just watch a little bit for my audition but I just was completely hooked immediately”; she said. The next thing that came close to GoT was Succession (another HBO show), which she finished in “two or three sittings”. The series that she just finished is Ozark’s third season, and she feels it was “brilliant”. Tiger King is what she hopes to start next. We also hope that she has watched all the eight seasons of GoT now; as she had admitted last year that she hasn’t watched a lot of it, including the ending.
Gemma Whelan is currently starring in Killing Eve’s third season as Geraldine, Carolyn Martens’ (Fiona Shaw) daughter. The third season started airing on BBC America from April 12, 2020.
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Our engagement with a film or TV series is usually limited to the story in front of the screen. But it always fascinates us to know more about the details and workings of our favorite movies and shows. That information becomes all the more interesting when it comes from one of the cast members whom we have seen charming us so very often. Their thoughts and opinions give us much better insights into the worlds that we see on-screen and around us. Nathalie Emmanuel, who played the graceful and strong Missandei on Game of Thrones, talked to Vogue recently. She discussed landing and preparing for her role, bonding with her partner-in-crime, Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen); who was one of the few female actors on the HBO show. And the relevance of the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests. Read on to find out more.
Nathalie’s entry into the biggest show on the planet required getting proficient with languages. “I found a casting for Missandei and I pretty much gave it all I had – watching millions of videos of translators in preparation,” she said. “Missandei is obviously this great linguist; and I became really committed to learning Valyrian – high Valyrian and low Valyrian; which are as different as Latin and Italian.” Well, it was certainly hard to notice that difference for the viewers. When she took it way too seriously, Dan Weiss and David Benioff (creators) told her that she would be fine as there was literally only one person who knew the language perfectly; David J Peterson, the guy who created the languages for the TV show. But Nathalie persevered anyway. “I would be like ‘I know, but I’m still going to get it right’,” she said.
When one comes to think of it, it was Missandei’s death and her last words (“Dracarys”) which proved to be the final trigger for the Mother of Dragons to go all fire and blood over King’s Landing. This was in line with the journey of these two characters together. Dany freed Missandei from the clutches of slavery; and since then, the woman from Naath stood firmly by Khaleesi’s side through all the high and low tides. So, one could wonder, did the two get along well on sets?
“Emilia and I got on like a house on fire from the beginning. When I joined the cast [in season 3], she had already been shooting Game of Thrones for a few years, and she was definitely ready to have some female energy around her. She and I always looked out for each other. If you’re the only girls on a male-dominated set, it bonds you in a certain way. For example, in my first season, my costume was pretty revealing; and there was an incident with an extra who made a comment about it on set – I mean, typical – and Emilia straightaway had my back. It got handled.” Now, that’s real fire!
It’s really good to know that the duo shared an equally amazing comradery off-screen. However, the on-screen killing of Missandei had created quite an uproar regarding the fate of the only major female non-white character on the show. Plus, it raised concerns about the overall representation of the people of color, which is awfully low. Nathalie had an indulging and thoughtful take on the matter.
“I loved that character, and I wish she had had a happy ending – but Westeros is this brutal, heartless world, so you have to keep that in mind. When it comes down to it, the backlash stems from the fact that when there’s so few non-white characters on-screen, a death like that registers as a massive loss.” Moreover, people’s reaction made her ponder more seriously. “It definitely caused me to reflect a lot more – about race and diversity more generally. At the end of the day, if there’s ever a show on the level of Game of Thrones again, representation has to be part of the conversation from the beginning.
That way, there’s no single person who has to represent every other person of color. It’s a conversation I used to have a lot with Jacob [Anderson], who played Grey Worm, the only other major non-white character in the series. We were always really conscious of how much our being part of Game of Thrones mattered to people. It made us really protective of Missandei and Grey Worm”. It would be absolutely safe to say that the two were very important to all of us; or at least to those who echoed with their ideas of loyalty and freedom.
She also took an active part in the recent Black Lives Matter protests that caught on after the death of an African-American, George Floyd at the hands of white policemen. In addition, she joined the Black Trans Lives Matter marches as well. “It felt cathartic, to march with my people; for us to be angry together – and to uplift each other,” she said.
The English actress features on Quibi’s new action-comedy series, Die Hart. Starring Kevin Hart, John Travolta, and Nathalie Emmanuel, it premiered on the OTT platform on July 20. She will also appear in the upcoming action film, F9 (Fast and Furious franchise) alongside Vin Diesel, John Cena, and Charlize Theron; which is due to release on April 2, 2021.
What are your thoughts about all of this? Tell us in the comments section.
As the world adapts to the problems of COVID-19, work is resuming slowly but steadily. Workplaces of high density are still not operating properly, with only a small percent of the workforce back in the offices. While the tech industry can afford the work-from-home routine for its projects, it’s just not possible for the film/entertainment industry to function like that. Real-time filming has come to a halt for some period now, and only pre and post-production work seems like the possibility. So, it has helped at least those projects which had completed shooting before the lockdowns kicked in. In that spirit, we have some good news. Game of Thrones star Kit Harington (Jon Snow) has let us know that Marvel’s The Eternals has finished its filming schedule. Thus, the key film in Phase four of MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) may sick to its original release date in 2021.
Kit Harington on #TheEternals
“it’s done…I don’t know what’s happening on anything right now” pic.twitter.com/HMmlPuC7cJ
— EᗰIᒪIᗩ ᑕᒪᗩᖇKE | 🅴🆃🅴🆁🅽🅰🅻🆂 (@purple_dwagon) May 26, 2020
Harington plays Dane Whitman, aka the Black Knight, in The Eternals; which would most likely be the 25th superhero film in the MCU. In a discussion on Twitter, he shared the current update on the film. “Well, that’s done, that’s filmed,” Kit said. However, that’s the extent of his knowledge regarding the film’s situation. Since the effects of the pandemic have been varying and unpredictable in many cases, it’s tough to be sure. “It’s just…God knows what happened, or what’s going on with it, I have no idea. I don’t know what’s happening with anything right now,” the English actor admitted.
Kit is not the only Game of Thrones star in the cast of The Eternals; there is also Richard Madden (Robb Stark) who plays Ikaris, one of the Eternals. Moreover, the film has a rich cast in Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, and many more. The fourth phase of MCU has a variety of films and TV series lined up; which would carry the baton of the Marvel Comics forward after the events of Avengers: Endgame. The Eternals is set to release on February 12, 2021, in the United States. We hope it stays on course.
What are your thoughts? Talk to us in the comments below.
“How far will you go to protect something you love?” It sounds like a dramatic line from a book, film, or show. And it could very well be! But here, we’re talking about the extreme lengths to which HBO went in order to protect the secrets of the final season of Game of Thrones during its filming. There was a long gap of almost two years between the airing of the seventh and the eighth season. So, it was quite obvious that people did as much as they could to fish out the details about the finale of perhaps the most-talked-about TV series ever. Things did leak but HBO took every measure possible to preserve the secrecy. Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark) revealed the security steps taken during the filming of a very important scene from the final episode of GoT. Read on to find out more. Spoilers ahead.
This scene featured the Stark siblings together for one last time on the show. The scene on the dock where Arya, Sansa, and Bran bid their farewells to Jon before he left for the Wall. Bran had already become the King of the Six Kingdoms; Sansa the Queen of the North; Arya had killed the Night King and was heading West; and Jon would spend the rest of his days beyond the Wall after having killed Daenerys. Thus, too many secrets went into the making of that moment on the dock. So, for that highly-charged scene filmed in Dubrovnik, Croatia, Isaac told news.com.au that the filming location seemed like a “CIA site”.
“It was ridiculous, the security and secrecy,” he said. We have heard similar things about the security measures from other actors as well. “When we shot in Dubrovnik for that scene where we’re saying goodbye to Jon Snow, I’ve never experienced anything like that; it was like being a secret agent. We came into the country on a chartered flight so nobody would see us, we stayed in this hotel and they booked out the entire hotel just for us. We weren’t allowed to go out, we couldn’t walk outside,” he described.
But that’s not all, the ‘dock-scene day’ amped the security even more. “On that day, HBO rented out every single apartment and every single hotel room that could possibly overlook where we were shooting. We had coast guards patrolling just outside in the water to check no boats were coming by”. Take a breath, it goes on further. “When we were coming in and out of cars we had to be covered in coats; and when we flew back, we were the last people on the flight and we had to sneak in.” It resembles a top-secret mission indeed.
This was all because Game of Thrones enjoyed huge popularity among the masses for almost a decade. “It was really amazing that people loved this story so much and were so desperate to get any nugget of information. You had a pinch-yourself-moment every day,” Hempstead Wright said.
As to whether he foresaw his rise to the throne, the 21-year-old actor said, “I didn’t see it coming at all. A lot of the time it was fans and friends talking and saying ‘I feel like it’s got to be Bran’ and I said ‘You are so wrong, it’ll be someone else.’ Even when I read the script I thought, ‘Is this really true?’ I wasn’t entirely sure, but I was pretty sure it wasn’t Bran. I thought it was going to be an obvious one, maybe Sansa. (But) no complaints there. It couldn’t have gone any better for me. It went badly for other people.”
It’s crazy how time flies on the wings of a raven. Game of Thrones ended more than a year ago. And it feels like just yesterday when we were speculating what course would the final season take. But we won’t go into all of that; we’ve done that so many times and there’s no point drawing fresh blood from an old/nearly healed wound. We’re happy that Brandon Stark sat on the throne; because who better to lead the realm than someone who knows all the mistakes of the history; plus, can watch over his kingdoms in real-time and has got no great desire to rule. All hail Bran the Broken!
What are your thoughts? Tell us in the comments section below.