Media

Inside the Episode & Politics of Marriage

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss offer insight into “Second Sons” in the newest Inside the Episode video, examining Tyrion and Sansa’s troubled wedding and Stannis’s reliance on Davos.


In addition, this week HBO provides a look into the “Politics of Marriage,” with commentary from Benioff, Weiss, George R.R. Martin, and more.

Ours is the Fury: The Politics video is a great review of this season’s marital maneuvering, especially useful for newer viewers trying to keep track of the shifting alliances.

70 Comments

  • I liked what they had to say about Stannis. Some people have complained that the show doesn’t get Stannis and that they made him a fanatic. Nice to see D&D do understand him, and it has shown the past two times he has appeared.

  • Amazing how 3 years of marriage and politics have been so concisely encapsulated. It shows just how far ahead D&D have been planning all this(with a bit of inside information, no doubt), and how well the show has stayed on the overall track.

    After all, the Game of Thrones is the ultimate Long Game.

    Well done, guys.

  • Yeah, congratulations to D&D for another great episode in ‘Second Sons’. Stannis was great but King’s Landing, as per usual, stole the show.

    In the books I was fairly even handed about the various storylines: I loved Jon, I loved Tyrion, I loved Dany. And whilst I feel that Dany and particularly Jon are more inconsistent in the show, the payoff in Kings Landing is, dare I say it, even better than the books. By slowing down the pace of the show we’ve gotten to see the inner workings of Varys, Littlefinger, Olenna, Tywin, Cersei and Joffrey. We never really got to see this in the books because they weren’t POV characters. Season 3 has had its ups and downs but King’s Landing: it’s been glorious.

  • I cannot wait for the next marriage! Demise with capital DDDDDDDDDDD

    ps. Bryan Cogman i know you’re reading this! Thanks to you and all the other writers we get to enjoy this amazingly well put show. Deepest gratitude!

  • I thought Lysa was going to appear this season. I see thw erry set in the video but with just two episodes left… is it confirmed she’s been casted this season?

  • Josla:
    I thought Lysa was going to appear this season. I see thw erry set in the video but with just two episodes left… is it confirmed she’s been casted this season?

    Pretty strong confirmations during shooting that both Lysa and Robin were involved this season so it stands to reason they’d be in the finale. I would imagine we’ll get a quick scene of them meeting Littlefinger once he arrives at the Eyrie and the beginning of his wooing period (although I don’t think Lysa will be too difficult to snag).

  • WompWomp,

    Yeah, and even more short term, Season 4 is going to be sooooooooo good. They just need to cast Oberyn right and they’re sorted.

  • WompWomp: Their strong adaptation of the KL arc has me hopeful in the seasons ahead. I found KL particularly lacking in AFFC.

    The Cersei vs. Margaery arc is going to be epic.

  • Do you think Benedict Cumberbatch might sign up for a GoT role?

    He has had very close contact with Nina Gold recently….

  • Sky Aero,

    Doubt it. Mainly because there’s no significant role left for him to play.

    Oberyn, Mace, various Wildlings, Kevan, Doran, Euron, Victarion, Aeron, Jon Connington. I don’t think he fits any of those character descriptions. Then again, he is a versatile actor, so you never know.

  • GoT writers depict the political alliance /marriage pact quite well. Onscreen
    versions have been noted in many Medieval dramas, but ASOAIF offers a
    less formulaic set of events and characters that hold sustained interest.
    The Kings Landing cast is exceptional, with Tywin’s commanding role
    especially. Cersei’s not so subtle threat to lady Margaery and lady Olenna’s
    astuteness adds additional flavor to an already perfect scene. I admit to
    being confused about QoT’s bartering over Loras’s betrothal to Cersei, as
    a stalemate. However that was cleared up at Tyrion’s wedding over conversation
    seated with Margaery and Loras . And of course, for as many marriage alliances
    drawn up over amicable terms, hostage brides or simply ward hostages keep
    all in check as well. Sansa Stark Lannister may be the “key” to the North, but
    definitely a hostage bride, and performed with perfection by the actress.

    It was good to see Joffrey bare his fangs again, and notable wedding guests in
    attendance. The set environment, costumes and ( rare ) cuisine looked perfect.

  • Awesome extras, I especially enjoyed the first video. Great insight into the relationship between Stannis & Davos, and Tyrion & Joff. It doesn’t hurt that all four actors are ridiculously awesome.

  • Would have been nice to see both Kevan and Lancel at the wedding this past episode.

  • The fuck? The bedroom scene was told from Sansa’s POV and all we get is talk about how Tyriong felt and what Tyrion thought about it? Also can they stop singing Tyrion’s praises just because he didn’t rape someone?? I wish they didn’t present him in such a good light honestly he still molested Sansa while she was the naked in the books…

  • Jake Umber,

    I think they’re going with the idea that Lancel is still recovering from his wounds from the Battle of Blackwater and Kevan is still taking care of him. I also don’t imagine that losing Martyn and Willem did either one of them any good. I think the book said something about Ser Kevan taking a leave of absence to be with his family for a while after the murders.

    That said, you’re right: it would have been nice to see that, instead of just implying it. Budget, I guess.

  • has any of the martells been cast or anyone from dorne for that matter? could benedict cumberbatch be oberyn? that could be awesome!

  • db,

    I really really hope they hold TV Tyrion true to book Tyrion as far as what happens in the future…

    I too am a little sick of Tyrion being portrayed as such a “white knight” sort of character…

    Really hope D&D keep him true to the books and put some darker elements into him to turn him more grey…

  • Michael274: Family, Duty, Hodor, Kevan is already cast in the series as he appeared in the first and second season played by the same actor that i can’t remember his name .

    Didn’t Tywin send him back to Lannisport from Harrenhall?

  • There was a detail in the Dragonstone set, related to what Stannis saw in the flames, which I thought was a nice bit of foreshadowing:

    Stannis’ table is overflowing with unread, excessive, abandoned mail scrolls… Our literate Davos will have fun reading random letters until he gets to a shocking one from the Wall! Battle in the snow here we come…

  • I’m a little disappointed that they left out one of my favorite lines in the books.

    Davos: I’m lowborn, your lords will never obey me.
    Stannis: Then we will make new lords.

    But overall I’m loving Dragonstone this season. Stannis for King!

    Re: Cumberbatch. I think that he would make a fantastic Euron, but I don’t think Thrones needs to be spending the money it would take to hire a star as big as him.

    Also, in case you missed it, we finally got our requisite reference on Family Guy.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ5vaqoClOg

  • db:
    The fuck? The bedroom scene was told from Sansa’s POV and all we get is talk about how Tyriong felt and what Tyrion thought about it? Also can they stop singing Tyrion’s praises just because he didn’t rape someone?? I wish they didn’t present him in such a good light honestly he still molested Sansa while she was the naked in the books…

    I don’t see how her getting naked counts as molesting. He didn’t touch her

  • Arthur,

    Word. “That’s where you’re wrong, Father. I believe I’m you writ small is one of his most awesome lines, but it won’t be awesome if it isn’t at least partially true. He doesn’t need to be the same person as Tywin (he’s not), but he does need to have that potential in him somewhere — otherwise, he’s just not Tyrion.

  • Any shots we see of the Eyrie and any scenes with Lysa must have already been been shot. I am pretty certain I read somewhere that D&D had the “Eyrie” set torn down after all necessary scenes (Lysa leaving through the Moon Door) had been shot. To make room for the Great Sept of Baelor, perhaps.

    One thing that bugs me: Why does everybody get Stannis’s vision wrong? The “battle in the snow” that he saw was not the Battle for the Wall but Mormont’s forces getting butchered on the Fist of the First Men.

  • Have D&D painted themselves into a corner with good guy Tyrion? One can see him driven into enough of a rage to kill Tywin but Shae, especially the enhanced improved showShae?

  • Sky Aero:
    Do you think Benedict Cumberbatch might sign up for a GoT role?

    He has had very close contact with Nina Gold recently….

    I could see him as Doran Martell. Doran would have to be same age as Ned, but I suppose they can make him look a bit older for the show. They’d definately want someone with a very sly characteristic face for Doran.

    He doesn’t seem physical enough to play Oberyn.

  • DjWeideman:
    Amazing how 3 years of marriage and politics have been so concisely encapsulated. It shows just how far ahead D&D have been planning all this(with a bit of inside information, no doubt), and how well the show has stayed on the overall track.

    If they had been planning for this season from the beginning, they should have given Tyrion more grey. Instead, they lessen the impact of Tyrion&Sansa’s Wedding, and make the wedding all about Tyrion, when it should have been all about Sansa. It was from her POV after all…

    I wish they had stuck to the books about this plot point.. Sansa not kneeling was one of the scenes I was most looking forward too…I was very disappointed by the Wedding. I still love the show, but the series is nothing compared to the books.

    I’m worried about next week..re: the impact of RW. We haven’t seen enough Cat, Robb and co.

  • 1. Cumberbatch is too famous for any ongoing TV role other than Sherlock at this point. He only still does that because he wants to.

    2. He is white and not suitable for any Martell, that’s for sure.

    As much as I loved Sansa refusing to kneel in the books, I think with the altered story in the show, it may have come off wrong on the show. She had a little more time to get used to the idea of marrying Tyrion and the discussion with Margaery on the show, so her unusual reaction at the altar would’ve seemed less Sansa-like. Courtesy is her armor. But it would have been nice for them to find another way for her to show defiance after finding out about the new wedding plans since the kneeling was being tossed out.

  • BookTyrion never asked BookSansa to kneel. ShowTyrion did. its that simple. She didn’t kneel to make him look better, she responded to the request…

    I do think her look (and his reaction) during the What if I never want you statement was clearly her standing up when it counted

  • Eor!,

    Yes he did. He touched her breast, and only after that does he say ‘o nvm’. He is not at all understanding or kind to her up until that point.

  • queeninthnorth:
    Benedict is white so I really can’t see him as any of the Martells.

    Would also expect a mediteranean look for the Martells, but I exptected the same for Mero, Dario, Melisandre and Jaqen.

  • Lou Reed,

    GRRM has said he viewed the Martells as a cross between Spanish and Welsh.. as explained in the book the whiter characters (“welsh”) are closer to the Reach, and the darker characters (spanish) would be further south which is where the Martells are.. so if they casted any of the Martells white, I would be not be happy..

    Also, I don’t like Benedict Cumberbatch. lol

  • I’m very happy that D&D are acknowledging that Melisandre’s power, though real, isn’t necessarily something that’s good for Stannis. This is something that has been really bugging me to date in the show. Maybe I just missed it while reading the books but his struggling with the idea of completely buying into Melisandre’s faith just didn’t stand out. It does in the show because of his relationship to Davos, which, I think, is a good thing.

  • Arthur,
    db,

    put some darker elements into him to turn him more grey…

    Me too! The ONLY thing that hinted at ‘darkness’ in the post-wedding scene was when Tyrion says, “I could, but I won’t”. The fact that he could implies that he is attracted to her (let’s face it, she’s very pretty) and the thought of bedding her certainly occurred to him. But that’s very far away from how he behaved in the book (which made me cringe but it was still a great passage).

    I don’t agree with db that he molested her in either the show or the book version. Molesting is by definition touching and I don’t think he did in either case. Am I wrong about the book version? Happy to be corrected on this point. BUT db is right to ask why praise someone in Tyrion’s position. His family and their meddling are the reason Sansa is vulnerable to being raped/molested in the first place. For example, say a group of people kidnap a girl and one of them gets her alone to rape her but at the last minute decides not to. Does he deserve praise? One might argue that Tyrion didn’t really help in the kidnapping and hostage situation of Sansa. And it’s true that he didn’t initially….but he had the chance to free Sansa when he was The Hand and return her to her mother and he chose not to. Were it not for that, she wouldn’t even be there. So, db makes a good point.

    Also, it’s not that I don’t feel badly for Sansa–I think we all do. But from her POV there is no ambivalence. She doesn’t want him, period. Tyrion is really torn and it’s a difficult moral choice for him. She’s pretty but she’s too young. He wants to thwart his father but he’s clearly afraid to do so. He wants to be with Shae but can’t. He’d prefer not to marry Sansa but if he doesn’t she is much more vulnerable to Joffrey, etc, etc. So it’s just easier to dwell on Tyrion’s predicament because it’s much more complicated and interesting from a dramatic point of view. Is that fair to the female “victim”? Probably not.

  • BlackTalon,

    he saw was not the Battle for the Wall but Mormont’s forces getting butchered on the Fist of the First Men

    Where’s the proof for either of those battles? All we know is that he saw a battle in the snow. I presumed, although Stannis doesn’t explicitly say so, that he saw himself fighting in this battle. Why else would Stannis believe the vision? If it was just a bunch of guys he doesn’t know fighting in the snow and he wasn’t involved, what’s so awesome about that and how would that predict that he will be the ‘savior’? I don’t think GRRM or D&D have given us enough info to really know.

  • What I find super amusing is the fact that, in some interviews before season 3 started, the actor playing maester Pycelle and the producers, commented that his character was going to be fleshed out this season, since he’s too much of an actor to have a rol so thin; however, he’s been barely seen this season… WTF?

  • A while ago what we heard is that the actors who played Lysa and Robin Arryn had returned for episode 7, the one GRRM wrote. However it seems their scenes are being moved into episode 10 – or maybe just deleted.

  • Josla,

    yeah, Julian Glover described this elaborate scene in which (minor spoiler?? I guess not, but just to be safe) Tywin has Varys, Littlefinger and Pycelle summoned to him and he sizes them up, one by one, and revealing to Pycelle at the end that he knows Pycelle is faking the ‘senile old man’ act but he respects him all the more for it. I can only guess this scene was deleted as LF almost certainly going to be in the Eyrie for the rest of the season.

  • Re. a way to give Sansa a little more agency, a thought just occurred. What if she had barred, locked or otherwise obstructed the door of the bedroom after Tyrion had passed out, bearing in mind Joffrey’s threat to her. This would work on a number of levels. It would show that she still feels in danger even after being wrapped in Tyrion’s cloak of protection, that although the night ends for him after he passes out she’s still aware of other things that could happen and tries to do something about it, and that even though she doesn’t want to have sex with Tyrion she’s happy to lock herself in a room with him if it locks Joffrey out.

  • Siobhan,

    I wish they did that.. but then again, I’d have preferred the writers to show the wedding in Sansa’s view, NOT Tyrion’s…

  • Conjo:
    Siobhan,

    I wish they did that.. but then again, I’d have preferred the writers to show the wedding in Sansa’s view, NOT Tyrion’s…

    True. Sansa is so underrated. One of the greatest characters of the series. One of the more believable and identifiable in this world…

    I also wish for the kiss between Dany and Jorah to still happen. They’d better being keeping it for later and not skipping it altogether or I’ll take them down with fire and blood…. I’ve been waiting for season 3 for that scene alone… I feel so uneasy about that!

  • Josla,

    Sansa is my favourite character. Up until this point the only thing I disliked was Cat freeing Jaime before she found out about Bran + Rickon. This season they’ve given Sansa poor treatment; are we to assume Sansa found out about Bran + Rickon off-screen? That could have been a great scene to see, instead we saw Pod being rewarded with whores and Bronn + Tyrion wondering why they didn’t charge.

    Tyrion is awesome, but to include him in every episode when he isn’t needed, takes away time from characters more deserving; Sansa, Catelyn, Davos, Catelyn, Robb, CATELYN!! Sorry for the rant..

    P.S. I also wonder how the Dany/Jorah storyline will pay off.. does Barristan secretly know that Jorah is a traitor?

  • Currer Bell,

    You’re right, it’s somewhat baffling.

    I’m starting to wonder if he might not kill Shae at all. But if he is, they’ve got a lot of work to do with both him and Shae in season 4.

  • The only role I would have liked Cumberbatch in was already cast: he would have made a horrifyingly excellent Ramsay Snow/Bolton

  • Lou Reed: Would also expect a mediteranean look for the Martells, but I exptected the same for Mero,Dario, Melisandre and Jaqen.

    I expected them to not be white either tbh, I never really imagined them as such when reading the books. The Daario casting was especially disappointing because IIRC the casting call was for someone who was “any race but white” or something to that effect.

  • Conjo:
    Josla,

    Sansa is my favourite character.Up until this point the only thing I disliked was Cat freeing Jaime before she found out about Bran + Rickon.This season they’ve given Sansa poor treatment; are we to assume Sansa found out about Bran + Rickon off-screen?

    She’s my favourite too and I’ve wondered about this. Is it possible that they’ll tell her at the same time as they tell her about the Red Wedding? Given her prisoner status, it’s quite likely that the information that reaches her is highly controlled. Most people in King’s Landing will only tell her things that they want her to hear, and they have precious little reason to plunge her into grief that might distract her from whatever role they want her to play in their plots. But Tyrion might want to be open with her and tell her before Joffrey gets the chance. Perhaps he thinks it’s best to get everything out in the open in one go. (And the showmakers might choose this route to avoid “repetitive” mourning scenes.) I’m thinking, actually, that the slightly nicer presentation of Tyrion at the wedding (him telling her in advance, asking her to kneel rather than tugging at her dress) might only make the contrast more painful when he tells her what his family has done to hers this time. It would lead to more of a sense of hope that these two could become friends in their marriage together, even if they never love each other romantically, only to be dashed by the horror of the Red Wedding. I really hope that Sansa realises her marriage to Tyrion was part of the overall plan for that.

  • db:
    Eor!,

    Ser Lyonel the Laughing Storm,

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ,

    In the books Tyrion did cup her breast while she was naked. Reread the section.

    Here I found it for you (page 325 in the hardcover of ASoS):

    “When he hopped up on the bed and put his hand on her breast, Sansa could not help but shudder. She lay with her eyes closed, every muscle tense, dreading what would come next.”

  • db,
    Wow, okay, so he did molest her!!!! Mea culpa. So show Tyrion is MUCH more noble than book Tyrion. BUT in all fairness (and thank goodness) the writers couldn’t show a grown man fondling an underage girl even if they wanted to.

  • I think David Benioff needs some rest. He looked and sounded like he was about to fall asleep.

    I do love him, though. He and Dan both seem like great guys. I’m so glad they brought Thrones to TV.

  • db, Ms. D. Ranged in AZ:

    I can’t get what makes you think Tyrion is molesting anyone. What happens between them is very unusual in the society of Westeros (as it would have been in medieval Europe). The word ‘molesting’ suggests that the deed is something very amoral and evil (I can be wrong since English is not my first tongue) but I can’t see the people of Westeros would regard consummation of marriage as such. In their society, a girl has come of age when she has periods, so she is no child bride, either.

    Other thing: In what world are some posters living? Since when people of any Mediterranean ethnicity have stopped being white? I always envisioned the Martells of something between Arab/Turkish/Italian/Spanish perplexion, in other words – very much white. In my mind Doran looked like Ghassan Massoud, Red Viper like Antonio Banderas and Arianne Martell like Kim Kardashian :D

  • i just saw star trek into darkness and benedict cumberbatch was seven kinds of awesome as the villain. colouring aside i think he would make an excellent red viper (goes away and prays for a miracle…)