Filming Production

MGoT: Behind the Scenes of Episodes 307 and 308

In “Leeches, Dragons and a Bear: Behind the Scenes of Episodes 307 and 308,” the latest Making Game of Thrones post, Cat Taylor shares some of the production details from “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” and “Second Sons.”

A few of the highlights:

More from Props with Tyrion’s gift to Shae: The golden chains were one of four possible options from a collection that would make Mr. T jealous. They were selected for their weight and delicate working weeks before the scene was shot. Also delicate, but by now not working, is Theon’s manhood. It was taken from him with a blade that was specially designed and for its purpose by Tommy Dunne, based on historical knives made for the job.

An excellent segue by Cat, who also reveals that Bart II was one of six bears considered for episode 307’s title role, along with an “animatronic bear and a man in a bear suit.” Less real were the prop leeches that were attached to Joe Dempsie’s body in Gendry’s scene with Melisandre.

Talisa’s letter, mentioned in “The Bear and the Maiden Fair,” was actually translated by David J. Peterson and written in the High Valyrian language.

For more details on the episodes, check out the full post at Making Game of Thrones.


  • They did use real leeches, Carice van Houten already told so. Cat Taylor doesn’t say they didn’t use real leeches, she only wrote that the ones attached on Joe Dempsey weren’t real.

  • she used the term ‘stunt leeches’ what the hell is that? Please tell us more…

  • Scrolled down to write “stunt leeches!?!” and discovered I am already to late to the stunt leech party.

    Wonder if any of the rejected necklaces were hands of gold.

    ETA from interview:

    HBO: What was it like filming the scene with Gendry and the leeches?

    Carice van Houten: There were a few real leeches. You need some movement in the animals for the close-ups. I wasn’t keen on touching them-they’re tricky little animals. Joe [Dempsie] was very, very brave to have them crawl on his chest. They move so much that it can be difficult to place them. Some takes I’d put them on Joe and they’d roll off, so it took us a while to shoot the scene.

  • Is there an alphabet for High Valyrian which has been released?

    Just thinking that if someone could at least partially translate Talisa’s letter, then the Lannister Honeypot theory could either gain credibility or be blown to smithereens.

  • Anyone else sort of wish they had used an anamatronic bear or a man in a bear suit. I’m not sure it was worth it to sacrifice the action for a more realistic looking bear.

  • That letter is written is stylised English letters, someone over on David J Peterson’s blog has made a free font of it.

    Also, it’s been partially translated by some of the people who comment on DJP’s blog.

    Valyrian technically should be written in Glyphs, but DJP hasn’t been asked to create the true Valyrian writing system yet (he might for future seasons though).

  • @ House Snow:
    What action was sacrificed? In the book Brienne only keeps evading the bear and whacks him with the swooden sword once. There was more action on TV than there ever was in the book.

  • From David J. Peterson’s blog:

    “Regarding the letter, the text of it was written by Cat Taylor (Dave and Dan’s assistant) and translated by me. The shot of it is quite pretty; the art department did an awesome job! Ideally it should be in Valyrian glyphs, but I guess it didn’t seem worthwhile to create an entire writing system for what ultimately is kind of a throwaway shot. Though I do have the text of it (in both English and High Valyrian, which is what it’s written in), I don’t think I should put it up right now. I’ll put it up when the season’s done with, but there’s been a lot of creativity amongst fans regarding Talisa, and so I think this should remain a mystery for the time being. It isn’t gibberish, though, I can assure you.”

    And then the linguistics nerds had at it in the comments. There just isn’t enough understood for anything approaching proper translation. That said, it appears to be a pretty straightforward letter. It is addressed to a word that at least has the root for “parent” and it says that [they] say Robb is a king. There is also speculation that she says she is pregnant and that it ends by saying, “We are coming to you.”

    This could still be a coded spy letter; she’s going to address it to her mother regardless, it’s significant that she is pregnant regardless, and she could be talking to her mom or Tywin (or the f*ing Freys) when she says “We’re coming to you.” It could also just be that the tiniest grammatical nuance changes everything. Or she and Tywin just agreed in advance that, “Hey mom, I’m pregnant,” means, “I’ll poison his Cheerios on the next full moon.” But the most rudimentary translating makes her seem honest.

  • I have to be honest, I hope the letter is straight forward. I know many fans have suspicions about Talisa, but I want her to be who she says she is. The Robb-Talisa romance is pretty much the one non-cynical relationship on the show and I’d hate to think the whole thing has been a long con (she’d have to be one hell of a performer). Plus, I really loved Talisa’s monologue about her little brother in S2, and I’d hate to think that was all BS.

  • The Leeches, that moved on Joe’s body were real. The Leeches that Carin put on him/took off him weren’t, nor were the ones Stephen threw into the fire.

  • Turncloak,

    Two interesting facts which I will draw to your attention:

    1. Oona Chaplin has mentioned in interviews that she enjoyed learning to shoot a bow.
    2. We have not, as yet, seen her shoot a bow.

    Just sayin’.

  • This is a bit off-topic, but might interest a few people.

    Ramin Djawadi’s soundtrack for Season 3 is now available for pre-order and the full track list has been published. You can find the list from e.g. iTunes or Wikipedia, for which I provide a link below.

    I don’t think they contain serious spoilers for show-only watchers (though very careful people might not want to look yet!), but book readers will likely enjoy speculating what events in the last two episodes some of the track titles refer to. (I don’t recommend doing that in this thread, mind you.)

  • Shan,

    Ellie Kendrick stated in her interview that all cast members are eligible for Archery training even if they don’t have bow scenes. So we will see. Although , all Talisa needs is a dagger, not a now

  • I can’t wait for “The Lannisters Send Their Regards”! It is 5:44 long, which makes me think that we are in for quite a scene.

  • Crozyr:
    I can’t wait for “The Lannisters Send Their Regards”! It is 5:44 long, which makes me think that we are in for quite a scene.

    And it’s kind of confirmed that the quote so many have been waiting for has slightly changed. ;) I don’t mind, for me it works just as well.

    Can’t wait for the soundtrack! And the speculations in the comments when there’s a news post here.

  • I’m glad they didn’t use a man in a bear suit. Just look at how cheesy looking the ROUSh’ from Princess Bride were!
    I think the Talisa honeypot is probably untrue although I’m hopeful.

  • I was waiting for this episode for years but I won’t watch it.
    No one will watch game of thrones this week in Turkey.
    Everyone is on the streets rebelling against the repressive islamic government.
    follow the news in tweeter #direngeziparki

    sorry for the off-topic message but our prime minister is far more cruel then jeoffrey and ramsay combined! the police kills innocent people, kings guard is more merciful.

    Spoiler here:
    We won’t let them cut down the trees in gezi parki to make a shopping mall there.