Interview

Carice Van Houten on Baratheon family dynamics, and worlds colliding in Season 4

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Team Stannis will be waiting patiently for Sunday night, when Dragonstone makes its Season 4 debut. To make that wait a little easier, Carice Van Houten gives details about what’s in store for Melisandre and company in a new interview with The Gate.

Carice reveals that we’ll first see Melisandre performing a certain ritual, and we’ll also get to enjoy the uneasy dynamic between Melisandre, Stannis, and his wife Selyse, as well an interaction with his daughter, Shireen. Family life aside, Melisandre still has her eye on the prize. If Stannis wants to claim the Iron Throne, they’ll have to head towards the war in the north, where Carice says worlds will collide.

On what we can expect in Season 4:

“We start by seeing her doing a certain ritual–I can’t be more specific than that–and then we get a little peek behind the scenes of Stannis’ household. So you see Stannis and his two wives–basically, me and his own wife Selyse–and you get to enjoy the dynamics between the three of us.”

“Of course it’s very tense, but the funny thing is Selyse’s on my side more than anyone else. She is a believer, a true believer in the Lord of Light, so she’s in awe of the fact that I represent this religion. But also I think there must be some sort of jealousy. So we see a little bit more of that, and we see my relationship to their child who is not, per se, on my team–which of course is a nuisance for me. Be assured that Melisandre will convince this child that the Lord of Light is not all bad. She’ll make sure of that.”

On Melisandre’s overall goal:

“She still wants Stannis to be on the Iron Throne. But the interesting thing is that in this season they have to travel because as we know, we left her and Stannis and Davos [Liam Cunningham] in season 3 with that scene where she saves Davos’ life and says the true war is in the north. So they probably need to head in that direction. And then, of course, the worlds collide and that’s when it’s going to get interesting.”

For more from Carice about her experiences working on Game of Thrones so far, read the rest of her interview at The Gate.

58 Comments

  • Greenjones,

    Hmmm. If that’s accurate, (and I assume that it is), then we can sketch out Bran’s appearances for the season.

    Based on the press release for the first four episodes, Bran’s confirmed for Episode 2 (his vision from the Weirwood tree telling him where he needs to go) and Episode 4 (his group stumbles upon shelter, which likely means Craster’s Keep). With the title of the finale being The Children, we know that he’ll be in that episode as well. That leaves one more appearance for him in between Episodes 5 and Episode 8 (since 9 will take place entirely at the Wall). My guess is that will probably be Episode 5, with Jon’s attack on the mutineers inadvertently freeing his brother – yet another near-miss between the two.

    As zod notes, it’s probably for the best that they aren’t trying to stretch out Bran’s screentime just to give Isaac Hempstead-Wright more to do. There are enough storylines to deal with, and Bran’s won’t truly reach its full potential until he meets both the Children and the Three-Eyed Raven.

  • I just hope for the episodes he is in, we get to see him for more than one scene. It annoys me when they do that. They’ve done that a lot with Jon in the past as well (which is one of my biggest pet peeves of the show).

    I’d rather see characters in fewer episodes if they get larger chunks of screen time in the episodes they’re in.

  • Jared:
    Greenjones,

    Hmmm. If that’s accurate, (and I assume that it is), then we can sketch out Bran’s appearances for the season.

    Based on the press release for the first four episodes, Bran’s confirmed for Episode 2 (his vision of the Weirwood tree telling him where he needs to go) and Episode 4 (his group stumbles upon shelter, which likely means Craster’s Keep. With the title of the finale being The Children, we know that he’ll be in that episode as well. That leaves one more appearance for him in between Episodes 5 and Episode 8 (since 9 will take place entirely at the Wall). My guess is that will probably be Episode 5 or 6, with Jon’s attack on the mutineers inadvertently freeing his brother – yet another near-miss between the two.

    That sounds about right. He said he thinks four episodes, so really, he could end up being in five. Sometimes this sort of this changes in post-production and he likely isn’t in the know about how that process works out. But yeah, eps. 2, 4 and 10 for sure.

  • Well if Isaac said he thinks he’s in 4 episodes, it might be that’s how it went during the filming, but during the editing a couple of scenes were shifted around and he’s actually in 5 or 6. It would be odd for such a drastic (if at this point necessary) cut-back, but not unheard of. Nikolaj went from 8 episodes in season 1 to just 4 in season 2 (if only they could’ve done the same with Theon).

    Thinking on it, Isaac’s episode count has consistently dropped by 1 each season, so episodes 2, 4, 6/7/8 & 10 would work fine. They normally check up on everyone before a big 9 episode anyway.

  • Well I assume the “ceremony” is the burning someone at the stake we’ve actually seen in the trailer for next week’s episode.

    “his wife Selyse, as well an interaction with his daughter, Shireen. ”

    !!! I’ve always wondered about that, because the books didn’t go into detail: just what DOES Shireen think of the Lord of Light religion? Did her parents “raise her R’hllor” or did servants tell her about the Faith of the Seven? Or, as a fairly well-read little girl, does she sort of value all of the major religions?

    ***At least, I think, next week we’ll finally put to rest those rumors that Melisandre…well, the speculation that she was saying “there’s only one hell” to *Yara Greyjoy*, when it makes more sense for her to just be talking to Shireen — turns out Yara may be actually heading to the Dreadfort anyway (which is absurd given the distances) but it would have been even worse for her to LAND at Dragonstone; Stannis thinks the ironborn are thieves and would never treat with such rebels.

  • So it seems there will be enough for Bran to do next season since I think this season will prob end with Bran just meeting bloodraven after the fight outside of the cave and then next season we will have some interaction between the two. I still really hope that we will see coldhands just because i thought the mystery of who he was and the fact that he fed them human flesh was creepy and interesting

  • Jared,

    My guess:
    Ep2: Bran talks to a tree and sees a vision that tells him where to go
    Ep4: Bran and co reach Craster’s Keep and are saved by Jon
    Ep6/7: Jojen is sick and they begin losing hope
    Ep8: Bran and co are attacked by wights outside of the cave and are saved by Leaf
    E10: Bran meets the Three Eyed Raven and the children of the forest in the cave

  • BTW have you guys heard the news of David and Dan making a movie called Dirty White Boys ? I wonder how that’s going to affect GOT in future seasons or if they are going to do the movie after the show ends .

  • Jared:
    Greenjones,

    Hmmm. If that’s accurate, (and I assume that it is), then we can sketch out Bran’s appearances for the season.

    Based on the press release for the first four episodes, Bran’s confirmed for Episode 2 (his vision from the Weirwood tree telling him where he needs to go) and Episode 4 (his group stumbles upon shelter, which likely means Craster’s Keep). With the title of the finale being The Children, we know that he’ll be in that episode as well. That leaves one more appearance for him in between Episodes 5 and Episode 8 (since 9 will take place entirely at the Wall). My guess is that will probably be Episode 5, with Jon’s attack on the mutineers inadvertently freeing his brother – yet another near-miss between the two.

    As zod notes, it’s probably for the best that they aren’t trying to stretch out Bran’s screentime just to give Isaac Hempstead-Wright more to do. There are enough storylines to deal with, and Bran’s won’t truly reach its full potential until he meets both the Children and the Three-Eyed Raven.

    Here´s Bran in season 4 new picture:

    http://vlavlaed.tumblr.com/tagged/3×04

    http://24.media.tumblr.com/4d03a9d830ab106007cefd4b1501f96d/tumblr_n3ujyuGolU1tre1k9o1_500.jpg

  • Tyrionisthebest,

    Maybe it will give them confidence to finish game of thrones with an epic three hour high budget movie since i think the story is heading to some intense fantasy battles which even GRRM said are going to be too expensive for the show

  • jentario,

    That’s a good assessment. I could see that happening as well, although as others have noted, it would probably have to involve the rearrangement of some scenes in post-production in order to get around Isaac’s estimate that he’s in “four episodes”.

  • Jared:
    Greenjones,

    Hmmm. If that’s accurate, (and I assume that it is), then we can sketch out Bran’s appearances for the season.

    Based on the press release for the first four episodes, Bran’s confirmed for Episode 2 (his vision from the Weirwood tree telling him where he needs to go) and Episode 4 (his group stumbles upon shelter, which likely means Craster’s Keep). With the title of the finale being The Children, we know that he’ll be in that episode as well. That leaves one more appearance for him in between Episodes 5 and Episode 8 (since 9 will take place entirely at the Wall). My guess is that will probably be Episode 5, with Jon’s attack on the mutineers inadvertently freeing his brother – yet another near-miss between the two.

    As zod notes, it’s probably for the best that they aren’t trying to stretch out Bran’s screentime just to give Isaac Hempstead-Wright more to do. There are enough storylines to deal with, and Bran’s won’t truly reach its full potential until he meets both the Children and the Three-Eyed Raven.

    Does anyone think that Jon and Bran will actually meet in episode 5 (or whenever the battle at craster’s keep is)? I mean, is it safe to assume that Sam told Jon that they met last season at the nightfort, since Bran didn’t forbid Sam to tell as in the books? But also, if Grenn and Edd are prisoners at Craster’s and then are saved by Jon’s excursion later (since Grenn shows up later in the previews during the battle at castle black), wouldn’t they also meet Bran when he gets captured by the mutineers, and therefore further muddle up Jon’s unawareness of Bran being north of the wall? Seems like, well, they might as well meet up immediately after the battle with the mutineers, but since Castle Black isn’t safe from the wildling threat anyways, Jon just lets him go north.

  • This Carice red woman talks tooo much, gives tooo much away.. she’s a talker… I need more chicken to read this interview.

    Anyhow, I’m a bit bummed that the whole Stannis’s surprise arrival at the Wall isn’t a surprise anymore. And it doesn’t have the same effect if Melisandre “saw it in the flames”, and not Davos convincing Stannis..

  • Can someone refresh my memoryBook Bran asks Sam to not tell anyone he saw him going north. .

    Did TV Bran day anything to Sam regarding the same?

  • There are a couple of new feature videos on HBO (looking ahead and new characters)

  • Dogs,

    “The new mission” is after Craster’s. In either the Foreshadowing or the Director’s feature we saw that Jon gives his speech with the kid who survived the Mole’s Town attack in ep. 5. So we’ll get the Mole’s Town raid and Jon and some others will rescue some of them and then we’ll get that speech, “they’ll roll over everything and everyone.”

  • cosca,

    The “Directing Season 4” video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1Wv1sPygc4) confirms that Jon’s attack on Craster’s Keep was directed by Michelle MacLaren. MacLaren is credited with directing Episodes 4 and 5, so the attack must be taking place in one of those two episodes (unless it was moved to another episode in post-production). As Dogs notes, the synopsis for Episode 4 indicates that “Jon recruits volunteers”, while the synopsis for Episode 5 indicates that “Jon Snow begins a new mission”. So Episode 5 seems the safest bet on when the attack will happen, although Episode 4 definitely can’t be ruled out.

    jentario,

    Bran taking shelter at Craster’s Keep and being captured by the mutineers has not definitively been confirmed as far as I know, so I guess that we should make these predictions with a degree of skepticism. However, it’s a popular theory, and one that I personally subscribe to. The alternative is that Bran takes shelter in a cave or something, then has more vision or conversations with the Reeds about the Three-Eyed Raven. I think that we’ve had a sufficient amount of those. This would give him something different to do, and add a real element of danger to his journey beyond the Wall, one that will otherwise be lacking until he encounters the wights and the White Walkers outside the Three-Eyed Raven’s cave later in the season.

  • Dogs,

    It’s not a new mission if he’s been working on it for a couple of episodes already. Not to mention that the episode is called “Oathbreaker. I’m inclined to believe it’s in episode 4.

  • Weird that Stannis isn’t already on his way north. Wasn’t deciding to go the climax of his storyline last season? Seems weaksauce to keep him on Dragonstone longer.

  • Greenjones:
    Dogs,

    “The new mission” is after Craster’s. In either the Foreshadowing or the Director’s feature we saw that Jon gives his speech with the kid who survived the Mole’s Town attack in ep. 5. So we’ll get the Mole’s Town raid and Jon and some others will rescue some of them and then we’ll get that speech, “they’ll roll over everything and everyone.”

    You hooked me and now I pretty much re-watched every bit of promo material released this season. In the first trailer we see Jon making the speech with the kid by his side, but he’s wearing a big fur cloak over his shoulders. In the weapons feature that shows episode 5 he’s not wearing the fur cloak but he is wearing the leather armor he likes to fight in. Don’t know what he’s doing though or where he is, but it’s not making that speech about the Wildlings rolling over everything.
    My prediction of what happens:

    episode 3: the Wildlings attack a hamlet (not Mole’s Town) in the day time and let the boy escape to Castle Black. Sam, anticipating only an attack on Castle Black, sends Gilly to Mole’s Town. Jon decides to attack Craster’s Keep for whatever reason.
    episode 4: Jon recruits dudes for his excursion, makes his speech, and sets out.
    episode 5: Battle at craster’s.
    episode 6: Jon returns to Castle Black with Grenn and Edd.
    episode 7: the Wildlings attack Mole’s Town, at nighttime. Not really sure what happens, but maybe it is a distraction by the Wildlings and Thorne and Slynt lead a reactionary force out against Jon’s warnings (maybe this is in fact when Thorne says, “Brothers, tonight we fight!” – misleading), thus leaving Castle Black unprotected for the start of episode 9?
    episode 9: battle ensues?? Mysteries???

  • Dogs,

    You may be right that the “hamlet” that the boy is from could well be different from Mole’s Town. And you’re right, Jon doesn’t have his fuzzy cloak on in the ep. 5 shot.

    Remember though this leaked call sheet.

  • Jared,

    Or they find shelter in the little hut where Sam and Gilly found shelter in Second Sons. You know, the one with all those crows on the tree………….

  • Greenjones,

    Ah, that particular shot slipped my notice earlier. I had been inclined to think that Jon would attack Craster’s Keep in Episode 4 until I saw the synopsis for Episode 5. Now I might have revise my thinking. Regardless, I think that it’s safe to say that we’ve got it narrowed down to one of those two episodes ;)

    Dutch maester,

    That’s certainly a possibility as well. The concerns that I have about the lack of conflict still apply, but who knows? White Walkers have been known to frequent that area …

  • The Jon timeline suggested for this season doesn’t make sense. This site is far less ugly in Safari on MacOS.

  • Well if Bran’s only in 4 episodes, I guess he’d be in 2, 4, 9 and 10.
    It makes me quite sad but I hope each episode will have more content compared to last season.

  • With regards to Jon’s storyline this season:

    if CK (to give justice to Mormont, that would be the reason, I think) happens in epiosde four, then Jon’s new mission is either MT or training new recruits form MT for the ensuing battle. There are pictures where he is in NW training regalia. If the wildlings attack in episode seven or eight, Allisser takes lead in the battle on the ground, (while Jon takes charge atop the Wall). Tormund and Alliser fight it out untill the death (we have seen them rehearse for a fight in one of the training videos) and Alliser possibly dies (I don’t see Tormund going).

    D and D mentioned everything in aSoS happens this season, so I assume we see Jon become LC. Alliser’s death thus leaves Jon alone to lead the battle in ep 9. Neill Marshall said the ep will contain a couple of beheadings, so either Stannis chops off someone’s head, or Jon chops of Styr and / or Janos’s head (which could mean he is already LC. Thoughts?

  • Morna the Witch,

    The Tormund v Thorne occurs in ep. nine though, because Neil Marshall comments on it in the weapons and training feature. That same feature shows some sort of fighting with the Wildlings going on in episode eight though as well. It will be kindof hard to map out the Jon storyline just now but I lean toward thinking that in ep. three Grenn and Edd come back and Jon proposes going to Craster’s, in ep. 4 they go there, in the mid season they save folks from Mole’s Town and in ep. nine we get the full battle.

  • I read the page title as ‘bathroom family dynamics’, which certainly got me wondering about the facilities at Dragonstone

  • Greenjones

    Ah, so it’ll be in episode nine then. I forgot Neill M was the one who commented on it. I’m not too concerned about how it will turn out. I think certain events have been swopped around to serve the format of the show. I think the general idea of Jon’s storyline will remain (him becoming a leader, rallying the men, leading the battle and Stannis arriving as an epic finale)

  • Ser Dontos:
    Well if Bran’s only in 4 episodes, I guess he’d be in 2, 4, 9 and 10.

    Given what we know about Neil Marshall’s episode, I doubt that Bran will be in ep 9 this season. Maybe ep 8. I also wish they explored his arc a bit more.

  • Jaqen is Q,

    Agreed, she is completely stunning! I love reading what she says about her character and the show, she has such enthusiasm for Mel and everything.