Inside the Episode Media Season 4

Inside the Episode: The Lion and the Rose

In this week’s Inside the Episode David Benioff and Dan Weiss take us behind the scenes of The Lion and the Rose. The pair talk about Stannis’ decision to go all in with Melisandre, as well as Bran getting the coming attractions of what’s in store for him once he masters his ability.

Like the episode, much of the video is dedicated to the Royal Wedding, including the rare opportunity they had to put characters together. They explain that the sequence leading up to Joffrey’s demise was designed to tell us exactly who he is, what this episode means for the structure of season 4, and give a nod to a great actor who will be missed on set, Jack Gleeson.

We are also treated to two shorter videos this week, in the first George R.R. Martin explains Cersei’s immediate accusation of Tyrion, and in the second Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Jerome Flynn talk about Jaime’s first left-handed sword fight.

For even more information on the behind the scenes happenings, James Hibberd of Entertainment Weekly has shared some tidbits from his set visit to Croatia when they were filming the wedding celebration. Hibberd admits “there was something supremely satisfying about watching the story’s most despised villain meet his fate over and over again.”

Hibberd notes that it’s true what everyone says about Jack Gleeson, he couldn’t be less like Joffrey, saying that “it was is a bit like viewing schizophrenia.” One of the band members of Sigur Rós told Hibberd, “He’s always giving us this ‘really-sorry’ face… He doesn’t want to throw them at us, but they keep telling him to throw them. It’s amazing how he can play such a bad guy and be such a nice guy.”

During Joffrey’s elaborate pie cutting scene, the mood on set was light:

“Live birds, what would go wrong,” Weiss deadpanned.
“They could fly back to Bosnia,” fellow showrunner David Benioff suggested.
“They could attack Jack and peck his face off,” Weiss countered.
Gleeson practiced with his sword, unable to resist making some whooshing sounds as he swings it about.

And Nikolaj Coster-Waldau couldn’t resist pulling at least one gag:

As Gleeson rehearsed dying on the floor, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau rushed into the scene and mock ad-libbed, “My son!” drawing laughs. Then, when Gleeson had to spend sometime playing “dead,” Coster-Waldau held an umbrella shielding the young actor from the sun between takes. “See? I care,” Coster-Waldau said.

For more from Hibberd’s report visit Entertainment Weekly.


  • Why don’t they show behind the scenes stuff in videos like this? As in actually showing them film the different scenes, stunts and so on instead of just cast and crew sitting around talking about the episode?

  • Why are the videos not listed on the Game of Thrones channel? One of them isn’t even uploaded there! Weird…

  • The Archives have returned! Thx!

    I find it interesting that GRRM pauses so often in his interview. He is probably so far ahead of this event as he writes TWoW/ADoS that he is having to forcibly recall the differences between book canon and show canon. That must be a challenge.

  • Tyrionisthebest,

    Funny thing is that there’s a major lack of it on the home release as well. They usually just focus on the making of one big event, such as Blackwater in season 2 and the RW in season 3, while ignoring all the other episodes.

  • Darn, I was hoping we would get their explanation of why they showed the giant Goblet being gifted to Joffrey, but not being used at the wedding.

  • I feel like they dropped the ball in some spots. I’m concerned they are going to just drop threads in the show and not pick them up again. It’s hard to know what to make of that when GRRM wrote the episode. There are things in the books which need a callback.

    In spoiler text: I’m specifically most concerned about Joffrey being the one who sent the assassin after Bran. How could they not include that? It’s the biggest reason that Joffrey is particularly antipathic to Tyrion that day, he’s suddenly afraid of what Tyrion knows and wants to show him who is boss. There are still mysteries left from the books, and they have hardly touched on the events of Robert’s Rebellion for instance. Other things like Tywin setting a trap for Ned by burning the Riverlands specifically to bring him to be killed both happened and were dropped from discussion, you’d have to have read the books to know the Mountain was waiting for Ned, and fell on Beric. At any rate, last night’s episode convinced me that if the show starts to overtake the books, I’m going to stop watching the show. There’s just too much richness and depth that I fear will be lost.

  • OT
    Does anyone know when will the soundtrack album of this season come out? Last year it came out mid-may, if I remember correctly.

  • corbob,

    Also, this. The fact that Margaery and Joffrey are both to drink from the marriage goblet matters as a bit of misdirection. I hope they don’t just have the reveal next episode, though that is close to how the book handled it.

  • smitzz,

    Not that I’m trying to contradict you, but generally people who don’t care don’t bother replying to comments.

    For example, I thought that you were being needlessly rude, and so I decided to reply exploiting the flaw in your logic.

  • Nothing anal about wanting a better show, and this is the thread discussing what went into the episode. For that matter, if you actually read Elio’s analysis you’ll be able to tell he wants what is best for the show himself. I hope they do get to what I hid in spoiler text, I’m sure show-only viewers want to know the meaning of things they’ve actually seen.

  • Skipjack,

    I’m not sure how anything you just mentioned is relevant. How does the mountain waiting for Ned but falling on beric change anything at all in the show?

    Why would the reason joffery is being an asshole to tyrion matter? He was an ass bag in general. You think the audience needs to know that tyrion knew joffery sent the assassin to kill bran so that’s why joffery was being a dbag? They need to know that fact to understand the end of Sunday’s episode? Really?

    You think at the end of the episode the general reaction was “…. But why was joffery being so mean to tyrion…. Hmmmmmf.. hodor.”

  • I also have some issue with how they didn’t pay off the who sent the Valyrian steel dagger assassin to off Bran subplot. Unless they changed the book canon on this one, this was likely the last episode where they could have done it without it being contrived. Maybe they want to put this on Littlefinger to up the ante on the “sower of chaos for personal gains” thing?

  • Skipjack,

    The show won’t get to every subplot. There is simply not enough time, and what works well in a 1000+ page book doesn’t necessarily work as well in a 10 hour show. I’d suggest you should try to separate the show from the books in your head, because they are both genius in their own way. Comparing the two as you (and many others, including Elio Garcia) are doing is inherently unfair to the show, and will severely limit your ability to enjoy the best show on TV.

  • Skipjack: Nothing anal about wanting a better show

    Well, I think we can all agree on that. The obvious question here is: What would make GOT a better show?, and many here, including me, are of the opinion that trying to replicate the books isn’t it.

  • smitzz:

    Dude , go back to , maybe you’ll find somebody over there whos equally anal

    Such maturity. There was a time when you could actually post your criticism here without someone immediately telling you to **** off and go to

    Oh well, back to lurking and posting on forums where having an opinion isn’t being frowned upon (not talking about westeros)

  • Skipjack:
    Other things like Tywin setting a trap for Ned by burning the Riverlands specifically to bring him to be killed both happened and were dropped from discussion, you’d have to have read the books to know the Mountain was waiting for Ned, and fell on Beric.

    Perhaps the most obscure anti-show criticism I have ever read.

  • sheesh, all the bashing of Skipjack aside, it is a valid point that they included the assasin being send to Bran and the whole knife subplot in season 1 and now seem to have gotten rid of it. It’s not the fact that it was in the books so it has to be in the show, it’s an ongoing mystery in the show that they should solve. Of course they still might, maybe through littlefinger, or maybe in one of Tyrions upcomming dialogs. But leaving it as a loose end is silly, considering the importance it had to the story and the lack of added value in leaving it as a loose end.

  • Abyss,

    Well it’s certainly improved upon Emilia’s delivery. Her lines in the last few trailers seem made to be remixed. If this is just Season 1, may 2, 3 & 4 when it’s all over be just as cool.

    Thumbs up for Lena too :).

  • Kessell,

    Exactly, and the fact that it wasn’t brought up in the episode written by George may mean they’ve decided to deal with it in a different way later on. I really doubt it will end up as ‘Hey, remember when that assassin tried to kill Bran? That was weird, huh?’.

  • If they actually do bring up the “who sent the dagger” subplot (which they probably won’t), it is possible that it will be changed to Littlefinger having sent the dagger instead of Joffrey, just to simplify things and make him look even more ambitious and “evil” than he already does on the show (which seems to be what they’re going for). But most likely they will leave it alone, since that could over-complicate or possibly even undermine Lf and Sansa’s curious relationship if she figures out that he blatantly attempted to have a family member murdered as opposed to their deaths resulting down the road from his actions. Just my thoughts.

  • The thing is they already put in the dagger subplot. I know a lot off show watchers who haven’t read the books who think it’s a really crucial plot element and are chomping at the bit to get that info. I thought at least they could get rid of that red herring now, before the Unsullied go crazy.

  • Deekan,

    I know Littlefinger appears to have a teleportation machine, but even so it seems like quite a stretch that he would be orchestrating the assassination attempt in Winterfell from King’s Landing.

  • sati,
    Whether choking or manual strangulation, it does tend to cause petechial hemorrhaging (blood vessels popping) in the eyes due to strain of trying to breathe. Actual blood coming from the eyes, no. That may have just been a flourish added to make it appear more gruesome.

  • Completly OT : Anybody knows what’s going on with the official GoT youtube channel ? They released a ton of short behind the scenes videos from season 2 and 3 yesterday, but the next episode preview for episode 3 is nowhere to be seen. It’s usually there on tuesdays. I want my spoilers for next week dang it !

  • Fienix,

    My observation also, the melodrama was effective for viewers and helped boost the ratings. No one is counting on accuracy at this point. The re-forging of Ned’s bade, Ice, was another example. Sansa’s missing hairnet, another. These particulars do seek ire with Nerdist and those with foreknowledge of the events.

    The choking explanation is a good vehicle for discussion, with Joffrey complaining that the meat pie was dry, and carrying on in a repugnant manner towards Tyrion. My neighbour mentioned a coughing fit that reminded her of an Asthma attack….once again, no.

  • gewa76,

    He wouldn’t have had to go anywhere. He had a cat’s paw that probably came from King’s Landing, hidden among King Baratheon’s retinue.

  • I thought the Joffrey sending the dagger plot was resolved in a conversation in season 2 between Tyrion and Cersei. If I remember correctly Cersei didn’t flat out say it was Joffrey but it was strongly implied…

  • Deekan,

    So his original plan was to have someone kill Bran even before he fell? I guess that could be an explanation; that LF was planning something to spark chaos from the beginning. But I don’t see the show going there.

  • WildSeed,

    On Survivor (USA) the “Ponderosa” is a resort where they send people who have been voted out but can’t leave yet b/c they have to be on the jury. They film it because it’s funny due to beer + resentment.

  • Good videos thanks for sharing, especially since the GoT Youtube channel hasn’t made them public yet.

  • gewa76,

    And there is the hole in my flawless theory, haha. Okay possibly not from King’s Landing, then. In the books GRRM is more detailed and mentions that the cat’s paw was hiding in the barn and had the money on him, and that he was apart of Robert’s retinue. In the show, however, little is known about him, which could work in their favor. And this is week’s to possibly a month after the event of his fall. So enough time for Littlefinger to arrange something via raven. But, like I said, it will most likely just never be resolved, as it really serves no purpose any more, other than “oooo Joff did it”. Just my throwin’ thoughts around.

  • The comments on this site are becoming unbearably ridiculous. A true definition of a hot mess. Blah blah the books blah blah Coldhands blah blah ruin blah george blah but disturbed Michael Madsen blah…

    Face it. At least with the show you will get the ending of the epic ASOIAF saga which some of you started freaking 20 years ago.

    And no. Newsflash: You would certainly not contribute to any improvement of the show just by commenting online on a fan site. Call HBO, send them your CV and cover letter, and make them burn the contract with D&D.

    Talking about getting too anal…

  • sati,

    I probably phrased that badly. I know he didn’t have a piece of food in his airway or anything. Clearly though, the poison closed up his airway hence the name strangler. I wondered how they made asphyxiation look so realistic. Maybe that’s a better term?

  • DerpDerp:
    I thought the Joffrey sending the dagger plot was resolved in a conversation in season 2 between Tyrion and Cersei. If I remember correctly Cersei didn’t flat out say it was Joffrey but it was strongly implied…

    This. Thank you.

    Someone here clearly hasn’t been paying much attention. Surprisingly, since many here usually express an unseen dedication to detail and Linda-level knowledge.

  • I think it’s entirely possible that LF will tell Sansa in a later episode that Joffrey sent a catspaw after Bran. The show moves around reveals all the time. There’s no need to assume it will never happen just because it didn’t happen where it did in the books.

  • Hizdadfs zo Fazlofp: This. Thank you.

    Good – someone else recalls this conversation between Tyrion and Cersei. There was no confirmation given, only a strong implication…which is fine for me.

  • It would be foolish of the show not to resolve the ‘who sent the assassin to kill Bran’ subplot. I was shocked that George didn’t just include two quick lines about it. Now, is this critical to the plot? No, but it is a mystery that most unsullied wonder about. And the blame is placed mostly on a character the show is trying to redeem. I think it would be interesting for unsullied to find out in one season that it wasn’t Jaime/Cersei that killed Jon Arryn and they didn’t send the assassin to kill Bran.

    With that said, it is getting annoying to read posts from people ripping on any poster that has concerns about the show cutting stuff from the books. I don’t consider myself a purist, and I am fine with most changes, but there are times when the show does err. I believe not tying up the assassin loose end is one of those times. Having said that, it is possible that they could reveal it in a scene with Littlefinger. Though I doubt they will.

  • Hizdadfs zo Fazlofp,

    There was no such conversation. There were two times where Tyrion accused Cersei of doing something and she implied Joffrey did it. One was the slaughter of Robert’s bastards and the other was Ser Mandon Moore being sent to kill Tyrion on the battlefield. They never discussed the dagger or the assassin.

  • The spoiler tag is acting up again. Every time the page reloads it resets the spoiler setting to ‘hide spoilers’, even though I clicked on the ‘show spoilers’ link.

  • Tyrion Pimpslap: I

    Why do you believe they are making loose ends? Do you even know what loose end means? Hint: it’s in the name. Hint no2: it’s ‘end’.

    Having not revealed at the exact moment it was revealed in the books does not make it a loose end, since… well…where is the end?. Maybe they are waiting for a more adequate moment/ episode/ scene, maybe they want to put the ‘loose end’ into a conversation.

    But nooo, instead of waiting for an episode or two, we’re gonna spend three days to be disappointed and prepare for the apocalypse.

  • I asked my non book reading friend about the bran/dagger/Joffrey subplot.

    I asked if he was interested, he simply shrugged and said “if I was I would read the book”

    What you have to remember is that the show can’t fit every single story, subplot, character etc into the show. If they did the show would become bogged down in back story and subplots, kinda like how season 4 of the walking dead was bogged down by back story and subplot.

    Someone from The Lord of the rings crew said who they movies were their version of the story and the books were the books. What book fans need to do Is to let go of this obsession of subplots that don’t add to the main story, the who sent the assassin after bran is just tying up a loose end, is it that important? It’s in the past.

  • pretty sure as far as the unsullied are concerned, the assassination attempt on bran was from the lannisters, most likely not tyrion, and beyond that it doesn’t matter.

  • feyrband,

    And they would be wrong. I read the Unsullied speculation thread on ‘Television Without Pity’/’’ and every season they bring up the assassination attempt and wonder if it will ever be revealed who sent him. They assume it was Jaime or Cersei, just like they assumed that they poisoned Jon Arryn. I feel it is important, especially in regards to Jaime, that their innocence is revealed.

  • Hizdadfs zo Fazlofp,

    Loose End : unfinished detail: a small part of something such as a project or a story that has not been completed or fully explained.

    If they never reveal who sent the assassin, that is failing to complete that suplot, thus, it is a loose end. I didn’t say they couldn’t reveal it in a different way later on, just that it would have been simpler to keep two lines from the books in the scene where Joffrey receives his gifts.

  • Tyrion Pimpslap,

    George wrote the episode, so if he felt strongly about those lines, he probably would have worked them in. As it is, the whole reveal about Joffrey sending the assassin is kinda lame. There’s nothing indicating he knew about Jaime&Cersei at the time, so what motive would he have aside from stupidity and cruelty? And why provide the assassin with a fancy dagger, or a dagger at all? It would make more sense to smother Bran and make it look like he succumbed to his injuries. My guess is they’ll reveal it later on, and make it centered more around LF being an opportunist when he saw the knife.

  • I got a very “the actor is a really nice guy, so please don’t kill Jack Gleeson in the street if you see him IRL” – vibe from the first video.

  • gewa76,

    I believe the explanation was that Joffrey tried to have Bran killed in order to impress his father, Robert. He had overheard Robert saying something along the lines of “Someone should do the boy mercy and kill him.” Obviously Joffrey has a twisted mind and took it literally.

  • That was the conclusion Tyrion reached, I think. But it’s still kind of a weak resolution, because how could Robert be impressed if Joffrey didn’t admit it was his idea? Basically Joff is stupid and cruel. That’s been repeatedly established, and his line about being no stranger to Valyrian steel ends up being redundant.

  • OT: But still a question re: season 4. Catelyn is resurrected as Lady Stoneheart three days after the Red Wedding When do you think this will happen in the TV show? Like, it should happen soon, I hope they don’t leave that as the climax of Season four. Too much time would have passed. Thoughts?

  • Moom:
    OT: But still a question re: season 4. Catelyn is resurrected as Lady Stoneheart three days after the Red Wedding When do you think this will happen in the TV show? Like, it should happen soon, I hope they don’t leave that as the climax of Season four. Too much time would have passed. Thoughts?

    It will happen this Easter Sunday.

    Seriously though, I’ve given up hope to see the resurrection via Nymeria and Beric/Thoros. The season will probably end like the ASoS epilogue (hanging Freys) or with Brienne re-meeting her sworn lady….or both.

  • ok gone through every scene in season 2 containing Cersei and Tyrion. 2.01 Tyrion notes LF send Cat after him in once she reached KL, that he is acting hand and that Cersei ‘did nothing’ regarding Ned and Joff. This could theoretically be extrapolated to include every possible interaction between Joff and Ned directly and indirectly, which would cover the assasin and lady as well as the stuff in KL. It definatly implies it is soley regarding the beheading and the events around it though. What is heavily implied is that Joff ordered the killing of Roberts bastards (that we see in 2.02 in a convo between Cersei and Tyrion). Again no connection to Bran and the assasin or the dagger. All the other convo’s deal with Myrcella or the upcoming battle. Im inclined to believe you are mistaking the implication of the bastard killings for what we are talking about. Or you are reading too munch into Tyrion looking at LF in 2.01 as at this point he only knows that LF send cat after him.

  • Hey! I was going thru the videos on HBO youtube channel as the GOT’s own page is strangely flooded by production vids from old seasons and I came across this video:

    It has a few new scenes from rest of S4 we havent seen before (Little Finger in a snowy place, more Incest kissing and more Jaime training, maybe others have posted it here before but anyway I thought I share it here too…

  • Carne: Funny thing is that there’s a major lack of it on the home release as well. They usually just focus on the making of one big event, such as Blackwater in season 2 and the RW in season 3, while ignoring all the other episodes.

    Yeah, HBO has , I guess, a separate team that does DVD ‘extras’.
    If I remember correctly each season has one episode without a commentary track.
    My special edition of Lord of Rings has four commentary tracks on it!
    They have the ‘back story’ story board extras, but I think even the ‘extras’ they make during the season don’t even get on the DVDs.