The Hollywood Reporter has released more from their interview on last night’s action packed episode, “First of His Name,” with Thrones Director Michelle MacLaren. The interview confirms that the deepest mud she’s ever seen was in fact at Craster’s Keep, which left MacLaren quite impressed at the cast’s performance despite the conditions, and Kit Harington impressively executed all of his own sword work.
That sword work ended with Karl getting exactly what he deserved, a sword through the throat. (Perhaps one of the grisly shots from the Demented Canadian Duo that had to be dialled down?) MacLaren took special care in last week’s episode to lay the ground work to show just how horrible the mutineers were, making sure that the violence felt justified.
“These guys are horrible and they are doing horrible things. I don’t believe in gratuitous violence. I think it has to serve the story. It’s got to be justified. I was talking to David and Dan, and we decided when we see these guys in episode four, it’s got to be horrible. They’ve gone over to the dark side. So when Jon and his guys show up, we want them to take these guys down. We want them to rescue the wives at Craster’s Keep, and I think we’ve wanted that for a long time.”
Another thing we’ve wanted for a long time is any sort of reunion between the separated Stark family, which we were painstakingly close to last night. MacLaren details what she and Isaac Hempstead-Wright talked about when filming Bran’s decision to stop calling out for his brother Jon.
“It’s really important for him to take the time to see the decision on his face. With every one one of these big decisions, it’s almost like these young people are growing up and taking on the responsibilities of what’s been dealt to them. In that moment he needs to make that really tough decision, and it’s heartbreaking because he wants to be with his brother.”
While most of the action was at Craster’s Keep this episode, a key scene at the Eyrie can not be forgotten. After Littlefinger’s arrival no time was wasted in revealing his role in the poisoning of Jon Arryn, and no time was wasted moving on from the point. But MacLaren says that she trusts the audience to not miss a beat.
“In these highly serialized shows, you have to trust and hope your audience is following along. Audiences are really, really smart and you want to give them some credit for being invested in the storyline, and not throwing everything out really easily for people. There are these moments when you go ‘wait, what did they say? Oh! That’s because in season one this happened and in season two this happened.’”
For more from MacLaren including her thoughts on Daenerys’ decision to stay in Meereen, Tommen’s coronation, and finding the location for the scene between Arya and The Hound visit The Hollywood Reporter.