This week, the second Bryan Cogman penned episode of Game of Thrones Season 4 debuted, and like the first, it came away as a favorite among fans. Now that Cogman-written episodes are finished for the season, he can finally take a well deserved moment to relax- but only for a moment. Writing for Season 5 has begun, and he’s already feeling the pressure.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Cogman admits that whether he’s writing the iconic trial scene, or diving into Season 5, he’s always terrified.
“I’m terrified all the time. You’re talking to me now as we’re writing season five and I’m at the stage where I think everything is going to be terrible. I go through all seven stages of whatever a writer goes through. I’m a wreck when I’m writing the show. It’s not until you see it air with an audience who enjoys it that you can finally relax.”
Although it has gotten a bit easier since Season 1, as years of experience as well as the actors portrayals have given the characters a clearer voice.
“At this point I know how to write these characters in terms of their voices. It’s been years of living with them and not only that, but living with the actors and playing to their strengths. It’s no longer Cersei Lannister, it’s Lena Headey’s Cersei Lannister. I think the series gets stronger because the actors get more comfortable as well. The guys have been very generous over the last four seasons in trusting me with some big scenes.”
Of course one of those big scenes was Tyrion’s trial, but last week’s episode also contained some quieter, yet still powerful scenes, two of which included a bathtub.
“One of the reasons for setting Salladhor Saan and the courtesans in the bath is because it’s sort of an elemental thing. A bath is when you’re most at ease, but it’s also when you’re most vulnerable. The same thing dictated the Theon bath scene. It created this very intimate and all the more terrifying encounter.”
Cogman shared more details on where the inspiration for Theon’s bath scene came from, and Ramsay’s loaded question to Reek.
“In the book, there’s a scene were Theon has been cleaned up. So that led to us thinking we should show the cleanup. It shows Theon’s physical mutilation has already happened, but the psychological mutilation continues. “Do you love me Reek?” is one of my favorite things because there is so much behind the question and it tells you a lot about Ramsay and how Ramsay defines love. It’s not directly from the books but it’s definitely inspired by the books.”
For more from Bryan on Alfie Allen’s amazing season, reliving Tyrion’s greatest zingers, and his take on Daenerys in the latest episode, visit The Hollywood Reporter.