We’ve already seen Alex Graves’ work this season in 2 early episodes, tackling the Purple Wedding and its aftermath, and on Sunday we’ll see the first of his final 2 episodes with “The Mountain and the Viper.” Graves was given the responsibility of some of the season’s most important episodes, and this week he takes on the long awaited trial by combat.
In a new interview with International Business Times Graves discusses filming the upcoming battle sequence and working with some of the newer cast members, particularly Pedro Pascal who proved very adept with a spear. He also touches on some of the other scenes we’ll see, including one where Sophie Turner comes into her own during another trial, Littlefinger’s.
What was it like working with the Red Viper and some of these new storylines and characters?
I had the Red Viper and I had an important part of the storyline, so I looked into him. And, of course, when you learn the bigger picture about the Red Viper, you learn a lot about things people don’t know about.
He’s a very intriguing character, and he’s going to have a very large footprint on the show, ultimately, and then Pedro Pascal was cast to play him and Pedro is without equal. Pedro is this very lovely man who is an extraordinary talent who would come in and play with such ease, and nuance, this hedonistic, screwed-up guy that’s very much not like Pedro. Then we would go to spear practice and I’ve never had an actor grab a weapon and get into a stunt fight sequence that quickly with that level of ease, and he was just mind-blowing, and everybody was just crazy about him.
Of course, you have Indira Varma at his side, [and it] was just icing on the cake. Anybody who knows actors or quality is always trying to get Indira because she is just one of the best.
This is the pivotal moment for Tyrion … what can we expect from the episode? How was the fight between the Red Viper and the Mountain shot?
Two things probably influenced me the most in that fight. Because of who Oberyn, the Red Viper, is, and as portrayed by so perfectly by Pedro, he has a real level of style and finesse that, obviously, nobody on “Game of Thrones” has in wielding weapons. I mean, it’s usually, “Cut, rip, kill,” and you got the Hound, you bump into the Hound at the grocery store and it’s like, “You’re dead.” So, I thought it should have a very elegant, slick style, especially because of the way it ends, it would set up a contrast.
The other thing was, it’s a story about Oberyn and talking to David and Dan about it, and the more I learned about Oberyn and what that scene is about. That scene is two people skimming the surface of one of the single most important events in the mythology of the show, and it is the night of the murder of Elia Martell. It was the night the Kingslayer was born, it was the night King’s Landing was sacked by Tywin Lannister, and it was the night several other things happened. It serves several purposes which is: One, it is really bringing to the forefront to the audience these names and this content, and yet you’re really not quite pulling it all in, and you will as the show goes on, but you’ll know about it through this fight scene.
Two other important scenes will feature a possible Wildling attack on Mole’s Town and fallout from Littlefinger’s actions.
You won’t see Ygritte, she is busy doing other thing, basically, the honeymoon is over, we’re at the first note of the battle, and let’s share a drink and try to stay alive.
One of my favorite scenes, actually, and Sophie [Turner] really came into her own and is so wonderful in it, is the scene with Littlefinger, it’s the “Trial of Littlefinger” as we called it. That scene is brilliant, and she’s incredible, they all are, but that’s the beginning of a big storyline and especially with Sophie pulling off the shell game of the trial.
For more from Graves about his time working on Game of Thrones, visit IBTimes for the rest of his lengthy interview.
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