Director Alex Graves details the gruesome fight scene, the Bolton’s power setting the tone for Season 5
By Lightbringer on in Interview.

We can now add last night’s trial by combat to the long list of unforgettable scenes that Alex Graves has directed for Game of Thrones Season 4. But last night’s episode was also full of quieter scenes that carry a lot of importance moving forward, with many of the character’s storylines taking a turn.

In a great new interview with Aaron Couch of The Hollywood Reporter, Alex Graves talks about his approach to the fight scene, and how they achieved the more gruesome effects. He also discusses which of the other storylines he found most challenging, explains the importance of Tyrion’s beetle story, and reveals that the Bolton’s newfound place of power is going to really set the tone for Season 5.

How did you approach the big fight scene?
I looked at it as the story of the fight. “At this point in the fight we don’t think this, but we think this.” Then they would rehearse it with the stunt fighters, and I would go in and edit it, and we’d put the actors in. We discovered tings like wanting to get the Mountain’s helmet off early so you could see his face — we were crazy about Hafthor. He’s so great and I love him.

How’d you get the gruesome effects down for Oberyn’s death?
I storyboarded it for, “This is when we’re going to use Pedro, and this is when we’re going to need some kind of a head that can implode.” I sent our makeup supervisor off and he built this head to use for the shots. Then the visual effects guys took it home by putting a little swelling in the head, and making the one eye look really bad. The last composition that we barely got before the sun went down was of the two of them lying dead – the effects team made that even more gruesome. They rearranged some of his brain matter.

Pretty much every storyline had a major turning point last night. Which was the most challenging to get right?
The moment I was most worried about in that hour was Dany and Jorah. I knew about that moment since I started the show. When you get into a scene with Emilia Clarke and Iain Glen, you get twice as worried that you make it in a way that they will be happy [with], because you just fall in love with them. I was stressed out, wanting to take it to a level of tension that was unusual, and hopefully we got it there.

Tyrion is absolutely captivating in his cell scene, even though it’s the rare Thrones scene that doesn’t really move the plot forward. How’s that work so well?
It’s really about the futility of where Tyrion is as he’s waiting for the trial by combat. We went in to rehearse, and Peter [Dinkage] and Nikolaj [Coster-Waldau] did the scene, and it was unbelievable. I didn’t prepare, Peter did. And Nikolaj did. I literally turned to David and Dan after rehearsal and said, “That’s one of the most brilliant scenes I’ve seen on the show.” I hadn’t digested how incredible it would be until Peter did it. It’s like you read sheet music, and then Yo-Yo Ma plays it.

Ramsay, of course, double-crosses the men [at Moat Cailin].
It’s a typical Ramsay move, but it’s in fact setting up next season. The Boltons have taken the North and they are now powerful. The man who helped carry out the Red Wedding has capitalized on his success in a very significant way. Ramsay and Roose — one of the things that really sets the tone for next year is they’ve really got some serious power going now.

For more from Alex including how he handled Sansa and Littlefinger’s performances, visit The Hollywood Reporter!

 

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101 Comments

  1. Dahali Sand
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Nor hodor!

  2. mpn1010
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like the creative team really loved Tyrion’s cell scene, though I must admit I’m still torn by it…perhaps because the three cell scenes last week were all so amazing. I agreed with Fury in his review that Tyrion’s monologue dragged a bit even though Peter and Nikolaj were terrific as usual. Nevertheless, Tyrion’s fixation on the senseless killing of the beetles made me think of one of the best lines in “King Lear”: “As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods/They kill us for their sport” (Act 4, scene 1). Given Tyrion’s previous line about the gods and trial by combat, it really fits quite nicely! I can certainly see the monologue as trying to capture that sense of fatalism and helplessness, and the general futility of looking for meaning in an absurd world. Still, I think Arya’s “Waiting for Godot” moment last week worked better and was more subtle and nuanced…Tyrion’s speech was a bit showy, and felt like a forced “Emmy moment” for Peter, and I don’t think he needed it (he’s already done such outstanding work this season.)

  3. wizardeyes
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    I hope we get alot more screentime from Reek and the Boltons next year. Reek’s chapters set in Winterfell are some of my favourites from the books.

    It’s kind of strange how the show has set up some things really early for season 5 such as Ramsay being made legitimate and them heading to Winterfell and yet we haven’t heard anything about a fake Arya Stark character yet – or anything about Balon’s death for that matter.

  4. A flayed man none
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    I think that if we, as an audience were not collectively waiting for the duel, we would be going nuts over how awesome that scene with Tyrion and Jaime really was. But the drawn out anticipation appears to have made so many viewers impatient in that moment, just as Tywin was In the next scene when Pycelle starts rambling on.

    The episode was almost a study in anticipation. Arya’s take on it was at once perhaps both the most disturbing and the healthiest response. Jorah collapsed into a day he knew would come, Ramsay was left almost speechless, Sansa seemed to have given in to the darkness. And at the Wall…well, I guess they’re just waiting for next week.

  5. Luka Nieto
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    wizardeyes,

    I expect Balon’s death will be finale material. I don’t know about Fake Arya, though. If we revisit the Boltons in episode 10, before the season is over, maybe the idea is introduced. If not, I guess it’s going to be set up next season. Or maybe they don’t do it at all.

  6. King Stannis
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    I really love how Alex Graves works that camera. I thought the opening was cool with a single shoot until the Wildlings attacked. The Bolton scenery was great as well.

  7. Chickenduck
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    A flayed man none:
    I think that if we, as an audience were not collectively waiting for the duel, we would be going nuts over how awesome that scene with Tyrion and Jaime really was. But the drawn out anticipation appears to have made so many viewers impatient in that moment, just as Tywin was In the next scene when Pycelle starts rambling on.

    This is absolutely correct. The scene itself was fine (I also assumed it was a direct King Lear reference as mentioned above), the only problem being that we were all looking at the clock and screaming “where’s my duel”!!

  8. Chickenduck
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and the scenery in this episode was amazing. The shots leading up to Moat Cailin, and the Boltons on the hill, Jorah riding away from Meereen… If the story was crap, I’d almost still watch the show just for the landscapes.

  9. Mark
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    I thought that the Beetle talk didn’t add anything that hasn’t already been beaten to death in through out the series. Fate doesn’t care about individuals? See arya stark, petyr baelish, brienne of tarth. Life is Cruel to the innocent? See sandor clegane, sansa stark, varys, tyrion. Punishment doesn’t make sense? see Jaime lannister.

    With a series like this you have to seriously look at the economy of plot. They haven’t even mentioned that Tywin allowed the children to be killed to prevent a succession issue, but he felt sorry for Elia dying. Maybe they could have tied in why Oberyn was sent to Essos and how his sleeping around caused some serious trouble when he was a teenager. Or how about the political implications of Dornish law and it’s uniqueness amoung the Seven Kingdoms? Yeah that’s gonna cause some serious problems next season. But nope we had to hear 5 minutes of Tyrion contemplating existentialism.

  10. Hexonx
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    A flayed man none:
    I think that if we, as an audience were not collectively waiting for the duel, we would be going nuts over how awesome that scene with Tyrion and Jaime really was. But the drawn out anticipation appears to have made so many viewers impatient in that moment, just as Tywin was In the next scene when Pycelle starts rambling on.

    The episode was almost a study in anticipation. Arya’s take on it was at once perhaps both the most disturbing and the healthiest response. Jorah collapsed into a day he knew would come, Ramsay was left almost speechless, Sansa seemed to have given in to the darkness. And at the Wall…well, I guess they’re just waiting for next week.

    I agree completely. It plays out a lot better on rewatch.

  11. jentario
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Luka Nieto,

    It really isn’t an issue. Just open up next season- we’ve found Arya Stark and you’re going to marry her. Then reveal that it’s just some poor northern girl that Roose happened to find. You can’t cut her because she’s essential to Theon’s character development- he doesn’t risk everything to save himself, he does it to save her. That’s why it can’t be Myranda either (that bitch helped chop his cock off, he’d never risk torture to save her). It will just have to be some northern girl. Which is fine.

    Also, I don’t think we’ll see Yara/Balon again this season though I seriously hope I’m wrong. It would be cool for the show to outright announce if we’re following the books here or cutting it. Balon’s death in the finale would be a good indication that they’re holding on to Euron at least, but it could happen next season or (potentially) entirely off screen.

    Also, why is everyone seemingly avoiding the fact that the Boltons reached Winterfell in episode 8? Even this interview avoids it.

  12. Mormegil
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Probably already posted but I just saw that Gwendoline Christie has been cast in the new Star Wars film.

    http://insidemovies.ew.com/2014/06/02/star-wars-episode-vii-casts-lupita-nyongo-and-gwendoline-christie/

    Good for her.

  13. QelThuzad
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Holy shit!! I can’t breathe

  14. A flayed man none
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion’s monologue is not a “contemplation of existentialism.” It’s an absurdist exploration of his humanity. There’s a reason why fans adore him above all other characters on the show. He’s the most human. Jaime asks him “who gives a dusty fuck about some beetles?” And Tyrion is earnest in his reply, not ironic. Not self-obsessed, not contrivedly poignant. Dinklage delivers the whole thing with an honesty we haven’t really seen from Tyrion yet.

    This is not disposable filler, this is the best character exposition we’ve got from Tyrion since he opened up to Shae and Bronn about his first wife.

  15. S Tali Hananias
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Is there any info or wink (like lena’s with oberyn’s death) that can somehow give us the expectation of seeing UnCat by the finale?

  16. Zack
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    A flayed man none,

    Agreed. I am convinced that people who dismiss the scene as filler simply do not understand the meaning behind the story. It was one of the best bits of exposition in the show.

  17. loco73
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    On another unrelated matter, congratulations to Gwendolyne Christie on her casting in “Star Wars Episode VII”…

    Just announced and now official!!!!

    Brienne Of Tarth with a lightsaber!!!!

  18. Darkstar
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    S Tali Hananias:
    Is there any info or wink (like lena’s with oberyn’s death) that can somehow give us the expectation of seeing UnCat by the finale?

    Yes, Lena instragram pic awhile back.http://web.stagram.com/p/703820290286423499_352398842

  19. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    The Roose-Ramsay scene was so good. Those two,Reek, and Stannis better be a major focus next season.

  20. Darkstar
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    loco73,

    Brienne of Darth? :D

  21. kingwolf
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Didnt know where to put this but a vid from vainty fair with Pedro who imagines oberyns funeral

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hpewbz7GwCU

  22. Sansa Bird
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Wow, again kudos to Sophie.

    Graves said she did Sansa’s breakdown in the trial scene in one take!

  23. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    A flayed man none:
    Tyrion’s monologue is not a “contemplation of existentialism.” It’s an absurdist exploration of his humanity. There’s a reason why fans adore him above all other characters on the show. He’s the most human. Jaime asks him “who gives a dusty fuck about some beetles?” And Tyrion is earnest in his reply, not ironic. Not self-obsessed, not contrivedly poignant. Dinklage delivers the whole thing with an honesty we haven’t really seen from Tyrion yet.

    This is not disposable filler, this is the best character exposition we’ve got from Tyrion since he opened up to Shae and Bronn about his first wife.

    Liked your thoughts, as well as others’ thoughts on this topic on the recap thread.

    Tyrion has been in the black cells under KL for most of S4, with many days/weeks of staring at his soul in the darkness. His only “friends” are leaving him, and the only time he gets to be with others is at his excruciating trial for being a dwarf and during the duel, when his champion become lasagna. For those precious few moments together in his cell, his brother lets him be himself, somewhat introspective, self-effacing, and mirthfully helpless. A childhood bond. And he doesn’t have to pay for the company either.

    The smash, smash, “guh”, “guh”, obsessive-compulsive, maniacal “beetles” story is perfect and it sets up Tyrion’s next phase very well. That story will fester within him, and given the chance he will smash those that have stomped on him. It also allows him to see those around him who struggle with insignificance and helplessness (Penny…where are you!!!). Tyrion’s next phase, his “heart of darkness” journey, is happening with astounding verve and the beetles story was just the beginning of a huge, sometimes pathetic, often morose, transformation. He needs to die and be reborn if he is ever to face his dragon.

    As the episode settles within me, the beetles story gnaws on me more and more.

  24. Mariya Martell
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    kingwolf:
    Didnt know where to put this but a vid from vainty fair with Pedro who imagines oberyns funeral

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hpewbz7GwCU

    Spoilers for AFFC and ADWD:

    “Elephants will emerge from the sea…” Unintended foreshadowing?

  25. Stella
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Please post this “Beetle Story” comment in ALL of the Episode 8 threads. That is all. Thank you.

  26. Delta1212
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Mariya Martell,

    I know I know oh oh oh

  27. Skipjack
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Graves: “The last composition that we barely got before the sun went down was of the two of them lying dead – the effects team made that even more gruesome. They rearranged some of his brain matter.”

    Hmm, it seems Show!Mountain is already dead. I am disappointed, I wanted Ser Robert Strong. I’m sure we’ll still get Cersei’s walk of penance but I always enjoyed the mad scientist aspect of Qyburn, all the horror bits GRRM sticks in. Though it is quite possible that Alex Graves doesn’t know if there will be a FrankenGregor

  28. Oberyn is with Jesus now!
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    I really couldn’t care any less about that never ending beetle talk scene, It was ok if it was short but it went on forever! Like ok we got the point about this guy crushing them but half of the conversation was just repeating the same thing…OVER and OVER again!

    The entire fight scene was 4-5 minutes short which was annoying!

    Im hoping that next episode will not just be about the wall, does it really need that much time??

  29. TheSphinx
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Mark,

    Exactly. The Beetle monologue was stupid. How many viewers know the Viper’s spear tip was poisined? As is made clear in the text: Viper to Tyrion “Dont touch it” or that the spear is one of the two symbols of Dorne? Yet we all know Orson Lannister killed beetles. A Lannister that GRRM neglected to mention in 6000 pages.

  30. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Stella:
    Please post this “Beetle Story” comment in ALL of the Episode 8 threads. That is all. Thank you.

    :)
    I think the folks who enjoyed ADwD probably enjoyed the “beetles” story more than those who thought the novel dragged.

    Something I left out of my previous post…Tyrion let the bug go at the end of his monologue. He did not smash, smash, “guh”, “guh”. A bit of compassion for the helpless from a doomed man….? Hmmmm….

  31. Mark
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    A flayed man none,

    The absurdity of the human condition and our reaction to it is the common theme underlying the existentialist philosophers. I don’t deny that this was a very insightful look into Tyrion’s character, but I would say his trial outburst is perhaps the best character defining monologue for him. He has reached the end of his sanity and he fires off without any inhibition. These 5 min could have been better spent, also the whole Missandei-Grey Worm thing was a black hole of time wasting as well.

  32. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Mark:
    I thought that the Beetle talk didn’t add anything that hasn’t already been beaten to death in through out the series.Fate doesn’t care about individuals? See arya stark, petyr baelish, brienne of tarth. Life is Cruel to the innocent? See sandor clegane, sansa stark, varys, tyrion. Punishment doesn’t make sense? see Jaime lannister.

    With a series like this you have to seriously look at the economy of plot. They haven’t even mentioned that Tywin allowed the children to be killed to prevent a succession issue, but he felt sorry for Elia dying. Maybe they could have tied in why Oberyn was sent to Essos and how his sleeping around caused some serious trouble when he was a teenager. Or how about the political implications of Dornish law and it’s uniqueness amoung the Seven Kingdoms? Yeah that’s gonna cause some serious problems next season. But nope we had to hear 5 minutes of Tyrion contemplating existentialism.

    Has it occurred to you that is actually possible for there to be exposition about Dornish law next year when they are actually in Dorne?

  33. Mark
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    Yes I have, and i’d listen to hours of tywin reading the contents of his correspondences than to hear one second of dialogue from the Essos plots. For me, Daenerys plot is analogous to Napoleon’s ‘Spanish Ulcer’. Draining critical man power and resources for a more nuanced and important diplomatic situation. In fact I have not read one page of the Daenerys POV chapters. I skip them and continue reading the good stuff. I just read the summaries online to keep abreast for when she inevitably decides to sit at the Big Kids table. Dorne, will play a far bigger part than most people are willing to admit, and key details about it’s culture and politics were missed to have some emasculated ken doll try to show he’s a real boy to the cute girl in class. My personal sentiments.

  34. Ice & Fire Walk with Me
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    I gotta admit, I felt for Ramsay this week. He was so happy to be legit. He’s a much fuller character in the show.

  35. Polish
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    So amped for ghost in winterfell arc

  36. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Mark,

    If you really skipped all of Dany’s POV chapters then you have no legs to stand on while criticizing which scenes D&D choose to place in each episode. You don’t even respect GRRM enough to read his full story.

  37. King Stannis
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    Mark,

    If you really skipped all of Dany’s POV chapters then you have no legs to stand on while criticizing which scenes D&D choose to place in each episode. You don’t even respect GRRM enough to read his full story.

    I laughed reading this i swear it by the old gods and the new.

    Complainers are running out of ammo by the day.
    Next week the same 5 complainers left will cry about something during the battle of castle black and will make up anything to say they are right just to feel like the God of critics.

    “I didn’t like the way Jon Snow swung that sword, I imagined it differently in the books”-Next Week

  38. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    Ice & Fire Walk with Me,
    Polish,
    Speaking of Ramsay…
    1) Did anyone notice if Miranda made the journey to WF with them?
    2) They sort of skipped the whole Barrowton detour, didn’t they? No Lady Dustin to talk some sense to Reek?
    3) Does Roose know that Ramsay let Yara go? Would that info have affected his Bolton legitimization?
    4) (Based on another poster’s comment and WiCLive) Did anyone think that Ramsay may have unintentionally put a bit of Theon back in Reek during the Moat Cailin massacre? Something about Reek’s countenance on the way to Winterfell makes me think that S5 will be focused on the brainwashed and tortured Reek unraveling back to Theon. I’m very interested in how they do this, with or without fakeArya or Dustin.

  39. Mark
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I do know the whole story because i still read the summaries. Look, im a historian, i read this for enjoyment and for the historical parallels. I think GRRM has accomplished an incredible feat. I’m not a writer, that’s why i don’t publish novels. And just like most humans some things excite me and some things bore me. The Daenerys plot is makes me want to tear out the pages. But the still doesn’t stop me from thinking critically about the text. I mean this is clearly a page right out of Alexander’s conquest. C’mon, her marrying Hizdahr zo Loraq is just like Alexander marrying Roxanne. I just couldn’t give a crap about it.

  40. Frey Worm
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    One thought that occurred to me while watching: will the characters of bronze yohn Royce and lord too fat to sit a horse be merged? I think both storylines in the north Boston and Davos Could be adapted to fit….

  41. Ice & Fire Walk with Me
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    I think Roose would approve of letting Yara go. Her slaughter would provoke further Ironborn aggression while her release would be demoralizing, as we saw that week. There was little to be gained from harming her at that time, especially after she witnessed the futility of her mission firsthand.

    Also, remember Roose’s initial reaction to Theon’s treatment. He couldn’t comprehend the benefit at first, momentarily concerned with the political ramifications of his torture and mutilation.

  42. Veltigar
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    Shitty episode. And yet another great scene ruined. Duel was such a freaking disappointment. They have an actor as talented as Pedro (liked him better than the Viper in the books, eventhough that was a more rounded character), but they refuse to use him.

    And for what? So, that some random stuntdouble can throw in some unnecessary dumb spins and twirls, which serve no point at all but to look pretty (and let not talk about those megaquick cuts). Where is the excitement? The thrill?

    I believe it’s glaringly obvious that Graves wanted to make his own fanfic version of Darth Maul vs. Obi Wan and Qui-Gon, which obviously was the worst possible inspiration for this duel. He should have made a scene like the duel at the end of Rob Roy. Something where you really felt the stakes being rased and where fighting was like a game of chess.

    Llewelyn Moss: If I don’t come back, tell mother I will cast Mads Mikkelsen as Euron.
    Carla Jean Moss: Your mother’s dead, Llewelyn.
    Llewelyn Moss: Well then I’ll tell her myself.

  43. Justin
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    A flayed man none,

    Beautiful.

  44. Biter the Gallant
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    Frey Worm,

    One of Manderly’s sons, Wendel Manderly was shown already at the Red Wedding. If you watch that episode again, you will notice a bearded fat young man with a big silver merman brooch on his chest in Robb’s host.

  45. GRRMlin
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 3:12 am | Permalink

    The people blaming Alex Graves for this are seriously lost. The directing of the duel was fine. The overall duel wasnt that good but that’s not Alex Graves fault

    Its D&D’s.

    Thanks to the INCREDIBLY POOR WRITING of D&D (as usual) Missandei and Grey Worm had 12 minutes of the episode, the beetles had six minutes, and Oberyn had five.
    Think about that for a moment.

    What was Alex Graves supposed to do in the duel that lasted less than 3 minutes (excluding last 50 seconds)Show a methodical duel true to the books? NOT POSSIBLE. He had 3 minutes, and he used them well.

    It’s the same thing as Episode 3. It WASNT GRAVES FAULT. If D&D had given Cersei other lines than (NO, NO) it would have been interpreted differently by the audience.

    It’s pathetic writing, that’s it. I wish Cogman, GRRM and wrote all of the episodes..

  46. GRRMlin
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    To be fair, I would rather read Twilight than Dany’s POV chapters in ADWD

  47. Luka Nieto
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Tyrion hasn’t been in the Black Cells. We saw the third level of the dungeons beneath the Red Keep in Season 1 and they don’t look remotely like the place where Tyrion has been confined: the former were pitch black, and looked like a sort of cellar (in fact, the set of Winterfell’s catacombs was used); the latter are just a regular old cell (considering the book description, in the second level.) This corresponds to the books: Tyrion was only brought to the Black Cells *after* the trial, once he was charged with regicide. Tyrion has been in a regular old cell till now; we will see the Black Cells again in episode 10.

  48. Ser Davos Seaworth
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    Frey Worm,

    Is this because the actor is fat I wonder? Haha

  49. Ser Davos Seaworth
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Myranda should appear again this season in the finale. There is a shot of her and Ramsay in bed in one of the trailers, she seems to slap him, maybe be brings up the idea of bringing Reek in to join them. That action will ultimately get her killed. She’ll be hunted like tansy in ep2, showing how cruelly Ramsey treats everyone (even his lover)

  50. Luka Nieto
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    Ser Davos Seaworth,

    We saw that in episode six, when Yara Greyjoy assaulted the Dreadfort. Difficult to miss, really, since for some strange reason they decided to intercut that scene with Yara reading Ramsay’s letter and epically rallying the troops. It stuck out. For the wrong reasons, maybe —but it did stick out. Like a sore thumb.

  51. cosca
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    Veltigar,

    Whine harder, maybe Linda and Elio will give you a free edition of the World of Ice and Fire

  52. Sergei Walankov
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 3:48 am | Permalink

    I gotta admit, I felt for Ramsay this week.

    I felt for Iwan Rheon, who is doing a brilliant job of portraying him but, with occasional exceptions such as this week, being short-changed for material.

    Veltigar: I believe it’s glaringly obvious that Graves wanted to make his own fanfic version of Darth Maul vs. Obi Wan and Qui-Gon

    It’s comforting to know that people I disagree with so strongly are this stupid.

  53. Rabid Grunt
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    Luka Nieto:
    Ser Davos Seaworth,

    We saw that in episode six, when Yara Greyjoy assaulted the Dreadfort. Difficult to miss, really, since for some strange reason they decided to intercut that scene with Yara reading Ramsay’s letter and epically rallying the troops. It stuck out. For the wrong reasons, maybe —but it did stick out. Like a sore thumb.

    I think it was implied he killed her somewhere in that scene, but they ended up cutting it, hence the unshown clip in the trailer, the blood, and him mentioning a “lovely evening”.

  54. Luka Nieto
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    Rabid Grunt,

    Nothing has been cut at all. Myranda slapping Ramsay during sex was in the show too, not just in the trailer. Did people seriously just not watch that scene at all? Anyway, the blood and the lovely evening was simply a reference to all the ironborn he had to presumably kill before reaching the cellar.

  55. OldeCrone
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Mark:
    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I do know the whole story because i still read the summaries. Look, im a historian, i read this for enjoyment and for the historical parallels. I think GRRM has accomplished an incredible feat. I’m not a writer, that’s why i don’t publish novels. And just like most humans some things excite me and some things bore me. The Daenerys plot is makes me want to tear out the pages. But the still doesn’t stop me from thinking critically about the text. I mean this is clearly a page right out of Alexander’s conquest. C’mon, her marrying Hizdahr zo Loraq is just like Alexander marrying Roxanne. I just couldn’t give a crap about it.

    Actually, I had not thought about a similarity between this sub-plot and the history of Alexander the Great, though when the wildlings climbed the wall in Season 3, I thought of Alexander’s troops climbing the Sogdian Rock.

  56. Ser Davos Seaworth
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Rabid Grunt,

    If it was implied it wasn’t done well. I really didn’t notice the slap. Doesn’t matter, Myranda is easily the worst show added character if she just disappears I’d be fine, sorry Charlotte Hope

  57. KJG
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    “… two of them lying dead”

    Mountain confirmed dead. If both die in the trial by combat, maybe there’s an archaic law that declares another fight has to take place. Unless it’s whoever died first loses.

  58. zzz
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Good season so far..much like season 2 it is better binge watching. Story flows better. Cant wait for season 5. Boltons at winterfell. Martells in dorne. Braavos!

  59. vlad
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    “That’s one of the most brilliant scenes I’ve seen on the show”. Yeah right :))… It would have been brilliant if it was a metaphor for the show, if the cousin represented George RR Martin (or Dan&David) and the beetles were the characters. Now that would be fun, but no… they only wanted to give the impression of futility …. and they took 5 minutes to do so!!! Precious 5 minutes.

    It was a great episode, but I wasn’t that impressed with the directing, especially for the battle. Never mind, give me episode 9!!! We all know that is the great one :)

  60. jentario
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    zzz,

    With some TWOW to round it out, season 5 could be the best.

  61. Rodriguez Faszanatas
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    I hope that Mads Mikkelsen sneaks into Veltigar’s house tonight and cuts his throat with a rusty knife. Then, as Veltigar lies dying, Mads leans over and whispers into his ear: “I will never be on Game of Thrones!” Then he leaves. Veltigar bleeds out knowing that his stupid little campaign was futile and that he himself is the biggest piece of shit on this website. The End.

  62. Strider
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard:

    The smash, smash, “guh”, “guh”, obsessive-compulsive, maniacal “beetles” story is perfect and it sets up Tyrion’s next phase very well. That story will fester within him, and given the chance he will smash those that have stomped on him. It also allows him to see those around him who struggle with insignificance and helplessness (Penny…where are you!!!). Tyrion’s next phase, his “heart of darkness” journey, is happening with astounding verve and the beetles story was just the beginning of a huge, sometimes pathetic, often morose, transformation. He needs to die and be reborn if he is ever to face his dragon.

    As the episode settles within me, the beetles story gnaws on me more and more.

    Dammit, man! You can’t do this to me LOL I thought the beetle story in itself was horrific!!

    If it wouldn’t have been delivered by Dinklage who has a way of acting and has a line delivery that captures my interest in the oddest way, I would have cried with frustration. Now, reading you with the foreshadowing thing, I have to see the scene again… Won’t say where Penny is in the show!Tyrion’s storyline. Assume yours was a rhetorical question, there.

  63. OldeCrone
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Rodriguez Faszanatas:
    I hope that Mads Mikkelsen sneaks into Veltigar’s house tonight and cuts his throat with a rusty knife. Then, as Veltigar lies dying, Mads leans over and whispers into his ear: “I will never be on Game of Thrones!” Then he leaves. Veltigar bleeds out knowing that his stupid little campaign was futile and that he himself is the biggest piece of shit on this website. The End.

    In all honesty, I don’t think the casting director will be influenced by what is stated about a certain actor’s suitability for a particular role on this site. I just haven’t had time to see “Hannibal” so can’t judge Mads Mikkelson’s acting chops, though I guess Veltigar is entitled to an opinion. My understanding was that when people suggest actors for characters on this site it is done so using a “what if” scenario.

  64. wizardeyes
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Rodriguez Faszanatas,

    That was harsh but fucking funny

  65. wizardeyes
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    I can’t wait to see some of the stuff that’s going to be in season 5 – Theon’s Winterfell storyline, Dorne and the new Dornish characters, Jon & Stannis (Jannis?) scenes, Cersei’s penance walk and Daznak’s Pit…

    However I can’t help but feel that season 4 is going to be really difficult to beat. I remember a critic describing books 4 and 5 as being like being at a party after the friends you came with have gone home. Are viewers going to be able to accept so many new characters and so many new aspects to the story?

  66. Luka Nieto
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    OldeCrone,

    Some people have said they will be genuinely pissed if their pick is not cast for a certain role, so I’m not sure it’s just a “What if?” thing. Let’s nor forget the same thing happened with Pedro Pascal as Oberyn: “An unknown?!”, “He has no widow’s peak!”, “He’s too young!”, “He’s not dark enough!”. How many people say that still? He blew us away. I trust in the casting decision-makers of this show more than fans with their silly wishes. That does not mean their suggestions are necessarily silly; but the fact that they are constantly making those suggestions and feeling entitled about them is very silly indeed.

  67. GRRMlin
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    wizardeyes,

    Season 4 could have been much better. So much filler this season.

    I’m a book purist, but unlike most fans of the books, and most fans of this show, I can look at things objectively. And it’s quite clear that books 4 and 5 lacked the Martin touch. 4 was alright, but didn’t include the best characters. 5 was utterly worthless, excluding the Northern storylines.

  68. jentario
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Rodriguez Faszanatas,

    Holy shit. You are amazing! (sorry Velti)

  69. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Luka Nieto,

    Yes, I stand corrected. I guess I used the Black Cells more as a metaphor for his isolation and spiralling. In the show (and even in the books to some extant), I saw Tyrion and Ned in similar situations, but definitely with different outlooks and paranoias.

  70. Luka Nieto
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    wizardeyes,

    Benioff said “season 5 gave him nightmares.” I understand why. While they did plant the seeds for a more cohesive season 5 this season, it’s still gonna be a very different show from now on. Worse, better? Who knows! But certainly different. Will people accept that? Well, let’s consider that Season 1 is a completely different show from Season 4, with an almost completely different roster of characters and situations and, above all, a different focus, from a Stark-dominated show to a Lannister-dominated show, with increasingly more supernatural elements and action. Yes, these changes were more gradual than they will be next year, but I don’t think it will be difficult for people to accept.

  71. Johnny SD
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Haters hating I see. THe duel seemed very much like the books to me and completely got the idea across. Five more minutes of Oberyn parrying and running around would not make it better. GOT is incredibly faithful to the books and have hit pretty much every plot point, but for some any remoted deviation or alternate plot construction is horrible. Reality is that in many ways the TV show is actually better than the books, and in others the books are better. Both are epic achievements in story telling. Read “Wizards First Rule” then watch “The Seeker” and see what a GOT series could have been.

  72. lol
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Mark,

    A cliff-notes historian apparently.

    I do love complaints from purists who can’t be arsed to read the entire series or don’t actually remember what happened. Saw a comment yesterday on another site complaining how D&D cut a certain scene before the duel and how this shows their lack of respect for the source material to make such a huge change. Most people would probably remember that Jaime and Tyrion’s conversation about Tysha happens AFTER but if you’ve got an axe to grind, there’s no limit to the way you can organize the “proper” order of scenes.

  73. wizardeyes
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    GRRMlin,

    I think season 4 has been fantastic, definitely the best season so far. Perhaps there has been some filler but there have only been 2 or 3 scenes that I haven’t really liked. I love the books but I’m not a purist – I think the show has bested the books in a number of ways.

    I much preferred book 5 to book 4. Book 4 is okay but its very slow and doesn’t really build to much. Although not all of book 5 is great (Dany and Tyrion chapters apart from Daznak’s Pit) some of it was brilliant and by the end stuff had gotten really interesting again. It’s a shame the battles of Meereen and Winterfell weren’t included.

  74. Troublesome Birdsong
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Luka Nieto,

    Watch again. She chokes him a bit, but technically the slap was cut as were a few other things according to Bryan Cogman.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWwjdfjwhm4

  75. Stella
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    The Atlantic Monthly critics discussed this monologue at length and offered good insights, but I appreciate your interpretation more. Consider yourself complimented!

    And yes, I enjoy character development and story-telling of this nature so much in GRRM’s work. I never lost interest in any of the books. I have a critical eye, but I also can give myself up to another’s imagination. That becomes more important as the number of books in a series increases… ;-)

  76. Stella
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    About Tyrion and the beetle:

    Yes. He lets the beetle go. Compassion is in short supply in this world (King’s Landing in particular) and he knows it and he also knows it is his first impulse, in most cases. Has Tyrion ever killed anyone? Could he? So many others can. Perhaps NOT being powerful in that way gives him another kind of power…

  77. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Stella,

    Thx. I wonder what Kafka would have thought about the monologue? The bug metaphor is really quite relevant in the GoT context.

    There’s also an obscure and disturbing film from the early 90s called Angels and Insects that is eerily relevant to all the KL shenanigans as well.

  78. TOIVA
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Speaking of the ‘Orson story’, I like it less and less in rewatching. It’s just too much Tyrion. The cast and crew seem to like Peter Dinklage far more than me. I’d be much more interseted in Jaime, Oberyn (prior to the ending), Cersei, Tywin, Varys and others.

    For me, the story (and the acting during it) wasn’t bad, but it further develops one of the already most developped characters (that I happen to not care too much about). Thus I’d have liked the time spent with someone else.

    And the combat was good enough. Any longer and it’d be dragging. It’d become pure repetition with Oberyn shouting the same 3 sentences and Gregor swinging the giant blade.

  79. Strider
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    jentario:
    Rodriguez Faszanatas,
    Holy shit. You are amazing! (sorry Velti)

    Now see.. Rodriguez’s unrealistic horror story would have made Velti laugh himself silly (cause we all know Mads would probably buy him drinks for his stalwart campaign here for Euron, plus Veltigar is a cool dude if there ever was one on this site).

    But you selling him out?! THAT WILL BREAK HIM!!!! HAHAHAH

  80. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Strider,

    Ser Veltigar is truly a “Mads”man in this wonderful asylum.

  81. GRRMlin
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    wizardeyes,

    Book 5 was better, but GRRM had more to work with… He wasted Tyrian and dany tbh
    It also built up and then ended with massive cliffhangers. Once upon a time GRRM knew how terrible cliffhangers are in novels… But he is really lost

  82. YeOldGods
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Veltigar,

    Shitty episode. And yet another great scene ruined….
    I believe it’s glaringly obvious that Graves wanted to make his own fanfic version of Darth Maul vs. Obi Wan and Qui-Gon, which obviously was the worst possible inspiration for this duel. He should have made a scene like the duel at the end of Rob Roy. Something where you really felt the stakes being rased and where fighting was like a game of chess.

    So it’s fan fiction when a director adapts a book his way (Star Wars…or something?) but your way (Rob Roy?) is perfectly fine and not fan fiction. Can you even hear yourself right now?
    From a book reader’s perspective who loves the show, stop making us all look like insufferable, childish blowhards. Please and thank you.

  83. GRRMlin
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    wizardeyes,

    I’m starting to thin Elio and Linda are ghostwriting parts of the books (4,5) . The books just didn’t seem like GRRM (except at certain scenes), all the attention to detail no one cares about screamed Elio and Linda

  84. Matt Sinopoli
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard: Speaking of Ramsay…
    1) Did anyone notice if Miranda made the journey to WF with them?

    I read a theory that Ramsay killed her in that sex scene earlier this season but it was cut because the show has been getting flack for depicting to much violence towards women. The fact that we haven’t seen her since is starting to convince me that the theory was right…

  85. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Matt Sinopoli,

    Yeah I’m starting to think that too. It would explain the randomly appearing blood splatters/scratches on Ramsay that were there before he reached Yara’s gang in the episode.

  86. jentario
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    GRRMlin,

    How’s your foot?

  87. Strider
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    jentario:
    GRRMlin,

    How’s your foot?

    I want to know the answer to that question myself.

  88. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    Yeah I’m starting to think that too. It would explain the randomly appearing blood splatters/scratches on Ramsay that were there before he reached Yara’s gang in the episode.

    I am more of the opinion (shared by Luka Nieto above) that shirtless Ramsay fought through some ironborn ninnies to get to Yara. Like the Cogman said, they edited it out….but I guess the implied wild hardcore sex works too…
    Luka Nieto,

  89. wizardeyes
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrpEkYcc3_s&feature=youtu.be

    Extended preview of the next episode

    Mammoth!!!!!!!

  90. The Black Fox
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    wizardeyes,

    Wow… That was awesome. Thanks for posting it.

    I’m pretty sure that gives away the death of nights watch character… Does Ygritte shoot an arrow through Pyp’s neck? Maybe i’m seeing things.

  91. H. Stark
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    The Black Fox,

    I dont know if it is Ygritte but it looks like they kill Pyp :O

  92. House Baggins
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    The last composition that we barely got before the sun went down was of the two of them lying dead – the effects team made that even more gruesome. They rearranged some of his brain matter.

    So the Mountain is dead huh?

  93. Stella
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Angels and Insects. Ha! Saw it when it first came out in 1995 on the big screen. ;-) Yes, eerily relevant to KL, including the blond hair! The book, believe it or not, is even better. A. S. Byatt. Wonderful writer.

    Regarding Kafka: well, he went for the bug metaphor in a BIG way, so he might consider this little beetle monologue just an amuse bouche. I like the Shakespeare idea someone else mentioned. Gloucester says in King Lear:

    As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods, —
    They kill us for their sport.

    But I think this is too dark for Tyrion. He is more interested in human nature than he is the gods…

    So cool that you mentioned the film. I don’t think I know anyone else who ever saw it!

  94. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Stella,

    Wow. I am impressed. You know…AGoT did come out a year after Angels and Insects was released. Aha! I cry foul, GRRM! :)

    In honor of all the smashing and gnashing insect motifs in the literary and cinema world, GRRM should have a relevant filmfest at the Cocteau! Another distraction for him! Yay!

    Wouldn’t it be funny if the beetles monologue and some other interesting “non-book” conversations and phrases from GoT this season were actually included in chapters from TWoW? We know that the WW scene way up north and the Arya scene from S4ep1 were derived from content in TWoW (Arya’s “Mercy” chapter, specifically). I wouldn’t be surprised to see the beetles/Lannister cousin story in one form or another in TWoW.

  95. asfastasican
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I thought the beetle story was an analogy to how “the gods” treat men. I thought it was pretty obvious but that’s just my take on it. The scene is well acted even though some parts of the script were hard to act out. I personally found myself glued to the screen but the scene itself is simple and effective. You can either overanalyze it or simply dismiss the whole discussion. That’s the whole point of the scene.

    But it’s also worth mentioning that the scene highlights a very strong yet subtle theme to the entire episode. How do humans cope with loss? Certain characters deal with the needless violence, death and hardship in different ways based on their intelligence or perceptions.

    Grey Worm sees his hardship as a positive experience and choses to relish it because it changed his life in a positive way by meeting a girl he now loves. Littlefinger accepts the fact the people die for silly reasons and mocks it by embracing life to the fullest and fueling his ambitions. The Hound is dumbfounded by Lisa’s death while Arya laughs about the big picture. Daernys deals with hardship by being merciless. And Tyrion? He tries to dig deeper since he is most possibly the most intelligent character in the series.

    Life can be wonderful but it can also be needlessly cruel.

  96. Bard
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Oberyn vs. the Mountain. The good version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8oOi6JOXEQ

  97. Stella
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard:
    Stella,

    Wow. I am impressed. You know…AGoT did come out a year after Angels and Insects was released. Aha! I cry foul, GRRM! :)

    In honor of all the smashing and gnashing insect motifs in the literary and cinema world, GRRM should have a relevant filmfest at the Cocteau! Another distraction for him! Yay!

    Wouldn’t it be funny if the beetles monologue and some other interesting “non-book” conversations and phrases from GoT this season were actually included in chapters from TWoW? We know that the WW scene way up north and the Arya scene from S4ep1 were derived from content in TWoW (Arya’s “Mercy” chapter, specifically). I wouldn’t be surprised to see the beetles/Lannister cousin story in one form or another in TWoW.

    That’s a good question: did GRRM know about Angels and Insects? It does not matter–authors get inspiration from all sorts of places. I remember being horrified by that film, and entranced, too. A bit like Game of Thrones! LOL

    Here’s a list of films he could consider for his “Bug Festival”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Films_about_insects

    You know, I have not read any of the new chapters yet. I suppose I should mosey on over there and read them! Interesting to ponder: Is the new material in the show really content already created by GRRM? I have not followed all of the book vs. show stuff very closely, so I’ve no idea, but it is intriguing to consider. All books and the films of those books have such a delicate relationship…GRRM and D&D are headed into some new territory, in terms of publishing and film-making, that is certain!

  98. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    asfastasican,
    Stella,

    Cheers, from within the black hole of insignificant despair!

    Come to think of it, the beetles story is actually a horrorshow version of “Horton Hears a Who!” The screams! Oh, the screams of so many! Ahhhh!

    When I grow up, I want to be a preying mantis, the king of the Arthropods!

  99. jojo592
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    When Cat Stark, took Tyrion as a prisoner to the Eyrie in season 1, they were attacked by mountain tribesmen. Tyrion killed (for the first time) a tribesman by smashing his head in with a shield! He also led an attack on Stannis’s army at the Battle of the Blackwater in season 2. During the battle he definitely hacked a man’s leg off with an axe, which I’m sure would ultimately prove fatal under the circumstances! So yes….Tyrion has kiled, and is capable of killing again I should imagine!
    Stella,

    Stella,

  100. andrew
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Veltigar,

    Pedro Pascal trained Wu-Shu and did his own stunts for the duel. I think the fact that the duel was so short was supposed to speak to the fact that Oberyn is a complete badass and took down the mountain wearing fucking heels and without breaking a sweat. What got him killed was letting his guard down, and trying to get the mountain to confess that Tywin was responsible for this atrocity.

    He paid dearly for it.

    But the point remains that even though the duel was short, it was extremely well-done.


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