In last week’s episode of Game of Thrones, we learned that Gilly had in fact survived the attack on Mole’s Town, and after Sam got Pyp to open the f-ing gate, she was safe inside the walls (and pantry) of Castle Black. Having just been reunited, Gilly was reluctant to let Sam leave her again. While Sam quickly explained that he had to fulfill his duties and fight alongside his brothers, he did leave her with two things: a promise to survive, and a kiss.
Hannah Murray spoke with Making Game of Thrones this week to share her thoughts on Sam and Gilly’s kiss, whether or not Gilly is in love with Sam, and the bond that connects the two characters.
What was your reaction when you first read the scene where Sam and Gilly kiss?
I thought, “They’re really letting Sam be the hero.” I love the way that’s been building up from the point when he kills the White Walker. I also really enjoy the comedy of Sam and Gilly. I love how right before he kisses her for the first time, she’s telling him that he’s rubbish.
Is Gilly in love with Sam?
She can tell that the kiss is an expression of love from him. She knows that he loves her and she definitely loves him, but she’s not someone who can process her emotions very well or has a sophisticated language for them. I’ve thought for a long time that they are like this little, unconventional family. He loves the baby as much as she does. John [Bradley] has said, “Sam couldn’t love it any more if it was his own.”
What was it like filming Gilly and Sam’s first kiss?
John was like, “You’re not giving me very much back.” And I told him it’s wasn’t a personal thing, it was a character choice. I felt that Gilly has never been kissed before, and she probably doesn’t even really know what kissing is.
What connects Gilly and Sam?
A big thing that connects them is having horrible fathers. We haven’t seen Sam’s father, but we know about that in a different way from Gilly, Sam was abused as well. In Season 2 when John and I were filming the thimble scene [where Sam gives Gilly his mother’s thimble], [director] Alik Sakharov said this beautiful thing to us: “You’re like two birds with broken wings, and when they come together there’s the possibility for the first time that they can fly.”
They’re two people who have come from horrible places, but because they both have this brokenness, they’re able to give each other what they’re missing.
Hannah also spoke with Vulture this week about getting to film a scene with Rose Leslie’s Ygritte, the excitement of going off-book, and filming the intricate Mole’s Town sequence that opened episode eight.
Even though you’ve shot big scenes at Craster’s Keep, Mole’s Town, and Castle Black, Gilly doesn’t get to interact with that many other characters other than Sam …
[Showrunners] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] took me aside and they said, “We’ve written a scene for you. You’re going to have a scene with a character you never would have guessed you’d have a scene with.” And that was the scene with Ygritte! And it’s really exciting for us as actors when you’re like, I’ve gone off-book! I’m off-book! It’s like this uncharted territory where anything could happen. [Laughs] And everything for me this year was off-book. Season three was quite close, because there were scenes that I could read in the novels, and then when I saw them in the script, I understood where they had been taken from. But this time around, it was a lot of David and Dan’s own direction to take. So that’s been exciting.
You know in the Mole’s Town sequence, that was all one shot? Up until you hear the owl hooting. So that was tricky to get right for a lot of different reasons — belching a song just being one of them. I wouldn’t be able to do that, not to a tune. I think doing that on demand in general is tricky! And she had to go from a huge party scene, and then come into the thing with me, and be really quiet and intense. And that was all completely contained, the way they filmed it. Alex Graves was the one who directed that, and I think he wanted to bring a bit of West Wing to how we did it, with the long take. And that was his way of letting you know something was wrong.
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