Nikolaj Coster-Waldau describes a Jaime-Cersei scene from “Dragonstone,” and other cast interviews


In less than 24 hours, we’ll all have seen the first episode of Game of Thrones season 7. But before that, take in these final few interviews from cast members eager to tease what’s in store.

First up, Entertainment Weekly’s James Hibberd chatted with Lena Headey (Cersei) and Emilia Clarke (Daenerys) about the coming clash between their two characters. “Cersei’s very smart and she’s listened to her dad, unbeknownst to everybody who judges her,” Headey said of Cersei’s changes going into this war. “She’s put a lot of things in place politically, and we’ll see her cash those in.”

One alliance Cersei might forge is with Euron Greyjoy, last seen ordering his Ironborn followers to build him a fleet one thousand ships strong. Headey talked pretty freely about Euron, all but confirming that he and Cersei will meet at some point this year. “Cersei thinks he’s a bit of a dick,” she said. “But he’s arguably dangerous in a good way, somebody else she might be able to manipulate and make use of.”

Headey also weighed in on the prophecy Cersei received from Maggy the Frog when she was just a little girl. “The prophecy says somebody younger and more beautiful will take Cersei’s place, so I’m sure that’s at the forefront of her mind. And since Tyrion is [Daenerys’] Hand, she couldn’t view Dany worse.”

For her part, Clarke hinted that Daenerys, strong-willed as she, may not always heed the advice of counselors like Tyrion.“ Dany forces you to think about her objectives this season,” she said. “She’s practiced patience and has this savior-like quality, but now it’s game on.”

At the end of the day, it sounds like we’re going to get an epic throw-down between these two queens, even if they’re more alike than they’d like to think. “We both truly believe we deserve to be on the Iron Throne,” Clarke said. “Both of us think it’s our birthright, we both had f—ed-up dads; it’s a clash of similarities.”

Below, TV Line sat down with several cast members, including Gwendoline Christie (Brienne), Jerome Flynn (Bronn), Liam Cunningham (Davos), and several more. Among the questions asked: Will the relationship between Jaime and Cersei change now that she’s done what Jaime killed the Mad King to prevent, will Davos kill Melisandre if she sees him again, how will Jon Snow handle his new leadership position, and more?

We’ve heard a lot of these sorts of sound bites before, although we haven’t seen a lot of Flynn on the press trail, so it was nice to hear him discuss how Bronn is still getting after that big payday. And as Bronn isn’t getting any older, his frustrations over Jaime’s continued lack of interest in making good on that payday may grow.

Zeroing in on the Jaime-Cersei question, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime) joined Debra Birnbaum on Variety’s Remote Controlled podcast, where he gave some illuminating insights into Jaime’s state of mind. Listen below.

For starters, it sounds like Jaime is going to have a harder time leaving Cersei than some fans would like — after all, as Coster-Waldau says, Cersei and Jaime have been together for decades, and you don’t easily walk away from something like that.

"I like the idea that, often, you see a story where a woman gives up her life to be with her husband, and here, it’s kind of the opposite. You have Jaime, who gave up his life to be close to his sister, to the woman he loves, and has lived his life on her terms. Everything he’s done has been to be close to her, to protect her, to serve her needs in many ways."

But that doesn’t mean Jaime isn’t having doubts. Coming close to giving a spoiler, Coster-Waldau talks about a scene that occurs in the first episode where Jaime and Cersei talk about losing their son, Tommen.

"Without spoiling anything, but there is one line that Jaime has in episode one, when he says, ‘What are we doing this for?’ And, she says, ‘Well, we’re doing it for the family.’ I said, ‘But that’s just you and me, now. That’s it.’ But she is hellbent on power."

Coster-Waldau also promises drama when and if Jaime sees his little brother Tyrion again. “I mean, last thing we heard was Jaime said, if I ever see him again, I’m gonna kill him,” he says. Tyrion killed their father, which Coster-Waldau thinks will be “a difficult thing to forgive.”

As for Brienne, Coster-Waldau thinks that she and Jaime have “real affection for each other,” not to mention “respect, and most importantly, trust.” He doesn’t see romance in the cards for them, though. “I don’t think he’s really capable of [that]. Unless he’s able to completely leave Cersei, I don’t that’s gonna happen. I think he’s a very monogamous man. He’s faithful.”

Finally, Coster-Waldau gave his read on the idea of Daenerys and Jon Snow ruling the Seven Kingdoms before all this is done. “That’s too obvious. You could see that happening, but I don’t really believe it.” If you ask him, he thinks Tyrion will end up on the Iron Throne.

Also, he does a must-hear Ned Stark impression around 33:35.

Next, Alfie Allen talked about Theon Greyjoy’s twisty journey to Mic. Trying his best not to give away specifics about season 7, Allen said that he expects the relationship between Theon and Yara to continue, “just seeing how that new leadership’s going to evolve and how it’s going to change their lives and where the paths take them under the new leadership of Daenerys.” That’s some quality hedging.

He also described Theon’s time with Ramsay as involving elements of Stockholm Syndrome, and related instances during filming where security guards have had to shoot drones out of the sky to avoid potential leaks. That’s not a stressor actors have to deal with on most shows, but Allen is glad Game of Thrones has become as big as it has. “I didn’t foresee the whole worldwide phenomenon coming, but it happened and it’s been great,” he said. “It’s just made people happy, from what I’ve seen, so that can only be a good thing.”

Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger) is getting in on the interview fun as well, telling Vanity Fair not to expect his character to stop scheming in season 7. “Littlefinger’s one of the most determined characters—ruthless and rigorous. His drive isn’t diminished in any way.”

And what does Gillen hope to swipe from the set when the show is over? “I definitely want the mockingbird pin.”

Shifting back to Entertainment Weekly, James Hibberd talked to a few select cast and crew members about the steamy non-romance between Brienne of Tarth and Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju). “Tormund definitely thinks he has a shot,” said Hivju.

"It’s the way the Wildlings are. The women are so strong. They’re equals. They all fight. Like with Ygritte, she has to fight as well as everybody else. When a Wildling is rejected that means ‘thumbs up.’"

Although the basis for it was there, the bulk of the Tormund-Brienne flirtation wasn’t scripted, and everyone involved was delighted when it took on a life of its own. “It was crazy,” Hivju said. “It’s like that Leonard Cohen quote, ‘There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.’ When everything is heavy and serious and then somebody falls in love with somebody you didn’t expect, you give the audience a bit of candy and you’re all, ‘Yeah! We got a soap opera!’”

Christie herself wasn’t quite as generous with the details. “That relationship keeps evolving,” she said. Per EW, we can expect at least one reference to it in the opening episode. But considering what showrunner David Benioff had to say on the subject, that might not be a good thing. “It inspires us because we need to kill one of them now because there can’t be a happy ending or any romantic connection on the show,” he said. “But we’re not going to tell you which one.” The troll is strong with this one.

Hivju also discussed Tormund’s relationship with Jon Snow: “It’s no longer a debate if he’s with Jon or not, they’re now a team,” he said. “His arc from meeting Jon Show in that tent for the first time, Tormund’s been through a lot. Now it’s all about saving humanity, kind of.”

Finally, Insider rounded up several interviews it did with cast members where they all gave their takes on the upcoming season. Cue the bullet points:

  • Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran): “He’s also got this wealth of important information that really needs to get to the right people, and so by the start of season seven, Bran is in many ways a very different character. He’s the Three-Eyed Raven — he’s not Bran Stark, which means he’s really just a vehicle for the greater world’s fate. That is what Bran’s destiny is and what he’s doing in season seven.”
  • Sophie Turner (Sansa): “The Sansa that I knew in season one is unrecognizable to me now, because she’s developed so much. It’s really rewarding to be able to play a character like that and delve so deep into her. She has changed measurably, it’s really a beautiful transformation.”
  • Conleth Hill (Varys): “Well I think in the books [it’s explained] that [Varys] had great admiration for the way the Targaryens ran their civilization. He loved their architecture, he loved their way of governing. You will get some insight into his experiences with the Mad King, maybe. And so you’ll see that maybe he wasn’t as fond of that particular monarch as he is of [Daenerys].”
  • Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm): “I think this season for Grey Worm is about learning some new feelings and learning a little more about how to be a human being. Every season he’s becoming more human — softening up a bit and communicating.”
  • Richard Dormer (Beric Dondarrion): “There’s going to be a lot of fighting.”

Hopefully all these teases will hold you over for the next bunch of hours. Then it’s off to the races!

Next: Valar Morghulis: Who’s most likely to die in 'Dragonstone?'

Before we go, we have to share this brief video interview with Jessica Henwick, who stays in character as Nymeria Sand the whole time.

The Sand Snakes aren’t exactly beloved characters, but that’s pretty great.