Actors behind Bronn and Jaime discuss their final days on set


Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) and Jerome Flynn (Bronn) have been palling around Westers since Game of Thrones season 5, when Jaime promised Bronn a castle and a wife if he’d join him on his rescue mission to Dorne. Since then, the pair has squashed a siege at Riverrun, destroyed the remnants of House Tyrell, and were defeated on the field of battle by Daenerys Targaryen and her Dothraki horde. They’ve seen some stuff, y’all.


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Speaking to Indulge, Coster-Waldau and Flynn talked about the possibility of extending their partnership in season 8. The last we saw Jaime, he was leaving King’s Landing and his sister-lover Cersei and heading north. But where does that leave Bronn? “So he goes off, and he doesn’t say a word,” Flynn said. “No mention to his old friend, not even a message…”

What do you have to say to that, Coster-Waldau? “Again, let me clarify. Someone called The Mountain was about to chop off my head. I didn’t really have much time to make calls!” But Flynn’s not buying it:

"[I]t means Bronn is going to suddenly be like, ‘What the…?’ and he’s got an interesting choice to make because his employer of the last few years has disappeared on some quest. It’s an interesting question. He’s left King’s Landing. Will he go after Jaime? How much loyalty does he have? We’ll see how that pans out."

I think I speak for most of the Game of Thrones fandom when I say I sincerely hope Bronn catches up to Jaime and heads north with him for season 8. Just think of all the fun Bronn would have at Winterfell: he’d be reunited with Tyrion, and with Sandor “the Hound” Clegane, with whom he once fought to the death in season 2. Memories!

Anyway, as expected, the two didn’t reveal anything specific about season 8. They didn’t really reveal anything general, either:

  • Coster-Waldau: “Well, it is the final season, so you would imagine that we would move towards some resolution when it comes to the major questions.”
  • Flynn: “With a fight or two in between.”

Very vague, fellas. Good job.

The pair were also asked why season 8 took so long to film. “Part of the wait initially was because they started filming later,” said Flynn. “Because winter has come, they wanted less clement weather rather than having to use lots of CGI.”

“The fact is, it took twice as long to shoot these six episodes than a normal season,” added Coster-Waldau. “That’s to do with the scale of what we did. It was, I think, unprecedented for television and even for most movies — the amount of people involved in the shoots, and the amount of characters involved.”

"We’ve shot this whole series where we’ve had all these characters in different parts of this world called Westeros. Now, a lot of these characters, as we’ve seen in Season Seven, have come together. Shooting with that many people takes a lot of time. It was tough, but it was tougher for the crew than for us actors. We will moan and whine a lot, but the truth is we would have say, three really hard days, then a couple of days off, then we’ll go again. At one point, the crew had 50-plus nights at one go, and they were still smiling."

He’s referring to the 55-night shoot that took place in Moneyglass, Northern Ireland and Magheramorne Quarry; footage from those locations will likely be stitched together to form the showstopping Battle of Winterfell. “It was a crazy final season. But because everyone in front or behind the camera loved working on the show, everyone was so determined just to finish it the right way,” Coster-Waldau continued. “I also think that if it hadn’t been the last season, if we’d been ordered for another four years, then the enthusiasm might not have been quite as high when they came to night number 43. But yes, this is the hardest thing we’ve ever done — the end is in sight, and we really want to deliver.”

After they went through seven seasons of Game of Thrones, was season 8 still able to awe them?

  • Coster-Waldau: “Yes, especially these sets that they build, and the set pieces we were a part of. The likelihood of us being involved with something like this again… it’s not going to happen. There were really quite a few of those in this final season. It just took your breath away!”
  • Flynn: “There is just the scale of it, and what it represents, in terms of the revolution of long-form television. It’s iconic like that, and it has been amazing to be a part of. It doesn’t cease to shock me. And, make no mistake, this season tops every one that’s gone before — no doubt about it.”

All that and they’ve picked up some new skills along the way! “I’m better on a horse for sure, yes,” Coster-Waldau said. “Better with my left hand too. And technically, you get better at acting. For example, a couple of seasons back, we did this big sequence in Spain — and you learn a lot from doing something that is so massive in scale, action-wise.”

Oh god, he’s talking about fighting the Sand Snakes, isn’t he?

“I call myself a swordsman now, although I did once whack Nikolaj on the head with a sword,” Flynn added. “I hope I’ve got better now! Having all that stuff to do is like a boy’s dream.”

As far as the secrecy on the season 8 set goes, Coster-Waldau assures us that what you’ve heard isn’t exaggerated: “In the past, when you needed to remember what had happened, you could go back and find the scripts. Now, literally, the script has vanished. It no longer exists. I’m not very good at keeping secrets, but with this show, it’s always been easy, because you know you can’t say anything about storylines.”

Finally, both actors described their last day on set:

  • Coster-Waldau: “For me, it really was a perfect way. I can’t talk about the scenes, but it was the perfect ending to my whole experience of being on this show. It was a beautiful day, Northern Ireland, it was a great crew, great scenes. I’d seen quite a few of these farewell speeches by this point. I remember I was like, ‘Why are people getting so emotional? It’s ridiculous. I’m way too hard for that.’ Then, they give you this beautiful bit of a little framed bit of storyboard — mine was when my hand is chopped off. On the back, they write some nice words to you, and then suddenly, I felt some wet stuff on my face. I was like, ‘God! Errrr! I must be coming down with a cold.'”
  • Flynn: “There’s definitely mourning. I couldn’t really take it in on my final day, but afterwards, it started to sink in. For eight years, we’ve had it there, every year, for those of us who were lucky enough to be on this show. It takes a bit of time to realize there’s not another year coming.”

I think Jerome Flynn just succinctly summed up every Thrones fan’s feelings about the May 19 series finale. The truth hurts.

Game of Thrones season 8 premieres on April 14.

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