Iain Glen: Game of Thrones season 8 is “bigger and better” than anything we’ve seen

Image: Game of Thrones/HBO
Image: Game of Thrones/HBO /

Iain Glen (Ser Jorah Mormont) spoke to ET Online earlier this week about all things Game of Thrones, starting with costar Emilia Clarke’s (Daenerys Targaryen) multiple brain surgeries, which she had to undergo during the early seasons of the show. Clarke wrote about her experience in The New Yorker, and mentions trying to keep her struggle a secret, but it would make sense that the people closest to her would know. Glen, who’s acting opposite her since season 1, was one of those people. “I did [know about her health struggles],” he said. “She went through the mill. I mean, she’s such an amazing lady, and she was so strong, but she had real scares.”

"I think when you sort of come out the end of something like that, everything must feel golden. I think the Thrones family were great with her. I hope she’d say that, but they shepherded her and looked after her as much as they could."

Clarke had two operations and was at one time convinced she wasn’t going to make it, but she did. Getting back to work as the Mother of Dragons was a real motivator for her. “I think in a funny way, she was always happy to get back to…I don’t know, the warm world of Thrones as that contradiction [to time in the hospital],” Glen said. “But the spirit has always been extraordinary for all of us as actors while we’ve been on the show.”

Clarke and Glen are close outside of the show, too; she was the first person he texted after reading Jorah’s final episode. Obviously, he’s #TeamDaenerys. “There’s no surprises there.”

As for the romance of it all, Glen thinks that Jorah has made peace with Dany’s new relationship with Jon Snow. “I think he’s cool about it now. I think much time has come to pass, and that hope [for a relationship with Daenerys] has now subsided for him,” Glen said. “Jorah was very happy to be brought back inside her fold and be forgiven for past misdemeanors. The idea of reciprocated physical love is now off the agenda… But no, I think he feels OK.”

Macall B. Polay – HBO
Macall B. Polay – HBO /

Really, Glen is just happy Jorah made it to the final season, and praised showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss for how they brought the series to a close. “The guys nailed it. It’s such a hard thing to pull off.”

"I think the expectations are so high, and I just think they managed all the storylines incredibly well. It’s full of the Thrones mix of the unexpected and dramatic and massive set pieces and extraordinary happenings and things beyond our ken. It’s kind of more of the same, but bigger and better."

Keeping it in House Mormont, Bella Ramsey (Lyanna Mormont) spoke to Entertainment Weekly about her first days on set. Ramsey was in school when her mom came to tell her she’d landed the role. She had never watched Game of Thrones before (good parenting) and her sister had to guide her through by showing “snippets” from every season (“I’ll watch the rest when I’m 18”)  to get her caught up on the overall story.

However, when she got to set, no amount of “snippets” could prepare her for what she experienced. “I was overwhelmed by the amount of people,” she said. “My first day somebody pointed out tufts of grass that been placed on a field and said, ‘You know it’s someone’s job just to place those tufts of grass.’ That was the perfect example of the scale of it.”


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Tuft of Grass Placer sounds like a tedious job. Anyway, Ramsey was nervous about her first performance, but she just channeled her inner Lyanna Mormont and the words came. “I’m not that confident, really, but when I was her, I was. I love her defiance; she’s a badass. Being able to stand up there and shame all these grown men was super-cool.” Agreed.

Speaking of those grown men, Ramsey was taken aback by how nice the veteran cast members were to her. “Everyone was so welcoming and helpful. On set it’s like a whole new language: There’s all these crazy words that aren’t in everyday life.

"I didn’t quite know what to expect, if they’d be reserved or weird because I’m a kid, but they treated me like an adult, which was the best thing for me because then they’re treating me like an equal."

From her empowering speeches to her withering stares, Ramsey has become a fan favorite. She says people on the street address her as “M’lady.” And also fun interaction with the King in the North himself: “One of the first times I ever interacted with Kit [Harington], I had my spotty Doc Martens on. He called me ‘dude’ and told me they were cool!”

Yes, I had to look up what “spotty Doc Martens” were.

Game of Thrones season 8 premieres on April 14, and I for one can’t wait to see how Jorah and Lyanna interact with each other.

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