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A Roundup Of Game of Thrones Actress Items Is Coming. Or It’s Already Here.

If you’re a regular reader of this site you’ll know that we eat up Game of Thrones tidbits like Sansa Stark does lemon cakes. So the last few days have been particularly good to us, with Mother of Dragons Emilia Clarke and Gwendoline “Brienne of Tarth” Christie dropping interesting tidbits about their characters in interviews in The Wall Street Journal and Elle UK, respectively. Plus another actress is being upped to series regular for season five.

Both Clarke and Christie opened up about how they relate to their characters, Clarke noting that when Game of Thrones first began she’d carry around a copy of George RR Martin’s book (the first one, presumably), as something like “a cheat sheet.”

I took it everywhere with me and kept referring to it, looking for more clues… [Daenerys’ story is] the growth of a girl into a woman. She’s being thrown into the deep end, to see if she can sink or swim, and she decides to do it her way. It was wonderful to see a character with such humble beginnings, and such low self-esteem, beginning to trust herself. So my feelings within filming it were echoed—in a much more dramatic way, obviously.

For Christie, the connection to her character was more personal. Clarke’s never been on a quest to claim her birthright (or eaten a horse heart, though she did she try robin heart once, and “it wasn’t very good.”), but Christie, like her Game of Thrones counterpart, grew up bullied over her tall frame. Brienne “is the part I always wanted to play but never knew existed,” says the 6’3″ actress. “All the things I had wanted to cloak about myself, that I felt a little ashamed and embarrassed about, had been bullied for, these things had a place they could live—in Brienne…  What [people] said was cruel, but actually they were just confused and shocked. My father always said, ‘You can do anything a man can do.’”

That wellspring of self-confidence is one of the reasons that, when she was 20 years old, the then-model consented to due a nude photo shoot. “I thought I only wanted to take my clothes off if I had an amazing body and I didn’t,” Christie recalls. “But there was another part of me—intellectual or intuitive—that said, ‘This is exactly why you should do it. We can examine female beauty in a different way, and this is me, warts and all.’”

If you are somehow not yet convinced that Christie is the perfect Brienne (did season three not do it?), read about the actress’ relationships with Michelle Fairley and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who play Catelyn Stark and Jaime Lannister, and feel your jaw drop. Via

After landing the role she quickly made friends with her co-stars. Of Michelle Fairley she says: “I adore her, she really took care of me. Not only is she a very intelligent, kind, interesting and funny woman, but she has a strong nurturing aspect to her. She was gorgeous to me.”

And her off screen relationship with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau sounds much like her on-screen one: “Nikolaj likes to wind me up until I’m screaming at him!”

That’s basically Brienne’s relationships with Catelyn—her mentor/friend/mother figure—and Jaime, except without all the death and emotional pain you’ll find in Westeros. Think about the Red Wedding, then read that quote about Fairley again, and be sad. Be so, so sad.

But, when you’re an actor, people aren’t always so supportive. Clarke shared an amusing anecdote involving a disgruntled fan and a supposedly sub-par version of the birthday song. Via WSJ:

“It was his birthday, and he was drunk,” the 26-year-old actress says. “And he said, ‘Please, Mother of Dragons, sing me “Happy Birthday.” ‘ ” After Clarke obliged, the tipsy stranger offered an impromptu critique of her Thrones work: ‘You’re doing it all wrong, you know? You’re f—kin’ it up,’ ” Clarke recounts, mimicking the carouser’s gruff-bloke tone, before breaking out in a laugh. “I kind of wanted to pursue him and ask for notes: ‘What exactly did you mean?’ “

Can we take a second to appreciate the fact that a drunk fan asked Clarke to sing her ‘Happy Birthday’ and she did it?

To wrap up this roundup, another actress has been upped to series regular status for season five, assuming Game of Thrones gets a season five, which of course it will. That would be Nathalie Emmanuel, who plays Daenerys’ translator  Missandei. That’s wonderful, and I’m happy for her. But can Gemma Whelan get a similar promotion, please? Yara Greyjoy was in season three for all of three minutes (a marvelous three minutes though they were), and I’m not optimistic about the Queensmoot storyline being included in season four. I’m starting to get antsy here. I need more crossdressing warrior women who don’t care two whits for politics.

(via: Entertainment Weekly, WSJ, WIC, Zap2it)

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  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    “She’s being thrown into the deep end, to see if she can sink or swim, and she decides to do it her way.”
    Yes, she is thrown in at the deep end. And it’s a surprise she hasn’t been bloody killed by this point. Daenerys is, without a doubt, one of the stupidest, most arrogant characters in the story, and if it wasn’t for those using her, she’d be dead. But nooooooooooo, it’s because she’s the Mother of Boo- uh, Dragons. Or something.

    Brienne would make mincemeat and then sausagemeat out of Daenerys.


  • Robert McCoy

    Could be, but Daenerys has some of the most bad ass, exhilarating, and best written parts of the books. Even during what many readers consider her worst story line, the slave fighting pit action is pretty rad.

  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    Except for Brienne facing off against one of the best swordsmen in the series, except for Ygritte and Jon, except for Osha and Asha, and Sansa back-talking Joffrey. And a whole bunch of other scenes.

    Daenerys sucks. Major style. I also can’t really remember much about that bit because I spent every chapter she was in wishing it was over and/or that someone would actually assassinate her just so I didn’t have to put up with her chapters.

  • Laszlo

    I definitely wouldn’t say best written. Her storyline can be pretty badly paced, and it provides plenty of examples of GRRM’s weirdness about sexuality.

  • Revolution of Eva

    Season 4 corresponds to the second half of Book 3, and the Queensmoot happened in Book 4, so I wouldn’t be too surprised if it isn’t in Season 4. They haven’t even cast Yara’s three uncles.

  • Robert McCoy

    I agree with your second sentence. Martin’s writing can also be clunky, repetitious and, especially the sex scenes, downright embarrassing. But what I think he does best is bring together a major set piece. The Battle of Blackwater still remains one of my favorite battle scenes I’ve read. It’s been awhile since I’ve read these things, but the Dany scenes (emerging from the bonfire, the sack of Astapor) still stand out.

  • Robert McCoy

    I know it’s a thing, but pitting characters against each other seems silly to me. Brienne and Daenerys are characters I like in their own way.

  • Laszlo

    They’re going further in some storylines, like Bran’s or Dany’s. They could do it in this storyline, too, otherwise I’m not sure what would she be doing the whole season, that rescue mission will obviously not succeed, it would be kinda stupid to spend a lot of screentime on it.

  • Ashe

    …I really need to finish the fifth book already.

  • Ashe

    Best-written rape trauma, Stockholm Syndrome, white savior cliches, visual objectification…wait, I meant most problematically and creepily written.

    Daenerys has her moments (I appreciate her genuine attempts to create justice in the world and how she’s still willing to be kind and generous even after what she’s been through), but almost every single time I read her chapters I’m rubbing my temples hardcore.

  • crowTrobot

    Why would you read these books? If I thought I was reading a vile, sexist, racist novel I’d throw it in the trash.

  • Ashe

    Because you can criticize a thing and still like it.

    *~*~*~*~*just imagine~*~*~*~*~*

  • crowTrobot

    I know. Already did it (imagine an arrow pointing down.)

  • Run Amok

    This is absolutely true, Dany is a naive and terrible leader (also fifteen years old, which likely has something to do with that), but I really don’t think the book supports her. If anything, it’s subtly pointing out her shortcomings and mistakes so as to highlight character development, and I think that’s really interesting. In fact, the extent to which she’s fucking up her colonialist ideals provides realism.
    We have POV chapters from characters across the moral spectrum, several of whom are completely opposed to one another or explicitly contradict the way another character has told an event, and if that’s not a sign to take anyone’s opinion of themselves with a pinch of salt I don’t know what is.

  • Jacob Dunning

    Exactly, just because a character gets a POV and is a main character, doesn’t mean that they’re being held up as some amazingly great person, just a person who a section of the story is, for better or worse, revolving around

  • Anonymous

    So your biggest gripe about Daenerys is that.. .Brienne doesn’t get enough love?

  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    But the clever thing Martin does – IMHO – is for all of the rape and sexism in this series, it’s the characters being sexist to each other and – largely – not him being sexist. If you look, Sansa, Arya, Catelyn, Brienne, Osha, Asha, Ygritte, Cersei, Melisandre, the Queen of Thorns, Margaery or whatever her face is, and in later novels the women in the Martell chapters… you actually realise that Martin is not sexist. He’s writing some incredible female characters who either exploit the male-dominated society, can play it like it’s chess, who don’t take any rubbish, who can fight as well as any man and so on.

    Daenerys, to me, is the only fault in this. She exists to drive an improbable story where she defies basically everything logical to go from strength to strength. I mean, come on, that bit where she opens that ‘present’ herself? WHAT. AN. IDIOT.

  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    Nope. My biggest gripe about Daenerys is she didn’t die in the first few books like she should have done.

  • Laszlo

    That’s a bit harsh. I mean, I agree that storyline is one of the weakest in the series, and her “badassery” is way overrated, but I don’t think the problem is with her character. Her arc is interesting enough in theory, and her flaws are accounted for, it’s just pretty badly done.

  • Laszlo

    I guess it’s kind of a backlash thing, she’s got a lot of fans who ignore that and only go on about how badass she is, that’s why some people go to the other extreme.