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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

You know nothing Jon Snow

Need a Chuckle? Read About Roger Ashton-Griffiths’ First Day Filming Game of Thrones

Also: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau fangirling over Brienne of Tarth, like you do.

Of all the new characters coming to Game of Thrones in season four, we’re most excited about Oberyn Martell and Ellaria Sand, because… because they’re Oberyn Martell and Ellaria Sand. Book readers, you know. A bit less with the dashing and the sexy is Margaery’s father Mace Tyrell, perhaps Tywin Lannister’s biggest political rival. He’s being played, as we previously heard, by Roger Ashton-Griffiths.

And Roger Ashton-Griffiths, to borrow a phrase, knows nothing.

Via an interview with (not related to the dish soap):

You didn’t read a single book from the series before the shoot?

Had you seen the show?
Then how did you prepare for your character?

“On the first day in Belfast, I was expecting some kind of an introductory pack telling me who was who, how they were related and what had happened until now. I got nothing. I woke up in the morning, wore my costume, went on to the set and was told ‘Oh, good morning! Here is your place. ACTION!”

Awkward. That scene was with Tyrion, Tywin, and Cersei, whom he didn’t know were related. During the first week of filming he went out and got the season two (not one) box set and finally got clued in to those little details like what the Iron Throne is (“There was this monstrous big chair made of swords — which I thought was quite nice”). “I watched [season two] and thought ‘Oooh!,’” he continued. “I’d quite like to have gone back and shot that week again because I would’ve done it differently, for sure.”

Does anyone else want to hug him? I kind of want to hug him. I also want to try and explain to him what R+L=J means and see what happens.

In the realm of people who are a bit more familiar with the world of Westeros we have Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, aka Jaime Lannister, who at the beginning of season four will finally be back among the rest of his family. If only his family weren’t so filled with power-hungry psychopaths. And if only he didn’t have to lose a hand in the process. “I think the biggest change” for Jaime, says Coster-Waldau:

“is the fact he loses his identity in many ways and has to reevaluate and rediscover himself. That goes back to the scene with Brienne in the bath where he reveals this huge secret that he’s carried since he was sixteen. He tells, of all people, this woman because I think they have connected and he sees himself in her. The big question, of course, is what happens when he gets back to King’s Landing? That’s where we’ll find out what has changed. At the end of season three something has changed but he doesn’t know what it is. I think he surprised himself and doesn’t really know why he went back and rescued Brienne from the bear pit.”

“Hey, did I mention how great Brienne is?,” he continued, but only in my head and not in real life. “Because she’s seriously wonderful. Cersei? Cersei who?”

(via:, io9)

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  • Anonymous

    That’s alright Rebecca, he said that in my head too. And then Daenerys and Jon ruled Kings landing and Jamie and Brienne were the head of their guards and kissed a lot.

  • Eleni O’Neill

    You just made my day.

  • R.O.U.S.

    Hug him? I kind of want to slap him. Who shows up for a new job so under-prepared? At least read the wikipedia plot summaries or SOMETHING.

  • JustPlainSomething

    Is it sad that I thought you mean you wanted to slap Jaime and I immediately thought, “Well that’s a little harsh … oh wait, you were talking about the other actor. Nevermind.” So apparently in my mind, the sister-boning child crippler shouldn’t be slapped but the actor who didn’t research the project well enough should. … I don’t think that bodes well for me.

  • JustPlainSomething

    So watching this show without reading the books is such a bad idea because I keep wanting to say things like “Oh man, I hope Jamie and Brienne have lots of scenes together and they’re all adorable and sweet and they fall for each other even maybe” and I just KNOW someone will do the equivalent of online patting me on the head and go “Oh you poor thing. You have no idea what’s coming.”

  • Anonymous

    Well if it makes you feel any better, most book readers have no idea what’s in store for these two this season either. The writers cut book 3 pretty much in half, but when it comes to Jamie/Brienne they did pretty much the whole of their book 3 adventures last season, so the writers have a lot to stretch out over the course of season 4. So TL;DR, They can pat this book reader on the head too, since I will also be hoping for a plethora of adorable sweet scenes :)

  • Anonymous

    To be fair, Mace’s character is someone who never know what’s going on, so it kind of works.

  • R.O.U.S.

    ha! that’s the way to do it – claim your lazy preparation was all in the name of character building.

  • JustPlainSomething

    I should also explain that I am rooting for an older Arya and Gendry getting together and I KNOW I’m screwed because they aren’t even to her being older in the books. Basically all the things I want to happen probably won’t and everyone I like will die and yet I will continue to watch.

  • R.O.U.S.

    I think most of us would feel the same way! HBO Jamie is a lovemuffin who deserves second chances until the cows come home.

  • JustPlainSomething

    What’s that story of Prisoner of Azkaban’s director asking the three main Potter kids to write essays about their characters and Rupert Grint never turned his in? See? Precedent!

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Or “You sweet summer child.”

  • JustPlainSomething

    Yeah, that too. I basically feel like Sansa when she still had Lady. Okay, maybe SLIGHTLY more aware of oncoming doom.

  • Aeryl

    I kinda think that’s the responsibility of the production crew to be honest. If it was a series that wasn’t based on existing material, that’s what would have to be done, a packet explaining ALL of the characters, their relations and backstory.

    Expecting an actor to become a dedicated fan of a series because they are working on it is a bit much, IMO. And to get this series straight, a dedicated fan you would have to be.

    D&D dropped the ball on that.

  • Tallulah Alice Mae

    Absolutely agreed…what the hell? That’s not funny. What an idiot. You don’t have to become a fan or even like the story but surely some basic professionalism is required.

  • Anonymous

    Hug him? I want to hurt him!!
    Seriously, I don’t demand that the actors read the books or even watch previous episodes (though I can’t imagine why not). But accepting a role in a major series and turning up on set not knowing ANY of the characters involved just screams sloppy indifference!
    How could he not have prepared himself for the role? How to deliver the lines?
    It is so utterly disrespectful for everyone who is a part of this!! From directors to fellow cast members. Honestly, I’m surpsrised he didn’t rub Dinklage’s head and told Heady to bring him a drink considering how low regard he seems to have for them.

    I really wish you hadn’t told me. I don’t think I want to see him at all.

  • Darcy Conroy

    Exactly my thoughts. How arrogant and disrespectful toward ANY cast and crew of ANY show, not to be prepared! Should have been sacked, frankly – even at the last minute, any other actor coming in late would have been equally prepared.

  • Anonymous

    Especially with something as dense as GoT, yes. Give him the Cliff’s Notes version or a “previously on…” packet or something. Is that something that normally happens? He was clearly expecting it, after all, which is why he didn’t do prep on his own. Not sure I can hate him based solely on that, especially since plenty of actors have taken on roles without knowing a thing about the source material.

    Of course having said that I think I’d probably have started googling character names as soon as I realized I wasn’t going to be given ANYTHING to help me, just so I’d have half a clue who people were, even if I didn’t have the time to really sort out the whole storyline. Even if your character is a bit clueless you should at least know why and how they’re clueless.

  • Anonymous

    Ah, but that’s where the book is a little more helpful! Since TV!Gendry is like 20+ and TV!Arya is 13-ish, a 7+ year difference :/ But book!Arya and book!Gendry are only about 5 years apart at the most! Much better odds for non-squiky romance. Though shipping in GRRM is a dangerous activity, I’ll give you that.

  • debijl

    Dvd for season 3 came out today and Nikolaj and Gwen do a commentary for episode 5. Get to hear Gwens wonderful laugh for an hour!

  • debijl

    I ship them as well….Maisie will be 18 in a few years , and it’s unlikely that the story will bring Arya/Gendry back together til then….I mean, when it comes to dysfunctional relations of GoT, Arya/Gendry don’t even hit the top 10.

  • Bianca Gallegly Horkan

    Oh if only…. **wistful sigh**

  • Anonymous

    That sounds like a lot of half-assing on his part.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, if you got a job working a series…wouldn’t you be a little curious about it to at least see how you fit into things?

  • Anonymous

    Me? Probably, yes. But I’m a naturally curious, slightly paranoid non-actor person. Some actors could see it as just a paycheck thing. Others might expect their “research” to be handed to them so that they don’t wind up trying to sort through a a massive pile of random stuff on their own. I dunno. I’m trying to give the guy the benefit of a doubt. As long as the character is done “right” then it doesn’t really matter how uninformed and ill-prepared the actor is.

    The more I think about it the more I realize there’s a lot he could have done to save himself some embarrassment, but oh well. Again, as long as he does a good job with the character it doesn’t matter. And maybe he’ll be a little smarter next time.

  • Anonymous

    No, I just meant the actor guy in the article. Wasn’t really directed at you. :)

  • Beccameriel

    Yes, this is how it’s going to end. YES IT IS.

  • Anonymous

    The responsibility kind of goes both ways. I haven’t worked that side of the industry (theatre-person, here) but for a character as important as Mace, one would expect that the production team would’ve made sure the actor was filled in on the relevant information ahead of time. GOT being particularly dense, I’m surprised to hear that they don’t do something like that.

    On the other hand, it’s part of an actor’s job to do their homework as well, and at least do what they can to get the gist of their character, or at least see an episode or two to understand stylistically what the show is about. It’s one thing when a show is in it’s first season, and there isn’t a lot to go off of (and the books are dense enough that it’s a lot to ask of your entire cast to have read them, especially when many have other roles), but by the third season there’s enough material out there.

    Still, it’s pretty funny, and those old codger character actor types can totally get away with it.

  • Anonymous

    The writers have ways of tossing in changes to surprise the book readers. Like the surprisingly sweet relationship between Arya & Tywin Lannister. And certain disturbing elements added to the Red Wedding…

  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    It is kinda on both sides of people to catch up. You can vaguely understand not reading all five/seven volumes (depending where you are), but not even watching the show? It just seems really bad form on his part. But it sounded like he wouldn’t have really read an information pack supplied to him anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Oh I know, but I’m saying that what I’D do would be different from what OTHERS might do, especially given that I’m approaching it from an outsider’s POV rather than as someone who’s actually an actor. Who knows what goes on in their crazy little heads? ;)

  • Revolution of Eva

    Maybe this was intentional “forced method-acting” — that Mace Tyrell is so oblivious in the books that they intentionally didn’t tell the actor anything about the TV show, setting, or characters.

  • JustPlainSomething

    That’s what I was thinking. Even if their age difference in the show is 7 years, that’s still way better than some of the relationships on this show. You know, like the incest one. That we know will be continuing because it was in the trailer.

  • JustPlainSomething

    Well also in one of my other fandoms I ship a noncanon pairing where the woman is a good 7-ish years older than the men, so as long as they’re both of consenting age and consenting, 7 years isn’t even that bad of a gap. A book fan and I were actually pondering an awesome future potential scene where Gendry is about to get his head cut off in some forest (because everyone wants to kill him clearly) and a badass hooded warrior comes in and starts fighting off the guys. And so they’re fighting back to back and the hood falls off and “Arya?!” And then after the guys are dead and he gets a good look at her, there’s the classic “OH NO SHE’S HOT” moment. And HILARITY ENSUES.

  • kandy830

    my Aunty Sienna recently got a year old Jaguar only from
    working off a home computer… Recommended Reading F­i­s­c­a­l­P­o­s­t­.­ℂ­o­m

  • Anonymous

    Lol, as much as that goes against everything ASOIF, i’m for it anyways. :D

  • Anonymous

    See, I love the friendship between Jaime and Brienne, but I’d never want it to be romantic. One, because I think that Jaime/Cersei are actually really great together, and two, Brienne and Sansa have to end up in love. They’d make each other so happy and safe, and I just can’t ship anything else.

  • JustPlainSomething

    I think part of it is that Gendry deserves to get laid without being part of a black magic sacrifice. For once.

  • JustPlainSomething

    Oh oh, the other reason I like the pairing is the symbolic resonance of the Baratheon/Stark friendship. Robert and Ned wanted so badly for their families to be joined in marriage – first with Robert and Ned’s sister, but then in season one with Joffrey and Sansa. And now both men are dead but we have the true son of Robert and Ned’s strong-willed youngest daughter and they find each other without knowing who the other really is and then they get separated and years later they find each other and — ugh, I know this is GoT and there’s no way I’ll be lucky enough for this to happen, but I really like all the ideas behind this potential romance.

  • R.O.U.S.

    goddammit, that’s a really poetic argument for it.

  • JustPlainSomething

    Not going to lie, I’m super proud of this theory. And I will fistpump for an hour in triumph if it ever becomes canon … and then a character I like will die and I’ll never be happy again. Because you know, it’s Game of Thrones.