We were treated on the Saturday of Walker Stalker London to a Game Of Thrones panel where John Bradley and Hannah Murray, otherwise known as their alter-ego’s Sam and Gilly, joined us to share some secrets from the set and some insights into the show.
Cake is used as a prop for something else entirely…
John Bradley treated us to the grotesque details of exactly how they filmed those scenes which involved in his words ‘human sh..’ Clearly, they didn’t use the real thing but he also explained the efforts the props departments went to make it realistic and how the actors coped with this.
It turned out that they used broken up fruit cake to represent the human feces, which doesn’t sound that bad. I mean who doesn’t like cake? However, Bradley then went on to disguise how it was mushed and made to look disgusting until it was unrecognizable, and that two days into filming it was moldy and smelt absolutely disgusting, yet they still had to work with it. Nice. All in a days glamour of being an actor!
The libraries in Game Of Thrones are exquisitely detailed
Murray and Bradley started discussing just how detailed the props in Game Of Thrones are. Each book in the library that is used as a prop actually has a real story written in it that makes complete sense. Rather than just writing a bunch of words to look like a story, the props department has actually written in each book the story of the making of the show, how Game of Thrones came to be and the history of the television series.
The actors discussed how between takes they actually found themselves sitting down to read the books in the library because they were full of real-life interesting stories about the show.
Murray wants Daenerys to be a mermaid
Murray explained that she is really on board with the fan theory that Daenerys is a mermaid. She explained that she really wants this to true and thinks it suits the character, the character’s look and makes a whole lot of sense. Hannah explained that she backs this theory with a passion and really wants this to be made canon.
They really want Catelyn Stark and Robb Stark to be resurrected
It was argued that Catelyn Stark should be resurrected because it felt like a story arc was stolen from that character and it would have been interesting to see the actor progress in this role in this new way.
The loss of Robb Stark was felt too, as they wish he could be resurrected because the audience and cast just did not see this plot point coming. Bradley felt that Robb Stark had his heart in the right place, he did everything for the right reasons, for love and to be a hero and yet he still died. It was unfair that he died and felt unjust to Bradley and the audience because this character had the most unfinished business.
There was very little SFX in that scene curing Jorah Mormont of the deadly Greyscale in Oldtown…
Bradley explained that Iain Glen’s scales were created by a skintight rubber coating covering his entire body. He had to wear it all day long, it was difficult and meant that he had to go into make- up at 2 am. Bradley, on the other hand, didn’t turn up for make-up and set up until 8 am in the morning, which shows the number of practical effects going into the show and how they try to limit the amount of CGI used where possible.
Bradley explained that the scene where he makes an incision into the scales, where white grunge shoots out at him and covers him, actually happened in real life. Whilst cutting into the rubber coating, they had to time it just right to capture it on film where at the exact same second as he cut into it the props department shot white gunge out of the incision. By the end of shooting, Bradley describes feeling sick at the gunge and the smell, whilst Iain ended up exhausted yet didn’t complain once.
Facts like these show just how much hard work, energy, and passion goes into making this show. The cast, crew and technical team put in long hours, detailed precision and huge effort to make the show what it is. Not all parts of the filming are enjoyable or comfortable for the crew, but according to Bradley and Murray, the end result on screen and the joy of the fans watching it makes it all worth it.