Filipino fans of the worldwide hit American fantasy drama Game of Thrones are superbly elated that its seventh season is set to commence soon, after at least a year of anticipation.
One of its main cast members, John Bradley-West, talked to regional media, including PUSH, recently and revealed all the difficulties they endured, including freezing temperatures and disturbing physical scenes while filming this season in Iceland. They also shot scenes in Northern Ireland and Spain.
Playing the scholarly steward Samwell Tarly, John disclosed that his character’s visit in the Citadel and studying to be a maester or a scholar will be his way of helping out Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) find his roots and triumph in the much awaited Great War.
When asked on who among the contenders are worthy of the Iron Throne, he said that it would be Jon not because of his loyalty to his friend but he thinks that he really deserves it.
“Jon Snow all the way through. He has all the moral virtues to succeed. He’s somebody who doesn’t take decisions lightly and everything he does, he does it for the right reason. Of all of them he’s the most noble and he’s the one who is best equipped to be in power and best equipped to have control over all that kingdom,” he explained.
John added that having to endure below zero temperatures while facing a tumultuous environment during filming tested their physical strength.
Ugly nature of violence
Aside from that, he also recounted that saving Gilly (Hannah Murray) from sexual assault was one of the most difficult scenes he did because it was both physically and emotionally upsetting.
“In that scene, you can see the real ugly nature of violence. You see a man that is not particularly physically fit and physically beautiful; you see a man getting beaten to the ground, his head getting hit to some wall, and being punched to the face, and he bleeds and he falls to the ground,” he related.
GoT is roughly based on the series of fantasy novels written by literary legend George R.R. Martin entitled A Song of Ice and Fire which basically narrates both the violent struggles among the rulers of seven kingdoms of Westeros vying for the Iron Throne and other families’ fight for freedom from it. It also focuses on the descendant of a displaced ruling dynasty exiled in Essos who is plotting to reclaim power and the sturdy comradeship formed among the defenders of the realm against the terrorizations of the fierce folks and legendary creatures in far North.
The aforementioned series is considered as one of the biggest productions ever made for TV, having an ensemble cast of more than a hundred each season, not to mention over 1000 crew members and over 5000 extras, and having an average cost of production of six to 10 million dollars per episode. Among the most notable characters are as follows:
Cersei Lannister (Lena Heady) – the most controversial of all since she was romantically involved with her twin brother Jaime who’s also the father of her children. She was able to defeat all her enemies and even destroyed the center of religious worship in Westeros, Great Sept of Baelor.
Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) – the younger brother of Cersei and is often subject to the persisting mockery of his own family due to his height. He may lack in size and strength, but his extreme intelligence and tactical savviness are indeed formidable. He is now Daenerys’ counsellor.
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) – dubbed as the Mother of Dragons, she is the daughter of Mad King Aerys Targaryen who was ousted in the Iron Throne during a rebellion. Initially, she was meek and gullible but turns of circumstances and her strong fleet and three dragons made her become one of the most admired and feared rulers either side of the Narrow Sea. According to her, “I was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms…and I will.”
Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) – known as the Bastard of Winterfell for being the illegitimate son of North ruler Ned Stark with an unknown mother, he joined the Night Watch to escape his “bastard” status and became its Lord Commander subsequently. After defeating Ramsay Bolton, the heir of House Bolton and the leader of the North then, Jon was proclaimed as the new king and restored the leadership of the North to House Stark.
Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) – The eldest among the Stark siblings and was feeble, peevish and naïve at first. But witnessing how their family suffered from cruelty and betrayal enlightened her and forced her to be tough.
Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) – the younger yet aggressive among the Stark sisters, she was able to get close and kill Walder Frey (David Bradley) whom she holds responsible for the death of their family.
Samwell Tarly (John Bradley-West) – one of the stewards in Night’s Watch and Jon’s best friend. However, unlike his buddy, Sam is scholarly and weak. Regardless, his knowledge on the behaviors of their enemies tremendously helped them to win.
Despite of its violent and sensual nature, Game of Thrones remains to be a crowd favorite due to its complex yet compelling storylines and characters and the unpredictable developments in the narrative which make the audiences refrain from missing even a single scene.
Another reason why fans are raving over it is on how the people behind it seamlessly fused fantasy, classicism, and myth into one – swords, castles, dragons, knights, zombies – and satisfied the nerds in their fans. The sarcastic humor and expressive dialogues also helped in its phenomenal success.
Catch the seventh season of Game of Thrones starting July 17 on HBO available on SkyCable and SkyDirect. You can also watch livestreams of episodes anywhere on HBO GO through One Sky or Sky Mobi.