The details of “Game of Thrones” Season 7 are being guarded like nuclear launch codes, but as the July 16 premiere date approaches, more and more tidbits are being released about the HBO megahit series.
On Thursday, fans got an expansive behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming season courtesy of Time. Variety combed through the piece and parsed out some of the most fascinating tidbits (and potential spoilers) it had to offer.
Check out eight of the biggest revelations below.
Is Dany Headed North?
Series co-creator D.B. Weiss may have inadvertently given away a spoiler regarding Daenerys. In discussing Emilia Clarke, who plays the deposed royal, riding atop a giant mechanical bull-like machine meant to represent a dragon, Weiss said, ““It probably feels a bit less amazing to Emilia, who sits on it for eight hours a day, six weeks in a row, getting blasted with water and fake snow and whatever else they decide to chuck at her through the fans.” What is interesting there is “fake snow.” Up to this point, fans could always assume that Danaerys would eventually head north to aid in the battle against the White Walkers, but nothing we have seen from Season 7 thus far has shown her anywhere near the North. But then again, winter is coming…
Peter Dinklage Begins at the End
Peter Dinklage, who has won multiple Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister, said that he always starts off the season by reading the end first and working back to find out whether or not his character dies. “Every season I go to the last page of the last episode and go backward,” he said. “I don’t do that with books, but I can’t crack open page one of Episode 1 not knowing if I’m dead or not.” His fears are not unfounded, given the show’s willingness to kill off major characters.
Bigger and Better
Each passing season of “Game of Thrones” seems to only get grander and grander in scale, but this season is going to be the biggest yet. Just one of the battle scenes this season was filmed in a drained quarry in Ireland, which required an additional 11,000 square meters of concrete, six months of work, and multiple ecological surveys to make it ready for filming.
Even Jaime Lannister Thinks the Brother-Sister Love Is “Weird”
In a show rife with controversy, one particularly hot-button issue “Game of Thrones” has never shied away from is incest among royal families, the most notable example being Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) and her twin brother Jaime (Nikolai Coster-Waldau). While Coster-Waldau has earned praise for his portrayal of Jaime, he admits that the love he and on his onscreen sister share creeps him out.
“I’ve never really gone too deep into the whole sister-brother thing because I can’t use that information,” he said. “I have to look at her as the woman he loves and desires. Lena’s a very good actress, and that’s kind of what carries the whole thing. I have two older sisters. I do not want to go there. It’s just too weird.”
Kit Harington Thought Jon Snow “Wasn’t Interesting Enough”
Kit Harington plays Jon Snow, the Bastard of Winterfell who left his family behind in order to serve in a monk-like order of warriors known as the Night’s Watch. Even still, Harington admits he has had some issues with the character. “I made mistakes and felt that he wasn’t interesting enough,” he said.
“That sounds weird, but I’ve never been quite content with him. Maybe that’s what makes him him. That angst,” he continued. However, Harington teased some big changes for Jon yet to come. “[This] year there is this huge seismic shift where all of what he’s learned over the years, suddenly…” Harington trails off. “He’s still the same Jon, but he grows up.”
Protective and Secretive
Keeping spoilers a secret in the internet age is hard enough, but even more so when you’re dealing with one of the most popular shows on television. “Look at how difficult it is to protect information in this age,” co-creator David Benioff said. “The CIA can’t do it. The NSA can’t do it. What chance do we have?”
The enhanced level of secrecy required on the show has had a notable impact on those on-set. Coster-Waldau said that Benioff and Weiss have “become much more protective over the story and script. I think they feel this is truly theirs now, and it’s not to be tampered with. I’ve just sensed this last season that this is their baby: ‘Just say the words as they’re written, and shut up.’”
The End Is in Sight
Season 7 will be split into two parts: seven episodes airing this summer, with the final six expected to air in either 2018 or 2019. Benioff and Weiss are hard at work on the final episodes, and already have full outlines for the final episode of the series. “We know what happens in each scene,” Weiss said.