Game of Thrones creator and cast members share their thoughts on the hit show while in Brisbane for Supanova.
It’s bloodthirsty, shocking, twisted and quite often savagely barbaric but neither I nor the legion of fans that call it their favorite show would have it any other way.
I’m talking of course about Game of Thrones. The HBO series that has taken the world by storm, achieved massive ratings during it’s three year run, scored a slew of awards and of course become the most downloaded show in Australia. The show is based on George R.R Martin’s best selling fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire and follows the members of several noble houses in a civil war for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms.
Martin touched down in Brisbane this weekend for the Supanova Pop Culture Expo along with Game of Thrones actors Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark), Jerome Flynn (Bronn) and Mark Addy (Robert Baratheon). Here are their thoughts on creating the show’s diverse characters, the onslaught of fan fiction, the show’s most hated character and when we can expect the next book.
On balancing the story lines between the novels and the small screen….
Martin: There are certainly big differences between the books and the TV show. We have as big a budget as any other show on television but of course it’s still not big enough. We could use another 50 million dollars! We have to make a lot of very difficult decisions on which scenes make the cut and which characters we keep. We need to keep things on budget and on schedule. One of the reasons I left television and returned to books was that my ideas were always too big and too expensive to actually be produced. I wrote something I thought could never be filmed, it was only restricted by the size of my imagination and I have a pretty big imagination.
On the creation of King Joffrey, one of the most hated characters on television….
Martin: He’s certainly not a loveable scamp in the books but I think a large part of the strong fan feeling can be attributed to the brilliance of Jack Gleeson who plays him. He’s just made him into a wonderful character and as everyone who works with him knows he is the nicest guy in real life. What a job he’s done.
On the creation of characters…
Martin: I try to write individuals. That’s the freedom I have with my books, I can create diverse characters. I’ve been living with these characters since 1991 and they are real to me.
Fairley:I love playing Catelyn Stark. I love her power, her emotion and her passion. It’s one of those characters you can get lost in.If I had to play another character it would have to be Tyrion because he’s smart, he’s talented and he’s emotional. What’s so fascinating about him and about all of the characters that George writes is that they grow emotionally. You meet them in the books at a certain point in their lives and then they change and that’s just like life.
Flynn: To have Peter (Dinklage) to act with, who just captures so much of Tyrion’s character and more, has made it one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. There is some bromance there.
Addy: It’s fascinating to play a character with flaws because when you play a perfect character you’ve got nothing to work with so this kind of complexity is terrific for an actor.
On Game of Thrones fan fiction….
Martin: I was a teenage comic book fan but I would always write original characters. They were super heroes but I created my own world and yes maybe it was similar to other work but I wasn’t writing about Spiderman or Superman or Batman. I was an aspiring writer and what I don’t like about fan fiction is that a lot of people who write it are aspiring writers and it’s just a lazy way to go. I recognise that it’s an act of love but I would rather you made up your own characters and stories.
On the large number of illegal downloads….
Martin: You guys (Australia) have lead the world in that, you’re number one! It’s both a positive and a negative. In one sense it shows such tremendous interest in the show. But obviously it’s bad too, it would be better for HBO if we had the money from it. If people were actually paying for the show then all that money would go into the show and we could have more dragons.
On whether their visit to Australia will influence the Game of Thrones world….
Addy: We’ll see koalas in the next book.
Martin: Yes, but I would make them carnivorous koalas that would bite into the neck.
On when the next A Song of Fire and Ice book will be released….
Martin: I’m working on it! This is why I’m not always working on the show or in the writers room, I would never be able to work on the books. But I have to have the next two finished before the show catches up to them.
The fourth season of Game of Thrones is currently in production and will return to our screens in 2014. Earlier seasons are now showing on Foxtel.