'Game of Thrones' calls on new blood
Posted July 14, 2012
By now, the cast of HBO's sprawling epic, Game of Thrones, could populate a small town.
The pay-cable network announced 14 new additions to an already large cast Friday, offering Comic-Con fans a sneak peek at the Season 3 newcomers. The best-known is Diana Rigg, who will play Lady Olenna Tyrell, the grandmother of Margaery and Loras Tyrell who is also known as The Queen of Thorns.
"Emma Peel. Wow!" exclaimed moderator George R.R. Martin, referring to Riggs' famous turn in The Avengers.
The series, shot in four countries, features many more characters than most series and isn't afraid to kill them off. At times, it can be a challenge keeping track of all of them.
The playful Martin, who wrote the fantasy book series on which Thrones is based and is a co-executive producer of the series, jumped from offbeat topic to offbeat topic without giving much of anything away about Season 3, which premieres March 31, 2013.
He started off joking with Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy) and Richard Madden (Robb Stark) about their sex scenes in the show. Madden, for one, prefers fighting to onscreen lovemaking.
"I'd rather do violence than stand on a quite cold set in Ireland with my clothes off," he said.
Martin asked Rose Leslie, who plays the wildling woman, Ygritte, what would happen if Ygritte and Leslie's Downton Abbey character, Gwen, traded places. "Gwen, beyond the wall, would die pretty quickly," Leslie said.
And, Martin asked Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen, leader of a splinter group of Dothraki, whether more people recognize her these days. Yes, but many still don't, because Clarke's hair is much darker than Daenerys's blonde tresses.
She remembered a woman in a department store doing a doubletake and then quickly calling her "Khaleesi," her ruling title. "When it happens, it really happens," Clarke said.
Clarke credited Martin with writing an "incredibly relevant" book series that deals with so many relatable issues, including family, envy, jealousy, love and survival.
Martin said he isn't trying to make a statement on today's politics. Instead, quoting William Faulkner, he talked about writing about "the human heart in conflict with itself."
And, "the heart of the story is the characters."
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