Our Game of Thrones Season 8 lead-up coverage to the season premiere on April 15 (GMT+8 time) continues with this instalment of Go Westeros.
Today, we focus on the actresses who play the Stark sisters Arya and Sansa: Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner. We also get a bit of insight from Gemma Whelan who plays Yara Greyjoy, brother to the tortured Theon Greyjoy, just to keep the theme of siblings and relatives consistent here.
There will be spoilers from the 7 seasons of the show abound, so…
First up: is the cast sick of being around each other? Not really. According to an official HBO interview transcript, Maisie Williams said that they’ve been so close that they are always having dinner together.
“It’s actually just been really lovely. For Sophie and I, it was our first gig, really exciting but the established actors have always, always been really lovely. It will be interesting to see how we stay in touch.”
The group read sessions during pre-production was also emotional for the two. “[Everyone] was there,” said Maisie. “Producers, heads of department. They were all there and it was emotional.” Sophie added that the majority of readthroughs did not have this big of a turnout.
Capping It All Off
So how will everyone’s story arc play out? Gemma’s is the most basic: she starts out Season 8 by being on a boat as Euron Greyjoy’s captive. Her story arc is whether her brother, the same one who gave her quite a fingering, is going to save her ass. Which he totally should but this is a dark fantasy story we’re talking about here.
“The horse thing with Theon. That’d be my introduction – it’s always been the scene most people ask me about. “
Sophie and Maisie can’t talk much about how their arcs will be like, but they did share how their characters changed throughout the years. ”
“The scene that changed how I saw the show was first season episode nine,” said Sophie, “Ned’s death and it was just like, “It’s not going to be that kind of show. It’s going to be this kind of show.” For my character, the scene where she kills Ramsay was like, “That’s Sansa.” What about you?””
Maisie said that every woman in the show is finally coming into their own. “One, that’s been not very predictable. Two, it just makes a lot of sense. When you read into the show and you read into their storylines and how people have been playing the game, the five women on top have really deserved to be there.”
“That was something that we’d hoped for but the fact that the show’s really going that way is just so powerful, unlike lots of other shows.”
Sophie did share a bit about her harrowing experiences with her final few scenes. “[After a long stretch,] we were shooting this scene in Spain. Everyone else could have an ice vest except for me because my costume is so tight. I was just begging for them to call wrap. Then they called it and they made this speech and I just burst into tears and I was like inconsolable for hours and hours and hours after. I was just a wreck.”
Not just physically, but emotionally. After doing this show for 8 long seasons for the past 9 years, you start to feel a lot more invested with the people behind the whole project. “Without those fans,” Gemma added, “the show doesn’t mean anything, does it? They’re hugely important.”
What About Them Script Leaks?
And to confirm everyone’s thoughts about the secretive nature of Season 8, the script to the final season did come in a self-destructing app according to Sophie. “It all goes away after 24 hours or something like that. All the secrecy is something you have to come to terms with.” She added that even something as small as braids in her hair is considered a spoiler plot point the hardcore fans can unravel.
“[The] makeup team would be like, “You cannot leave with that braid in your hair. We have to take it out.” Because people will read into it and find some spoilers with just a braid. It’s crazy.”
Game of Thrones Season 8 will be out 15 April, Monday at 9am on HBO (Astro Channel 411/431 HD).