'First of His Name' Round-Up: Rising From Ashes and Rewriting History

'First of His Name' Round-Up: Rising From Ashes and Rewriting History

As King Tommen Baratheon ascends the Iron Throne, this Sunday's episode focuses on new beginnings. For the Night's Watch, that fresh start came from the scorched remains of Craster's Keep. In this week's Inside the Episode, series creator D.B. Weiss explains that burning the keep symbolizes Jon Snow's desire to "bring the Night's Watch back to some semblance of what it used to be, and have it actually stand for something."

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Press Round-Up: Weapons of Show Construction

Press Round-Up: Weapons of Show Construction

By Katie M. Lucas

Scrabble, hair and horseplay: Those are just some of the talking points the stars of 'Game of Thrones' mentioned this week. Read on to find out what happened behind the scenes:

Michiel Huisman was impressed by his costar – a horse.

The actor behind Daario Naharis recalled filming the scene where his character takes on the champion of Meereen. "Obviously, I didn’t actually hit the horse with a knife, but what the horse did do is fall over in front of me,” he marvels. “I was completely blown away… It would just throw himself onto a huge, soft mat covered in a bit of sand, and then it would get up right away. A total pro."

[The Daily Beast]

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Press Round-Up: A Few of Our Favorite Things

Press Round-Up: A Few of Our Favorite Things

Conversation around this week's 'Game of Thrones' revolved around a certain character that fans loved to hate. As the Internet erupted in celebration and speculation, the show's stars paid tribute to their fallen comrade and discussed what else about the show has them cheering. Here's what they loved to love this week: 

Sigur Ros' fandom underscored their cameo.

"We would do it again in a heartbeat," Georg Holm of Sigur Ros says about the group's cameo at Joffrey's wedding. "It felt like a natural thing to make our version of 'Rains of Castamere.' …It is maybe not the happiest wedding song, but we think that it fit the scene very well."

[Rolling Stone]

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Press Round-Up: Insights From the Cast

By Katie M. Lucas

Can't wait until Sunday for more 'Game of Thrones'? Pass the time by reading up on your favorite characters. Find out who becomes a leader, who loves playing the bad guy and who drank too much on set:

Pedro Pascal respects Oberyn Martell's attitude.

"This is the way he understands life, to live it to its fullest. And to limit yourself in terms of experience doesn’t make any sense to him – what’s beautiful is beautiful… He’s a lover and a fighter. He's going to do it, everything, to its fullest. So why leave out girls or boys, you know what I mean?"


Maisie Williams is betting on Arya Stark's survival. 

"I don't know if Arya is going to die, but I like to think that she won't. I like to think George has a soft spot for Arya, but then I'm like, 'Why? Why do I think that?' … He can do whatever he wants!"


Emilia Clarke finds Dany's intentions inspiring.

"Her ultimate goal is entirely selfless. It feels much more of a bigger idea than simply: I want to sit on the throne because I want to sit on the throne. She would like to rule and create an equal world."

[LA Times]

Gwendoline Christie discusses Brienne's experience in the capital.

"The world of Kings Landing is not a world that Brienne is used to. It's a world of words and of whispers and secrets... So seeing her attempting to navigate that world and some of the treacherous characters that make up its foundations is certainly a little bit heartbreaking."

[Hit Fix]

The premiere episode had Rory McCann turning green.

"When I had to drink in that tavern scene, that's [series creators] David and Dan going 'Give him another beer!'… I was really fit at the time, wasn't drinking, working out – and suddenly I had six or seven liters of flat ginger beer that day. I had to go off into the woods to make myself sick." 

[Rolling Stone]

Jack Gleeson enjoys Joffrey's dark side.

"It’s interesting sometimes when an audience can empathize with a villain. But to get completely lost in it, it’s exciting just to be intrinsically evil and not have a speck of good or humanity in their bones."


'Two Swords' Round-Up: The Price of Lannister Power

by Katie M. Lucas

The fourth season of 'Game of Thrones' begins with the same notes that cued the Red Wedding. "The Rains of Castamere," the ballad of Lannister power, plays as Tywin melts down Ned Stark's greatsword, leaving no doubt that the Lannisters' are keeping their grip on the kingdom. "Tywin understands how power works instinctively in a way that few men in this world do," series creator D.B. Weiss explains in this week's Inside the Episode. Notes the A.V. Club's Todd VanDerWerff, "This is now the Lannisters’ world; the other characters are forced to live in it." 

Enter Oberyn Martell, who made quite the first impression. Vanity Fair is already "obsessed" with the Dornish prince. Actor Pedro Pascal tells Rolling Stone about his character's distinct swagger: "All of his danger, all of his lust, all of his rage, comes from a very specific emotional truth." Like so many in Westeros, Oberyn is fueled by tragedy; his mission is to avenge his sister's death. (Explore his backstory and get to know House Martell with the newly-expanded 'Game of Thrones' Viewer's Guide.)

While Oberyn is setting the scene for revenge, Arya is making it happen. Christopher Orr of The Atlantic praised Arya and the Hound's unlikely partnership: "They’re developing quite the rookie-cop/grizzled-vet chemistry, aren’t they?" Working together, they both get what they want – the Hound gets his fill of chicken, while Arya rides off on a white horse with her sword Needle in tow. "She looks downright happy, for once, and there's something dispiriting about that," Entertainment Weekly notes

Actress Maisie Williams tells New York Magazine that Arya's "got a hole in her heart. She fills it with all these eyes that she's going to shut forever." That darkness raised questions for audiences. Rolling Stone asks, "Should we stop to think that an abused child turning into an accomplished killer is deeply sad, no matter how much her victims deserve it?" New York Magazine calls the scene's rendition of theme song "still triumphal, but now a little sad. Arya’s smiling to herself, but what exactly has she won?"

Rewatch the scene below and share your interpretation in the comments:

NOTE: This clip contains graphic content and language and has been approved for mature audiences only. 

Icing on the Lemoncake: 

Not everyone is anti-Lannister:

Someone is all grown up:

The Iron Throne has a new contender:

‘Mhysa’ Round-Up: All’s Fair in Love and War

Shock waves from the Red Wedding radiate through the kingdoms in Sunday’s Season Finale. Poor Arya Stark had a front row seat to the horror as she witnessed a parade featuring the head of Grey Wolf sewn on to her brother's body. See how the shocking scene was conceptualized in the storyboard below from HBO GO’s Interactive Features.


The heartbreak is enough to push Arya’s fantasies of revenge into reality. In an interview with HBO.com, actor Maisie Williams explains Arya’s decision to kill her first man: “She’s longing for a family and he’s talking about how he murdered her family. It really gets to her so she decides to give a little back.”

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