50 Surprising Things About Season 4 - Pt 2

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#GOT50 continues with Season 4. Watch an episode each day on HBO NOW and join @GOT_Tyrion for a daily live-tweet at 11 am ET. As you relive the moments, dive into the 50 fun facts below.

Weapons master Tommy Dunne created the two swords that were made from Ned Stark’s Ice. Compare them below:

26. Widow’s Wail

27. Oathkeeper
 

28. The Red Viper’s sword was designed to resemble a snake. The tassel was the skin of a python, and the blade’s shape was meant to look like the tongue of a snake.

29. Pedro Pascal, who played Oberyn, took classes and trained with a wushu expert in order to capture the essence of Oberyn’s southern fighting style for his fight with the Mountain. “This is the first time we’ve seen a gentleman from Dorne,” noted weapons master Dunne. “It’s a new character, a new style. More wushu ... and it’s fantastic because you’ve got a single spear against a 7-foot gentleman wielding this 64-inch sword.”

 

30. The hardest part of the trial by combat, according to Pascal? “Everything. Mostly working with a spear that was a foot taller than me. There was sort of a helicopter-propeller move with the spear that I wanted to achieve the ‘woosh woosh woosh’ of. I bought a curtain rod from Home Depot and practiced in my apartment because I was too shy to do it in public.”

31. Rose Leslie shared her thoughts on Jon and Ygritte’s final moment: “I don’t think she at all anticipated just how much she loved him, and just that hesitation, seeing him again, completely threw her ... It was a very beautiful moment. And we didn’t really want to discuss much about it on the day when we shot it, we just wanted to see how it would organically flow.”

32. In the end, Leslie took home her character’s signature weapon. "I was a very lucky girl. On my last day of shooting, cast and crew presented me with Ygritte's bow." One extra touch on the goodbye gift was a silver plaque on which "they put ‘Kissed by Fire’ and the emblem of the rose."  

33. The shot of Jon Snow holding Ygritte’s dead body was a special one. David Benioff explained, “We don’t like slow motion, it tends to feel self-conscious, but this one shot when we saw in the director’s cut, we loved it.” D.B. Weiss felt the moment “completely brings you into Jon’s consciousness. You’re experiencing this moment as he’s experiencing it. It’s just beautiful and heartbreaking.”

34. Rory McCann, who played the Hound, also took weapons home to remember his character: "I've got his swords. Hanging up in my house, just above the door in case there's any trouble. God help an unwanted visitor."

35. Gwendoline Christie called her character’s fight with the Hound “glorious.”

36. If they had their own swords, Maisie Williams would name hers ‘Oops’ and Iain Glen would name his ‘Daenerys.”

37. Missandei and Grey Worm’s romance bloomed because the showrunners couldn’t say goodbye to the actors: “This evolved, frankly, because these two actors who were supposed to have quite small parts just impressed us,” said Benioff. “And then it became very interesting to us: What if there was some kind of attraction here, because it’s almost the ultimate Romeo and Juliet story. How is it possible for there to be a love story between a young woman and a young eunuch?”

38. Neil Marshall, who directed the Battle of Castle Black, impressed the crew with his creativity. “There’s one shot midway through the episode, which is a 360, the camera goes all the way around, and you see about five different action beats, and they all have to be timed out perfectly,” recalled Benioff. “They got it on the third take, and the whole crew just started cheering.”

39. The scenes with the giants are frequently shot twice: Once with the regular actors and the actor playing the giant together in front of a green screen, and then again with the actor portraying the giant in a second, sized down version of the set so he can appear to be squeezing through the spaces (Neil Fingleton, who plays Mag the Mighty, is over 7 feet tall in real life). These sequences are then put together to create a seamless look.*

40. To create the most realistic version of mammoths possible, a motion base with a buck on it (similar to the structure of a mechanical bull) was built. The top was then covered with furs to serve as a “saddle,” and the actor playing the giant would ride on top.*

41. The Beckettian scene where the Hound and Arya come across a wounded villager was written with stage actor ‒ and Beckett specialist ‒ Barry McGovern in mind. The creators were pleasantly surprised when he agreed to do it.  

42. Hot Pie’s return necessitated a wolf bread bonanza behind the scenes. “There wasn't just one bit of bread,” said Ben Hawkey who plays Arya’s friend. “There were like 70 identical breads on set. The person who kneaded them probably had a hard, early morning that day.”

43. Iain Glen, who plays Ser Jorah, was as upset as fans were after Dany banished his character. “There is a great deal of heartbreak,” Glen told HBO.com. “Emilia [Clarke] and I went through a great deal together. We've been together for four seasons. We're the only two that have really been together from the start, and there were never that many characters in our storyline ‒ her brother, Khal Drogo, Ser Barristan and a few others ‒ but a lot of it is between the two of us. You use that in that scene."

44. Benioff worked with Clarke to put the dragons’ behavior in context: “It’s almost like they’ve become teenagers, and they’re out there breaking curfew and stealing their parents’ car and causing all kinds of havoc,” he explained. “From their perspective, they’re just being dragons. But for Dany, they’re becoming a bigger problem because as much as her power in some ways stems from them... How does the dragon queen remain a queen while her dragons are starting to ravage the countryside?”

45. Set decorator Robert Cameron has said that Qyburn’s lab was one of the best set dresses he’s done. “The most interesting thing was finding a big enough table to actually take the main character who’s actually lying on it, the Mountain.”

Check out several of the Dornish costumes below.

46. Ellaria Sand's costume

47. Oberyn Martell's costume

48. Oberyn Martell's armor

49. Oberyn Martell's “Purple Wedding” costume

50. Explore storyboards of three of Season 4's most suspenseful scenes. 

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Additional behind the scenes features are available on the Game of Thrones DVD releases.*