Weapon Problems

Photo Credit: Helen Sloan

Photo Credit: Helen Sloan

Day 19: Worries unique to GoT: today we film a scene heavily featuring Brienne's sword, Oathkeeper. Our armorer on set (yes, we have those) is worried about the bronze in the sword oxidizing before we finish shooting it. The pros and cons of a portable grindstone are discussed.

Later, Sophie Turner finds an arrow in a trash bin from where locations threw it away. She decides to carry it around with her all afternoon. Coincidentally, the writers change all lines in the scene to, "whatever she wants, please, we have families." Dark Sansa indeed...


Brienne Gets Back on the Horse

Photo Credit: Helen Sloan

Photo Credit: Helen Sloan

Day 17: Deep in a forest estate, beneath the cast tent, Gwendoline Christie is reading a book on the Flappers of the 1920s. An AD [assistant director] approaches. It's time. Gwen jumps on her horse and cuts a man down in the mud. Then back to her book. The pen is mightier than the sword, but the bookmark is mightier than both.

Passing Time at Castle Black

Photo Credit: Helen Sloan

Photo Credit: Helen Sloan

Day 11: Friday night. 1 a.m. Castle Black. A light, chilling drizzle and the woody smoke of burning braziers. Liam Cunningham and Stephen Dillane pass the time in the green room by playing "name that song" on Bluetooth speakers. Now we all know what is the sound of one Hand clapping.

Know Your Zhs and Qs: 5 Dothraki Speaking Tips From New York Comic-Con

Lured by the idea they'd "learn to speak like a khal," eager GoT fans crowded the New York Comic-Con panel Dothraki 101 With Language Creator David Peterson. Peterson is the linguist responsible for several of GoT's fictional languages – including High Valyrian and Dothraki, the language of the nomadic horse tribes of Essos. Peterson recently released Living Language Dothraki, a conversational language course designed to turn any new speaker into a fierce warrior… conversationally, at least. 

Peterson's Comic-Con panel functioned as a 45-minute language lesson; he walked through some basic tips, vocabulary and behind-the-scenes details. Below you'll find five rules to speak by, in Vaes Dothrak and beyond. 

1. Conquer the 'q' 

"'Q' is the hardest sound in Dothraki," Peterson explained: it's not pronounced like "q" or "k" in English. Peterson characterized the Dothraki "q" to be spoken like "a 'k' but further back in the throat." He advised putting the back of your tongue right against the uvula (the part that hangs down from the roof of your mouth). The crowd tried the sound together, resulting in a cacophony not unlike a flock of ravens caw-cawing. Peterson estimated that about 60 percent of the group had it right. "You can swallow your tongue … that is possible" Peterson cautioned, "so don't do that."

2. Nail the vowels 

A good way to prove your mastery of a second language? Get the vowels right. In Dothraki, vowels are always pronounced separately. As an example, Peterson presented the word "soaiso," pronounced: so-a-i-so and meaning "drunk." As another example, Peterson offered a five-syllable traditional Dothraki greeting, "m'attchomaroon." The literal translation is "with respect," which Peterson noted is "how you greet somebody if you don’t want to get killed."

3. Don't get intimidated 

Some Dothraki letter combinations will throw off the actors, particularly if they are pronounced differently than in English. "Zh" is one such example; luckily, Peterson has a trick for Dothraki novices – "s" is to "z" as "sh" is to "zh." The result is a sound similar to garage or genre or measure. "Kh" is another tricky combo. "We kind of get freaked out about this," Peterson said, "but this sound does exist in English." He cited an expression of exasperation, "hugh." One audience member documented the experience: 

4. Gather the necessary supplies

Peterson recalled the study habits of his pupil Jason Momoa, the actor who played Khal Drogo. After receiving multiple .mp3 files from Peterson of a speech he had to learn, Momoa "freaked out … got a six-pack of beer, ordered a pizza, and took it back to his hotel room," revealed Peterson. "All night he just listened to the speech over and over again." The result? "Man," Peterson marveled, "did he nail it."

5. Know the classics

Given their distinct culture, the Dothraki have several go-to expressions. Here are the ones to perfect:

Me nem nesa
The most famous expression. It means, "It is known."

Yer shekh ma shieraki anni.
Spoken to a male, this means, "You are my sun and my stars."

Yer jalan atthirari anni.
Spoken to a female, this expression means, "You are the moon of my life." 

This expression means "cheers," "goodbye," "be awesome" – and finally, "be strong" 


Observations From the Set

Photo Credit: Helen Sloan

Photo Credit: Helen Sloan

Day 3: The glamorous life of an actress: Today is Maisie's first day on set. Yesterday, she was in L.A. Today, she's on a ship sailing the Narrow Sea. Which may look suspiciously like a studio parking lot outside Belfast.

Day 8: Today we learned that cutting off a man's head is not a felony as long as you put it back on after.
Day 9: In a different century, Kit Harington could've been an actual warrior. He's a natural with a sword. And a fur cloak.

What's in the GOT Comic-Con Swag Bag?

Check out the GOT swag circulating through Comic-Con:

  1. 'A Feast for Crows' by George R.R. Martin
  2. Tyrion Lannister Legacy figure
  3. Pop! Ghost vinyl figure
  4. Valar Morghulis journal
  5. GOT drawstring sports bag
  6. A sample lesson in Dothraki from David Peterson.
  7. Bookmark
  8. Pen
  9. Sticky card carrier

If you were dropped into 'Game of Thrones,' how would you survive with your head intact? Who would you want as your ally? Would you want to sit on the Iron Throne? Or head off to Braavos? Tweet using #SurviveTheRealm and you may get some GOT swag.

The Women of Thrones Hit the Panels at Comic-Con

Photo by Albert L. Ortega / Getty Images

Photo by Albert L. Ortega / Getty Images

With the GOT panel behind them, Gwendoline Christie, Maisie Williams and Natalie Dormer participated in other discussions happening around Comic-Con.

Christie was part of TV Guide's annual Fan Favorites gathering. When asked about a standout fan interaction, Christie told the story of a root canal that required her having her mouth clamped open. When the dentist stepped out, his nurse jumped in and demanded details about 'Thrones,' along with what it was like to be naked on TV. "Was it sexy?" Christie recalled her asking.

As for her favorite part of playing Brienne, Christie said she was happy that people were responding to her character and "making judgements for the choices she makes rather than the way she looks."

Williams and Dormer were featured in Entertainment Weekly's 'Women Who Kick Ass' panel. Williams said that before she took the part of Arya, acting had been more of a hobby, but she was interested in playing her because "she was similar to me." She added, "My 12-year-old head didn't realize it would turn out like this."

A fan of 'Thrones' from the start, Dormer had watched the first season and admired the way it "wrote 3-D, complex women really well." She revealed that her audition scene was the moment from "What Is Dead Will Never Die" (203) in which Margaery offers to bring Loras into the bedroom for Renly.

On the topic of Margaery's motivations, Dormer pointed out that female characters are better served on TV than in film these days. "TV doesn't feel the need to polarize women so much. Male writers want an angel or a whore," she said, adding that with Margaery, those traits don't have to be mutually exclusive. "You can be human and be shrewd," she said. "Those are not two separate things."

Williams spoke of "staying true" to the Arya of the books by playing her left-handed. "It started as a giggle," she said, "and it's become more difficult, but I'm sticking with it." She revealed that her dedication has required re-choreographing scenes at times because sometimes the crew forgets she'll be playing the scene as a lefty.

Dormer revealed that when she took a "Which GOT character are you quiz" online, the result said she was Arya. Williams admitted to not having tried the quiz yet but said she hoped her answer would be Cersei. "I think she'll be Tyrion," Dormer predicted.