Jerome Flynn on Fighting Dragons, Bronn’s Personal Stakes, and the Ultimate Playground

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The sellsword actor talks about Lannister loyalty and the scene that had him on the edge of his seat.

HBO: What is Bronn and Jaime’s relationship at this point?

Jerome Flynn: There’s an element of frustration in terms of how he’s being used. Jaime is talking about Bronn as if he’s his right-hand man with this elevated status, but Bronn is still getting tasked with dirty work. Bronn even tells him to go back to King’s Landing, but he sticks around and then makes Bronn basically go on a death run; it pisses Bronn off. Nobody’s going to be happy to be told to ride through that battlefield with the dragon ahead.

HBO: What was it like shooting the Episode 4 battle?

Jerome Flynn: It took four or five weeks to film that sequence, but the actual “death run” to Qyburn’s scorpion happened over a couple of days. And that one particular sequence was some of the most most exciting filming I’ve had. You’ve got all this extraordinary excellence around you — people who have been training for months to get every little piece of their puzzle right; stuntmen, armorers, everyone. It’s a whole dance going on. And suddenly you’re set free, and it’s the ultimate boy’s playground with a lot of adrenaline thrown in.

As an actor, it’s wonderful because it’s all laid out for you; you don’t have to worry about what to do with your hands, or how you look, because it’s all there in the action. You really do have to watch yourself. When I was on the run, I had to be super alert, because all sorts of stuff was going on. Even amidst the wonderful organization, there’s a lot of unpredictability because every take was different. But that’s actually part of what makes it great and authentic. The fresher it is, the more fun it is to do.

HBO: Qyburn’s weapon looked very menacing on screen. Did it actually work as you were filming?

Jerome Flynn: Yes, I shot that thing, so it was real. It was all part of the sequence and training. The armorers on this show are just geniuses, and they try to make everything as authentic as possible. It’s probably the coolest weapon I’m going to get to play with.

HBO: What was it like finally seeing the sequence all put-together with the dragon?

Jerome Flynn: I was surprised when I was watching it. I spent weeks on that sequence, but I was on the edge of my seat, the adrenaline was running — they really nailed it. Although since the day the battle aired, I’ve been a little unpopular, I have to say. My postman won’t speak to me because I shot the dragon.

HBO: What do you think of the fact that fans have been torn over which side to root for?

Jerome Flynn: How brilliant is that? And that’s Tyrion’s perspective, standing there. He’s got Daenerys when she gets shot down, and then his brother is who’s trying to kill her; Tyrion can’t win, really. But that’s part of the brilliance of where we’ve got to in the story after seven years of that character investment.

HBO: Bronn keeps insisting he’s just in it for the money, but we see him risk his life for Jaime at the end of the episode. Does he have personal stakes with the Lannisters?

Jerome Flynn: His personal stake is there, in that that’s where his debts lie — his dream-future is in Jaime’s hands. And that’s what motivates him at the end of the episode. I do think it’s a bit of concern for Jaime, but mostly he grabbed him off the horse towards at end of the episode because he knows if Jaime gets burned up by the dragon, Bronn’s not going to be able to get what he wants. Not from Cersei. The relationship he has is with Jaime, and he knows there’s enough loyalty there to be rewarded quite handsomely in gold. He’s looking out for himself.

HBO: Does Bronn still have more allegiance to Tyrion than Jaime in some way?

Jerome Flynn: It’s a different kettle of fish. He doesn’t have total disregard for Jaime, but he has a bond with Tyrion that’s hard for him to ignore. And the connection they’ve made with their sense of humor. If Bronn’s got a fondness for anybody in the world, I’d say Tyrion is probably close up there. He sees him as an underdog like himself.

HBO: How concerned should we be about Bronn at the end of the episode?

Jerome Flynn: I think it depends on if you care for him. If you’re really angry he’s been shooting at Drogon, then maybe you want him to drown.

HBO: One last question: Iain Glen once said he could take you in a fighting pit. Is this true?

Jerome Flynn: We’re old mates, so that’s probably why he said that, but I really don’t see that happening. I think it’d be a good contest, actually. I’m not going to get drawn in. I’d like to make him eat his words; that’s all I’ll say about that.

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