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'Game of Thrones' showrunners tease Oberyn vs. The Mountain: 'The fight delivers beyond our expectations'


When Game of Thrones returns after the Memorial Weekend holiday, fans will witness what is arguably the best fight scene in the show’s history of gripping fight scenes.

It’s a Trial by Combat grudge match to the death between Prince Oberyn Martell (aka The Red Viper) and Ser Gregor Clegane (a.k.a The Mountain That Rides), with the life of fan favorite Tyrion Lannister (a.k.a The Imp) hanging in the balance. As viewers saw on Sunday’s episode, Oberyn volunteered (“I will be your champion”) to fight for the unjustly condemned Tyrion against the crown’s formidable victor The Mountain, whom the prince believes killed his sister Elia and her children many years ago. On a show that typically delights in moral complexity, the stage is set for a gladiatorial spectacle between a Dornish prince who has charmed fans since his introduction in the fourth season premiere and one of the show’s most barbaric longtime villains.

Showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff teased the bout (without spoilers) after shooting the sequence last fall. “It’s one of the best — if not the best — combat scenes we’ve done so far,” Weiss said. “It’s not just people hacking at each other with spears and swords. It’s the culmination of 20 years of anger and hatred and thirst for vengeance coming to a head in this amazing set piece that [stunt coordinator Paul Herbert and swordmaster C.C. Smiff] have put together. The fight delivers beyond our expectations.”

Plus, Tyrion’s neck is on the line, so the stakes are very high. “And there’s that,” Weiss said. “One of the most important characters in the show will live or die based on this fight.” READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones' writer talks Tyrion's heartbreaking trial: What you may have missed


Warning: This post contains spoilers from Sunday’s Game of Thrones.

The writer of tonight’s episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones lends EW some fascinating insights below. Read as Bryan Cogman takes our burning questions about “The Laws of Gods and Men.” READ FULL STORY

Why 'Game of Thrones' producers ignore the Internet: 'It completely confounds the normal creative process'


Two weeks ago, it was the rapecest controversy. Then last Sunday, it was about how Game of Thrones is veering away from George R.R. Martin’s books. And let’s not forget the overnight online stardom of Ser Pounce. Through it all, Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have declined to publicly respond to the waves of online noise. They’re probably very busy, and perhaps they prefer their HBO hit speak for itself (the series keeps setting ratings records, after all). But their silence in regards to week-to-week fandom controversies might also have something to do with this: Last year, the producers made a pact that they would no longer read comments on the Internet.

We spoke to Benioff and Weiss about online fandom during our set visit last year (the interview took place in September, but this is the first time we’ve published these comments). “We both made this pact that we were going to stop looking at stuff online because you can go into the rabbit hole and get lost in this world of online Thrones commentary if you’re not careful,” Benioff said. “We both felt a lot saner after we stopped doing that. There’s many more important things to be reading about online than our own show.”

The producers noted they saw some of the online reaction to the Red Wedding, which they felt like a “fair exception” to the rule. But otherwise, they try their best to stay away from the Internet chatter. The producers added that this troll-abstinence strategy wasn’t in reaction to any one incident or headline. READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones': First photos of Dany's epic pyramid throne room -- EXCLUSIVE


Spoiler for those who have not seen Sunday’s “Oath-Keeper” episode… READ FULL STORY

George R.R. Martin reacts to 'Thrones' adding rape scene

Game of Thrones fans are used to being shocked by deadly plot twists. But Sunday night’s episode divided viewers in a very different way with an incestuous rape scene. In the fourth season’s third episode, titled “Breaker of Chains,” Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) forces himself on his former lover/sister Cersei (Lena Headey) while they’re beside the corpse of their murdered son (Jack Gleeson).

Back in September, Coster-Waldau described the scene to EW as “a very dark encounter, [a] passionate encounter” and explained that “on a visceral emotional level, she feels disgusted by his [metal] hand. It goes from bad to worse. I [Jaime] want to help her, and finally she reaches out and needs Jaime, and she’s just disgusted with him. It’s a great scene.”

Much of the online uproar stems from the way the show altered the original Jaime/Cersei scene, which appears in George R. R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords. In the novel, Cersei is only briefly hesitant before quickly reciprocating Jaime’s advances. To some, the scene in Sunday’s episode represents adding an unnecessary act of violence against a woman, and an act that’s out of character for Jaime — who has seemingly been on a rocky path to redemption since last season. To others, Jaime’s mounting frustration with Cersei and history of solving problems with violence make this moment quite believable, suggesting his character is not evolving in a straight calculated line but rather taking a more fractured path.

While HBO and Thrones producers have declined to comment, Martin (who wrote the previous week’s episode) weighed in on the matter on his blog, adding some context to the conversation: READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones' Aidan Gillen on the return of Littlefinger


This contains spoilers from Sunday’s Game of Thrones

Making a grand entrance on a ghostly ship, Sunday’s Game of Thrones saw the return of Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish to the game board. Littlefinger swooped in to rescue the imperiled Sansa Stark following the assassination of King Joffrey. But for what purpose? Actor Aidan Gillen, promoting his upcoming indie film Beneath the Harvest Sky, answered a few Thrones questions in a rare interview about his character.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So this is probably the biggest season yet for your character. Can you tease what we can expect?
Aidan Gillen: For me the season is about developing more of a parental and surrogate parental side — the sweeter side of Littlefinger comes through, as well. I’m off on my travels and laying plans. He’s always laying plans, [this is one of his] meticulous and far-reaching plans, geographically and generationally, even. So it’s quite interesting. Am I being cryptic enough?

I think so. Were you excited to have your own pivotal storyline this season that gets you out of King’s Landing?
Gillen: Absolutely. Absolutely, I was excited when my ship showed up. I did like my time in King’s Landing, but it’s time to move on. I move into new territory and interact with different characters. The whole fact that Game of Thrones has become a pop culture phenomenon just adds to the excitement. And the fact we don’t know how this ends, nobody knows how it ends. READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones' Natalie Dormer teases what's next for Margaery


What’s a riskier move in Westeros than going to a wedding? Marrying Margaery Tyrell, apparently. Her first husband, Renly Baratheon, was killed by a mysterious assassin. Now her second, Joffrey Baratheon, was poisoned in Sunday’s episode at their wedding feast. Last September, we chatted with actress Natalie Dormer on the set of HBO’s Game of Thrones in Croatia in between breaks shooting “The Purple Wedding” about playing the savvy Highgarden double-widow and what comes next.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So congratulations, this is your big day.
Natalie Dormer: Thank you! Five [shooting] days in a row, six if you count the interior stuff that we did.

That’s right, you had a ceremony scene, too.
Dormer: Absolutely. I mean every girl loves a wedding day, but whether they actually would want to do it for five days in a row remains to be seen

Nice dress though.
Dormer: Thank you!

Your character’s interesting because we’ve seen all these different players manipulating others—playing the game of thrones, as they say — and your character brought something new to it. She played the game, but in a different way.
Dormer: She brings a very sort of modern PR angle to it, sort of canvassing the common people’s hearts and minds type of thing. I think of her as like a hybrid sorts — Michelle Obama, with a Kate Middleton or a Princess Di. That’s what she’s aiming for. READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones' star Alfie Allen on why Theon's torment gets easier to watch


Are you feeling sorry for him yet? Theon Greyjoy — that callous, ambitious, and ultimately murderous former Stark ward — has endured more torment than any surviving Game of Thrones character. After betraying the Stark family, Theon (Alfie Allen) was captured by House Bolton, where he’s been subjected to all sorts of physical and psychological torments at the hands of Ramsay Snow (Iwan Rheon).

Last year’s Theon scenes were tough for many HBO viewers to witness, and so far this season Theon’s situation doesn’t seem all that much better — he’s out of the dungeon, at least, but now seems utterly subservient and beaten down.

Not too many people compare Thrones to The Lord of the Rings now that the HBO drama has so thoroughly distinguished itself from that other fantasy classic. Yet Theon increasingly brings to mind Tolkien’s most sharply drawn character — Sméagol/Gollum. Like Tolkien’s creation, Theon has even embraced a new name: “Reek.”

We spoke briefly to Allen by phone shortly before the Thrones season premiere: READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones': Joffrey wedding crowns new piracy record


The Purple Wedding sent Game of Thrones fans rushing to file-sharing services to illegally download the HBO hit’s latest shocking episode. Sunday’s episode “The Lion and the Rose” broke torrent records, according to piracy-tracking blog TorrentFreak. About 1.5 million people worldwide downloaded the episode during the first day available, and nearly 200,000 users shared a single copy of the episode.

“These are unprecedented numbers – never before have 193,418 people shared a single file simultaneously,” the blog reported. “The previous record was set last year, when the season finale of Game of Thrones had 171,572 people sharing on a single tracker.” READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones' stars react to Joffrey's death -- EXCLUSIVE


Though Westeros is surely a happier place without King Joffrey, the cast of HBO’s Game of Thrones is mourning the loss of actor Jack Gleeson. Below, a few of the 21-year-old actor’s closest castmates reveal how they feel about his departure from the series and also give hints about their character’s reaction to his violent death. READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones': Behind the scenes of Joffrey's wedding -- EXCLUSIVE


Joffrey was about to die and everybody was pretty relaxed about it.

There was Tyrion, reading his iPad and occasionally making a joke. Sansa Stark was happily dancing in her chair. Lord Tywin was pacing, having a smoke. Prince Oberyn socialized, thrilled to be there. Lady Margaery took a stroll through the park, running her lines. Jaime Lannister practiced sword moves with his left hand.

On the set of Game of Thrones in Croatia last September, the largest gathering of series regular actors since the show’s pilot assembled in a Dubrovnik park for Joffrey’s wedding celebration. The sequence would be shot over the course of a week by director Alex Graves, with showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss both on hand. As a long-time fan of the books and series, there was something supremely satisfying about watching the story’s most despised villain, Jack Gleeson as Joffrey, meet his fate over and over again as the scene was repeatedly shot in different ways. In terms of satiating fictional bloodlust, it’s an experience that’s tough to beat. And when you’re surrounded by rows of tables lined with opulent piles of exotic food, 200 costumed extras, red and gold banners. and a 20-foot lion’s head, it was all so meticulous and immersive that it was hard to not feel like a King’s Landing wedding crasher. READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones': Jack Gleeson talks royal wedding shocker -- EXCLUSIVE


The king is dead, long live Jack Gleeson! Below, the 21-year-old actor whose Game of Thrones villain horrifically died Sunday night talks exclusively with EW about leaving the show, shooting his death scene, and why is is retiring (!) from acting. Plus, we have an exclusive goodbye video from Gleeson from the set of Thrones.

It’s all part of EW’s Purple Wedding coverage, which also includes an exclusive interview with Thrones author George R.R. Martin on why he killed Joffrey, an in-depth Q&A with showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss discussing the king’s death, our story of what it was like behind-the-scenes during Joffrey’s wedding and, of course, our recap of the best wedding ever.

Now here’s Gleeson, who overcame his aversion to media interviews to chat about his character’s last gasp and what comes next: READ FULL STORY

George R.R. Martin on why Joffrey died THAT way -- EXCLUSIVE


Spoiler alert: The following interview with Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin discusses a major plot point in Sunday’s second episode of season 4. READ FULL STORY


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