‘Game Of Thrones': Tom Wlaschiha Talks Jaqen

20 Apr 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

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[This interview contains a revelation from the second episode of Game of Thrones season 5]: Sunday’s Game of Thrones featured the return of a character who hasn’t been glimpsed on the series in years: Jaqen H’ghar, the Faceless Man assassin who helped Arya escape from the Lannisters’ confinement in season 2, is now back to train Arya in the mysterious ways of his death-centric religious order. Ohmigod Jon Snow’s in charge and ohmigod Dany totally ballsed that whole harpie thing up and ohmigod how awesome is Brienne and ohmigod Dorne and ohmigod Bronn and ohmigod Creepy Faceless Guy is finally back!Jon (Kit Harington) was elected Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch; Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) nearly started a riot after publicly executing a young murderer; Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) embarked on a covert mission to rescue his daughter Myrcella (Nell Tiger Free) from Dorne; Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) found Sansa (Sophie Turner) and learns the young Stark wants nothing to do with her; and the biggest fan service moment of them all: Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha), not seen since season two, returned to begin training Arya (Maisie Williams) in the ways of the Faceless Men.

We begin as scrappy Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) is on a rowboat arriving in Braavos, and they’re about to pass under what looks like an entire-person version of that enormous marble foot they discovered that one time in “Lost.” Here, you have to sail right under this towering warrior’s crotch to get to the city, which illustrates quite literally some themes about the overarching patriarchy in this show. “This is where you’ll find the man you seek,” the ferryman tells her, letting her off at the House of Black and White, easily recognizable by its thusly colored doors. Below, German actor Tom Wlaschiha spoke to us about his return to the HBO fantasy drama—and how often random fans tell him ”Valar Morghulis.” You arguably have the most easily replaceable role because Jaqen literally changes faces. In a chat with The Hollywood Reporter, director Michael Slovis talks about crafting those big moments, why the fight scene with Brienne turned out completely different than he planned, and the challenge of introducing Dorne, the faraway homeland of season four fan favorite Oberyn (Pedro Pascal).

The script says the look is telling Brienne: ‘Get the f–k out of Dodge.’” So Sansa’s rejection of Brienne—unlike Arya’s dismissal of her last season—was probably at least partly out of concern for Brienne’s safety. “We can be romantic about it and say that, in that moment, maybe there’s a connection, some part Catelyn that’s within Sansa, that’s trying to help me, to urge me on,” Christie says. “And then there’s the horse chase, which we filmed over days. Finally, she’ll be reunited with the dashing Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha), who you may remember from his killing three people of her choosing a couple of seasons ago. After a night and day of waiting (and reciting her ever-dwindling kill-list), Arya gave up, throwing her coin into the bay and heading off into the streets of Braavos. She traveled from her home, Winterfell, with her father to King’s Landing, only to see him beheaded, after which she spent time captive to various groups, including the Mountain’s men — who lent her to an unsuspecting Tywin Lannister as a “cupholder” — and the Brotherhood Without Banners. Later, after being harassed by a band of thieves with designs on Needle, Arya was sought out by the old man, who took her back to the temple and finally revealed himself to be Jaqen H’ghar, although not by that name, instead calling himself “No one… and that is who a girl must become.” Wlaschiha told Variety that after Jaqen’s exit in season two, he had no expectations of returning — but the actor has his suspicions about why producers Dan Weiss and David Benioff asked him to reprise the enigmatic role: “My luck is, I think, that George R.

For the past season-plus, she was paired with Rory McCann’s Sandor “The Hound” Clegane in one of the program’s more appealing duos, until she left him for dead in last year’s finale. Daniel Portman—Podrick —is a brilliant rider and had to fake being a terrible one.” While Christie manages to go unnoticed in the cafe, you can bet next year she’s going to have a much tougher time staying under the public’s radar. This episode was all about boxes, as characters all over the place either found themselves being placed in boxes – figuratively or literally – or were trying to find a way out of them. In addition to her breakout role on Thrones, Christie will appear in the final Hunger Games movie, Mockingjay Part 2, and has a very mysterious role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The fact that the three kittens I’m currently fostering were playing adorably in a shoebox as I watched this episode may have also provided some inspiration.

Williams moved from shooting in Belfast to shooting in Croatia — as well as Arya’s first significant wardrobe upgrade since the show’s first season. “The new season was wonderful because my story line was so different,” Ms. She does not, shoving her way over to their table and swearing her fealty on bended knee to Sansa, who looks about as excited as she did when she found out she’d be marrying Tyrion (Peter Dinklage). I really applaud the writers for further creating the perspective of this character and allowing it to unfold and further unveil a female character we’ve never seen on television before. Littlefinger is smirky about his new role as Sansa’s uncle and points out that everyone Brienne swears to protect ends up dead, which isn’t wrong.

Jaqen knows that now he can ask more of her, and he’s not gonna make it easy on her.” Arya noticed that the thieves in the city had a visceral reaction to seeing Jaqen, even in his older disguise, observing that they were scared of him. Everyone heads out separately – Pod hilariously on top of a horse he has no idea how to ride- but Brienne decides they’ll follow at a safe distance. I had this incredibly beautiful image in my head that the entire fight was going to happen out in the middle of that stream, where at the end Poderick gets to the water and his horse won’t cross.

They work as assassins — they will kill people for a very high price; but they will also hand out the gift of death as a merciful treat, and that’s what I really like about the Faceless Men is that they’re not corruptible. She’s just looking for someone new and someone who will take her under their wing and show her happiness, and that you don’t need to avenge your family to feel satisfied. Everybody’s equal in front of them and their god — they don’t care if someone has power or is poor, it’s all the same to them.” While Jaqen makes changing his appearance look as effortless as breathing, there’s a process to becoming “no one,” as he prompts Arya to do. “When I first read the episode, I thought ‘it’s a perfect description of how drama school works,’ the training of an actor — to leave all your personality at the door and become someone else,” Wlaschiha chuckled. “But there’s more philosophical side to that whole story, because what does it mean to become no one? And remember, we’re discovering this series through the TV show, so if anyone decides to spoil any potential future plotlines, we’ll dispatch you like a street pigeon. We built a dam further down the river, and we cut out with a backhoe a space for the guy — after he gets stabbed in the neck — to fall into so it would be safe.

Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) wants Cersei to keep her voice down about the part where she’s his daughter too, but vows to go to Dorne and get Myrcella back. The episode opens on Arya’s face, looking suitably awed by the sight of the Braavosi Titan, legs astride the entrance to the city’s harbour, ready to strike any enemies. Ser Bronn (Jerome Flynn) is wandering the shores of his new home with his new bride (or possibly fiancée?) Lollys Stokeworth (Elizabeth Cadwallader), who is not as mentally deficient as in the books but is obviously supposed to be irritating and not pretty enough, and he’s just putting up with her so he can have the lordship he was promised.

The statue sounds a horn to signal their arrival in the financial hub, but I reckon it’s just as much drawing attention to the fact you could look right up his battle skirt as you pass through his pins. On the way into work that morning, the stunt coordinator Rowley [Irlam] called me in the car and said, “We can’t shoot the fight the way we planned it.” Our little trickle of a stream was now a raging torrent of a river, because of the rains of the previous weeks.

Variety also spoke to Christie about Brienne’s trajectory this season, since the resilient knight still seems determined to make good on her promise to Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) to protect the Stark daughters, whether the girls want to accept her help or not… In the season premiere, it was so deliciously frustrating to see Brienne and Pod come so close to Sansa and yet so far as she and Littlefinger obliviously passed them in their carriage. How did you feel when you read for the script for episode two and discovered that so soon after that close encounter, they’d finally get to meet after all? The Red Viper’s grieving partner Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma) is giving his brother Doran (Alexander Siddig), the prince, an earful about having done nothing to avenge the bloody death; she offers to send Myrcella “to Cersei one finger at a time.” The Sand Snakes – Oberyn’s daughters, who with names like that can only be fabulous – are on her side, she says, but the prince isn’t having it. “We do not mutilate little girls for vengeance,” he says, which puts him in the definite minority in terms of power players in this series. She really wants to carry out the oath that she’s sworn to this woman who has died, and personally, I find it very beautiful that she continues to honor this idea.

Barristan Selmy (Ian McElhinney) – a.k.a. the new, hopefully more trustworthy Jorah – pulls Dany aside to give her a bit of history about her late father’s ruling style. “The mad king gave his enemies the justice he thought they deserved,” Dany’s counselor says, going on to enumerate various atrocities which fell under that category. “I’m not my father,” she assures him. Tyrion and Varys (Conleth Hill) are en route to Meereen – via the road to Volantis, which is the way to Meereen, explains Varys; let’s assume Volantis is important because otherwise that was a needless addition of yet another proper name to remember. “She wanted me to leave King’s Landing,” a drunk and sad Tyrion remembers about Shae.

So it’s masterful of the writers to of course take us within a hair’s breadth of exactly what Brienne’s seeking with all of her heart, just to have it painfully missed and slightly ripped away. Especially coming off of that lovely moment in the end of episode one when Mance [Ciaran Hinds] is burning and Gilly [Hannah Murray] turns her head into his shoulder and looks to him for comfort.

He wants to further mourn by taking a walk outside, but Varys reminds him there’s a price on his head thanks to Cersei. “How many dwarves are there in the world?” says Tyrion. “Is she going to kill them all?” And cut to, not-Tyrion dwarf head spilling out of a bag. “Not him,” snaps Cersei. She tells them to take it away, but her new best friend Qyburn (Anton Lesser), the maester with the shady past, wants to keep it to do things to in his lab. (Shudder.) So naturally she appoints him Grand Maester in the High Council meeting, where she’s sitting in for her young son at his request (so she says) until he’s old enough to do it himself.

And of course, she doesn’t, and I think there’s something in Brienne that expects both Arya and Sansa to look at her and to see how true she is, and she looks at them and sees in their faces something of their mother. She found Jaqen very interesting, but I don’t think she every really believes that this place Braavos would ever be beneficial to her, until she gets there and meets these wonderful people and realizes she can’t be that mean-spirited little girl, and can’t be bratty and actually has to shut up and listen a little bit in order to go further and be a better person. And it’s even more painful when it’s “no,” because not only is it a rejection of her carrying out their mother’s wishes, it’s a rejection of all she’s strived to dedicate her life to. They guide me in what we call tone meetings about what they’re trying to set up for future episodes, which is equally important to what’s happening in my episode.

At the Wall, Stannis’ daughter Shireen (Kerry Ingram) is teaching Gilly (Hannah Murray) to read – and they’re swapping stories about greyscale, the disease that scarred Shireen’s face and caused her horrible parents to lock her away from society. And Stannis (Stephen Dillane) is consulting with Jon Snow (Kit Harington), who assures him that no matter how many wildlings he burns they aren’t going to follow him. You do realize that two decades from now you’re going to be in a Starbucks and the barista is going to say to you: “A man orders a cup of coffee.” It’s never going to go away. Part of the reason I love the writing so much is that nothing is easy, and there are those delicious conflicts, those delicious bits of tension that just don’t quite allow us to have what we want.

But four episodes down the road, this happens and we’re waiting for that kind of emotion for then.” I’m just using this as an example, This is in no way tied in specifically to the story. Kneel at my feet and you’ll rise as Jon Stark, Lord of Winterfell.” Not really sure how far-reaching the legality of that one would go, but in any case Jon tells Sam (John Bradley) he’s not doing it – what kind of lord would he be if he broke the vows he took that will never let him be a lord? I loved that it took Jaime a few seconds to pick up on the metaphor of the snake figuring biting the golden necklace. “Of course it’s a threat,” Cersei spits at him. There’s a moment in that episode… it was written in the script that Brienne looks into Sansa’s eyes and something in Sansa’s eyes says to her to “get the F out of dodge,” which of course is an expression, but not one I’d heard before. I started assuming that the village they’re in is called Dodge. [Laughs.] I had to do research on the maps of Westeros, looking for Dodge, but no, it’s an expression.

But it was a divine scene to act, and I really loved working with Sophie Turner and with Aidan Gillen, because they’re such an interesting and extraordinary couple, and such a weird match for each other, and it works so well — that dynamic is so mercurial and fluid between them. His sister-lover thinks the one-handed man will be about as useful as a one-legged man at an arse-kicking contest, but Jaime has no intention of going solo. In Meereen, all hell breaks loose as Dany’s prisoner is murdered by a former slave – and, in the interest of justice, the former slave is then publicly executed. And that’s a journey we’ve seen with many of the female characters in “Game of Thrones,” this learning, whether positively or negatively, to become entirely self-reliant.

And going into this new training process, her recent experiences have been with the Hound, who talks about the quickest way to kill a man, and with Brienne, who is biting people. That’s what’s so interesting about the character of Brienne, is that she is unshakable, and we’ve seen her all through be unshakable and so resilient and so true and so focused.

What I can say is that part of what makes Brienne of Tarth such a fascinating character is that she’s such a complex woman, and that complexity doesn’t stop evolving, and new sides of it rear their head throughout season five. How spine-tinglingly fun it was to realise she and Pod were having midday munchies in the same tavern as Littlefinger and Sansa – although it did make me wonder who went in there first?

She’s fought the biggest fight of her life, and she has overcome The Hound, and yet she has lost the one thing she sought to find, and what’s upsetting is seeing Brienne broken in that way. Instead, that moment between her and Pod, when they’re sitting at the table — the moment where Pod recognizes Sansa and he’s sure, and she can tell by the look in his eye that he is certain that it’s her — and she stands up, there’s a power in her, because she’s back on her mission again. It’s something beyond our reckoning, but somehow it does feel that it could be real, and that’s exciting to me in a modern, mainstream television program. It’s tempting to worry that Baelish is a bad influence on Sansa, keeping her locked down because she’s “family” (shudder) but fingers crossed she’s playing a longer game, one that will hopefully lead to much more bloody revenge. Bad guys defeated, Pod implores Brienne to perhaps think outside the box – maybe she doesn’t need to worry about the Stark girls anymore, seeing as she’s been rejected more brutally than I was by my Year 9 boyfriend at the school swimming carnival.

Problem was, her former slave adviser took it upon himself to murder the Harpie, putting Dany into the position of having him publicly executed as a warning to others. He’s peeved the Bastard of Winterfell showed mercy to Mance Raydar, but he also sees how Snow could play a valuable role in his campaign for the Iron Throne.

I’d love her to become a regular. “Someone who has forgotten fear, has forgotten how to hide.” – Maario shows Grey Worm the virtue of being a scaredy-cat, moments before knifing a dude in a hiding hole behind a wall.

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