Jeremy Podeswa has been a director of “Game of Thrones” since the fifth season of the show, which is able to deliver both great spectacle and quiet moments. His roofed season 7 final showed both types of scenes to the same extent – a zombie dragon brought the wall with an explosion of blue flame and there were several extended and conversational-heavy character confrontations. Mr. Podeswa shared the moments that made him cry, which gave him chills and which gave most headaches. These are excerpts from the conversation.
Littlefinger finally got his meeting. How was it to shoot his last moments, since he has recited so much?
Aidan Gillen is such a great actor, and it was so nice to work with him, even if it was his last scene, because he had a sound he had never seen before on the show. We see him for the first time really desperate, fighting for his life as he looked at the tables in such an unexpected and epic manner. And Aidan just got me wrong, he’s so moved. I really cried! On this show, all characters can die at any time, but it’s how they go out, which is such a big deal, and for him it was great that he had to go out with this amazing scene.
We get two happy couples at the end of the episode, one of which is the final confirmation of R + L = J. How did the rear panel of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark come together?
It was important to me to make this scene idyllic because it is so completely against the accepted mythology about what it was that Lyanna was abducted. The new information here is that this was really a relationship in which they had fallen in love. And they were married, but that is hitherto hidden from history. We really hoped to have a nice sunny day in Belfast, which is rare at this time of the year, but we have one. This was the main thing about the performances and how it was shot that it is romantic without being overly romantic.
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When Jon and Dany attach, we know that it is incest, but they do not. Why does Tyrion look like this? Why did the reaction shoot him?
From my point of view, Tyrion always seemed three steps ahead. As long as there is a professional alliance between Dany and Jon, this is something everyone wants. We can imagine that this is a helpful alliance. But when things become personal, people make decisions based on their emotions, and that can complicate things that go forward, so I think that he sees the potential here for things to become very messy. In general, historically, nothing good comes from relationships getting more complicated! [Laughing] It’s also a question of what role his new alliance will be, right? So there is a certain caution here
Some people suspect he might be jealous.
Well, there is something. Everyone seems to be in love with Dany, and I think Tyrion is a bit in love with her. But I do not think it is a romantic love. There is a huge respect for them, and maybe there is a small romantic element to it, but it is more a jockeying in terms of real power. Not about Dany, but who has power in a relationship with Dany. Jorah, who is really in love with her, his relationship with Jon is complicated in a different way. With Tyrion is it about who will pass over them?
This was one of my favorite scenes of the show. My favorite scene to see my favorite scene shoot. It was very important for us to have the audience believe at least for a moment that they could really kill him. That this could be. The first time that Peter has rehearsed it, I was so, I believed it. [Laughing] This was definitely one of those scenes where I had a cold.
Cersei shows remarkable restraint. She would kill Tyrion, except then her double cross would not work on the rest of them. So Lena actually plays the scene to work on both levels.
This is one of the great things about Lena [Headey.] She is one of those actresses who give everything in their silence. It can do so little and still has all that complexity. Especially during the summit at the Dragonpit she can convey so much without showing very much on the outside. It’s all there. It’s all in the eye. And the little little things she does are incredible to say. She is a very intuitive and very transparent actress.
When Showrunner David Benioff and Dan Weiss point to a behind-the-scenes video, it was really easy for them to write the words: “And then the wall comes down.” It is much harder to pull that. What was the most difficult part of this shocking sequence?
Everything was just over. That was one of the more complicated visual effects I’ve ever done. It was a huge amount of conceptualisation, just to find out how the scenes should be pursued, and then the execution was very complicated. We had to decide how much of it would be, and how much of it would be visual effects.
One of the things that was very helpful, we had these conceptual artists who made these paintings, about ten paintings, of the sequences in the script, which were very impressive what the sequence would look like and look like. This was really helpful to find out how the flames should look, what color they should be, how the dead dragon should look, what should be the different interactive effects. The top of the wall is a set in Belfast, and the rest is all in the virtual country, and it is a complicated thing to marry all these things together.
There is also this feeling of anticipation from the lies. In the past, we saw only a bunch of zombies in the thriller to their Whitewalker masters, just a slave slave, and then we get an insight that they can actually know or understand what’s happening here.
Yes. I agree. It was also an important thing for me that you feel comfortable there. And I think it is certainly a feeling that for an enemy must be a real enemy, they must have a certain intelligence. This makes it a real fight, unlike a fight with something that does not have the ability to be a real opponent.
Please tell me that Tormund and Beric were not on the piece of the wall that fell?
Tormund has a lot of fans, but I can not tell you anything.