“Game of Thrones” Stars John Bradley and Iain Glen and the Battle of Winterfell for Esquire Magazine

Posted on April 29, 2019

“Game of Thrones” stars John Bradley and Iain Glen are featured in the latest issue of Esquire magazine photographed by Tyler Joe.

 

 

 

John Bradley aka Samwell Tarley

 

On Samwell Tarley deciding to fight in the Battle of Winterfell: “He wouldn’t have been able to live with himself if Jon or anyone else died while he was safe in the crypts.”

On the Episode 3 opening where Samwell Tarley sees the women and children going into the crypts and has to decide whether to join them: “In that moment he decides that these are the people he’s fighting for. He decides to fight for his own sense of duty. I think that’s a really powerful moment.”

On filming the Battle of Winterfell: “When you’re doing 60 night shoots and you’re going to bed at 6 am and waking up at two in the afternoon and going to work again, you feel that your entire body’s been affected on a molecular level because you’re completely separated from your real life. When you’re up and socializing, your friends are all in bed and the other way around. When your friends are up, you’re in bed. So you find yourself being completely cut off from reality.”

On his last scene in EP3 where Sam’s on top of a pile of bodies and the director’s note from Miguel Sapochnik that he’ll never forget: “He said, ‘it’s just going to be you and a stack of bodies, and I want you to get across in this shot that this is Sam thinking for the first time in this battle that he’s not going to survive this. This is the moment where all the fight goes out of your character.’ That was a really tough moment to film. We had been filming for a long time and we felt like it had really been starting to take its toll on us. We felt battle scared. I was leaning against bodies of people who presumably Sam had known. They were just stuffed dummies, but it was really an eerie moment, because you’re looking at dead human faces and hands, and it can have a visceral effect on you. It felt when I was filming that moment that it might be the most memorable moment in my entire time on this show.”

On not thinking he’d survive this episode: “For Sam, I knew how much potential he has to effect the outcome of this show, but I genuinely thought they were going to kill him halfway through the last season.”

On the upcoming finale conveying a similar sentiment to the Red Wedding: “One word that I always use to describe how people feel about the show is satisfying. Happiness isn’t something that this show goes about too well, because they’ve never bothered about keeping an audience happy. So when people say, ‘Am I gonna be happy with the ending?’ It’s like, well, maybe not. Because everybody’s got a different way that it wants to end. The Red Wedding is a hugely satisfying, dramatic moment, but you don’t want it to happen. And I think that with Sam, I’m happy with the ending, but mainly because I’m just satisfied with it.”

On Kit Harrington asserting that Joffrey and President Trump have a lot in common: “That is interesting because there’s a certain kind of weakness inherent in them both and I think there are a lot of similarities there. The thing about Trump and Joffrey is they should be the most powerful person there is, but they’re not. And they know that they’re not. And they’re worried about it. And when Joffrey says, ‘I am your king,’ and when Trump comes out with all of his bluster about, ‘I’ve achieved this and I’m the best this, and you’ve never seen anything like me before,’ you do get the sense that that’s coming out the mouths of people who are questioning their own power actually. And they’re worried that they’re actually not as powerful as they should be.”

On him and Kit realizing that their friendship has to evolve now that the show is over: “We started talking to each other about the nature of our friendship over the course of eight years. And just thinking, you know, it’s a good job that we’ve been friends because we work so closely with each other. If we didn’t get on, it would have been a nightmare to just see the face every day that you dislike…We were just talking about now that the show’s ended we don’t have a real structure to our seeing each other anymore. Now it’s a real test of all of those friendships.”

On GOT being both his first audition and his first show, similar to Kit: “Over the course of that first season, Kit and I really bonded over that, because we were able to work out that the other one was just as inexperienced as they were. I think that kinda set the tone for the rest of our friendship. The friends that you make when you are scared and uncertain and vulnerable, they’re the friends that you stick with, because you know that you can trust them and they know what’s going on under the surface.”

On Samwell Tarley representing a different kind of masculinity: “I just want people to see that there are different ways of doing things. A lot of those archetypes, especially in the current kind of political climate, a lot of those kinda toxic masculine archetypes are being ironed out…A lot of men probably want to think on some level that all men are like Jon Snow. They wanna think that a man is a man and a man will stand up for what he does. And a man will come out of the traps and do the job, but that’s not like most men that I know. Most men that I know are vulnerable a lot of the time and scared and some people don’t like to see that represented because it takes away from their fantasy of what they are and what a man should be.”

On the unexpected survival of Tarley through eight seasons: “I didn’t know how pivotal he was gonna become and I think that’s a good thing, because it’s a three-way kind of attack of surprise: the audience discovers how brave and worthwhile this character is over the course of the next eight seasons; I discovered it as an actor just how much this character is growing; and the character discovers it about himself.”

On Samwell Tarley being the in-book version of George R.R. Martin and whether they’ve discussed what that means: “I’ve not really had a conversation with him about it, no. I wouldn’t want to because I wouldn’t necessarily want it to be confirmed. I think it’s something to always strive for. I think you could kind of get crushed under the weight of it if you imagined if you are playing the part of this author, his avatar in the show.”

 

 

 

Iain Glen aka Ser Jorah Mormont

 

On his younger costars taking on their roles while still being children themselves: “It’s a great deal to take on when you’re that young. But they all seem to be managing incredibly well. And, if I’d been Kit’s age or Maisie’s age when I started, I certainly wouldn’t be complaining!”

On getting the better end of the stick with filming locations for GOT: “In the early seasons, I was part of the Dothraki/Daenerys storyline. We were always on the move, always traveling. But we were always coming into rather fantastic, gorgeous, sunny warm spaces. We were filming the bit that the crew always looked forward to each season, before they went back to shitty, wet, cold weather.”

On thinking Jorah wouldn’t survive the greyscale: “I thought my number was up. Creators] Dan [Weiss] and Dave [Benioff] really enjoy fucking with the actors—not giving them any sort of clues. So I asked them both individually, because I couldn’t get the answer. One of them said ‘I’m not saying.’ The other, when I said, ‘Do I survive the greyscale?’ said, ‘You do this season.’”

On Jorah’s love for Dany and how that sparked fan-fiction: “In a chaotic, mad, dangerous, and violent world in which people are generally out for themselves…the purity of his desire to support her—to be there for her—is a nice contrast to the rest of the show. For the first two, three seasons, it was about this desire to express that from his point of view, but never doing it.”

On the writers paying special attention to Jorah and Dany’s story: “I think they modulated their journey really beautifully throughout the seasons. I think they found a really compelling root through it, where for you, as an audience, it’s hard to stand from the outside. And I’m not the best person to ask, but people tell me, that you have such a mixture of emotions watching. At first you think, ‘Oh please, go on and say it!’ But then very quickly it’s, ‘Oh god! You shouldn’t have!’”

 

 

[Photo Credit: Tyler Joe/Esquire Magazine]

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