The eighth and final season of the fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones will premiere on April 14, 2019.
Following the premise set by previous seasons, the final episodes leading up to the grand finale largely consists of original content not found in George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series and adapts material Martin revealed to the showrunners about the upcoming novels in the series, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.
The season was adapted for television by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, as usual, follows powerful families of Kings and Queens, Knights and Renegades, liars and honest men playing a deadly game for control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, and to sit atop the Iron Throne.
We were on hand at the final season premiere of Game of Thrones and caught up with some of the shows’ stars Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane), Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), & Richard Dormer (Beric Dondarrion) to talk the series finale of the show.
The Knockturnal: How bad was the cry on the last day of filming?
Kristofer Hivju: I didn’t understand and then [my wife] started to cry and I was like, “Wait, what are we crying about?”
Gry Molvær Hivju: No. You had always been a big part of our life for many years. Like, five/six years we have been to the set and, you know, this has been a big part of our life too. Even the family life.
Kristofer Hivju: It was silent but intense crying and then I was emotional but I held the tears inside.
The Knockturnal: What are you going to miss most about this family you’ve built over the years?
Kristofer Hivju: It will miss that, you know, everybody on the right spot doing the right job at the right time, you know. And we will miss Belfast. We will miss, what was the name of the restaurant again?
Gry Molvær Hivju: Yeah, you know, we had a life there in a way so it’s been many years.
The Knockturnal: Do you think it’s possible that we’re going to have kids and a happy life with Brienne, if you end up together, in the end of this?
Kristofer Hivju: That’s the sitcom coming up.
The Knockturnal: Are you a professional fighter now or swordsman? How many people can you take out on this carpet?
Iain Glen: Yeah. You know, I’m pretty good. I’m pretty good now. But I went to drama school at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. And they always had sword training. So you had armed combat all the time. And we went from small sword to rapier and dagger to broadsword to unarmed combat. And so I started early and then I did quite a lot of plays. So I did, I play Henry V who was, you know, the Royal Shakespeare Company, he was … broadsword was his weapon as well. And a few of the other Shakespeares. And so I’ve sort of done maybe a little more than most in terms of the technique of how to use them. So, yeah. I’m okay. I do enjoy it. It’s, especially when you’re in the hands of fantastic stunt coordinators and fight directors like these guys are. They make you look really cool and I just need to look at you as a stunt man and you go, “Oh man, that hurt.” Yeah. Because, you know, I’m the actor and you’re, yeah. So that’s the way it works.
The Knockturnal: On a scale of one to ten, how happy is Jorah happy for Khaleesi and her new relationship?
Iain Glen: I think he’s okay about it. I think it’s a ten. You know, you would have pangs of hurt about it. But I think he wants what’s best for her. I think he no longer seeks a sexual relationship with her. So he wants her to be happy. So I would say maybe seven.
The Knockturnal: Can you recall how bad your cry was on the last day of filming?
Iain Glen: It was pretty bad. When I cry I cry … I’m not speaking. So they gave me a lovely speech saying that he’s wonderful and thank you and there’s your gift. And I went, “Can I just say a few words?”. And that’s all that came out. Completely meaningless nonsense. So that was, yeah. That wasn’t good.
The Knockturnal: What was this gift you got? Tell us about this final gift?
Iain Glen: They gave us all a storyboard, a framed storyboard of one of our famous scenes, all the actors. So it was really sweet. So mine was the gladiatorial scene that we did in season five in front of Daenerys when Sir Jorah was in the middle of the ring and he took on all these different fighters. Well, I kicked ass. I kicked ass. And they, yeah, so I got that with some lovely words of appreciation on the back, so. That was lovely.
The Knockturnal: I mean, what a classy group.
Iain Glen: Very classy group. Totally classy. There really have been really, really lovely people and yeah. I mean, that’s the only tricky thing is your expectations are really, you know, they’re up there. For me, I’m sort of more long in the tooth so I know things change. But for some of the younger actors, I think they’re going to be hit hard because they’re going to walk and say, “Everything’s going to be like Thrones.” And it’s not. It’s not.
The Knockturnal: How was it learning those fight scenes and how complicated were they for you?
Richard Dormer: They were, the first one that I ever did in season three took three months to learn. Yeah. And it took three days to shoot. And that was because it was a lot of spins. Whereas when we see Beric later he’s like a shock trooper and he’s in the middle of it. So there’s no fancy footwork. It’s just pure brute strength. Just kill those undead fuckers.
The Knockturnal: How many White Walkers are you killing this season?
Richard Dormer: Hundreds. Hundreds. There’s so many of them. Yeah. Why not? They’re there to kill.
The Knockturnal: Are you keeping count between who’s killing the most White Walkers on this season. Are you top five?
Richard Dormer: I’m pretty good. Well, the weird thing is because you can see my sword so you can see every time it hits somebody. And he hits a lot of people.
The Knockturnal: In the end, where do you think you guys are going to end up for your character?
Richard Dormer: Having a cup of tea and an English breakfast.