How Game of Thrones's John Bradley and Kit Harington Prepared for Jon Snow's Moment of Truth

Helen Sloan, HBO
Helen Sloan, HBO

Sunday's long-awaited season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones may not have been as action-packed as some fans were hoping for, but it did not disappoint—especially in terms of its many anticipated reunions and major plot reveals. At the top of that list of highly guarded secrets finally coming to light was Jon Snow learning his true parentage, and realizing that not only is he the true heir to the Iron Throne, but that the love of his life also happens to be a blood relation.

Though we assumed that particular bombshell would be dropped later in the season, Jon's best friend, Samwell Tarly, was given the unfortunate task of sharing this information with Jon ... and delivered it not long after being informed by Daenerys Targaryen that she had killed both his father and brother for refusing to bend the knee.

Sam has certainly stepped up his game since his earliest days on Game of Thrones; we've seen him rescue Gilly and her son, stand up to his hard-nosed father, become a Maester, expand his knowledge of the history of Westeros, and even kill some White Walkers. Still, having to tell Jon Snow the truth about his parentage—and what Daenerys is capable of—was no easy task for Sam, or for John Bradley (the actor who portrays him).

In an interview with Variety, Bradley shared how he and Kit Harington rehearsed their lines over and over again to get the scene just right, and that he had to split it into two parts in his mind. The first part of the scene would be the sweet reunion between friends and Sam telling Jon that his father and brother were killed by Daenerys. “He just understandably needs to get that off his chest,” Bradley said. The second part was the ultimate revelation that the actor referred to as “the most important piece of information in the entire show.”

“From a performance point of view it was very delicate, because I know I had to get all of the emotions into the first half of the scene, and in the second half abandon them,” Bradley said. “Sam has to calm himself down and explain the situation to Jon very calmly and in terms which are easy to understand. He knows Jon is going to be angry, he knows any blasphemy against the sainted figure of Ned Stark is going to rile Jon up. Sam needs to be as calm as possible to throw a cold blanket on that, to make Jon listen to what he has got to say.”

The scene was obviously an intense one, but Bradley promised that the final season will have some moments of levity, too.

“It’s an ending that we’re really satisfied with,” the 30-year-old actor said. “We’re not afraid to talk about it, we’re not dreading people seeing it or how they’re going to react. Quite a few shows have been great and then missed on the finale, and that’s tarnished people’s relationship with the show, but we’re not going to do that. Ever since I first read that last page of script, the last page of season 8, episode 6, I have been desperate for people to see it. I’m gonna feel that way the second before it starts in five weeks' time. It’s gonna give the fans and the show itself the ending they deserve.”

[h/t Variety]

Watch Kit Harington Gag After Having to Kiss Emilia Clarke on Game of Thrones

HBO
HBO

The romance between Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen might be heating up on Game of Thrones (though that could change once Jon shares the truth about his parentage), but offscreen, Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke's relationship is decidedly platonic. The two actors have gotten to be close friends over the past near-10 years of working together, which makes their love scenes rather awkward, according to Harington.

A new video from HBO offers a behind-the-scene peek at "Winterfell," the first episode of Game of Thrones's final season. At about the 12:20 mark, there's a segment on Jon and Dany's date with the dragons and what it took to create that scene. Included within that is footage of the two actors kissing against a green screen background, which would later be turned into a stunning waterfall. But when the scene cuts, Harington can be seen faking a gag at having to kiss the Mother of Dragons.

“Emilia and I had been best friends over a seven-year period and by the time we had to kiss it seemed really odd,” Harington told The Mirror, then went on to explain that Clarke's close relationship with Harington's wife, Rose Leslie, makes the intimate scenes even more bizarre. "Emilia, Rose, and I are good friends, so even though you’re actors and it’s your job, there’s an element of weirdness when the three of us are having dinner and we had a kissing scene that day."

As strange as it may be, Harington finally came around and admitted that, "I love Emilia and I’ve loved working with her. And it’s not hard to kiss her, is it?"

[h/t Wiki of Thrones]

11 Surprising Facts About Prince

BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images
BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images

It was three years ago today that legendary, genre-bending rocker Prince died at the age of 57. In addition to being a musical pioneer, the Minneapolis native dabbled in filmmaking, most successfully with 1984’s Purple Rain. While most people know about the singer’s infamous name change, here are 10 things you might not have known about the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.

1. His real name was Prince.

Born to two musical parents on June 7, 1958, Prince Rogers Nelson was named after his father's jazz combo.

2. He was a Jehovah's Witness.

Baptized in 2001, Prince was a devout Jehovah's Witness; he even went door-to-door. In October 2003, a woman in Eden Prairie, Minnesota opened her door to discover the famously shy artist and his bassist, former Sly and the Family Stone member Larry Graham, standing in front of her home. "My first thought is ‘Cool, cool, cool. He wants to use my house for a set. I’m glad! Demolish the whole thing! Start over!,'" the woman told The Star Tribune. "Then they start in on this Jehovah’s Witnesses stuff. I said, ‘You know what? You’ve walked into a Jewish household, and this is not something I’m interested in.’ He says, 'Can I just finish?' Then the other guy, Larry Graham, gets out his little Bible and starts reading scriptures about being Jewish and the land of Israel."

3. He wrote a lot of songs for other artists.

In addition to penning several hundred songs for himself, Prince also composed music for other artists, including "Manic Monday" for the Bangles, "I Feel For You" for Chaka Khan, and "Nothing Compares 2 U" for Sinéad O'Connor.

4. His symbol actually had a name.


Amazon

Even though the whole world referred to him as either "The Artist" or "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince," that weird symbol Prince used was actually known as "Love Symbol #2." It was copyrighted in 1997, but when Prince's contract with Warner Bros. expired at midnight on December 31, 1999, he announced that he was reclaiming his given name.

5. In 2017, Pantone gave him his own color.

A little over a year after Prince's death, global color authority Pantone created a royal shade of purple in honor of him, in conjunction with the late singer's estate. Appropriately, it is known as Love Symbol #2. The color was inspired by a Yamaha piano the musician was planning to take on tour with him. “The color purple was synonymous with who Prince was and will always be," Troy Carter, an advisor to Prince's estate, said. "This is an incredible way for his legacy to live on forever."

6. His sister sued him.

In 1987, Prince's half-sister, Lorna Nelson, sued him, claiming that she had written the lyrics to "U Got the Look," a song from "Sign '☮' the Times" that features pop artist Sheena Easton. In 1989, the court sided with Prince.

7. He ticked off a vice president's wife.

In 1984, after purchasing the Purple Rain soundtrack for her then-11-year-old daughter, Tipper Gore—ex-wife of former vice president Al Gore—became enraged over the explicit lyrics of "Darling Nikki," a song that references masturbation and other graphic sex acts. Gore felt that there should be some sort of warning on the label and in 1985 formed the Parents Music Resource Center, which pressured the recording industry to adopt a ratings system similar to the one employed in Hollywood. To Prince's credit, he didn't oppose the label system and became one of the first artists to release a "clean" version of explicit albums.

8. Prince took a promotional tip from Willy Wonka.

In 2006, Universal hid 14 purple tickets—seven in the U.S. and seven internationally—inside Prince's album, 3121. Fans who found a purple ticket were invited to attend a private performance at Prince's Los Angeles home.

9. He simultaneously held the number one spots for film, single, and album.

During the week of July 27, 1984, Prince's film Purple Rain hit number one at the box office. That same week, the film's soundtrack was the best-selling album and "When Doves Cry" was holding the top spot for singles.

10. He screwed up on SNL.

During Prince's first appearance on Saturday Night Live, he performed the song "Partyup" and sang the lyric, "Fightin' war is a such a f*ing bore." It went unnoticed at the time, but in the closing segment, Charles Rocket clearly said, "I'd like to know who the f* did it." This was the only episode of SNL where the f-bomb was dropped twice.

11. He scrapped an album released after having "a spiritual epiphany."

In 1987, Prince was due to release "The Black Album." However, just days before it was scheduled to drop, Prince scrapped the whole thing, calling it "dark and immortal." The musician claimed to have reached this decision following "a spiritual epiphany." Some reports say that it was actually an early experience with drug ecstasy, while others suggested The Artist just knew it would flop.

This story has been updated for 2019.

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