Did George Lucas help direct Game of Thrones?
The Season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones set a viewership record for HBO with 17.4 million people watching when it premiered on Sunday, April 14th. Fans had to wait nearly two years to see the Stark Siblings reunite and Daenarys Targaryen bring her dragons to the North. One very famous fan got the jump on all of us when he visited the set during the production, George Lucas. Arguably Lucas is the man most responsible for leading so many epic fantasy and science fiction storytellers down their path. "The first time I can remember telling stories was me as a little kid, mashing together these stormtrooper dolls. For so many of us he's the one who started our obsession with this kind of big, epic storytelling," said series co-creator, David Benioff of Lucas.
In a video showcasing behind the scenes of Episode 801, "Winterfell" we see Lucas with Director, David Nutter during filming of a scene with actors Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke who play Jon Snow and Daenarys Targaryen respectively. Nutter asks Lucas to speak to the actors about their performances and Lucas says to Harington, "That's was great, great, great. No direction for you."
When Benioff first got the news that Lucas was coming, he thought it was a joke, "When we found out that George Lucas wanted to visit we thought maybe it was a practical joke. Then we were really excited but also nervous because, it's George Lucas," Benioff said.
The behind the scenes video entitled, "Game Revealed" shows just how grand and labor intensive the production of Game of Thrones truly is. Benioff and his co-creator, D.B. Weiss along with cast and crew members take us through the anatomy of the scenes. We meet a military advisor who trains the extras who are part of Daenarys' army, the Unsullied. They learn everything from intricate military maneuvers to military unison walking. Production designer, Deborah Riley explains her challenge in building an entire town surrounding the Stark family home, Winterfell. We see, in the first shot of the episode, a young boy running through the town, climbing a tree overlooking villagers who line the road to watch Jon Snow and Daenarys arrive with an army and dragons. Writer Dave Hill volunteers to get an axe in the face during a scene he wrote in which Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) rescues his sister Yara (Gemma Whelan). "I very much learned the lesson that sometimes when you write two words that you then create so much work for everyone involved," explained Hill. Production designer Barry Gower is responsible for all that work as he and his team have crafted thousands of silicon prosthetics for the show. In this case it meant sculpting a cast for Hill's face so they could put an axe through it. "It's quite nice to be able to kill off fellow crew members in the nicest kind of way" laughed Gower.
The roughly 17-minute video is worth watching in its entirety for all of these fascinating insights and more.
Now that Lucas has weighed in on the production the big question is, will there be Gungans in The Game of Thrones? Fingers crossed, no.
On Episode 347 of The Harold & Maudecast, hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review the episode from Jon and Daenary's first real date to the waterfall by dragon ride, Arya's reunions with Jon, The Hound and Gendry, Sansa's sense and sensibility regarding food supplies, how Cersei really really wanted to see elephants, to Bran's stare down with Jaime and every detail in between!
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