Nymeria and Arya

You cannot look into Nymeria’s eyes and not be moved.  Please note: spoilers ahead!

If you’ve watched the show, you know this is the moment when Arya says goodbye to Nymeria.  This digital piece captures the sadness in this direwolf’s eyes far better than we saw in the episode.  Kind of hard not to tear up, right?

This is the work of DaaRia on DeviantArt

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Season Two Concept Art

Kimberly Pope has created some really amazing concept art for both seasons 1 and 2 of Game of Thrones and here is some of that work.

From Season 1:

Godswood North

Dothraki Gateway

Eyrie

Arya and the dragon skull

From Season 2:

Harrenhal

Pyke

Dragonstone

King's Landing

You can check out more of Kimberly’s concept art on her website, but be warned, there are some spoiler-ish images in the Season Two block.

Thanks to WinterIsComing.Net for the heads up!

Joe Dempsie Talks About Gendry

Maisie Williams (Arya) and Joe Dempsie (Gendry) are just trying to survive

 

The GoT cast has been touring about, promoting the show, and Joe Dempsie, the one who plays former King Robert Baratheon’s surviving bastard son Gendry, talks a little about his character.

Joe, as it turns out, actually has a much lighter color to his hair than the character he portrays on the show.

Gone too are the jet black locks that helped him look like the illegitimate son of the late King Robert Baratheon. Instead, Joe is sporting his natural color, a blond hue more befitting the Lannisters, the very family whose armies just made Gendry and Arya prisoners at Harrenhal.

“When I was cast, the character description was, ‘tall, muscular, with thick black hair.’ I was none of those three at that time,” he tells AccessHollywood.com’s Laura Saltman as he sits down for a chat. “I kind of thought, ‘I can die my hair and hit the gym, but I can’t do much about the shortness.’ So two out of three ain’t bad.

That wasn’t the only changes he’s had to make in regards to shaping Gendry:

“In terms of playing the character, though, I had to sort of do a lot of my own thinking and there wasn’t much information to go on about his past or anything that really shaped him into the person that he kind of is,” Joe continues. “So I just kind of wanted to make him a nice guy, who was a man of principle… more than anything.”

Joe also finds it quite interesting that he’s become such a popular character, so much that Gendry has been a trending Twitter topic:

He may not have physically resembled the part, but it’s easy to see why Joe was given the role of Gendry. In just a few scenes at the start of the Season 2, his performances – humorous, delightful and full of chemistry with co-star Maisie Williams (who plays Arya) – quickly made him a fan favorite. In recent weeks, #Gendry even became a top trending topic on Twitter, but the popularity of his character still came as a bit of a surprise.

“Oh yeah, definitely,” he says. “I think it’s strange, ‘cause he was quite a minor character in [Season] 1, but you definitely got the impression that there was more to come, that there was kind of something… like a deeper story to be told.”

He goes on to explain more of what Gendry knows and doesn’t know:

These days, on “Game of Thrones,” his first project for American audiences, Joe is once again playing a young person, and while his character, Gendry, is smart enough to know Arya is a girl in disguise, he hasn’t quite made the connection that King Robert was his father.

“He knows that there’s something up because obviously he knows that Jon Arryn came to see him, as Hand of the King and then Ned Stark, and the same thing happened [to them]. And now, knowing he’s kind of a wanted man, it is kind of strange that he’s not asked anyone. I have to admit,” Joe notes of his character. “But I think his world has been so far removed from anything that could even compare to being the son of the king… If he discovered his true parentage, I think he would be shocked, but… I think he would believe it.”

What does he think about what his character is having to go through and what he has to go through himself to make it all work?

For now, Joe’s character has other things to focus on instead of unlocking that mystery — like surviving. In Sunday’s episode, just before Gendry was about to undergo torture at the mouth of a rat fleeing a burning bucket, Tywin Lannister stepped in and told his troops to put the prisoners to work. According to Joe, for Gendry, that means making armor — and in true “Game of Thrones” fashion, some of that work will be shirtless.

“Yeah, there was a complete – I mean it was completely gratuitous. I obviously have no dignity,” he laughs, after a discussion of the “Saturday Night Live” “GOT” parody (he loved it) prompts the revelation he’s about to show off the work of many hours in the gym.

“But, yeah, I’m forging a sword. In the script it says he’s forging a sword in the baking heat. Belfast, [where the show is partially shot] in November, doesn’t really do baking heat. So I’m kind of like, forging a sword. Topless. In drizzle,” he adds.

And here’s what Joe has to say about the competitive spirit of his co-stars:

Knowing he had the scene coming up last year lead the actor to consuming “a lot of protein shakes” and into a bit of competition with some of his fellow cast mates.

“It got quite competitive on set — to the extent of complete body fascism on set,” he laughs. “Alfie Allen [Theon Greyjoy], Richard Madden [Robb Stark] – we were all trying to get in the best shape possible.”

“So who’s winning that war – who’s winning the best body on ‘Game of Thrones?’” Laura chimes in.

“You know what? I don’t know. I have not seen the stuff that they have shot. We don’t all really show each other,” he laughs. “I will have to wait and see.”

You can read the full article on AccessHollywood, where he talks about his work on other shows.

 

Stark Kids Sing Intro

If you haven’t gotten a chance to listen to this young’ns (which is on the DVD/Blu-Ray feature of Season 1), listen now.

This is Maisie Williams (Arya), Sophie Turner (Sansa), and Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran) with their rendition of the show’s opening theme music.

Oh a side note, I wonder if their parents let them actually watch the show.

Character Summary – Eddard Stark

Image by Teilku

Our final character summary is on Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell.

Eddard “Ned” Stark is head of House Stark and Lord paramount of the North. Eddard and his wife Catelyn have five children, and Eddard has one bastard son, whom he took back home with him after Robert’s rebellion. He and King Robert Baratheon started as childhood friends when they were both fostered by Lord Jon Arryn, Robert Baratheon’s Hand at the start of the series.

In the beginning of Game of Thrones, Eddard has to deal with a deserter of the Night’s Watch by executing the young man, and brings his sons Robb, Jon, and 10-year-old Bran to accompany him and learn. He executes the man himself, and in teaching Bran about being dutiful, explains that the one who orders the execution should be the one to carry it out and take responsibility for his actions. Right away you can tell this man has earned his respect honestly and honorably.

After Jon Arryn’s death, King Baratheon goes to Winterfell, along with his court, to persuade Eddard to take on the position of Hand of the King. During the time of King Baratheon’s visit, it is revealed that Jon Arryn may have been assassinated so he reluctantly accepts the position of hand so he can investigate Jon Arryn’s death. Unfortunately, that means he has to leave Winterfell and his wife behind as she stays to keep watch over the now comatose Bran Stark, after he fell from one of the abandoned towers, supposedly by accident. Before he leaves, he sends his bastard son, Jon Snow, off to be part of the Night’s Watch, and reminds Jon that he is a Stark even though the Stark name was not given to him, and he also promises to tell Jon of his mother when they meet again.

He brings with him his two daughters, Sansa and Arya, to King’s Landing to have them introduced to the court, as Sansa is betrothed to Joffrey Baratheon, the King’s son and heir to the throne. Being sympathetic to Arya’s frustrations of being forced to act as a lady, he hires a swordmaster for Arya to learn proper swordfighting techniques.

Two things that Eddard finds upon arriving at King’s Landing is that the crown is majorly in debt, mostly to Lord Tywin Lannister, and that Jon Arryn had been inquiring around the city searching and finding King Baratheon’s bastard children. He is also forced to kill Lady, Sansa’s direwolf, after Joffrey accuses Arya and her own direwolf, Nymeria, of inflicting injury on him. Because Arya ran her direwolf off, Lady is killed in Nymeria’s place.

Image by Hadesha

Later, during a council meeting, King Baratheon wants to execute and order to have Daenerys Targaryen killed when he finds out that she is pregnant. Although Eddard has no love for the Targaryen’s, being that one Targaryen in particular was responsible for the capture, imprisonment, and death of his sister, Lyanna Stark, he refuses to agree to killing Daenerys and her unborn child, and steps down as Hand. As he is about to leave for Winterfell, he is stopped by Jaime Lannister, who is angered that Catelyn Stark has taken Jaime’s brother, Tyrion, prisoner for the attempted murder of Bran Stark. Their dispute turns deadly as Jaime’s men kill all of Eddard’s men and Eddard is injured. It is during this time of recovery that King Baratheon visits him and practically forces him to retake the position of Hand of the King, which Eddard does.

As he resumes his duties as Hand, he researches and discovers, after an offhand comment by Sansa, that Robert Baratheon’s children are not really his. Robert’s supposed children are actually the result of Robert’s wife Cersei and her incestuous affair with her twin brother Jaime Lannister. This is what Lord Jon Arryn had apparently discovered that got him assassinated. When Eddard confronts Cersei about this matter, he tells her that he will inform Robert of this, but gives Cersei a chance to flee with the children before he does. Unfortunately, Cersei plots to have Robert killed before he ever finds out. Also unfortunate is that her plan works.

Robert Baratheon comes back from his hunting party, severely wounded and has Eddard write down his will and put Joffrey’s name as heir to the throne, also naming Eddard as Protector of the Realm until Joffrey is of age to take the throne. Eddard writes down “rightful heir” instead of putting Joffrey’s name on the will. He also doesn’t have to the heart to inform Robert of Cersei’s children not being his.

When Robert dies, Joffrey takes the throne with his mother as part of the counsel. Eddard tries to overtake the throne and have both Cersei and Joffrey arrested, but Cersei rips up the will in front of all who are there and Eddard finds that he is betrayed. Eddard is taken prisoner for treason, while Sansa is held captive by the Lannisters and Arya escapes into the city.

Thus starts the coming of a war as news of Eddard’s capture reaches Winterfell. Eddard at first refuses to admit to treason and does not want to swear fealty to King Joffrey, even if it means his death. However, because Sansa is still being kept by them, he realizes that may be the only way to save her. So, he reluctantly agrees, with the reassurance that his daughters will be released. This also ensures that he will not be executed, but exiled to the Wall instead, serving the Night’s Watch as punishment.

Unfortunately, as honorable and dutiful and even sympathetic as he has been to those around him, he is not treated with the same courtesies. After Eddard admits to treason and swears fealty to King Joffrey, Joffrey has him executed right then and there anyway, in public and with Sansa watching. Arya also watches from a distance, but Eddard can see that Yoren, an actual trustworthy man, will take care of Arya as he hides Arya from his beheading.

His death becomes the ultimate catalyst for the War of the Four Kings.

Image by Lewis3222

Eddard is definitely one of the most honorable men in this series and the basic “good guy” as far as good guys go in Westeros. He is not without fault, though, seeming too trustworthy of people and even giving mercy to those who probably don’t deserve it. It is these faults that ultimately become part of his downfall.

Eddard Stark was played by Sean Bean. He is a well respected actor and best known in recent years as Boromir from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, a part in which is character dies most dramatically as well. The guy knows how to die honorably, I gotta say. He also played the King in the Snow White comedy movie, Mirror, Mirror, which just came out the Friday before the start of the second season of Game of Thrones on HBO. And he played the Greek God Zeus in Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. No word on if he’s going to reprise his role for the upcoming Sea of Monsters, though. I love this actor and I so wish his character hadn’t died just so I can see more of him in the series, but alas, the Game of Thrones isn’t about keeping all the good characters alive. Sean Bean will be missed!

Character Summary – Robb Stark

Image by Riavel

We are down to our final summaries, one of them being on Robb Stark, The Young Wolf.

Robb is the eldest child and son of Eddard and Catelyn Stark and is heir to Winterfell and the North.  He gets along well with all of his siblings, including his bastard half-brother, Jon Snow.

Robb also had a friendly relationship with his father’s ward, Theon Greyjoy, who considered him as somewhat of a younger brother.

When Jon convinces Eddard to keep a pack of direwolf pups for each of the Stark children, Robb names his Grey Wind.

Robb’s relations with the Lannisters already starts off bad when he spars with Joffrey Baratheon using wooden swords, and Joffrey then insults him when he challenges him to spar with live steel.

Once Eddard accepts the role of Hand of the King, Robb takes his father’s stead as Lord of Winterfell. When Catelyn suspects that the Lannisters are somehow responsible for Bran’s accident, she confides in him along with others that she trusts and leaves Winterfell to leave Robb solely in charge while she goes to tell Eddard of her suspicions.

When Bran wakes, Robb is the one to confirm to Bran that his injury is permanent.

Image by VVjonez

Tyrion provides blueprints for a special saddle for Bran to ride horses, Robb and Theon accompany him in the forest for his first ride.  Although Theon is able to kill most of the wildlings that attack Bran while he is riding in an attempt to steal the horse and his possessions, Robb is angered by Theon’s actions endanger Bran.

Theon did try to convince Robb before Bran’s attack that he should forge an army against the Lannisters for their suspected involvement in Bran’s accident.  Only when Eddard is captured for treason, and receives a letter from his sister Sansa, who he suspects was manipulated by Cersei, does he finally start gathering men for war.

He and his army meet up with his mother on their way south, and they form a strategy.  The strategy involves them going through a river that a Lord Walder Frey is in charge of, so Catelyn bargains with him by having Robb and Arya be betrothed to two of Frey’s children.  Robb agrees, knowing that Frey’s children may not be quite the woman he would have any attraction towards, especially since Frey is not the best looking person and he has never seen his children.

The strategy comes as a success as Robb divides his army, leaving 2000 of them as a distraction against Tywin Lannister’s army, with the rest of his army attacking and winning against Jaime Lannister’s army, holding Jaime prisoner.

Image by nami86

After Eddard’s execution, Robb grieves briefly for him before his mother begins counsel on his, reminding him that he needs to rescue his sisters from the Lannisters, believing they are both held capture by them.  They consider which Baratheon to support over claim of the Iron Throne, Renly or Stannis, Lord Greatjon Umber convinces them to fight for Northern Independence and Robb’s army agrees, including Theon, proclaiming Robb as “King of the North.”

Robb Stark is played by Richard Madden.  Before Game of Thrones, he appeared in several UK shows, but this series has made him known internationally.  At first I wasn’t sure what to think of him or his character, but he started growing on me halfway through the season.  Of course, that’s probably because he doesn’t figure too prominently until later in the series anyway.  I have no complaints of his portrayal of Robb Stark, and I hope that he continues to make a mark for himself in the upcoming season.

Character Summary – Arya Stark

Image by sykaaa

We continue with Day 8 of our Character Summary countdown with Arya Stark.

Arya is the third child of Eddard and Catelyn Stark, and she’s also the youngest daughter. She is a very feisty young girl, who does not really share the interests of being a “lady” in the court. Her half brother, Jon Snow, gives her a sword as a gift to her before he leaves for The Wall. Upon knowing that all great swords have names, she names her sword “Needle.”

 

 

 

 

Image by Daenerys-m0d

One day, Arya is practicing with a peasant friend, Mycah when Prince Joffrey and Sansa come across them.  Joffrey’s taunts leads to an altercation and soon Arya’s direwolf, Nymeria, attacks Joffrey.  Arya chases off Nymeria to save her from death, but Sansa’s direwolf, Lady is killed in Nymeria’s place.  Also, Arya’s friend, Mycah, who was accused of attacking Joffrey is killed by the Hound, Sandor Clegane.  Arya harbors a lasting enmity for the Lannisters and Clegane because of those incidents (quite frankly, understandable).

Arya later reveals to Eddard that she has a sword, and at first is hesitant for her to use bit, but soon changes his mind and hires a swordsman to train her, calling them her “dance lessons.” She learns quite a bit from Ferol.

Unfortunately, during the purge of the Stark loyalists, Arya is forced to escape and Ferol is killed.  She ends up killing a stable boy who tries to take her sword.  Her first kill.

Arya hides within the city, living on the streets, until the day of her father’s execution.  She witnesses her father’s fealty plea, but is kept from witnessing his execution.  A man named Yoren of the Night’s Watch shields her from that sight and takes her away.

Yoren begins the process of treating her as a boy as her true identity will have to be kept secret to keep her safe.  Yoren takes her and other recruits to The Wall, with her new name as Arry.

Image by dodongo-fin

Arya is played by Maisie Williams.  It seems this is her only acting credit and for that, she does brilliantly.  I’m excited to see how things progress with her character in the second season. Will she see her half-brother, Jon Snow again?  Will she see any of her family?  So far, Maisie has done well and I’m looking forward to seeing how she will handle her characters new developments.