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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

Winter is here: Game of Thrones cast members share their thoughts and experiences

Other cast members from the hit show share their thoughts and experiences 

Aidan Gillen as Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish in Game of Thrones. HBO / OSN
Aidan Gillen as Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish in Game of Thrones. HBO / OSN

Aidan Gillen (Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish) on the trials and tribulations of being a 'baddie'

“I don’t get booed and hissed that much. I was greeted very cordially by a group of something like 12 students off a train in Manchester the other day. They were like, ‘Littlefinger!’ It was as if they’d met their favourite uncle just stepping off the train with sweets. I think some people are confused. They say to me, ‘Hey you know, your character confuses me because… I like you.’ And that’s what you want in a villainous role I guess. It’s important to show that this is somebody who can get away with things, precisely because people do find him trustworthy in some way or attractive. Without that it just wouldn’t work. And his plans are so well laid, they go so far back you know - there’s a certain glee watching them unfold.”

Gemma Whelan (Yara Greyjoy) on being a female role model

Gemma Whelan as Yara Greyjoy in Game of Thrones. Helen Sloan / HBO / OSN
Gemma Whelan as Yara Greyjoy in Game of Thrones season 7 (HELEN SLOAN / HBO / OSN)

“Only from Comic Con [events] do I know that [Yara is] hugely loved as a kind of strong, forward-thinking independent woman. I have to say that I get asked, ‘What’s it like to play a strong woman?’ a lot, which I think is a shame - women are strong; it shouldn’t be a question is my answer. But I do really enjoy that people find her inspiring. I know certain people have said to me at conventions things like, ‘you inspired me to go to drama school,’ or just, ‘you inspired me’ - obviously not me but the character of Yara. The strength that she has, who she is and what she stands for has made small differences sometimes. I think it’s a huge privilege to be respected in that way, as someone who plays that character.

Liam Cunningham (Ser Davos Seaworth) on the show's cinematic feel

Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth in Game of Thrones. Helen Sloan / HBO / OSN
Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth in Game of Thrones season 7 (HELEN SLOAN / HBO / OSN)

“One thing I would say about this year is we spent the same amount of time shooting seven [episodes] as we normally do ten. It’s more cinematic as a result. We’re shooting on locations and on huge sets that have to be built. The ambition is enormous; the vista is going to be tremendous. To the extent that if you look at the Battle of the Bastards last year, that was 24, 25 days shooting for a 20-minute sequence. This year we’ve used that kind of cinematic aspect throughout. It felt more like we were making movies than TV.”