It's been a bloody and arduous journey, but the Game of Thrones cast has emerged from their first season unscathed, although we can't say the same for the characters they played.
Going into the finale Sunday (9/8c on HBO), the actors reflect on how difficult it is living in the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. So TVGuide.com asked them to weigh in on two very important Westerosi subjects:
1. What personal sigil would best represent you?
2. If you ascended to the Iron Throne in modern times, what would your first ruling as king or queen be?
If you watched Sunday's episode of Game of Thrones, you're probably still reeling from shock. If you haven't, go and watch it now ... or certainly before you read our spoiler-filled discussion below. Just know that HBO's defiance of convention is gutsy, inspiring and every bit as cold as the world of Westeros that calls the channel home.
TVGuide.com's Hanh Nguyen is an avid scripted-TV watcher, a horror-avoider and someone who's read George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire book series, on which HBO's Game of Thrones is based. Colleague Rich Juzwiak rarely watches scripted TV, is a gorehound and became alerted to Martin's existence just recently, as he started researching this new swords-and-sandals (well, boots) series. He knows nothing of these sorcerers (if that is indeed what they are), while Hanh is something of an expert (read: fantasy/sci-fi nerd). Each week, he'll try to make sense of this crazy new show by enlisting Hanh's expertise. It may turn out to be a test of tolerance: in this case, the Games begin after the TV is off...
British actress Emilia Clarke, 23, plays Game of Thrones' exiled princess Daenerys Targaryen, who is forced to marry warrior Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) by her brother Viserys (Harry Lloyd) in exchange for an army so he can reclaim the throne. Now, she's giving orders of her own.
TV Guide Magazine: Daenerys is no longer the scared waif who first wed into the nomadic Dothraki tribe, is she?
Clarke: You're seeing her grow from a submissive girl into a woman — and a...
Game of Thrones has faithfully added to its body count ever since premiering in April with several beheadings, but Sunday's episode featured what Harry Lloyd calls the "best death ever."
Spoiler alert! If you haven't watched Episode 6, "A Golden Crown," yet, you're really doing yourself a disservice if you continue reading.
Now that we're halfway into the Game of Thrones season, the action has really become meaty (much like the roast venison that graces King Robert's table). In Sunday's episode, everyone gets in on the killing (even The Imp!) and there's so much intrigue to be had, the action actually stayed in Westeros the entire time. To balance out the multiple deaths and brutality, we got a whimsical helping of grotesquery thanks to original scenes written specifically for the HBO series. Shall we delve into "The Wolf and the Lion"?