Most people now recognize Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing, aka the partner in crime to Danny Rand (Finn Jones) on Marvel's Iron Fist. Game of Thrones fans, however, will always think of her as Nymeria Sand of Dorne.
There's a lot to complain about when it comes to Dorne in HBO's fantasy drama — the fact that it exists at all sometimes is frustrating — but Henwick's performance as Nymeria is definitely not one of them. In fact, after seeing her kick butt as Colleen in Iron Fist, we were only more excited to see what Season 7 of Game of Thrones had in store for Nymeria.
According to an interview with EW though, Henwick almost didn't make it back to Westeros at all.
"I wasn't able to do it," Henwick says. "My schedule clashed. I was filming Iron Fist for six-to-seven months and they wouldn't give me the time off. [Game of Thrones] was so massive for me in terms of my career and building my profile and as an experience in itself, I wanted to return."
Everyone knows once Marvel owns you, that's your main priority, which can be a bittersweet realization. Sure, you won't have to pound the pavement for parts anymore, but you give up a little bit of your freedom when you lock yourself down to one project so exclusively.
Luckily for Henwick, the conflict was resolved with some backbreaking scheduling and travel plans.
After a Game of Thrones producer emphasized that her return was necessary — otherwise Nymeria would literally just drop off the face of the earth — Henwick knew she needed to make the effort to juggle both shows.
"I spoke to Marvel and I managed to get a release," Henwick says. "I literally was flying back and forth while I was doing Iron Fist in New York to Belfast, even during Christmas break."
Packing both Game of Thrones and Marvel's Iron Fist into your schedule is pretty much the definition of high class problems, but we're relieved to know that Nymeria won't just disappear from the narrative in Season 7. After Ellaria's (Indira Varma) takeover of Dorne in Season 6 and her subsequent alliance with Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), that storyline was finally becoming relevant.
It does, however, reinforce our theory that Ellaria and her illegitimate daughters are going to kick the bucket this year. I'll explain.
It doesn't seem likely that Netflix and Marvel will allow Henwick to make another mad dash for Season 8 of Game of Thrones, especially if The Defenders — which joins Netflix's Marvel heroes in one team-up series — takes off in the way it's expected to this summer. Between shooting her two Netflix originals shows and press tours for both, packing more red eyes into her schedule for a small supporting role in a jam-packed final season just isn't feasible.
Paired with the snapshot of Ellaria standing in chains before Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) and we're going to say it's safe to bet that Dorne will not be a factor in the final stretch of episodes for Game of Thrones and it's okay to clean house.
Game of Thrones premieres July 16th at 9/8c on HBO.