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Okay, clearly I left my "spoiler filter" on for the sake of those of you who still haven't seen Sunday night's Season 7 finale of Game of Thrones (…but that ends today, people!) As fans all around the world continue to discuss and debate the fallout from all that they've seen and all that they've learned, we 're starting to learn more about the season from the personal perspective of both cast members and the show's creative. With the wait for Season 8 expected to last until late 2018/early 2019, there will be more than enough time for reflection (HBO even released a new behind-the-scenes online series that's a look at every episode of the penultimate season).
Jeremy Podeswa (Carnivale, Boardwalk Empire) had a unique perspective on how things changed throughout the season, having directed the first (Dragonstone) and last (The Dragon and The Wolf) episodes. Podeswa had a chance to discuss the season finale with Variety and here are some of the highlights (with spoilers!):
● Like everyone else on the set, Podeswa knew that the scenes during the summit at King's Landing were going to be powerful…but not as powerful as seeing it play-out:
"I felt the summit at the Dragonpit was going to be a big moment. It features all these characters that we know and love, characters who have never met before and characters who haven't seen each other for a long time. It's laden with tension because we don't know if Cersei set a trap for them or not or how badly this all could go. For me that was a very exciting sequence, to work with all that cast and with all these reunions."
● While noting that a number of scenes from that sequence were memorable (particularly those between Lena Headey's Cersei, Peter Dinklage's Tyrion and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's Jamie), for Podeswa it was the death of Littlefinger and how Aidan Gillen handled it that got to him the most:
"Aidan is such a great actor and it was such a joy to see him do this scene," he said. "You really see another side of Littlefinger that you've never seen before, which is vulnerability. He's a master manipulator, always in control, and can play games with the best of them. But here's a situation where the tables are completely turned on him and he has to fight for his life. I think what's surprising is how much you care about his death, and that's all Aidan…In that moment, you can't help but feel for him."
● Podeswa is particularly impressed with the way Maisie Williams (Arya) and Sophie Turner (Sansa) have been able to not only connect with their characters but to also evolve with them over the course of seven seasons:
"It sounds like a cliché but they're really like fine-tuned instruments. They don't need very much. Their instincts are incredibly great. But there's always the little play within each scene and they're always willing to try things and make things better."
● Soooo…about that final scene? Things didn't look to good for Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) and Beric (Richard Dormer). So what does Podeswa think happened to them?
"I think they were certainly in a very perilous situation when we last saw them so it doesn't look good, but we don't actually see them die so anything can happen."