Ge­off Boucher

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY TV -

GAME of Thrones has the look of a con­quer­ing king right now – US net­work HBO has re­newed the se­ries for a third sea­son only two weeks af­ter sea­son two’s de­but earned glow­ing re­views and an in­creased au­di­ence.

But one of the stars, Peter Din­klage, says any success is a dou­ble-edged sword.

Asked what chal­lenges lie ahead for the Game of Thrones team, the ac­tor, 42, sees them com­ing from sev­eral di­rec­tions, in­clud­ing the pas­sion­ate fans.

Specif­i­cally, the Emmy and Golden Globe win­ner said he frets a bit about the re­lent­less In­ter­net drum­beat of fan­tasy fans who want the me­dieval epic to be more, well, epic.

‘‘There’s so much pres­sure to make it big­ger,’’ Din­klage says.

‘‘There’s all this talk about, ‘We want more bat­tles!’ and there’s so many fan sites. And the show is based on a very suc­cess­ful se­ries of nov­els (by Ge­orge R.R. Martin) and so there was so much an­tic­i­pa­tion for it – and so much pres­sure put on it.

‘‘You can’t re­ally lis­ten to all of that if you’re go­ing to be suc­cess­ful. It’s just too much to take in, too much to take on. You have to block all of that out and tell the re­ally smart story that was told by Ge­orge and not try to take on too much that takes the (pri­or­i­ties) in other di­rec­tions.’’

It’s hard to find die-hard fan­tasy fans who don’t love scale and sprawl – one of the defin­ing hall­marks of epic fan­tasy is the im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence of vis­it­ing places like Mid­dle-earth, Nar­nia, Hog­warts or the Dark Tower, where things are strange, mag­i­cal, an­cient and im­mense. Thrones cer­tainly nods to that too. Din­klage also knows that char­ac­ters and the fas­ci­nat­ing physics of fam­ily and power have made Thrones the must-see show that it is, which is why he’s leery of any­thing that would shift em­pha­sis from words to wars. For that rea­son, Din­klage sounds con­flicted about HBO’s de­ci­sion to add 15 per cent to the Thrones pro­duc­tion bud­get.

‘‘I think more money can be very detri­men­tal to movies and TV be­cause things get solved eco­nom­i­cally rather than cre­atively and that’s never a good so­lu­tion,’’ he says. ‘‘I think with a lot of film­mak­ers, their first film is their best film be­cause they had to think on their feet and solve prob­lems with in­ge­nu­ity.’’

Those are the ex­pe­ri­ences Din­klage brings in from his film work – his fea­ture cred­its in­clude Elf, The Chron­i­cles of Nar­nia: Prince Caspian and The Sta­tion Agent – but he’s not hit­ting the fire alarm on Thrones: ‘‘Look, the way we just shot the sec­ond sea­son and the way it went, I think we’re keep­ing the right things in mind. Things are go­ing along swimmingly. I think though we al­ways have to keep (the ea­ger­ness to ex­pand) in check.’’

If Din­klage sounds as if he’s over­wor­ry­ing, per­haps it’s all the time he’s spent look­ing through the wary eyes of Tyrion Lan­nis­ter. This sea­son, he se­cured his po­si­tion as Hand of the King but is los­ing sleep. Din­klage por­trays Tyrion with a sly, soul­ful nu­ance that cuts against the char­ac­ter’s cyn­i­cal airs.

8.30pm, Show­time.


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