WINTER IS COMING AND WITH IT COMES THE MUCH-ANTICIPATED NEW SEASON OF GAME OF THRONES
When young princess Shireen was burned alive in the last season of Game of Thrones, Carice van Houten got death threats on Twitter.
Her character Lady Melisandre had engineered the sacrifice to appease the Lord of Light and help Shireen’s father, King Stannis, win an important battle against House Bolton.
“It was all ‘die, die, die, b----, die’ over the Shireen thing,” van Houten says.
“Then when Jon Snow died I got messages saying, ‘We’ll forgive you if you bring Jon Snow back’. “That’s your public for you.” Whether fan favourite Snow is dead has been an allconsuming obsession for Game of Thrones fans since he was seen bleeding out into the snow – having been stabbed by the brothers of the Night’s Watch – in the final moments of season five. The arrival of the red priestess Melisandre at the Wall, the site of Jon’s demise, has given rise to a popular theory she will use her powers to resurrect him.
Whether or not the theory is accurate, van Houten – who recently announced she is expecting a child with Aussie actor Guy Pearce – is not giving anything away.
“It amuses me and I like to play with it,” she says of the fans’ fascination with whether Kit Harington’s character is still alive.
“I like to tease things on the internet. I could post a picture of something burning – and it could be anywhere, it could be in my back yard and they go crazy for it.
“The other day I posted something on Instagram.
“I was just having a walk with my dad in the middle of nowhere in Holland and I took a selfie. My dad was in the background, all blurry with a hood on. People were like, ‘That’s Jon Snow!’.”
What she is willing to say about the new series is that we will get to see a different side of her character.
“Her world is completely shaken,” van Houten says.
“She has to find ground again because ... the offering of Shireen didn’t work.
What’s her faith all about now? Who is she going to trust? Who is she going to be with? She’s completely confused at this point.’’
Game of Thrones has won legions of fans, in part, for its unpredictability. Major characters can be killed off at any moment and just when you think the violence could not get any more shocking, something even more depraved plays out.
Liam Cunningham, who plays Stannis’s right-hand man Ser Davos, says season six is no different.
“This season is big and brash and bold and f----- up – right from the very beginning,” he says.
“With a lot of productions, once they get to a certain level of success, they say, ‘Don’t mess with it’ ... HBO have not done that.”
Maisie Williams admits she found it hard to portray a blind Arya Stark in the new season of the show.
“It was really different,” she said during a red carpet interview at the Game of Thrones season six premiere in Los Angeles.
“I was told that I act through my eyes and I emote through my eyes, and to have that taken away was really difficult.”
Arya became blind in the fifth season, a punishment for killing of Ser Meryn Trant and taking a face from the House of Black and White without permission.
“It will be really interesting to see if the fans still stick with her at her lowest point,” Williams says.
“This girl is really struggling.”
While neither the cast nor HBO is revealing what surprises season six holds, fans are eagerly anticipating learning the fates of Daenerys (who is cornered by Dothraki warriors), Sansa Stark and Theon Greyjoy (who jumped from a castle wall to escape Ramsay Bolton) and King Stannis (who was almost certainly beheaded by Brienne of Tarth).
They will also be hoping Jon Snow’s true parentage might finally be revealed.
WHAT’S HER FAITH ALL ABOUT NOW? WHO IS SHE GOING TO TRUST? SHE’S COMPLETELY CONFUSED AT THIS POINT
Game of Thrones, Showcase, Monday, 11am and 7.30pm
Carice van Houten relishes playing Lady Melisandre in Game of Thrones despite her character’s unpopularity.