New York Post
THRONES’ BLOODY FINALE
IN Sunday night’s “Game of Thrones” finale, Jon Snow ( Kit Harington) comes back to Castle Black following the brutal battle against the White Walkers. Snow’s fellow men of the Night’s Watch summon him from his chambers, telling him a Wildling may have found his long- lost uncle Benjen Stark ( Joseph Mawle). But it’s a ruse. Snow is brutally ambushed by renegade members of the brotherhood who systematically stab him to death.
“Game of Thrones” has done the unthinkable— they’ve killed off their pretty boy, and a third potential ruler from the Stark family.
Director David Nutter staged the death like the climactic scene of “Julius Caesar,” in which the Roman emperor is killed by his own advisers.
“I wanted to make it very quick,” says Nutter, who directed the “Red Wedding” episode, Season 3’ s bloodbath. “When I’m directing, it’s important that what I’m visualizing bemy bible.”
Snow’s death was not the only shocker in the fifth- season finale. The loathsome Stannis Baratheon ( Stephen Dillane) was finally polished off— by the triumphant Brienne of Tarth ( Gwendoline Christie), who, as protector to House Baratheon, vowed to avenge Renly Baratheon’s ( Gethin Anthony) death after he was assassinated by a shadow creature conjured up by Stannis’ adviser Melisandre ( Carice van Houten).
“It was her sworn duty to go after him,” Nutter says. “When she finds out he’s close, she puts him out of his misery.”
The third death was perhaps the most cruel. Bound for a return trip from Dorne to King’s Landing with her “uncle” Jaime Lannister ( Nikolaj Coster- Waldau), young Myrcella Baratheon ( Nell Tiger Free) receives an affectionate farewell from
the vindictive Ellaria Sand ( Indira Varma). But it’s a fatal kiss, as Ellaria’s lipstick is poisoned.
The finale is the bloodiest of the series, with three key characters dying and nearly every major house taking ahuge hit. “It’s not like any other finale they’ve had, because so much goes on,” Nutter says.
The rash of violence this season included especially horrifying scenes where Stannis ordered his own daughter, Shireen ( Kerry Ingram), to be burned at the stake, and the disgusting rape of
Sansa Stark ( Sophie Turner) by her new husband, Ramsay ( Iwan Rheon), on their wedding night.
But Nutter is somewhat unfazed: “The showhas never been untrue to itself. If you stepped into our world at the beginning, therewas a beheading of a young boy,” he says. “People die frequently.”
With such a high body count, “Game of Thrones” is a show that says goodbye a lot, and Nutter says those are sad occasions, even when an out- and- out villain dies.
“There aren’t victory laps or anything of that nature,” he says.
When preparing for Snow’s death scene, the director says he handpicked the extras to play men of the Night’s Watch, and they recited the group’s oath before filming began.
“We said it together,” Nutter says. “Iwanted them to get into it.”
Nutter predicts fans of the show, and of Harington in particular, will be devastated. “The viewers have spent time getting to knowwhat a good guy and true hero he is. They get emotionally invested in the characters. They become part of their family. This experience will be just as powerful as the response to the Red Wedding.”
Although Cersei ( Lena Headey) survived the bloodbath, she didn’t get out of the finale unscathed. Aside from these climactic deaths, the other scene that everyone’s talking about is Cersei’s trial with the High Sparrow ( Jonathan Pryce). He delivers her punishment, and it’s a doozy: Cersei’s head is shaved and she must walk naked through the town.
“It’s like nothing you’ve seen before on television,” Nutter says. “Lena was magical towork with. This is Emmy- worthy stuff.”
Nutter doesn’t know what’s happening next season. But one thing is for sure: There’s one less good guy to root for and one less Stark to vie for the Iron Throne.