'Game of Thrones' stars Maisie Williams & Isaac Hempstead-Wright on Arya and Bran's journeys
As for the Hound, on the one hand Arya despises this guy who's keeping her prisoner, but on the other hand he's the latest in a long line of badass's that she gets to study under.
Maisie Williams: Yeah, so I think she's almost like, “I actually quite like you, I'll kill you last.” That's her view with the Hound, in that they don't get on, they're not friends. They're both evil to each other; they're awful. He is very physical with her, very verbally abusive and constantly shooting her down and talking bad about her family, and all the while I'm like, “You were with the biggest douchebag in this world for most of his life. Why didn't you kill him? You had the choice every single day.” She's angry at that, and they're awful to each other. But they both have qualities that each other needs, which is why they're together; they need each other to kind of get by. And they both know that but they've never mentioned it.
Is it difficult as someone of a smaller stature to be playing these scenes with him and all these other physically large actors, and Arya's trying to be tough in front of them?
Maisie Williams: Totally used to it. I'm used to standing and talking to people like this. On a daily basis I'm looking up to everyone. And with Arya, it's exactly the same. She's just used to it until someone points it out and then she's like, “Okay, here we go. We all know I'm small, but that's the easiest thing that you could've said. You pick on my physical stature because you're not smart enough to insult me in another way.” That's the way she sees it. She doesn't have an issue with being small, and being with this great big guy. She's cool with that until someone else brings it up and then she's why? Easy target.
And related to that, Isaac, you've grown as the series has gone along. Has Kristian started complaining yet?
Isaac Hempstead-Wright: Yeah. And he's trying to get me to start smoking to stunt my growth.
Maisie Williams: Imagine.
Isaac Hempstead-Wright: The good thing is that I don't have to stand up, because otherwise I would probably be a lot higher.
Maisie Williams: Isaac's taller than Sophie now.
Isaac Hempstead-Wright: I know. I am.
Maisie Williams: Isaac is the tallest Stark child and he's the youngest Stark child. Crazy. Well, not Rickon, but out of us three.
Logistically, is he getting any help when he's carrying you?
Isaac Hempstead-Wright: I think he had a car crash earlier this year so he's really hurt his back. So it was quite a problem this season, but luckily he doesn't have to carry me much. Because even if he didn't have a bad back, I think it would be trouble even for him. So I'm in a little travois this season. A little jingle bell sleigh, which is cool.
And I assume you're doing a lot of stuff in Iceland now?
Isaac Hempstead-Wright: Well, this was the season I could have gone to Iceland, but they changed it to a summer location. And (Maisie) got to go, didn't you?
Maisie Williams: I did. So instead of shooting in Iceland in the winter they shot in Iceland in the summer, and they built a wonderful exterior set for (Isaac).
Isaac Hempstead-Wright: Yeah. Really nice. Lots of location stuff in lots of really nice damp forests with this horrible snow. Have you ever had the snow?
Maisie Williams: No.
Isaac Hempstead-Wright: The fake snow they use looks very realistic but it's actually ash. They burn these snow candle things and they grow into your throat and you’re choking trying to say your lines. And there was one point where we were all there, you know, breathing this horrible stuff and we looked around, and the crew had gas masks on. Maybe this isn't very healthy.
Physically, what has been the hardest thing you've each had to do on the show?
Isaac Hempstead-Wright: I think it's just location work.
Maisie Williams: Welcome to my life, bro. I haven't been inside since, like, episode 7, season 1. There's a lot of standing around and it's constantly putting on and taking off coats and it's not easy to do a scene because it's freezing cold. So someone wants to put a coat on you because you've got to stay warm to last the whole day, but then you're constantly putting it on and taking it off and you're trying to rehearse in this massive coat and it's not the way that you want it to be. And they're lining up shots with you in this huge coat and then all of a sudden you take it off, they've got to re-tape everything. It's just a massive hassle, which is so much easier when you're interior. But the early mornings, are they not pretty dire?
Isaac Hempstead-Wright: The two-hour car journey to some beautiful but far flung location on the coast of Belfast. And from the car it looks wonderful, but you step out and it's bitterly cold. The costumes are great because they look fantastic and they're all so real; there's no Velcro or anything. But that also makes them very cold and you're in these beautiful boots, but they drench your feet.
Maisie Williams: They're not water-resistant.
Isaac Hempstead-Wright: You're standing in mud and the elements are doing their best to grind you into the ground. But it's fun.
Maisie Williams: But apart from that, great.