Richard Dormer, who plays the role of Beric on Game of Thrones, talked to makinggameofthrones.com about the events of episode 6 (Beyond the Wall) of season 7. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
HBO: Beric is finally in the North. Does he ever second-guess the decisions he’s made to get to this point?
Richard Dormer: No. I think he realizes there are sacrifices to be made for every great purpose, and every soldier has to go make those calls. You can’t dwell on mistakes. You’ve just got to look forward and think of your fellow comrades. When he hears about the armies that are gathering in the north, of the dead, he realizes that’s where he’s got to go. He knows what death is and he’s one of the men to hold it back, to try to defeat it.
I think his one regret is he’s only half the man he used to be; he’s lost so much of himself.
HBO: Does he feel a special kinship to Jon?
Richard Dormer: Yes, he sees a connection. The only power that can resurrect is the Lord of Light; he realizes Jon has a special purpose, because he also has been kept alive. Beric’s thinking, “I better look out for this guy, because he has a big role to play in this war.”
HBO: Is it challenging working with your weapon? Is it actually on fire during filming?
Richard Dormer: Yes, the flaming sword is real. It only burns for two minutes at a time, and you can’t swing it too quickly, so you have to slow down your moves, which is actually quite tiring. It weighs about three times as much as a normal sword. It’s a pretty impressive weapon.
HBO: Is it emotional for Beric to lose Thoros?
Richard Dormer: It was heartbreaking to lose his last, oldest friend he had. Thoros connected him to his past life, before he formed the Brotherhood Without Banners, so losing him really touches Beric very deeply; it leaves him very empty.
HBO: What does it mean for him to realize he’s on his final life?
Richard Dormer: I think he’s relieved, in a sense. He knows now that he’s mortal, and that this last life has to count for something. He’s relieved it’ll finally be over.
HBO: Beric says he’s not fighting for any specific house at this point, but do you think this experience might give him some sort of allegiance to Jon or Daenerys?
Richard Dormer: I think so. Certainly to Jon, because the Lord of Light connection, but also because Beric sees how brave and selfless Jon is. He sees in Jon a great king — and I think he believes the Lord of Light sees that as well.
HBO: Is there any character you’d like to see Beric reunite with from seasons past?
Richard Dormer: The Mountain. Because even after all these years, he’s still carrying Ned Stark’s command to find and bring the Mountain to justice; so I think he would like to have a go at the Mountain and fulfill his promise.
How quickly did Gendry travel back to Eastwatch? How much time did it take for a raven to reach Dragonstone? And finally, how long it took for Daenerys and her dragons to arrive beyond the wall? These are the questions plaguing Game of Thrones fans, who think that this was a massive plot hole in episode 6 (Beyond the Wall) of season 7. Episode director Alan Taylor talked to New York Times about these time issues and gave an explanation to ‘lay the timing concerns to rest’:
“I’ve only looked at one review online, and it was very much concerned with the speed of the ravens. I thought, that’s funny — you don’t seem troubled by the lizard as big as a 747, but you’re really concerned about the speed of a raven. It is true there are time issues, and I’m not exactly sure how many kilometers there are between Eastwatch and Dragonstone. But it was a bit dreary to hear somebody who said, ‘I cannot enjoy this episode because, you know, that speed of that raven … ‘ There’s was a lot of wonderful stuff going on here and if it really gets that much in your way, that’s not good to hear. But that said, Gendry’s a really great runner. [Laughs.] Ravens go super fast. And who’s to say how much time passes on that island, since it’s always sort of an eternal twilight north of the Wall? With those three ideas in mind, I think we can lay the timing concerns to rest.”
In another interview with Variety, Taylor admitted that ‘there was some effort to fudge the timeline a little bit’:
“We were aware that timing was getting a little hazy. We’ve got Gendry running back, ravens flying a certain distance, dragons having to fly back a certain distance…In terms of the emotional experience, [Jon and company] sort of spent one dark night on the island in terms of storytelling moments. We tried to hedge it a little bit with the eternal twilight up there north of The Wall. I think there was some effort to fudge the timeline a little bit by not declaring exactly how long we were there. I think that worked for some people, for other people it didn’t. They seemed to be very concerned about how fast a raven can fly but there’s a thing called plausible impossibilities, which is what you try to achieve, rather than impossible plausibilities. So I think we were straining plausibility a little bit, but I hope the story’s momentum carries over some of that stuff. It’s cool that the show is so important to so many people that it’s being scrutinized so thoroughly. If the show was struggling, I’d be worried about those concerns, but the show seems to be doing pretty well so it’s OK to have people with those concerns.”