Jon Snow, Ygritte, and Sam Tarly Face Wildlings, White Walkers, and Wicked Weather When 'Game of Thrones' Returns
The coming winter strikes fear in the hearts of all who reside in the seven kingdoms of Westeros. But for a handful of "Game of Thrones" actors, it's just another day at the office.
"Clearly, they don't trust us to fake being cold," John Bradley (Samwell Tarly) says in the warmth of a Beverly Hills, California, hotel room as he talks about why they were sent to shoot in the winter wonderland of Iceland instead of re-creating the freezing frontier far beyond the wall on a soundstage. "The costumes help keep you warm from the neck down, but your face gets the brunt of the wind. The wind is absolutely chronic. You can't move your face or open your eyes, and when you are doing tight shots, your face is what you need, your tool to work. We did one shot where me and Kit [Harington] were this far apart [gestures about two feet], and I couldn't see Kit for eye line."
"It was a complete whiteout. We were stuck on a hill for hours. The crew was so close to walking off, and eventually they did," Harington (Jon Snow) added. "You know you are in trouble when the [locals can't handle the weather]. And then you find out the producers are the most fearless people in the world when they want to get something done."
Even on those truly bad days, Bradley doesn't request a snow day. "I'm so terrified of annoying anybody, I'm usually the kind who gets up and goes, 'No, it's fine. I'll do it again. No, I don't want anybody else to lie on the floor for me. I don't want any of those little heat pads. I'm seriously fine.' You never know when you're going to have to call in favors. I don't like to get on the wrong side of anybody."
His co-star Rose Leslie, the flame-haired captive-turned-captor Wildling Ygritte, figures that's a good strategy on a show with an ever-growing body count. "Best to play it safe." Not that she practices what she preaches. "I thought I would get better going out there for the second time around [for Season 3], but I'm a wimp and if my feet are cold…" Harington pipes up, "Then I don't hear the last of it."
"I have bored Kit's ears off many a time talking about how cold my feet are," she says, charging ahead and ignoring his mocking. "They look after us incredibly well with layers and heat packs, but I'm pathetic."
It isn't the first or last time during the half-hour interview that Leslie and Harington act like an old married couple, which is surely a sign that their forbidden tribeswoman/traitor love deepens in Season 3. "It picks up where Season 2 ended, with Ygritte and Jon Snow entering the Wildling camp, and we certainly see the relationship develop. You get a good insight into [the Wildlings'] world and why they are ruthless killers. You learn the extremes they go through to survive this brutal, harsh landscape for so long," says Leslie. "From Ygritte's perspective, I think she wants to live a long and healthy life with Jon, [get a cottage] by a river, have some kids. Good luck with that. That's not complicated at all."