&#039Game Of Thrones&#039 Evolves On Girls In Explosive Sixth Season

The sixth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones showed a genuine evolution in the way the show portrays ladies and in the season finale, a number of female characters ascended to energy. NPR’s Kelly McEvers talks to Glen Weldon from NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour and Greta Johnsen, host of the Nerdette podcast, about the show.

Arts &amp Life : NPR

We Know Nothing, (About) Jon Snow As &#039Game Of Thrones&#039 Returns

Will Kit Harington's Jon Snow — seen here after a seemingly fatal attack at the end of season five — survive? No one knows.

Will Kit Harington’s Jon Snow — noticed here following a seemingly fatal attack at the end of season 5 — survive? No a single knows. HBO hide caption

toggle caption HBO

Let’s call this the opposite of a spoiler alert: An acknowledgement that Tv critics don’t know much about Game of Thrones’s sixth season, which starts Sunday.

That is since some knucklehead last year leaked new episodes of the fifth season on-line ahead of they appeared on HBO. So producers of the show and HBO executives decided this season no one — except, it seems President Obama — would get an early appear at new episodes.

Which signifies I have no spoilers about the new season.

Or do I?

“Are you afraid?” Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion Lannister asks in a trailer for the show’s new season. “You need to be. You happen to be in the fantastic game now. And the great game is terrifying.”

That short speech is among several tidbits HBO has revealed from the upcoming season. Simply because fans pore over every single moment to attempt guess what’s in store, there’s a lot of speculation about what could be coming.

In a way, it’s a shrewdly calculated approach to publicize the show while controlling spoilers. The cast and producers have appeared everywhere from Jimmy Kimmel Reside to the pages of Entertainment Weekly, speaking up just the story points authorized by HBO and the showrunners.

For example, the Entertainment Weekly story centers on the show’s most prominent female characters, such as Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys, the mother of dragons. In the piece, she pushes back against charges that the show is sexist and as well often shows sexual violence against females.

Even though with no a appear at the episodes to come, critics like me can only say: We’ll see.

Peruse the a variety of trailers, clips and analyses and you’ll uncover a surprising quantity of data. (Right here, by the way, is exactly where a spoiler alert is appropriate: we’ll talk about a few developments and theories about upcoming storylines.)

In 1 scene, we see tortured eunuch servant Reek fleeing in a snow-covered wasteland with Sansa Stark. Last season, their leap from a parapet at Winterfell castle provided a bit of a cliffhanger: Are they dead or alive? New footage shows them operating from soldiers.

In other clips, there are big battle scenes, characters on the run, a certain major character in captivity. In one more scene, incestuous couple Cersei and Jaime Lannister are reunited, mourning the death of their daughter.

It really is a pivotal time for Game of Thrones, as all of the plots will now extend beyond the storylines of George R.R. Martin’s published books. Martin has reportedly consulted with producers so they know the significant story points in his next book, The Winds of Winter.

Tv shows primarily based on books, like ‘Dexter’ or ‘The Walking Dead,’ frequently appear to function best when they make alternatives based on what performs ideal for tv, and not on sticking to a well-known text.

Frankly, that is a situation I favor. Tv shows based on books, like Dexter or The Walking Dead, typically seem to work best when they make alternatives based on what works best for television, and not on sticking to a popular text.

At a time when HBO is struggling to generate effective new dramas, Game of Thrones wants as considerably room to maneuver as attainable. It really is HBO’s most well-known series — its crown jewel — utilized to entice individuals into subscribing to the channel. HBO is giving cable subscribers free access this weekend to sample the Game of Thrones and it’s currently renewed the series for 2017.

But look at how AMC’s hit The Walking Dead has jerked around fans — producing it appear appear characters have been killed only to reveal they haven’t — and you speedily see the pitfalls of operating a common, aging show. Every season should supply surprising plot developments that even longtime fans can not predict. There require to be moments that are outlandish sufficient to go viral, but not so crazy that enthusiasts really feel manipulated or deceived.

So this season has got to work, and operate well, for each Game of Thrones and HBO. Most of all it really is got to answer the query: Is hero Jon Snow, who we saw knifed to death final season, actually dead? And even if he is dead, may possibly he rise once again?

Can not wait to get some answers, correct alongside a lot of of you, on Sunday night,

Arts &amp Life : NPR

Not My Job: We Quiz Lena Headey On Games Worse Than &#039Game Of Thrones&#039



Lena Headey at the &quot300: Rise Of An Empire&quot Press Conference on March 4, 2014 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Vera Anderson/WireImage

Game of Thrones may possibly have killed off numerous main characters, but the manipulative, scheming Queen Cersei is nonetheless standing. She’s played by Lena Headey, who we’ve invited to play a game known as “You win and you die.”

Because The Game of Thrones does not sound particularly enjoyable to play, we’ll ask 3 questions about even worse games.



And now the game exactly where we invite on people we like and make them answer questions about factors they know nothing at all about. “Game Of Thrones” is the most well-known Tv show on the planet, in spite of obtaining an extremely complex plot and also a habit of killing off major characters. But nonetheless surviving following six seasons is the manipulative, scheming Queen Cersei Lannister. She’s played by the quite nice actress Lena Headey. She joins us now. Lena, welcome to WAIT WAIT… Do not Inform ME.

LENA HEADEY: Thank you.


SAGAL: Now, I know the cliche that you are but an actor. You are not the components that you play, however at the prospect of speaking to you, I was actually terrified. Does this take place to you a lot?

HEADEY: Yeah, it does appear to. Folks do look to think that I am going to be some wicked witch, and then they’re often surprised to locate out I am just a little clumsy nerd.

SAGAL: Actually? Do you enjoy playing somebody who is so pointedly not cheerful and happy?

HEADEY: Yeah, it is cathartic since I guess, you know, it is not socially acceptable to be a full and utter manipulative cow. So I can get it all out…

SAGAL: I guess so. I really feel that both for men and women who haven’t observed “Game Of Thrones,” and I pity them, or for folks who have observed it and can not hold the names straight, could briefly describe who your character is?

HEADEY: She is the energy-hungry mother of 3 kids by her brother, desperate to sit on the throne and run the seven kingdoms.

SAGAL: Right.

HEADEY: And she’s not a really nice girl.

SAGAL: No, she’s not.


SAGAL: And so for six seasons, we’ve essentially observed her manipulate, lie, lure men and women to their deaths and do a variety of unpleasant issues.

HEADEY: Yeah, she’s had a few rough days.

SAGAL: I understand.


SAGAL: Since the individuals on the show, the characters, are so incredibly unpleasant and are constantly undertaking very unpleasant things to every other, I think about your cast parties are, like, blowout entertaining due to the fact you must have to, like, let off all the steam of getting horrible to every single other.

HEADEY: There’s a lot of Olympic drinking, yes.


SAGAL: Now, you have played a lot of extremely – I will – for lack of a greater word – nerdy roles. You have been in the big classic nerdy Greek combat film “300” as the…


SAGAL: …Sexy Queen Gorgo. So the nerds must freak out when they see you on the street.

HEADEY: Yep, I get a bit of nerd really like.

SAGAL: You do?

HEADEY: (Unintelligible).

SAGAL: What is nerd enjoy like?

HEADEY: Loud. And…


SAGAL: Did you – I have to ask you this question – you, like a lot of the actors on “Game Of Thrones, did not read the books, appropriate?


SAGAL: And is that due to the fact you didn’t want to uncover out what happened to your character in yet another medium or they’re just a ridiculous nerd issue and you would by no means go near such a thing?

HEADEY: Both of those issues.



HEADEY: I did attempt. My mother read them all obsessively. And so I get the sort of shortened versions.

SAGAL: So wait a minute, your mother has read all of George R. R. Martin’s novels.

HEADEY: Yeah, she loves to go oh, I know what happens to you next.


SAGAL: I have to ask you, your character, Queen Cersei, was forced by circumstances that are way also intriguing to get into, to walk naked in a stroll of shame, as somebody’s…


SAGAL: …Yelling shame through the entire town. That was a very extended sequence. Now, initial of all, did you really have to do that?

HEADEY: Yes, I was truly there, contrary to common belief, in the location undertaking the complete thing. But I was not naked although.

SAGAL: You had been not naked?

HEADEY: Not my physique.

SAGAL: That was not – truly? Did they do the personal computer thing exactly where they gave you somebody else’s body?

HEADEY: They did, yes.

SAGAL: Did you get to choose whose physique it was?


SAGAL: Due to the fact offered the opportunity, I would actually get pleasure from to have some – my head place on somebody else’s physique.

HEADEY: You’d consider, but I – you know what? I was just like if somebody is brave enough to do this with me, then I never care what they appear like.

SAGAL: Correct.

HEADEY: I actually do not.

SAGAL: There was 1 guy in that sequence who leaps out and exposes himself to your character. And all I could believe of with that guy was like hey everybody, I got a portion in “Game Of Thrones.”


SAGAL: It is going to make me.

HEADEY: I know due to the fact, you know, we all sat around for, like, three days sort of tag-teaming on and off that set. And he was there we have been sort of possessing coffee. And I was like so, what are you – what are you doing? He was like oh, I am flashing my willy at you.


SAGAL: So what’s fascinating is for individuals that might not know, the series is based on this extremely lengthy complicated series of books. But last season, season six, they caught up with the finish of the books. So nobody knows what’s taking place subsequent except you, Lena Headey…


SAGAL: …Due to the fact the production has been completed, proper? It is going to be broadcast in a couple of months. So what are the secrecy rules? I imply, what do they inform you about what you can and cannot say?

HEADEY: I can’t inform you a factor.

SAGAL: You can not inform me a thing.


SAGAL: If you were to tell me one thing, what would happen to you?

HEADEY: It is far more what would occur to you.


HELEN HONG: Somebody would jump out and flash their willy at you for positive.

SAGAL: Oh, no.


SAGAL: Lena Headey, we have asked you hear to play a game we’re calling…

BILL KURTIS: You Win And You Die.


SAGAL: So the “Game Of Thrones” in the show you star in is not especially exciting to play…


SAGAL: …Ask Ned Stark. So we thought we’d ask you about three even worse games. Answer two of them appropriately, you are going to win our prize for 1 of our listeners – Carl Kassel’s voice on their voicemail. Bill, who is actress Lena Headey playing for?

HEADEY: Chris Shields of Beaverton, Ore.

SAGAL: All proper, you ready to play, Lena?

HEADEY: Yes, I’m ready.

SAGAL: All proper, now, which of these is a genuine board game that you could go out, purchase and play with your family members today if you wanted to? Is it A, Swedish Parliament in which you and your buddies recreate the Swedish national elections around your dining room table, B, “Family Time” in which you play a member of a household attempting to make a decision some thing to do that will hold you from fighting tonight or C, Mule in which you attempt to smuggle as many drugs across the border utilizing your personal physique cavities as possible.



HEADEY: God, one particular of them sounds more fascinating, but I’m going to go for the second 1, the family point – the non-fighting.

SAGAL: So a game referred to as Family Time…


SAGAL: …In which you and your family gather about and play the roles of a family members attempting to determine to figure out what to do…


SAGAL: …Of an evening. So that’s your option, you are going to go for Family Time?

HEADEY: I am, yes.

SAGAL: All correct. I am afraid it was Swedish Parliament. That is an actual game that you can purchase. It was listed as one of the ten-worst board games ever made by a British newspaper, The Guardian. And then they published an apology because all these fans of “Swedish Parliament” wrote in and said, you know, it really is actually really interesting.


SAGAL: All right, in 2013, a designer created a new iPhone game that speedily got banned from the App Shop. Was it which of these – A, Send Me To Heaven, which challenges you to throw your telephone as high as you can into the air…


SAGAL: …B, Massive Jerk – the object of that game is to stroll by as several folks as you can even though staring at your telephone or C, Drug Mule which is an iPhone version of the board game I mentioned in the earlier question.


HEADEY: I – I am going to go for the second one.

SAGAL: You are going to go for Massive Jerk?

HEADEY: (Laughter).

SAGAL: You’re going to go for that?

HEADEY: I really feel very strong in my answer.

SAGAL: I – I – no. No, I am afraid the game was Send – (laughter) – the game was Send Me To Heaven. And it was invented by a guy who just wanted to see how several folks he could trick into wrecking their iPhones by hurling them as higher as they could into the air.


SAGAL: And really, the comments on the game in, like, the app shop have been I broke my phone.


SAGAL: All proper, let’s see if you can get one proper. The 1960s were a golden age of board games. One particular of the less-effective games from that era is which of these – A, Digestion Monopoly, which is like normal monopoly except right after you select your piece you swallow it.


SAGAL: Whoever gets their’s back 1st wins.


SAGAL: B – B, I say, Connect Two or C, a board game named Big Funeral. You play by planning a funeral.

HEADEY: Oh, I never want to get it incorrect. But I know, I am going to say the funeral game.

SAGAL: The funeral game – you are right, it is in reality the funeral game…


SAGAL: …Massive Funeral. Bill, how did Lena Headey do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Lena got one particular right out 3. And, you know, Lena, that’s genuinely very good.


SAGAL: I see you’ve also watched the show. Hedge your bets, Bill.

KURTIS: I don’t want on her bad side.

SAGAL: Hedge your bets with this woman. Lena Headey stars in “Pride And Prejudice And Zombies,” based on the original draft of the Austen novel. It is in theaters now, and you can see her in the new season of HBO’s “Game Of Thrones.” That premieres in April. I am lining up in front of my tv now. Lena Headey, thank you so much for joining us.

HEADEY: Thank you, guys.

SAGAL: Thank you, Lena.


QUEEN: (Singing) She’s a killer queen. Gunpowder, gelatine, dynamite with a laser beam. Assured to blow your thoughts…

SAGAL: In just a minute, Bill says words, some of which rhyme. It’s our Listener Limerick Challenge. Get in touch with 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to join us on the air. We’ll be back in a minute with far more WAIT WAIT… Never Tell ME from NPR.

Copyright © 2016 NPR. All rights reserved. Check out our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further details.

NPR transcripts are developed on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability could differ. This text may possibly not be in its final form and might be updated or revised in the future. Please be conscious that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

Arts &amp Life : NPR