Speaking with EW’s Game of Thrones scholar James Hibberd, Merchant stated, “Shooting the pilot was a great lesson. It was an affirmation about listening to my instincts and following them, because I tried to back out of that situation and, during the contract process, I did back out. I was talked back into it by some persuasive people. Then I found myself naked and afraid in Morocco and riding a horse that was clearly much more excited to be there than I was.”
It’s a candid reply, and one Merchant expanded on by noting she thinks Clarke did nice and made the function iconic, which Merchant appears to counsel she won’t have been in a position to do as a result of she wasn’t excited “in my guts” concerning the sequence. But she additionally famous the strangeness of “riding to auditions on buses with Emilia Clarke’s face on it.”
It’s a troublesome state of affairs to be in, which Merchant handles gracefully, remarking on how she’s extra creatively glad now than greater than a decade in the past. However, it’s a reminder of how fragile these artistic endeavors could be, whilst followers and media corporations bathe them with reward and expectations—remodeling collaborations into monolithic manufacturers.
In the 18 months since Game of Thrones ended, a rising narrative within the media suggests showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss might make no powerful, or at the least sensible, determination. The implication is the present’s success is attributable solely to George R.R. Martin’s extraordinary novels. While there’s fact that the narrative genius of the sequence comes from Martin, a lot of what makes one thing interesting or intoxicating to fan tradition stems from ephemeral (and infrequently painful) decisions made within the thick of artistic battle. The components that made Game of Thrones a cultural juggernaut weren’t handed down absolutely shaped on the web page, and the present might’ve been very totally different—or not labored in any respect—from the start.
Hibberd has explored this in-depth past talking with Merchant. Recently he she some mild on the secrecy surrounding the jettisoned Game of Thrones pilot in his latest oral historical past ebook concerning the making of the present, Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon.