Spoilers ahead from "Game of Thrones" Season 7, Episode 2.
"Game of Thrones" Season 7 just had two big Nymeria scenes, but fans only had strong reactions to the direwolf. Jessica Henwick played Nymeria Sand, one of two Sand Snakes to be killed in the big battle that ended "Stormborn," but the impact of the episode was with other characters. Fans just never quite took to the Sand Snakes on the HBO show, and Henwick told Entertainment Weekly she understood why.
Here's that part of the "Iron Fist" actresses' Q&A with EW:
EW: The Sand Snakes have had a mixed reaction from fans. Looking back, was there anything that could have been done differently?
Jessica Henwick: I think that it was hard for [the producers] from a production point of view. In the books, there are seven Sand Snakes and there was a lot of discussions about how many were going to be introduced [in the show]. Originally it was going to be Obara, Tyene and then they couldn't decide on Sarella or Nymeria. Obviously, I'm very lucky Nymeria ended up being the one they chose. It was always acknowledged that it was going to be very hard to give each of us a storyline. They had to introduce three characters all at once and differentiate them. When you're limited to an introduction of two lines per character and there are four characters in the scene — during our introduction scene in season 5 — it's hard to create a lasting impression. You kind of have to shove a character down the audience's throat and Game of Thrones' success is in its multifaceted characters. At the time it was definitely frustrating feeling like there's so much potential here, and a lot of the stuff that we shot didn't make the final cut. It was hard. But overall, given the size of the character, I've been very happy with how it's come out. It is what it is. There's nothing I can say, really.
That has to be so frustrating, from an acting perspective, to be cast on this amazing popular show but be sidelined with not the best material. Some of the Sand Snake disappointment came from book readers who were expecting something a little different, and time and distance may serve the characters better.
Henwick explained that the initial plan for Nymeria's fate was more of a drawn out storyline, but because of her limited schedule from Marvel's "Iron Fist" and "The Defenders," they had to change it up.
"The first thing I thought was that it's brutal. It's hard reading these scenes where characters you love are getting absolutely demolished. And in our case, it's by a crazy madman. I knew it was going to be very intense and very physical. I was excited because on the page you could feel the scope of it. And there is something fulfilling about finishing it."
At least this Nymeria got closure, and a cool "Game of Thrones" death. Season 7 continues with Episode 3 this Sunday, July 30 at 9 p.m. on HBO.
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