June 21-23, 2019
Sydney Showground Olympic Park
A Game of Thrones character fans love to hate, Ser Meryn Trant did some unspeakable things during his time as a knight of the Kingsguard.
While there were seemingly few things that could get in his way (with the exception of Arya Stark), the actor who portrayed him, brilliant Supanova guest Ian Beattie, recalled a time on set when he struggled to get through one scene in season five, episode one, The Wars to Come.
Here’s one of many highlights from Beattie’s exclusive Gold Coast panel.
“Let me begin by saying, I hate rats, I’m terrified of them – a childhood incident, don’t ask, but I hate rats. So we’re filming season five, episode one in Qyburn’s laboratory, and we’re filming it in a disused castle just outside of Belfast. They’re hanging things off the walls – drapes and jars and whatever else you have – and it’s all very dark inside.”
“I walk in from sunlight into darkness and get positioned… ’Camera, rolling!’ And I look around and there’s a grey rat six inches from my ear in a cage. I am out of there. [Cinematographer] Michael Slovis: ‘Hold on, hold on – what’s the problem?’ I said, ‘What’s the problem?! There’s a grey rat six inches from my ear!’”
“[Slovis]: ‘Can we have the rat wrangler on set?’ Only in Game of Thrones can you have a rat wrangler.”
“On comes the rat wrangler, and you know he’s a rat wrangler because he looks like the rat. He’s like the rat’s dad. He says, ‘What’s the problem?’ I said, ‘There’s a grey rat six inches from my ear.’ He says, ‘It’s a well-trained rat.’ I said, ‘I’m a very well trained human, I just don’t like rats.’ He said, ‘Can you keep your voice down, you might upset the rat.’”
“On comes Dave and Dan, the showrunners: ‘What’s the problem?’ David puts his arm around me and says, ‘We’ll get this in two takes.’”
“Seven takes later… I was sitting there, with this thing in my ear. Eventually, they said ‘cut’ and I am out of there in a flash.”
“David comes up to me and says, ‘You know something? We got it on the second take.’ That’s what life was like on the Game of Thrones set.”
Ser Meryn Trant may have met a gory end during the tenth and final episode of season five, but Beattie hasn’t missed an episode since departing, watching every episode “at least four times”.
With his Supanova appearance only days out from the season eight premiere, he shared his thoughts on what might be ahead.
“I don’t think it’ll be what many people want, or what many people expect. You might have to go think about it for a few days to go, ‘that was right. It wasn’t what I wanted, but it was right.’”
“George [R. R. Martin] had three twists – that’s what he said. Twist number one was Jon Snow’s mother, twist number two was “hold the door”… I don’t know what the third twist is.”
Lead image by Ewan Ly