If anyone ends up surviving Game of Thrones—the show or the panel—it will probably be Jerome Flynn’s sellsword and Tyrion Lannister-lifemate Bronn.
The actor held court at New York Comic Con on Friday afternoon to discuss the finer points of killing, singing, and Arya as a flock of Daeneryses, Night’s Watchmen, and Dothraki looked on from the front row.
The audience in the packed panel got to jump right in to their questions for the charming Scot, starting with what Flynn would want Bronn to do, if he were in control of Bronn’s journey through Westeros. “I’d go find [Arya actor] Maisie Williams and go hang out with her!”
To Flynn, that wish is a bit more doable than it would seem to those who have read the Song of Ice and Fire books. The actor admitted that he doesn’t actually know what’s coming for Bronn, and that he doesn’t really want to know. “I’ve become a bit of a ‘Throney’ myself, so I don’t read the books or the scripts that I’m not in because I want to enjoy the stories as they come up.”
Part of keeping the blinders on involves Bronn’s backstory, as well. Although actors often to create their own backstory for a character, Flynn tries to avoid that for the most part. “I just know he had a rough time in life. He’s got some wounds. I think he killed his first person when was probably 12. His dad wasn’t around. I blame Bronn’s personality on his fatherless years. That’s about it.”
Still, there is one thing that Jerome Flynn would like Bronn to tell him. “I almost feel like I can’t [ask Bronn anything]. It might spoil some kind of illusion that I don’t know Bronn inside out. But…I’d ask him what melts his heart.”
Perhaps the series author George R. R. Martin could tell him? In response to a question from moderator Aaron Sagers, the actor revealed that the author has been very positive about Jerome’s depiction of Bronn, “from the word go, really.”
For those who watch the show, assumably Peter Dinklage is just as positive about Flynn’s depiction of the sellsword, since the actor is always trying to crack Flynn up. “Sometimes it’s very hard to get through a scene with Peter Dinklage. Seriously, you have to really hold it together. There’s always a joy and humor and he’s always on the edge of making you laugh.” One of the more difficult scenes to deal with in that regard, but one of Flynn’s absolute favorites, is when Tyrion introduces Bronn to his father Tywin Lannister. The actor also went on to praise his co-star Daniel Portman, who plays Podrick on the show. “Daniel is like a brother, actually. There’s a chemistry between us three on and off set.”
The audience was eager to hear of Flynn’s on-set exploits in regards to the numerous battle scenes in the show and what, if anything, Flynn himself brought to the ferocity of those fights. “There’s something very primal about [Bronn], like when he’s fighting. One of the first things I had to do [on the show] was slice up seven people! The weapons we have on this show aren’t foam, they’re steel. And in your mind you tell yourself, ‘I’ve got to go for this.’ When you get the costume on and you’re out there in the Celtic hills, the Viking in me starts coming through.”
Although Flynn does have the show’s stunt coordinator guiding him through Bronn’s more physical scenes, the actor summarized his combat training as stemming “Mostly with my older brother when I was young. Then I got older and the combat training stopped.” The actor does greatly enjoy the physical aspects of his character, though—he even sought out a stage fencing class when he was in school—and wishes Bronn had had more to do during the battle of the Blackwater.
Sometimes that physicality can backfire on him. One of the worst moments he had while filming Game of Thrones involved his duel in the Vale, on a set where the floors turned out to be covered in wax. “I did fall down that hole [in the Vale]. The big one that goes on forever? I did actually fall down that. That was the scariest! It was about 15 feet!”
While talking about his fight scenes, Flynn also dropped a hint about the forthcoming fourth season of the show. “I have a fight with someone in the upcoming season and he nearly got my sword to his skull. But I can’t tell you who I’m fighting because it’s not in the books!”
The actor also mentioned that he’s greatly enjoyed watching Pedro Pascal play new character Oberyn Martell in the upcoming season. Perhaps there is a correlation between that and Bronn’s Mystery Fight?
Although Bronn is a tertiary character in the series, the audience was curious as to which character the actor wants to see get their just desserts. “It’d be easy to say Joffrey. You know…his uncle’s his dad and his mother’s in a bad way. But I don’t trust Joffrey’s new lady…”
But if Joffrey shouldn’t be on the Iron Throne, then who should?
Flynn considered that particular audience question for a bit. “Can Arya get the throne?”
Chris Lough is the production manager of Tor.com and is writing this article next to someone in a Fred Flintstone costume.