‘Game of Thrones’ Gemma Whelan Almost Fired Over Spoilers
Game of Thrones’ costume designer may rattle off spoilers as she pleases, but series star Gemma Whelan wasn’t afforded the same luxury in Season 2. Announcing her character very nearly cost our then-future Yara her job, Whelan recounts in a new interview.
Whelan spoke with The U.K.’s The Times, revealing that producers called her in for a stern lecture after booking the role of Yara Greyjoy several years ago. The Game of Thrones spoiler apparatus wasn’t quite in place by Season 2, so Whelan hadn’t been formally restricted from confirming her role as Yara Greyjoy in public profiles:
The first lesson I learnt was when I first got the job. No one told me to keep quiet about it. I just thought it was normal to pop it on my Spotlight entry, so I wrote on my CV, ‘This summer, Gemma will be playing Yara Greyjoy in Game of Thrones.’ And the internet went nuts. One of the lovely, lovely producers on Thrones called me into his office and said, ‘This is very serious. We almost can’t employ you because of this.’
And while it wouldn’t seem that Yara’s introduction should spoil very much, it’s worth remembering that Season 2’s “The North Remembers” awkwardly played with the identity of Whelan’s character, allowing her brother Theon to mistake her for a local girl susceptible to his advances. Not only that, but “Yara” is actually a composite of roles from the book, with her closest literary counterpart going by “Asha” (producers were concerned with similarity to Natalie Tena’s “Osha”).
We’re certainly glad Whelan kept the role (and Yara looks to play a large part in Season 7), but if Ian McShane and Jim Broadbent can get away with cavalier spoilers, give Gemma a break, guys! Stay tuned for more on Game of Thrones’ Sunday premiere in the meantime.