Making “Game of Thrones” can be painful.
That”s what we learned from Gwendoline Christie when she told the story behind the fight between Brienne and the Hound in the season 4 finale of “Game of Thrones.”
“That was the most grueling fight,” Christie said in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con during Entertainment Weekly”s Women Who Kick Ass panel.
Christie spent two months, three to four days a week for six to eight hours a day training for the scene that begins as a sword fight and evolves into a brutal hand-to-hand combat brawl.
The English actress trained so long and hard “to build up the strength necessary to carry out the fight, to fight Rory McCann, who's a 6'7” man who's certainly a lot stronger than I am,” she said. “But the characters are on the same level of strength. So I had to do quite a lot of pretending.”
A lot of preparation for the memorable clash of Brienne and the Hound was also learning the very meticulously planned fight choreography.
“There was one moment where Brienne punches the Hound somewhere extremely intimate,” Christie reminded the Comic-Con crowd. “And we'd rehearsed it so we knew where that punch went, how we did it, so it was fake, so no one got hurt. And then just before the take, Rory McCann said” – and at this point Christie put on McCann's deep, rough, Scottish voice – “‘Do it for real.” And I said, ‘I”m sorry?” He said, ‘Do it for real.” And what you see in that fight is a genuine connection of fist and undercarriage.”
If anyone every doubted McCann”s commitment to “Game of Thrones” while he lasted, doubt no longer.