Jessica Henwick as Nymeria Sand in Game Of Thrones
Duh duh, du-du duh duh, du-du… Season 5 is FINALLY here. Spoiler alert: Sophie Turner – AKA Sansa Stark – warned us that there will be ‘lots of death’. OK, so that’s not exactly a surprise, but we’re not complaining about more swords, more dragons and more amazing plaited hair.
Want to meet one of the spicy new characters being thrown into the mix? Course you do. We caught up with Game Of Thrones new girl Jessica Henwick, who is about to shake things up in a big way as Nymeria Sand...
How does it feel joining such a massive show?
‘It’s a weird position to be in, auditioning for something you’re already familiar with. It ramps things up because you really want to get the job. As it’s a show that thrives on surprise, when I got the scripts I was like, “Oh no, now I know the spoilers!”’
Have you had any die-hard fans recognise you?
‘We spent the bulk of our time filming in Spain. I’d come out of the hotel with the other actors, and fans would come up and ask, “Have you seen the Game Of Thrones cast?” I’d go, “No, sorry!” I did get a Twitter message after my role was announced asking if I’d get naked. That was a pretty weird first interaction.’
So how does your character Nymeria Sand fit into the mix?
‘I’m one of three daughters of Oberyn [Martell] – Obara, Nymeria and Tyene – all of whom want revenge for their father, but all three sisters approach it very differently…’
We hear you had to learn how to use a bullwhip.
‘Yep, Nymeria’s weapon is a 9ft-long bullwhip. I’ve been clarifying the length because people are like, “Ohh, like a Fifty Shades Of Grey whip?” and I’m like, “No, like an Indiana Jones whip!” Inmost fight scenes the characters use rubber weapons, but the bullwhip is real – the crack it makes sounds like a gunshot. It was so loud I had to go down to my parents’ house in the country to practise.’
Did you get some cool braids?
‘I have a side braid and as I’m Dornish my costume is less uptight, with lots of free-flowing chiffon and leather straps. It was very practical in the heat!’
Before this you were on Silk, like your Game Of Thrones co-stars Natalie Dormer and Indira Varmer...
‘It’s funny, both Natalie and Indira played the new girl on Silk in the two series before I did. When I was filming it, people were saying, “You’re gonna follow the trend and join Game Of Thrones.” I was like, “I WISH!” I can’t believe it’s actually happened.’
Game Of Thrones series 5 begins tonight on Sky Atlantic. Watch every episode of Game Of Thrones ever with S1-4 box sets through Sky On Demand and NOW TV