The Real Story Behind That Yara & Ellaria Kiss On Game Of Thrones

Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
This post will discuss spoilers from Game of Thrones episode 2, "Stormborn."
Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan) and Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma) were our favorite surprise couple in "Stormborn." The two powerful women, each dead set on exacting merciless attacks on Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), are two of the most candid characters on the series. They play by their own rules, and follow their own moral compasses. (For Ellaria, those moral guidelines, or lack thereof, became clear after she gave the kiss of death to Myrcella Lannister (Nell Tiger Free) in season 5.) And for one brief moment, the passionate women were brought together right before our eyes, until the mad Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk) showed up to kill (or kidnap) the ship's crew.
While on the ship, pre-Euron cosplaying as Jack Sparrow, Yara explains to Ellaria that her brother, Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen), will stay by her side as her protector once they claim King's Landing (that didn't pan out). Seeing an opportunity to mess with the damaged and raw Theon, the mother of the Sand Snakes approaches Yara, touches her legs, and slides next to her, daring Theon to make her stop her foreign intrusion (*wink, wink*). He stares on as Ellaria leans in to kiss Yara until their intimate moment is interrupted by Euron's deadly arrival.
Everyone on Twitter was heartbroken over the brief union between the two (although they both appear to be alive and in Euron's possession so maybe they will reunite soon), but what they don't know is that the scene almost never happened. In fact, it was completely improvised by the two actresses. “It wasn’t directed that we would kiss,” Whelan told Entertainment Weekly. “It just seemed like something we should do. We led it, very much so. It was meant to be a suggestion [of flirting] and then it became more sexual than we expected because it seemed right. There was only a skeleton crew working because the rig could only take so much weight, so we were left very much on our own. And who wouldn’t want to kiss Indira? I mean, come on!”
Hilariously, Varma didn't only kiss Whelan after improving the moment — she also had to replicate the kiss on Whelan's stunt double. "Gemma had hurt her back so there were some stunts she couldn’t do,” Varma says. "So I had to start kissing this poor stunt double and she was so terrified! That was quite funny, bless her. I don’t think she’d ever been put in that situation before. She’s used to falling over and being attacked and all the stunts, but to be kissed by an actress was a bit beyond her."
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