Hannah New recently talked to both IGN and Monsters and Critics about the journey of our favourite queen of thieves. Both interviews are fantastic reads!
Be aware that both feature major spoilers for the current season, of course.
The actual scene itself is an incredible metaphor for how she lives her life. She grapples with everything she has at hand to survive. When I first read it, I was like “Geez, guys I know I’ve been going on at you for three years to give me kick ass stuff but you just gave it to me all in one scene!” [Laughs] I think there was eight different weapons when we first read the scene.
- There is a certain point where she has to reevaluate what her life has been on this island and whether she would want to repeat that for her own child. It’s beautifully played out with that scene with Mrs. Hudson where she says “When my mother and father first came here, they had a terrible argument.” It’s one of those moments where when you’re a kid and something really significant happens and you remember it with this crystalline vision and you don’t know why it sticks in your head for the rest of your life until a particular moment when you’re like “That’s why I remember it. That’s why it’s so significant.” Jon [Steinberg ] and Dan [Shotz] introduced it in such a beautiful way because she’s saying, “My mom was saying it’s too cruel for a little girl.” She was the only female that she remembers of her blood family. The other significant females would have been Madi and Madi’s mum. She remembers that one thing her mother said and never understood it until now. She wanted to deny her mother in a way by going “I’m a girl, this place is cruel and I’m going to make it a success. Watch me.” And now she’s going, “hold on a minute” because it’s a completely different ball game when you’re thinking about children and it’s not something she’s ever considered until this point. All those moments are reflection about what her life was and who she really is and now the responsibility of bringing a child into the world and creating an environment where they can be safe. It’s the most fundamental human emotion of wanting to protect and nurture your own kin. She never imagined it because she never felt it from her own mother and father. Her mother died in the first Spanish raid so it’s so incredibly symbolic that she would die in the second. It’s an incredible full circle that’s come around.
We shot it a long time after we shot the physical fight because we shot it outside on a set we had, not our main set. It was the Barlow house that we’ve come back to again and again and again and such significant things have happened there. To lie on the ground and hear, in my dying breath, this house burning down, also felt incredibly symbolic. This place that was Flint’s safe haven as well is now gone. The fact that she dies in his arms is so incredibly beautiful and you have this moment of such compassion and humanity to tell her the lie that will give her a moment's peace that she’s been fighting for, in a way. It’s a tiny moment of peace -- a macro moment of the peace that she’s been fighting for. [...] It’s just so wonderful as well to play those scenes with Toby because I think about those scenes in Season 1 when they're in the office and they're talking about Odysseus and the oar and walking inland until it’s a shovel I think that as an image really captivated Eleanor and it drove her through the seasons to say “No, I’m going to make this place a sustainable republic. It’s going to be ours, it’s going to be prosperous. We’re not going to live under brutality.” Those are the things that drove her in the first few seasons. To then die in the arms of the man who gave her that vision, in a way, is incredibly beautiful, I think.
- And then the fact that you worked out that Madi pulled her out of the house, and she is lying there saved in that moment, to the one moment with Flint, which was so beautiful and such clever writing I think.
- Eleanor’s love life is so incredibly complex because she has never really known true love in a sense of being nurtured and feeling that kind of security from family. I think that has had a huge impact on the way she behaved with every single person that she purports to be in love with. I think she is in her own way in love with Woodes [Rogers] but she has had so many traumas and barriers…you see it in Season 1 with Max that she is just incapable of putting aside her motives and her desire to make the island work in order to live a life of true love with Max. And I think Max is the only person who shown her that kind of real nurturing beautiful love, and she threw it back in her face. I think that was the beginning of a very painful chain of events.
- To me it seems she [Eleanor] gets very confused between what she wants on a grand scale for the island and what she wants for herself personally. She doesn’t have the ability to really evaluate those two things and she always prioritizes fighting for the island. And I think that comes from the deep trauma she has experienced as a child.
- Even with Woodes Rogers, I think she doesn’t really see who he is, she sees what he is able to create and that he is a masterful kind of tactician who can achieve her ends, even though it seems from the opposite side, you know?
- I think Flint really is the person who she ideologically aligns herself with, and despite all the risks that have gone on, there have been key clues that she’s always been Team Flint. [...] I think that image and that sense of striving towards peace is something that she has kind of held dear throughout the four seasons, and the fact that she chooses Flint as her hostage[...].
- [O]ne of my favorite moments to shoot was definitely one of the most symbolic moments of what Eleanor tries to do throughout the whole four seasons — when she fires the gun in between Vane and Flint. To me that is symbolic of the fact that she is desperately trying to balance these two powers of order and chaos and how they fight against each other. She’s always the one in the middle trying to balance it out.
- I was able to design little aspects like her little bunch of keys that she wears throughout Season 1 and 2. To me, those little symbols were important. They were status symbols, they were her own security. I don’t know if you remember but she always used to sleep in her tavern in her little cage in the office, to me that was very symbolic that she was keeping herself in this kind of gilded cage and I think that was a wonderful little item that I could hold on to like a little talisman.
A little featurette about the Stockholm-based VFX studio Very Important Pirates, who worked on the visuals for S4.
Mods, please ignore the earlier post! Added the video source to this one.
Sources: 1 2 3
Crew, have you ever been held back by the flop men around you, despite being a visionary power player?