Dottie Dartland Zicklin: During season two, we were doing this story where we wanted this relationship between Liza and Thad, who was the fiancé of Kelsey Peters, to come to a crescendo, and be very dramatic. And our showrunner Darren Star said, "I think we should just kill Thad. Just kill him off." So we wanted the publishing story to be something big that could echo these large themes -- betrayal and justice and a shocking death -- we wanted something that could also be a big deal, financially, to the company. What are the biggest books out there? And we all started talking about Game of Thrones.
Richard Masur: When I read the part, I just thought it was hysterical. I loved this character. I'm a big fan of the Game of Thrones books, and I have a sense of what the guy's like! So I just exaggerated the hell out of it.
Zicklin: Darren has actually never seen Game of Thrones. [Laughs] But the rest of us are all huge Game of Thrones fans. And Jessie Cantrell, one of our writers, is friends with someone on the writing staff at Game of Thrones, someone who knows the ending of the A Song of Ice and Fire series. And she was like, "Wouldn't it be amazing if Liza knew the ending before anybody else? And she had to keep it a secret?" We thought it would be an interesting position for Liza. That's why L.L. Moore whispers it to her and tells her he'll have to eat her. And Darren was like, "Yeah, okay. Let's make her a princess with some sexy outfit." I think we were thinking, how far does she have to go for the job?
Masur: I don't think Princess Pam Pam is quite an exact match for Daenerys Targaryen. Even though she's described as a warrior-princess, and she's got this special spear, it's not like she's the Mother of Dragons. That's a whole other level of being cool. I see her more as a beautiful version of Brienne of Tarth, where she goes at it with the guys and kicks the crap out of them, rather than summoning 50-foot dragons to do her bidding. I think the slave thing is meant to be a kind of sexual imagery, and it's the underlying baseline of what's in the Edward L.L. Moore books, and what goes on with women, is that this guy is completely obsessed with sexuality and power over women. He's compulsive. He's Donald Trump. He can't stop himself.
Zicklin: And then it becomes a dilemma for Charles: should Liza wear the fur bikini? And when L.L. Moore gives Liza the hotel room key, Charles interferes. We were trying to do a story where there's a bigger fish than Charles, and it's a question of whether Charles is going to stand up for Liza. So really, what we wanted was something epic and Wagnerian like Game of Thrones, not so much George R.R. Martin himself. Just that kind of character who had that kind of a fantasy series, and we definitely take license with it.
Masur: I think one of the reasons they offered it to me, frankly, was that they'd seen me on a couple of other shows, and I had a ponytail, long hair, and a beard -- since George R.R. Martin has this famous beard, even though his hair is not quite as long as mine. But I can't stand it. It's in my face. It's all over the place. So I keep it in a braid. But for Edward L.L. Moore? I have it all out and flowing and wild, because that's part of his affectation. So I have this hair, and I asked for the cap. I had seen George R.R. Martin wear this cap, this kind of old-fashioned sea captain's cap, and I asked wardrobe for one.
Zicklin: I remember Darren asking Richard, "Can you do a laugh that turns into a cough?" It was so cringe-y and awful. And Richard added the oyster slurping. That was all him.