Rochester native called 'beating heart' of 'Game of Thrones'

May 13, 2019 08:11 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Behind the scenes of "Game of Thrones" is a Rochester native.

The name Bernadette Caulfield flashes on the screen during the opening credits of "Game of Thrones." It first appears in the second season. By the third, her name is followed by Executive Producer.


The Bishop Kearney grad first got her taste of show businesses in the early 1980s when "Fear No Evil" was shot in Rochester. At the time, she was working with the Rochester Community Players where the movie crew would often borrow props. 

The theater was dark that summer. When a friend suggested they drive to Hollywood to work, Bernadette "Bernie" Caulfield packed up her VW and headed west.

For years she worked tirelessly, building up her skill-set and her reputation. While working on "Big Love" for HBO, she was approached to work on a "medieval fantasy show based on some books."

“I said, ‘what’s this thing going on over at the U.K.? Fantasy…that’s not really my thing.’ But then I read the book and really enjoyed it,” recalled Caulfield from her home now in London.

The book was "A Song of Ice and Fire," the series written by George R.R. Martin. The show adaptation was "Game of Thrones." The first season was still in the editing process, yet to air, so Caulfield didn’t know what to expect.

“I don’t think any of us knew how big it was going to be,” she said.

Flash forward to 2019, the show is in its final season. 

In a New York Times article, the co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss credit Caulfield with being a big part of the show’s success. Actress Emilia Clarke, who plays the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen, is quoted as calling Caulfield "the beating heart" of the show.

“There are several hearts on that show," Caulfield said. "It is such a team effort. No one could do it by themselves."

Caulfield went on to credit the co-creators for creating a creative environment.

“It really starts with David and Dan," she said. "They were so collaborative and it made us all want to give more. If you have a creator do it on their own, you’re just moving the wheel. But we feel like we all helped fashion it, every step of the way. That’s what gets us all excited. The team I am surrounded by is the same, we like the challenge. We like reading a script and saying ‘how are we going to do that.’”

While the rest of the world will catch up with the end of the show this weekend, the cast and crew said their goodbyes last fall.

“We finished shooting approximately in July, still doing special effects into August," Caulfield said. "So, it’s been almost a year since we were crying that we were leaving each other. In some ways, it is exciting to do something new, but I think we all desperately miss each other."

Caulfield is currently producing the new series for HBO called "The Nevers."


Stephanie Robusto

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