Game of Thrones cast members reveal their favourite deaths from series. Watch video
Fans of Game of Thrones know that a character’s survival is never guaranteed. In a show that follows George RR Martin’s novels about the deadly power-struggle between royal families across kingdoms, no sooner is a viewer attached to a character that they meet their untimely end. Even season one ends with lead character Ned Stark (Sean Bean) beheaded in a surprise twist that sets the stage for seasons to come.
From a poisoning to crushing skulls to a death on the chamber pot, the show is known for giving fan favourites gruesome deaths. At the red-carpet premiere of the show’s final season on Wednesday in New York, stars recalled their favourite death scenes from the show.
Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark in the series, said there were two scenes that stood out to her. “It’s difficult. Sean’s was amazing because it was just so shocking, because no-one knew that they were going to kill off main characters,” she said. “But my favourite death is probably Oberyn Martell’s, the skull crushing. That was pretty spectacular.”
Maisie Williams, who plays Sansa’s sister Arya on the show, agreed. “When Oberyn Martell got his head squished. Loved that scene,” she said. “So sad, though, because I miss Pedro (Pascal).”
Another Stark sibling also chose the death of Oberyn Martell. Isaac Hempstead Wright, who plays Bran Stark, agreed with his on-screen sisters. “Prince Oberyn’s. It was so, so shocking - not only in terms of the brutality of it, but in terms of the fact that I really didn’t see it coming. I hadn’t read the script for that episode and it was one of those classic Game of Thrones moments where you think the underdog’s winning. Oh, no, no - he’s had his head squished,” he said.
Choosing a less honourable death was Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth). “Charles Dance on the toilet, thank you,” said Christie, referring to a scene in which Charles Dance’s character, the villainous Tywin Lannister, is shot dead on a chamber-pot by his son Tyrion with a crossbow.
Another villain’s death appreciated by a cast member was that of Joffrey Baratheon. “I think probably Joffrey’s, you know, those eyes, you know, the strangulation, the going red,” said Iain Glen, who plays Ser Jorah Mormont in the series. “I thought it was just a brilliantly acted death and it was a surprise, like all good Thrones deaths are, just the way it manifested itself. It had captured everything that’s great about ‘Thrones,’ I think.”
Pilou Asbaek, who plays Euron Greyjoy, said his favourite death belonged to Ramsay Bolton. “I like the way Ramsay died. He got eaten by his own dogs. That’s a very Scandinavian death, I like that,” he said. “Because it’s brutal. And it’s poetic.”
The two deaths that seemed to garner the most sympathy belonged to Shireen Baratheon and Hodor. The young Baratheon girl meets her death when her father Stannis Baratheon, misled by Melisandre, sacrifices her to the God of Light.
Liam Cunningham, whose character Davos Seaworth was close to the young girl, says he cried when he read the script. “My little girl Shireen. That was heartbreaking. I cried when I read that in my little room at home, when I had the pages open, I went... I thought, I, I, I hoped it was a joke. A horrible thing to happen but incredibly dramatic as regards our storytelling,” said Cunningham.
Another powerful death was that of Hodor. The actor who plays Hodor in the series said he even cried when watching the scene. “I definitely cried the first time I watched it,” said Kristian Nairn. “It’s very different watching it back, than it is doing it at the time. Yeah, I still get teary when I watch it sometimes, although I don’t watch it very often.”
Conleth Hill, who plays Varys, said the two deaths that stand out to him belong to Hodor and Ned Stark. “The first was Sean Bean, Ned Stark, because even while we were filming, I kept thinking, oh, someone will save him,” said Hill. “ And then the second one was Hodor. I never saw that coming either. I was like, ‘What?’”
Aidan Gillen, Petyr Littlefinger Baelish, said the scene of Hodor’s death is not only his favourite death, but also his favourite scene in the series. “Just the way it was put together, intercutting his death with, you know, the scenes of him as a child. Very emotional, hard-hitting, devastating,” he said. “And Ned Stark, same reason, hard-hitting, but, you know, extremely heartbreaking. So I like seeing good guys die, I guess.”
With one final season, fans can only guess who will make it out of the series alive. Jerome Flynn says his character Bronn’s sense of humor is what he believes has allowed him to stay alive so far. Other characters were not as lucky.
Both Mark Addy, who plays Robert Baratheon, and Esme Augusta Bianco, who plays Ros, said they saw their deaths coming. Bianco knew when filming approached and she hadn’t received a script. Addy knew because of his character’s position that he wouldn’t last long.
“I knew before I auditioned that it was a limited, it was a limited time because until that throne is available the game can’t commence,” he said. “So, you know, being on it from the start, OK, you’re not going to be there for long.”
Hill said he felt OK not knowing from season to season if his character would survive. “Yeah, but none of us do,” said Hill. “That’s like real life, isn’t it?”
Season 8 premieres April 14 on HBO and will have six episode of 60-90 minutes runtimes.
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