As we say here at Nerdist, “The Night is Dark and full of Spoilers.” If you’re not up to date with the fifth season of Game of Thrones (that ended several months ago) or you don’t want to know what’s concurrently happening in the novels that inspired the TV series then perhaps this post isn’t for you.
Still here? Good,
The fifth season of Game of Thrones began entering uncharted territory for fans of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, as the show began to catch up and even pass events that took place in the books. The TV show even killed off a few characters who aren’t dead in the novels, including Ian McElhinney’s Ser Barristan Selmy, the loyal advisor of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke).
At last weekend’s MCM Comic Con in London (via Express), McElhinney was asked how he felt about his departure from the series and he didn’t mince words with his reply. “Truthfully, miffed. But I knew before I even saw the script because I got the schedule. Unfortunately, I’d read the books, so I had expectations for season five.”
McElhinney also contended that Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss did not give him advance warning about his character’s fate.
“If I’m honest, I was a bit disappointed by that,” noted McElhinney. “I felt I should have known, it wouldn’t have made any difference but I felt that as a matter of just courtesy, I should have known…I was disappointed because I had enjoyed playing the part and I was looking forward to getting more meat in the part and I had dared to presume that I would at least go into season six. I obviously shouldn’t have dared to presume. So be it. The deed is done and I’m on to other things and that’s that. But I do miss it. I would have happily stayed on.”
In the novels, Ser Barristan is not only still alive, he is the Queen’s Hand in Meereen, and during Daenerys’ absence he rules the city in her name. The end of Game of Thrones Season 5 suggested that Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Varys (Conleth Hill) will fill that role. McElhinney made his first appearance as Ser Barristan during the first season of Game of Thrones and his character reappeared in the third season shortly before he swore loyalty to Daenerys and entered her service.
McElhinney also recalled the filming of Ser Barristan’s last stand, in which his character was fatally wounded in battle against the Sons of the Harpy.
“Adrenaline, swords, you just get off on it,” admitted McElhinney. “Although it was challenging, it was actually kind of exciting but that scene all the harpies – every single one of them – were stunt men. I was jumping at the fact that I did the whole thing myself – some people have a stunt man stand-in – but I didn’t have one and didn’t want one. One of the issues with the fight scene – especially with actors – is that when the adrenaline gets going you lose the plot. Before you know it, you’ve hit somebody and you’ve hit them harder than you meant to. Fortunately nobody died, so we were fine.”
Game of Thrones fans, how do you feel about Ser Barristan’s demise? Raise your swords and share your thoughts below!
Image Credit: HBO