Game of Thrones: All Rulers Must Die

Photo by Will Blackhill
Photo by Will Blackhill

They deserved it, and we secretly (no, not so secretly) loved to watch. Jack Gleeson and Alexander Siddig discussed their characters, deaths, and the future of the Iron Throne to an at-capacity Hyatt Centennial II-III crowd on Sunday.

Who do you think is the most evil Game of Thrones character? Chances are that one of your top two is the very dead King Joffrey. Gleeson feels that since Joffrey is a product of incest, his frontal cortex may have been negatively affected, making him unable to empathize with others. He also comes from a messed up castle. Think of who his parental figures are: wicked Queen Cersei, drunken King Robert Baratheon, and creepy Uncle Jaime, who was always hanging around his mom. “Suffice it to say, he’s just not a nice guy,” Gleeson joked.

Prince Doran Martell, on the other hand, had noble intentions and was trying to prevent his country from going to war. Siddig thought of Martell as a shrewd and wily wheelchair-bound tactician. He played Martell as sophisticated in the couple minutes he was a breathing character. “Clearly I miscalculated,” Siddig stated.

The trouble was that Martell was weak and vulnerable in a society that worshipped manly prowess. From the first time that Siddig read the script, he knew his character was not long for this world. He talked about the lengthy amount of time it took to film his death: “Just groveling in the mud for hours and hours and hours. And getting cleaned up and going back down. And getting cleaned up and going back down…”

“Sounds like a normal Friday night for you,” Gleeson quipped.

Now for everyone’s favorite moment, including Gleeson’s: the White Wedding, aka that time Joffrey finally died. Gleeson hopes the audience realized that Joffrey was still kind of innocent and an idiot kid—a vulnerable boy in a moment of terror who just wanted his mother. Fans, however, complained that it wasn’t long, gory, or gruesome enough. Gleeson said, “I think that says more about you guys than him.”

When asked how their characters would exact revenge for their deaths, Siddig pointed out that since his killers were three 14-year-old girls, it would be a “moral conundrum.” He ultimately decided on the harsh punishment of sending them to bed without dinner. The diabolical Gleeson, on the other hand, would play on the weaknesses of his murderer by making the fragile older Olenna Tyrell run a marathon and die from exhaustion. “I’d really make her feel ashamed, but also physically ashamed.”

As for who should sit on the Iron Throne? Gleeson chose someone just and intelligent, who has the interest of the people at heart. “Those are all of the qualities you need to be a ruler. He’d look great on the throne.”


Authors of the article

Debbie Yutko lives near Atlanta with her husband and two cats. When she isn’t gardening, rescuing homeless kittens, or cramming math formulas into teenagers’ brains, she can be found stringing words together at her computer and dreaming of adventures in far-off lands. She is a lifelong reader of Science Fiction and Fantasy and a veteran of Dragon Con, where she enjoys attending panels and working with the talented staff of the Daily Dragon.

Not everyone can say they watch television for homework, read novels for inspiration, and are paid to follow what’s trending. For Alicia Pack, it is all part of life as a writer and media enthusiast.  When she isn't lost in the world she is trying to create, you can find her with her nose in a book or catching up on her favorite supernatural shows.  She has a Master’s degree in Mass Communications and a Bachelor’s degree in Radio, Television, and Film.  Her nine years of diverse media experience include news writing, copywriting, website content management, social media, promotions, television production, and teaching.