WARNING: Spoilers for Game Of Thrones season 7, episode 3 ahead
While the complaints about how HBO’s Game Of Thrones handled Dorne in the series were all over the place, Ellaria Sand and the Sand Snakes still ended up playing a part in the greater story into the show’s seventh season. They also ended up being unceremoniously taken out in the process of the season’s opening episodes. Episode two sealed the fate of Obara and Nymeria Sand with some help from Euron Greyjoy’s fleet, also placing Ellaria and Tyene Sand in a tight spot alongside Euron’s niece Yara Greyjoy.
If it wasn’t clear that the Sand Snakes were unpopular on the show, look no further than how Obara and Nymeria were treated after being slain. Sends a message on the show and to the audience.
But the real message might be connected to the fate of our other two Sand Snakes, Ellaria and her daughter. Their meeting with Cersei in the dungeon of King’s Landing was a key moment in episode three and showed the queen still has that vicious streak intact from the sixth season finale. She takes care of Tyene with a poisonous kiss and forces Ellaria to watch as the end slowly comes for her daughter.
We don’t get to see that or see the fate of Ellaria herself and according to actress Indira Varma, we never will. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly after Sunday’s episode, Varma reveals that her character won’t be back and doesn’t exactly get the send off she wanted:
[Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] called me, but I kind of knew already. Obviously there’s lots of trimming going on. It’s all coming to a head and you have to get rid of less important characters that the audience hasn’t had the chance to invest in as much. So I was expecting it. I wasn’t heartbroken. And I was like, “As long as I die on screen…” and they were like “Yeah!” But of course I don’t die on screen. I stay alive, I’m just not going to reappear. I think it’s really clever.
She’s at least content with how Ellaria goes out. Varma calls it a dark ending for the character, but praises the execution of the scene and how that information is transmitted to the audience. She also talks about the difficulty of the scene, including some trouble with the shackles that ended with her actually being stuck in the cell after filming was over.
Varma also reveals her favorite scenes from the show and the one item she got to take from the set — though she admits that this is becoming more difficult as the show marches on towards its conclusion. It’s the least they could do though since the last image we get of her character is likely that painful stretch before her daughter dies.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)