This post contains spoilers for Game Of Thrones Season 8 Episode 5 “The Bells“.
There’s only one episode of Game of Thrones left, which gives fans the opportunity to look back on past cast member interviews and put their comments about the upcoming (at the time) final season in a new perspective. While some of us were making jokes, memes, and wild theories, one YouTuber was poring over old interview footage to find Game of Thrones cast members grimacing, complaining, or seeming less-than-enthusiastic about the not-yet-aired episodes in the supercut above.
Many of the fan complaints seem to come down to showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss no longer having the book series as a jump-off point. Despite rumors, George R.R. Martin hasn’t finished books six and seven yet. As Daniel Silvermint argues, the difference in writing style feels different to the audience, whether or not they could pin down or articulate the feeling.
We’ll probably be hearing more cast members weigh in as the show wraps up. For example, Conleth Hill — who plays the recently-deceased advisor Varys — spoke about “dismay” and “frustration” experienced about the later seasons in an interview with Entertainment Weekly published this week. This season, actors reportedly didn’t find out about their character’s death until they read the script, which Hill spoke about:
“At the time, nothing could console me. I kept thinking: ‘What did I do wrong?’ There wasn’t any pre-warning. All these famous stories about [actors on Thrones] being taken out for a meal or being phoned at the very least [to notify them that their character was being killed off]. This was just reading cold hard copy.”
That said, Hill told EW he was satisfied with the way his character died (“He was absolutely true to his word the whole way through.”), but he explained his frustration with how his character’s arc was going before the (in his words) “brilliant” end:
“I loved the traveling with [Tyrion actor Peter Dinklage] and just the two of us in that cart. I think the stuff that was said in there understood the nature of freaks and outsiders so precisely. In a way, that was lost when we got past [the narrative in George R.R. Martin’s] books. That special niche interest in weirdos wasn’t as effective as it had been. Last season and this season there were great scenes and then I’d come in and kind of give a weather report at the end of them — ‘film at 11.’ So I thought he was losing his knowledge. If he was such an intelligent man and he had such resources, how come he didn’t know about things? That added to my dismay. It’s now being rectified with getting a great and noble ending. But that was frustrating for a couple seasons.”
Speaking of Peter Dinklage, he seemed especially disappointed in the video above, perhaps justifiably. But, hey, the finale hasn’t aired yet. It could be the best season ever…