The Game of Thrones male cast talk death, power, sex and corruption
We quiz Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Alfie Allen and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on the fifth season of the bloody, fantasy drama
With the new series of Game of Thrones kicking off tomorrow night, we rounded up the hottest cast members, held them captive in a dank dungeon in Winterfell (not really), and made them tell us about it...
Iain Glen, 53, on what’s in store for Ser Jorah Mormont, ex adviser to Mother Of Dragons
Do you ever worry that the violence in Game Of Thrones might be too much?
No, I think one of the draws of the series is that, in that world, it could have happened. You don’t have to look too far today to see similarities. Game Of Thrones is about warring dynasties, and horrendous things happen during war. But the flip side to the brutality is you also have very tender love stories.
Well, Tyrion Lannister gets kicked around for the entire series for being a dwarf. But if a writer thought, "That’s not appropriate – I don’t think that would go down too well with audiences," he’d be undermining the strong point about Tyrion overcoming those prejudices.
What do you think of the fact the show can kill off its best-loved characters at any time?
The moment Sean Bean’s character, Ned Stark, was killed at the end of the first series told the audience, "Right, anything is possible." It feels very right – usually in drama the heroes stay alive, but in real life, something horrendous often happens to heroes. In Thrones, no one is safe. And whatever the death is, I guarantee it won’t be what you imagined!
Yes. You’re definitely very aware of it. You read the script and think, "Am I going to come back this time?" I’m very grateful for having been in this for as long as I have. But they’re very good writers, and I trust them. If it’s time to go, it’s time to go.
If and when Ser Jorah Mormont finally dies, how would you like him to go?
Having a major heart attack while making love to Daenerys!
Kit Harington, 28, is Jon Snow, noble member of the Night’s Watch, and owner of very nice hair
Honestly? No one. The whole point of our story is that power corrupts, that’s what we’ve been telling people from the start. I think Daenerys is probably the closest person to who should be sitting on it, because she has the right outlook on life about freeing slaves and being morally good.
But I think if she did, she’d turn into a tyrant like everyone else. I think Jon Snow is one of the people who really doesn’t want to, and that’s why I like playing him.
Totally, he’s a man of his word. If he did what he really wanted to do, he’d have run off with Ygritte and settled down, but he swore an oath and he’s not going to break free of that oath. So – in my head, anyway – he’s not after the Iron Throne himself.
Is it true anyone on set with a camera phone has it confiscated?
Our background extras in Northern Ireland are respectful, they never tell anyone anything, they never take photos. I think camera phones are the scourge of modern life…People would be better off if they picked up a proper camera, then they’d know what they were taking photos of. They wouldn’t spend their lives looking through a lens and holding it up at concerts and blocking people’s views and taking photos that spoil things for other people.
You’re one of the show’s heart-throbs, how do you deal with that?
I try not to think of myself as a heart-throb. I think if I did I’d be the most arrogant piece of… It’s nice to be one of the young heroes of the piece, and I enjoy that, yeah.
It’s really good – I’ve seen it. If you’re a fan of Spooks, you’ll love it.
Alfie (brother of Lily) Allen, 28, on what the future holds for poor, emasculated Theon Greyjoy…
Series four was pretty bad for Theon; do things get any better?
It depends how you define better. In my opinion, there is some sort of light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s done in a very Game Of Thrones fashion – so don’t get too excited about it, or sad if you like to see Theon in pain. But it’s cleverly done, so you’ve just got to wait and see.
How do you get on with Iwan Rheon (who plays Theon’s torturer, Ramsay Bolton) – are you mates?
Nah, he’s a… [laughs] Yeah, we really get along, aside from the fact he’s a Man United supporter. Other than that we go out, we play a lot of pool together.
He’s just a lovely guy and every time we’re out in Belfast it’s like, [puts on a Northern Irish accent] "Eh, how come you two are friends? That’s mental." And I’m like, "We’re mates!" It’s a testament to the show, though, how people can enjoy that. It’s great.
Me. Alfie Allen [laughs]. But in terms of the characters, I think Arya Stark or Daenerys. I just love Arya’s storyline and I think it’s easy to empathise with her because she’s a little girl in a world full of strong, powerful men, and she’s lost her dad and she’s just trying to make her own way of it and she does that by becoming… I can’t say!
Does your sister Lily love the show?
I don’t know. You’d have to ask her, but she should f**king watch it, it’s a great show.
Jaime Lannister, the one-handed Kingslayer, aka Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, 44…
The quiet before the storm, because there’s such chaos when it airs. Good chaos, though!
The reaction from fans must be crazy to deal with…
It’s fine normally when I’m at home in Denmark, but once one person comes over in a restaurant, it’s like [motions another and another] – but I get it. It’s fine, but it’s weird.
When it comes to home (Nikolaj lives near Copenhagen with wife, former Miss Greenland Nukaka Motzfeldt and daughters, Safina, 14 and Philipa, 11), I like quiet.
Were your family supportive of you being an actor?
Yes, always. They were shocked I wanted to be an actor, though, because I didn’t tell anybody until I was accepted at the national theatre school.
I’d like him to have more dialogue with Tyrion. Their dynamic and relationship is fascinating. I’d also love for Jaime to go to The Wall and meet Jon Snow. And I’d like to see more interaction with Brienne, because I miss Gwendoline Christie. I feel she’s been wrenched from my life.
Kit Harington (Jon Snow) said this season is going to be bloodier than ever.
He’s not wrong. There are certainly some shocks coming up that you feel like, "Whoah, are they really going to go that far?" But it’s the beauty of the series. I would be less secretive, but we sign contracts. It’s not like I’m having fun not telling anything!
Could you ever have predicted Thrones’ success?
From the start, I knew it was more than just a television show. But why it’s so successful, I don’t know. I don’t think anyone does. When I first got the job my friends thought the concept was terrible, and now they’re the ones shouting at the screen, shocked by who’s just been killed.
Last year you made The Other Woman with Cameron Diaz. Is it important to play characters a world away from Jaime?
Yes, otherwise I’ll be typecast in medieval roles. If I wanted, I could be running around with knights and horses for the rest of my career.
What’s it like playing someone as morally ambiguous as Jaime?
On paper, I thought, "Everybody’s going to hate Jaime." He sounds like a terrible person, in this relationship with his sister. How are people going to relate to that? The whole thing about morals is very interesting…
Game Of Thrones, Monday, Sky Atlantic, from 7.55pm.
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