HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is a show that’s no stranger to killing off key characters in order to raise the emotional stakes. While we all eagerly await news on that tremendous Season 5 finale cliffhanger, one of the series’ stars is admitting to being a little upset about his character not making it through to the end of last year.
[SPOILER ALERT: The remainder of this article will discuss character deaths in Season 5 of “Game of Thrones.”]
Actor Ian McElhinney, who fans may know better as the late Ser Barristan Selmy, met a gruesome yet heroic end at the hands of the infamous gang that’s vying for control of the city of Meereen, the Sons of the Harpy. In an attempt to save his fellow ally to Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson), Barristan slays an impressive number of enemies before finally being overrun. Fortunately, his last dying act was to succeed in rescuing his friend, who made it out of the battle alive.
While the death was, without a doubt, one of the most heroic the often grisly show has depicted, McElhinney had some problems with the way his character went out, not the least of which being the fact that he thought his employment was safe since Barristan is not yet dead in George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series. Speaking at a press conference at the MCM London Comic Con over the weekend, the actor shared his thoughts on the producer’s decision to deviate from the source material.
“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 5,” the actor said (via Express). He went on to describe how he was upset with the way D.B. Weiss and David Benioff broke the news to him, or rather didn’t break the news to him.
“If I’m honest, I was a bit disappointed by that. I felt 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 6.”
Still, if the Season 5 cliffhanger of “Game of Thrones” taught people anything, it’s that literally no character is so beloved or so good that Martin or the producers would actively avoid putting him or her in mortal danger, which The Wrap notes McElhinney admitted. After all, if Jon Snow can be stabbed to death, certainly Ser Barristan can.