The actor behind the Seven Kingdom’s sweetest king talks plot twists, motherly love and divided loyalties.
When did you learn this was your last season on Game of Thrones?
The day before the table read, I got a phone call from [series creators] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss]. It must be hard for them to break down how someone is going to die on the show, but they were really nice. They didn’t give away too much. At first I was gutted, but more than anything, I was just happy to be a part of such an amazing show.
Tommen’s death is eerily quiet. How did you approach filming the scene?
We tried a few different versions. The one that made the edit was more shell shock instead of Tommen balling his eyes out and feeling sadness, anger or revenge. His number one priority – his wife – was in that Sept. He knows that it is game over for him. I think taking off the crown is Tommen giving up.
Were you surprised about the twist at Cersei’s trial?
I was really shocked. I think Tommen knew his mom was trying to figure a way out, but I don’t think he imagined that it was going to go down like that. I don’t think he imagined for two seconds that Margaery was going to die. No way.
Leading into the trial, did Tommen’s loyalty lie with Margaery or Cersei?
Tommen literally gets manipulated by everyone, but I think his main loyalty was with both Cersei and Margaery. He loves his mom to pieces, but on the other hand, Margaery’s his wife – she’s gorgeous and he loves her. He can’t choose between them.
Was Tommen truly indoctrinated by the High Sparrow?
At the start of the relationship, Tommen knows that the High Sparrow isn’t someone he should trust. But as I said, Tommen gets manipulated by everyone, so unfortunately he gets wrapped around the High Sparrow’s finger. I don’t think he necessarily likes the High Sparrow, but he assumes that if he goes along with what the High Sparrow says, everything will resolve happily. There’ll be no more death or blood and everyone can just get along. If you can’t beat them, then you might as well join them.
How do you think Tommen stacks up to Joffrey as a king?
Even though they’re brothers, they’re complete opposites. Joffrey was a psychopathic maniac. Ruling and power got to his head. He threw his weight around. Tommen is the opposite. I don’t necessarily believe that he wants to be king – he doesn’t have a clue about politics or know what he’s doing. He’s just a puppet for anyone.
Do you think Cersei has the makings of a good queen?
I think she’ll be a strong queen, maybe a bit too strong. It will be interesting to see how she plays out now that she’s lost all her children.
Do you have a favorite scene from your time on Game of Thrones?
I’d probably choose the Ser Pounce scene in “Oathkeeper.” That was my first day, so that meant a lot to me. It’s an iconic scene for Tommen with Ser Pounce and Margaery. It was a long, hard day, because the cat was a bit of a diva.
Is there anything you wish you had the chance to do as Tommen?
Yeah. I really wanted Tommen to stab someone. Maybe if Tommen had done battle in the Sept, he’d have killed the High Sparrow. I’ve never killed someone in a show or film, so that’s on my list. It would have been pretty cool to do on Game of Thrones.
What became of Ser Pounce?
He probably got a girlfriend and got married… And probably got caught up in the Sept blast, unfortunately.
Who’s your favorite Lannister?
Jaime Lannister. In the first few seasons, I thought he was a bit of a “bleep-word.” [Laughs] But in Season 3, you start to see a soft, more-human side. I think he would make a good ruler.
What would be your ideal next project?
I like a good old thriller.
Who would you put on the throne as your heir?