In the wake of “Game of Thrones” star Kit Harington spoiling the ending of the show for his wife, co-star Iain Glen reflects on how HBO and the show’s creators have always trusted the cast about events of the current season versus trying to limit their knowledge.
“Certain directors work that way… but I find it slightly belittling to what we do as actors, the notion that we’re denied large [parts of the script] unless it’s integral to the story that you’re telling,” Glen said in an interview with IndieWire while promoting his upcoming PBS miniseries “Mrs. Wilson” at the Television Critics Association press tour.
“The knowledge you gain about the story, the telling, and the themes that are involved … you piece your little journey into that,” he said. “That’s what we do as actors. We should be given the material. We always got to read everything before we started.”
Knowing the weight of responsibility with this knowledge, Glen was cagey about what he thought about how everything ended. “I was in awe at the writing finesse,” he said, “that it just realized everything in a very fulfilled way. I thought it was brilliant, yet beautiful.”
On “Game of Thrones,” Glen plays Ser Jorah Mormont, a disgraced knight who becomes the loyal right hand of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), who is one of the strongest contenders to sit on the Iron Throne going into the show’s final season. Jorah’s path has been a difficult one, having overcome his infamy, unrequited romantic love, and a nasty case of greyscale.
Entering into Season 8, Glen feels that Jorah is in a good place. “I think he’s very, very relieved and content to be back inside Daenerys’ good favor,” he said. “He’s well placed to try and to look after her. Through all the seasons, he’s ebbed and flowed with her, and now he’s well set, so that’s where he is.”
After going on this television journey for 10 years, Glen can’t help but reflect on the bittersweet emotions bidding farewell to the show.
“It’s just a funny old melange of different sensations. I felt very sad of course, but you don’t want to outstay your welcome. I think it’s the right time for us to reach our conclusions. These things have a saturation point, and although people are desperate to see the resolve and see where we go, you want people to wish it was going on, and wish to want more.
“But personally, it’s been a decade of my life. I was in original pilot and every season since then. I’ve gotten very fond of the people… Acting by its nature is ephemeral, and that’s what you’re used to having quite strong relationships with people and then saying, ‘Bye,’ and then bumping into them later. And so, knowing that you were going back each year, and knowing that the whole thing was growing and becoming so ridiculously, massively, globally popular – it transformed all our lives. It was extraordinary. I know I’ll miss it, but I also want to finish when it felt right.”
“Game of Thrones” premieres its final season on April 14 on HBO. Glen co-stars as a secret bigamist spy in PBS’ Masterpiece miniseries “Mrs. Wilson” on March 31 on PBS.