[Editor’s note: The following post contains spoilers about the penultimate episode of “Game of Thrones,” entitled “The Bells.”]
Varys is dead after the penultimate episode of “Game of Thrones,” and actor Conleth Hill isn’t holding back when reflecting on his time on the HBO fantasy series. In an exit interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actor expressed disappointment with the series for sidelining his fan favorite character over the last couple seasons. When asked if there was something he wished Varys got to do on the show, Hill noted his character was robbed of having a last meeting with nemesis Littlefinger in Season 7.
“I think they tried to make that work and couldn’t. It just felt like after season 6, I kind of dropped off the edge,” Hill said. “I can’t complain because it’s six great seasons and I had some great scenes these last two seasons. But that’s when it changed for me a little.”
Hill stressed that he is “not dissatisfied” with the series “on the whole” (he called his overall experience on the show “brilliant”), and he admitted that he’s fully aware expressing his disappointment makes him sound selfish. And yet, the actor can’t help but feel slightly frustrated with how Varys’ involvement in the story diminished over the years.
“I was very bummed to not have a final scene with [Littlefinger],” Hill said. “I was bummed not to have any reaction to him dying, if he was my nemesis. That’s been my feeling the last couple seasons, that my character became more peripheral, that they concentrated on others more. That’s fine. It’s the nature of a multi-character show. It was kind of frustrating. As a whole it’s been overwhelmingly positive and brilliant but I suppose the last couple seasons weren’t my favorite.”
When asked about his favorite scene to shoot on “Thrones,” Hill said the moments where Varys and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) traveled together were the most memorable. The actor used these scenes to make a point about how “Thrones” changed when the writers could no longer use George R.R. Martin’s books as a guiding light. Starting with Season 6, “Thrones” began telling parts of the story Martin had not yet published.
“I think the stuff that was said in [Varys and Tyrion’s traveling scenes] 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,” Hill said. “That special niche interest in weirdos wasn’t as effective as it had been.”
Hill continued, “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.”
“Game of Thrones” will air its final episode this Sunday at 9pm ET on HBO.