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Alfie Allen on Life After ‘Game of Thrones’: ‘It Got a Little Bit Dark’

Allen played Theon Greyjoy on the HBO series, and he'll next be seen in TIFF favorite "Jojo Rabbit."

Alfie Allen

Alfie Allen in “Game of Thrones”

Like any actor on the Emmy-topping HBO fantasy series, “Game of Thrones” star Alfie Allen is trying to navigate life post-Westeros. In a new interview with The Thrillist’s Esther Zuckerman, the UK-based actor and 2019 Primetime Emmy nominee for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series gave a postmortem in the wake of “Game of Thrones” concluding its final season this past May.

After playing Theon Greyjoy, one of the show’s most engrossing antiheroes, Allen is heading onto the big screen, with roles in two films that premiered to acclaim out of the Toronto International Film Festival: “How to Build a Girl” and “Jojo Rabbit.” The latter film swept up the People’s Choice Award — which often presages the Best Picture Academy Award.

Talking about “Game of Thrones,” Allen said, “At first it was great, it was brilliant … And then my character started to get tortured. So it got a little little bit dark.”

If your character rises from the ashes of betraying the series’ most beloved family, and a season-long humiliation plot, after being captured during a hostile takeover amid a war for the throne, only to have your penis cut off by a man named Ramsay Bolton, then, yeah, you’re probably not well after that. (Allen isn’t the only one to emerge from “Game of Thrones” with some psychological damage; writer George R.R. Martin admitted that the series “wasn’t very good for me.”)

Acknowledging that acting in “Game of Thrones” was “harrowing” while nonetheless expressing gratitude for the experience, Allen said, “No disrespect to HBO or any of the directors I worked with — after a while because it’s such a juggernaut of a show, you owe more to the words that they write than the kind of character that you think that you’ve created yourself… You kind of have [to] play this game of respecting what they’re doing, but also respecting what you need to bring to it as well.”

Of his first-time Emmy nomination, Allen said, “Way back when we started doing ‘Thrones,’ I’m not going to try and pretend I’m totally naive to the Emmys, but I thought about it… I was like, wow, maybe one day I’ll be up there but it disappeared. That dream disappeared a long time ago.”

Well, that dream is a reality now, as Allen is one of the frontrunners for Sunday night’s prize.




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