[Editor’s note: The following post contains spoilers for “Game of Thrones.”]
Iain Glen has been a regular presence on “Game of Thrones” since he debuted as Ser Jorah Mormont in the show’s first season. The character was killed off during the third episode of the final season, titled “The Long Night.” Jorah heroically defended Daenerys on the battlefield against the white walker army, and while he was successful in protecting his queen, he ended up suffering fatal injuries. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Glen reflected on how Jorah’s death completed the character’s arc of returning to Daenerys’ good graces.
“Jorah got complete forgiveness and then went out the way he wanted to,” Glen said. “I die saving her life and I’ve said that for a good few seasons the nobility of the man is very much within him and he would absolutely sacrifice his life for her to succeed. In a way he was given the conclusion he wanted.”
Jonah was an exiled knight who became one of Daenerys’ loyal servants in the first season of “Game of Thrones.” Their bond grew over the course of the show, as Jorah was promoted to her official adviser in Season 2, working to help Daenerys claim her birthright as queen of the Seven Kingdoms. A Season 4 twist revealed Jorah originally got into Daenerys’ good graces as a spy for Robert Baratheon, but he eventually came to believe in the character herself. Daenerys exiled Jorah, prompting his journey in subsequent seasons to regain her trust.
When asked by EW if there was anything he wished Jorah got to do before his death, Glen replied: “Other than the painfully obvious one of making love to Daenerys, way back when, in all honesty, no. It would feel churlish and ungrateful even if I could conjure up something. I’ve always felt very looked after.”
“The whole greyscale journey was not in the original books, and that was something they gifted the character,” the actor continued. “I could say I wish Jorah expressed himself more, but that’s just not who he was. [The showrunners] always said, slightly joshing, ‘You’re great in silence. We always like having you in a scene when you’re not speaking.’ But they were being sweet. But no, there’s nothing.”
Glen said that following Jorah’s exile, the character no longer saw Daenerys as a physical love object. “There was a significant shift when he lost her love and made this journey to try and win it back,” he said. “Once he won her favor again and was in her orbit. Of course, there has always been a profound love there but him wanting a reciprocal physical love has gone and he was just happy to be with her.”
As far as shooting the Battle of Winterfell, which now serves as Jorah’s curtain call, Glen said the 11 weeks of night shoots became “a real test.” The actor called it the “most unpleasant experience” he ever had filming “Thrones.”
Head over to Entertainment Weekly to read more of Glen’s exit interview. The final season of “Thrones” continues Sunday at 9pm ET on HBO.