Aidan Gillen talks Littlefinger in GQ’s Villain Questionnaire
By Lightbringer on in Interview.

In the latest GQ+A Aidan Gillen answers questions all about villains. Aidan seems to be the perfect person for such a questionnaire, as his Game of Thrones character Littlefinger is potentially about to get away with the murder of a King.

In the Q+A Aidan gives Littlefinger a generous evil rating, talks about how he created Littlefinger and how he has evolved, and wonders just how you define villain in the world of Game of Thrones.

GQ: On a scale of one (Samwell Tarly) to ten (Joffrey Baratheon), how evil is Littlefinger?

Aidan Gillen: I don’t really think of Littlefinger as particularly evil—practical and clever and ruthless, yes. In other people’s estimation I may be malicious or evil and probably would score a seven or eight. But that’s just me doing what I do. I’d rate a nine or ten, maybe, for determination and execution.

Tell us about creating Littlefinger: his mannerisms, his speech, his close-talker ways.

I first thought of him as some kind of magician—or a politician who thinks of himself as a magician—and two people came to mind, the comic strip character Mandrake the Magician and Peter Mandelson, the British politician who sometimes went by “The Prince of Darkness.” We tried the Mandelson moustache and there was something vaguely feline about it, not leonine though, which put me in mind of Top Cat or one of the Aristocats. This also fit in with the outfits, which are quite slinky. I thought he should sound patriarchal, like John Huston in Chinatown or a bit Hammer Horror. I also thought that these characteristics should be allowed to shift around from time to time. If I’m leaning in when I speak sometimes it’s just to let the other person know that I want them to hear me properly and because I want to see them, really close. 

How has Littlefinger evolved? Has he changed morally?
I think as time goes on, he gets more secure amid the insecurity of others. He’s calmer and more collected, and can ponder the world and his place in it a little more. Of course, he has always been conscious of his place socially and of climbing up, and outside of, where he’d been expected to reach. I’d say over this season we may see something of a sweeter man—with maybe even a trace of humility.

How is “evil” or “villain” defined in a world like Game of Thrones?

Well that’s a tricky one, isn’t it, because a lot of the characters have both heroic and villainous traits: Jaime, Cersei, The Hound, etc. It’s one of the more compelling aspects of the series—you’re never quite sure about many of the characters, and there’s always room for a shift in tone. It’s a harsh world and people have to do harsh things to make it through. What elation we felt when Arya stuck her little sword up through that man’s chin—know what I mean? 

Every great villain has a great tagline—what’s yours? 

From the actual script? It’d probably be “Call me Petyr.” 

For more from Aidan on Littlefinger’s villainous ways, and his answers to some general villainy questions, visit GQ.Com!


30 Comments

  1. Sadface McBastard
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    It makes me way too happy to have a first post.

    Legit, the only character in the series — book or show — that I consider a villain is TV Joffrey. Even book Joffrey is more of a grey area.

  2. Ken
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Aidan. With an a. Right there in the copy-pasted text.

  3. Walter Harrow
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Off topic, but Maisie Williams is on this weeks Empire podcast and at one point is asked to name the people on Arya’s list. She is a bit vague but does mention Thoros and Beric. Im not sure how to react to that

    http://www.empireonline.com/news/story.asp?NID=40924

  4. UnbowdUnbentedUnhodor
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink
  5. Turncloak
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Walter Harrow,

    Maisie is not a book reader. Beric and Thoros are not on Arya’s list

  6. Walter Harrow
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Turncloak,

    She says that the list is different in the show and then names Beric and Thoros. She knows they arent on the list in the books but is saying that they are on her list in the show – which is why im mentioning it

  7. Delta1212
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    While “I did warn you not to trust me” is the obvious tagline, “call me Petyr” is actually a pretty good choice and sums up the character about as well, in context.

  8. Valaquen
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Walter Harrow:
    Turncloak,

    She says that the list is different in the show and then names Beric and Thoros. She knows they arent on the list in the books but is saying that they are on her list in the show – which is why im mentioning it

    They traded Gendry, so I’m not surprised.

  9. Unbowed Unbent UnHodor
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    comicbookgirl19s review is up https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVLoc9k_upE
    edit: Also the recap is up https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzOwdkUU5Mo
    Seeing catelyn as the thumbnail makes me sad:(

  10. spacechampion
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I kind of expect Sansa after she grows a bit to play a dangerous game with Littlefinger. He obviously want to sleep with her, and she’ll say yes — but only if he pulls a particular con, a bit of Dangerous Liaisons / Cruel Intentions. Maybe there is a rival for marriage to Harry the Heir; Petyr will have to convince the girl he loves her, get her to fall for him, sleep with her, then spurn her, but she kills herself in grief. Then in revenge and parallel to his duel at Riverrun with Brandon Stark, Littlefinger will be force to duel with Harry, and die. Victory: Sansa, except for the guilt due to the girl’s suicide.

  11. Valyrian Walker
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Game Of Thrones meets Katniss Everdeen:
    https://t.co/Ky0ak2l8V3

    The above video was made for ‘FIRE AND BLOOD’ Author

  12. Turncloak
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Walter Harrow,

    Not sure how I can take Maisie’s word for it seeing as she thinks that Drogon’s name is Dracarys. Also we hear her mentioning he list. The only new entrant is Melisandre

  13. cosca
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Walter Harrow,

    Makes a lot of sense really.

  14. Polish
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Turncloak: Not sure how I can take Maisie’s word for it seeing as she thinks that Drogon’s name is Dracarys. Also we hear her mentioning he list. The only new entrant is Melisandre

    Ya but that was clever editing, the list in the show will be longer than the preview

  15. queenofthorns
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    I still do not understand his comments about Sansa. Like… is he seriously channeling LF here (e.g. he’s lying/trying to keep the truth secret) or does he honestly not understand that in his performance he is EXTREMELY CREEPY towards her??

  16. Turncloak
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    queenofthorns,

    Aiden Gillan is obviously trolling

  17. Walter Harrow
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Turncloak,

    Why wouldnt you take her word for it? She read the script and filmed the scene. If she says Beric and Thoros are on Arya’s list in the show then it has to be true

  18. Annara Snow
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Turncloak:
    queenofthorns,

    Aiden Gillan is obviously trolling

    Definitely.

    Am I the only one who literally laughed out loud at his answer to the first question?

  19. Doug
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    AG is a weird dude. I saw an interview he did once that had nothing to do with this show and he was slurping tomato sauce through a straw off a pasta bowl. Hot tomato sauce, and ignoring the noodles, just wanted the sauce and wanted it through a straw.

  20. Thoros of Brooklyn
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Tagline should obviously be “Only Cat”

  21. Balerion
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    “Everything”!

  22. woooo
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    peter mandelson hahaha

  23. Eljuma
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Turncloak,

    That’s expected. Drogon’s name has not been said in show. She has not read the books (which aren’t literature for her age obviously) and her parents just tell her how Arya’s arc goes in the books after she’s been done filming for the season. Dialogues in trailers are always cut short to save time.

  24. Eleanor
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Eljuma,

    Not literature for her age? How old do you think she is, 12?
    You’re telling me if you had a 17-year-old daughter who picked up AGOT at the bookshop one day, you’d snatch it away from her?

  25. Eljuma
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Yes.

  26. Strider
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Annara Snow,

    Not sure if I laughed as hard at this as I did at his no longer being creepy towards Sansa from his previous interview… It’s Aidan Gillen! LOL

  27. IvanGroznyIV
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Eljuma,

    There was a time when it wasn’t literature for her age. During Season 1, for example.

    Nowadays, there is no such age barrier, and in fact the show itself would probably be more objectionable for her to watch than books would be for her to read. I don’t know if she actually saw Season 1 when she was 13 or however old, but if she did I wonder what her parents thought about…say, two prostitutes having sex with each other while Littlefinger delivers a monologue.

    Would it be judgemental of me to immediately leap to the conclusion that she probably just doesn’t like reading really long books, let alone five of them? Probably. Yet that’s the impression I get.

  28. OurBladesareSharp
    Posted May 3, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    spacechampion,

    I disagree with that, I just don’t see there being any chance whatsoever in her allowing Littlefinger to touch her like that, It just don’t think thats true to her character. If there is any pattern I notice with Sansa through out the books its that shes become smarter and much less naive than she was in the very beginning, right now she is learning/has learned alot from Littlefinger. Actually in opinion she is learning more from him than she is letting on, which I think will eventually be his downfall, but I don’t see her being so stupid as to sleep with him, especially since she is smart enough to know by now that she will have no shot at any important politcal marriage if she can be proved not a virgin. I think thats the key in setting aside her marriage to Tyrion so she can remarry, by stating the truth that Tyrion and Sansa never consumated their marriage and that she was forced into the marriage while she was a captive, to me thats how she gets out of the marriage without Tyrion having to die.

    But I definitely do believe Sansa will be Littlefingers downfall in the end, as he continues to educate her on how to play “the game” she’ll obviously smarten up and realize the full extent of his involvement in her family’s downfall. And I think Sansa may possibly be the only person that clouds his judgement

  29. lol
    Posted May 3, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    IvanGroznyIV:
    Would it be judgemental of me to immediately leap to the conclusion that she probably just doesn’t like reading really long books, let alone five of them? Probably. Yet that’s the impression I get.

    Yes it would. It would also make you something of an asshole, a trait that seems to be far too endemic to GOT fandom.

    Please, get over yourself.

  30. IvanGroznyIV
    Posted May 3, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    lol,

    Get the stick out of your ass, guy. I’m stating obvious fact. There are actually a lot of people who are hesitant to read five doorstopper long fantasy books.


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