Curtain Call: Noah Taylor, Luke Barnes & Burn Gorman
By Ours is the Fury on in Editorial.

Noah Luke and Burn
They say a Dothraki wedding without at least three deaths is considered a dull affair. Using those standards, last week’s episode of Game of Thrones was a resounding success. “First of His Name” saw the exits of three murderous and mutinous members of the Night’s Watch. The body count after the showdown at Craster’s Keep was high, and time was up for Rast, Karl, and Locke. And in losing these admirably nasty antagonists, we also say goodbye to three actors that were always simply a pleasure to watch even when they were doing terrible things.

Join Fire And Blood and Ours Is The Fury in saluting Noah Taylor, Luke Barnes, and Burn Gorman.

Noah Taylor

Noah Taylor as Locke

In the summer of 2012, we heard an interesting casting rumor: Noah Taylor, costar of Shine, Almost Famous and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, had joined the show for season 3. Even not having a clue what his role was, I was ecstatic. When people heard his role was a renamed and altered version of the book character Vargo Hoat, the speculation kicked in even further with viewers grumbling about changes, such as Vargo’s infamous speech impediment being missing. There was bound to be an adjustment as there always is with a deviation in the adaptation, but a funny thing happened with Noah Taylor as Locke: I just didn’t care about the changes, because he is that great.

Gone was the slobbering mercenary from the novels, with his fetish for chopping off limbs, and in place we had a Bolton man-at-arms with a focused rage against the highborn. One that actually makes sense, given the way the nobility tears up the Seven Kingdoms and kills the lowborn in the name of thrones in this series. But Locke is no champion for others, no- he’s a survivor, he only looks out for himself. Taylor’s Locke was cunning, ruthless and unpredictable, and there was nothing comical about the scary glint in his eyes. But in season 4, when Locke was unexpectedly sent to the Wall to hunt for the Stark boys, we saw another side of him, as he used rough charm in his attempt to befriend Jon Snow.

When we first learned Locke was headed for the Wall, fans couldn’t imagine what he would get up to, but now, it feels like we were only beginning to tap his potential, and Locke’s death is a loss. I would’ve enjoyed seeing him sow more discord among the Night’s Watch, allowing Noah Taylor to shine with his mixture of intensity and average-Joe charm, but it’s not to be.

Locke has gone from being a casting mystery to a character firmly entrenched in our minds, and Taylor deserves a round of applause for making the hunter who de-handed Jaime Lannister into someone memorable. ~Ours is the Fury

Luke Barnes
Luke Barnes as Rast

I met Luke Barnes late last year in Belfast, during the annual TitanCon convention, and posited to him my theory on Rast: basically the fact that Rast was the most reasonable trainee at Castle Black. He agreed, and so shall you!

Hear me out. Rast was brought in under the accusation of being a raper, yes? That in and of itself is no proof of guilt. He very well may have been falsely accused. Additionally, Rast has taken a lot of flack to showing everyone how weak Samwell was. But is that wrong? Aliser Thorne was right when he said they needed men, not boys. Much as I love Sam, would you want him guarding your back?

Rast was right. No room for cowards.

Now then, his killing of Lord Commander Mormont? Let’s face it; the Old Bear had failed in his command at that point. And he never even located Benjen Stark! A little “field decisiveness” on Rast’s part was needed.

Is it Rast’s fault Karl turned out to be a murdering psychopath? That’s not on Rast!
(Okay, he was a little mean to Ghost. Maybe he’s allergic?)

Anyway, whether you want to argue Rast’s moral compass or not, it can’t be argued Luke Barnes played him to the hilt. Luke is a quiet-spoken Liverpudlian, but proudly so; a scouser to the nines. Just following him on Twitter (@northernluke), you can tell he’s got that classic Liverpool way about him: never too high when things go well, and ironically funny in bad times.

I loved his gritty, weary take on a man who’s basically just been given a sentence in hell. Might as well make the best of it. Luke reminds me, in all honesty, of a younger, beaten-down Russell Crowe. Less chiseled, maybe, but real. And there’s something in that squint that just delivers. I’d see him in just about anything.

His talent doesn’t stop there. Luke is a playwright and screenwriter; he wrote the short I Want To Be Happy Cha Cha Cha, and remains a stalwart supporter of theatre.

I’m kind of sad Rast is gone; he was the everyman face of the Night’s Watch. But Luke sails on. Can’t wait to see what he does next. ~Fire and Blood

Burn Gorman
Burn Gorman as Karl Tanner

Watch Pacific Rim, or an episode of the scifi series Torchwood featuring Burn Gorman as Owen Harper. Check him out as Thomas Kish in the fifties news drama The Hour. Dig up a copy of the BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens’s Bleak House and see his classic turn as Guppy. If you do that, you’ll begin to understand what an accomplishment Burn’s performance as the mutiny ringleader Karl in Game of Thrones is, if you weren’t already a huge fan. Even his character’s gravelly voice is a complete departure from Gorman’s own light and friendly tones.

Karl was introduced in season three as an amalgamation of mutineers from the books, including one with that name; his main purpose was to growl, “You are a bastard. A daughter-fucking, wildling bastard,” and to kill Craster. And that was about all we saw of the actor in his first two episodes. In an interview, Gorman himself described his role in season three as being “like two seconds” long.

His lengthy film and television resume didn’t concern Gorman at all when it came to accepting the smaller role on Game of Thrones. In the same interview from DragonCon 2013 he elaborated, “I do try and choose work I would like to be involved in. I’m not too bothered about the size of the part. I just, I like working with the creative minds behind something I love. And I’ve been very lucky to do that.”

In season four, he was rewarded with the juicier storyline at Craster’s Keep, and Gorman played Karl’s villainy to the hilt, stewing in menace and fighting dirty. Karl’s life came to a quick and brutal end, giving us only a few episodes of Gorman’s work. But it’s not the size of the part, really- it’s the caliber of the actor in the role, and Burn Gorman was a vicious treat. ~Ours is the Fury


55 Comments

  1. Get Kraken
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Hodor

  2. Mullendores monkey
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    You are a daughter fucking wildling bastard

  3. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Reminder that Curtain Calls are for paying respects to these actors…and not for saying nasty things about other characters you’re hoping to see die. Those posts get deleted.

  4. freoduwebbe
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I will miss all three – life needs diversity and these guys really gave it.

    You had the shock of Locke cutting Jamie’s hand – and Noah made you see the glee in Locke’s behavior

    I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Rast – living Rast perhaps, but I think dead Rast will rise again. Luke did make him the ‘everyman’ of the night watch – just some guy dumped up there trying to make the best of it.

    And Karl – what a creepy nasty dude – but I LOVED the fight with Jon. Burn did a great job making us cringe with him.

    oh and HODOR if I happen to be first

  5. DaftVamp
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Awww no mention of The Dark Knight Rises role for Burn? That’s okay, he’s great at everything he’s in.

  6. Mullendores monkey
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    DaftVamp,

    Did Bane strangle him ??

  7. Nick_Scryer
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Three great characters and three great actors. Good luck with your future careers!

  8. Zack
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Rast…I’m sorry to say, but I disagree with you, FaB. He’s a shit. At least Ser Alliser’s cruelty is meant as a teaching method, coming from a place of wisdom. Rast is just a vile guy. And every bit of the hatred I had for him in the books translated wonderfully to the screen thanks to the writing and acting.

    Burn Gorman has been one of those guys that’s captivated me ever since I first saw him (to my knowledge) in Bleak House. He consistently elevates whatever he’s a part of. I was slightly disappointed that Karl’s scenes were so few, but I guess the point is to make whatever moments you’ve got as memorable as possible. And I’ll definitely remember Karl’s malevolence for a long time.

    Noah Taylor is much the same with Locke. I was slightly sad to hear Vargo Hoat wasn’t being brought to screen, as in the text he was one of the more interesting villains (with one of the most gruesome deaths!) I’ve ever read. And Noah Taylor wasn’t a name that was familiar to me. But having learnt he was in one of my favorite movies of all time in Almost Famous, and had appeared in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory…I watched them again specifically to see his performances. And it’s apparent how much range he’s got as an actor. Anyway, I digress. Any disappointment I felt at the loss of Hoat the Goat was more than made up for when Locke uttered “I’ve never seen a man drink horse piss that fast.” He commands attention at every moment and I was looking forward to getting many more scenes with him over the next few years, but alas.

  9. Arkash
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I too think we might see a Rast wight, but otherwise, huge kuddos to the three of them, they were amazing ! What actors !

  10. David The Grey
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Hats off to these three fine actors. To Luke Barnes a fond farewell, he’s been with us since the beginning. I never liked Rast, but I will miss him. Noah Taylor totally nailed the part of an menacing unpredictable killer. I liked how they expanded his role, as it gave us more time with him. When we looked into his face, I believed his menace. To Burn Gorman, someone I have no experience with a viewer, I will say that he successfully got me hating Karl. Quite a nice job, although his scenes in S4 were a bit over the top.

    They all had very memorable death scenes! I know I exclaimed and/or applauded loudly standing in front of the TV for each one.

    Thank you to all 3, for giving us memorable portrayals of minor characters that managed to get me up and off the couch! Just 3 more examples of the very fine casting of this production.

  11. house snow
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Why is it always the good guys who die?

  12. Valaquen
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Sad to see Locke go – he was that good, and I loved the other side of him we got to see at the Wall. More of that would have been sublime.

    Luke Barnes has been on the show so long, he’s pretty much a staple at Castle Black. I love that they brought him back (I wonder what happened to his long haired friend from season 1.) I’d love to see Rast as a wight.

    Burn Gorman – I wish they sneaked him into the earlier episodes of season 3 in Iceland or at Craster’s in season 2, because he’s a slithery, mean presence. I loved it, and his death scene was fitting.

    I’ll have an ale for all three this night!

  13. Ser Davos Seaworth
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    after almost every ‘good guy’ on the show is being slaughtered left right and centre, i was extremely pleased when we finally got three ‘bad guys’ killed in one episode!

  14. Rickard Greyjoy
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Good read. Seeing as all three characters died in the same event, and all three were more minor villainous roles it was a smart choice to do all three at once I think. I didn’t know any of the actors’ previous work before GoT but now I’ll make certain to keep up to date on their projects as I’ve been doing for most GoT actors.
    Taylor’s role as Locke was entertaining to say the least with the only problem being most thought it cut too short. No doubt they’re right as it would have been fun to maybe see him on the lamb with Bran for an episode or two but no one can say his exit wasn’t memorable. And watching non-Hodor kick some ass was probably my favorite part of the episode which probably wouldn’t have worked had he been seperated from Bran for an extended period.
    Luke Barnes as Rast had the more thankless role of the three. While Locke and Karl have many undesirable traits, we can admire their cunning and fighting ability. Rast doesn’t possess these traits, or at least not as much as the other two, so there is less to admire and the character is not appreciated as much. Making fun of Sam, taunting Ghost, giving babies to WW and killing Mormont wasn’t likely to make him a fan favorite but Barnes played his role to a T and deserves credit for it.
    Burn Gorman is a fookin’ legend. As Fury stated, to really appreciate the justice Gorman did to the role you should watch him in one of this other projects. I’ve mentioned it in another thread but I recently decided to start watching TURN when going through Thrones withdrawal and was excited to see Gorman listed in the credits. The contrast between the two roles was awesome. From a gruff-voiced assassin from Gin Alley to a well-spoken English officer, I’d love to see what would happen in a meeting of the two characters. One look at the white wig he wears in ‘Turn’ and I could hear Karl saying “You look like a fookin’ ball sack. Ugly lookin’ stoopid cunt-face…”. If you haven’t seen TURN check it out at least to go get a look at Gorman. It’s no GoT but it isn’t bad.

  15. VictarionNeverSews
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Burn Gorman is great in TURN on AMC so far if you get a chance to check it out. Airs the same time as Thrones, but as always there are ways around that.

  16. MAC
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Too bad Locke bit the dust so soon. Now that he was part of a show-only plotline, I could fully separate him from Vargo Hoat in my head and appreciate him for what he was. I really liked what the actor was doing with him in the last few episodes cozying up to Jon Snow. If the audience didn’t know his real intentions, he would’ve come off like a Bronn-ish fan favorite; it was completely believable that Jon would’ve liked this rugged guy with authority issues. I just felt like they could’ve drawn it out a bit further. It was sort of disappointing that Jon never knew about his betrayal, but of course that would’ve created additional complications for keeping the “canon” plot on track.

  17. Brendan
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Thank the old gods and the new that we don’t have to see these characters anymore. No offense to the actors but the show has more important characters it should be focusing on. I have a major problem with Karl getting more screen time in episodes 4 and 5 than Tyrion.

    Great acting jobs in creating characters you couldn’t wait to see gone. I guess that’s the mark of a good villain.

  18. Daniellica
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    All three of these actors kicked the hell out of their roles–amazing work.

    I was also hoping for more intrigue and milking of suspense from Locke, and I think D&D knew that. Part of this story is that even when we get what we ultimately want, we never quite get it how we want it. Life is unpredictable and our plans constantly get mucked up with the intervention of circumstance. In a way it is almost perfect that Locke died this way, with no glorified battle or prolonged standoff, but a quick snap and undignified dump in the dirt. He underestimated his captive; he made a grievous error by not killing Hodor & Meera & Jojen, and he payed for it.

    Prost, gentlemen! You shall be missed.

  19. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Daniellica:
    I was also hoping for more intrigue and milking of suspense from Locke, and I think D&D knew that. Part of this story is that even when we get what we ultimately want, we never quite get it how we want it. Life is unpredictable and our plans constantly get mucked up with the intervention of circumstance. In a way it is almost perfect that Locke died this way, with no glorified battle or prolonged standoff, but a quick snap and undignified dump in the dirt. He underestimated his captive; he made a grievous error by not killing Hodor & Meera & Jojen, and he payed for it.

    Yeah! Well stated, Azzurri queen. I rather enjoy how they keep us on our toes. This sudden turn of events for Locke may anger his friend Ramsay even more, don’t you think?

  20. Jared
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Karl Tanner cemented his case for the Game of Thrones Hall of Fame by offering us two of the single best line deliveries in the entire lifespan of the show.

    “You are a bastard. A daughter-fucking, wildling bastard.”

    And, of course …

    “I was a fucking legend in Gin Alley. A fucking LEGEND.”

    That guy had perhaps the highest PER of any character on the show. The amount of badassery and unrepentant evil he exuded relative to his screentime was remarkable. He left such an impression that it’s hard to believe that he only appeared in four episodes of the series, and in one of those appearances he didn’t speak at all.

    On to Locke. He’s probably my favorite character who’s primarily an original creation for the show. He was so vastly superior to the slobbering cartoon that was Vargo Hoat that it’s hard to fully quantify. His well-established resentment of the “highborn cunts” who lord over the common people created a real sense of depth for the character, making his otherwise garden-variety sadism feel far more organic than it might have otherwise been. Bolton sending him on a mission to hunt down Bran and Rickon pretty much confirmed for me that he eventually had to die, but man, he was great while he lasted.

    All hail Burn Gorman and Noah Taylor! Fucking legends both.

    Finally, on to Luke Barnes. His performance is exactly the kind of role that people tend to overlook or dismiss. He was tasked with playing a despicable character who didn’t possess any, shall we say, redeeming features for the audience to celebrate. Unlike Locke and Karl, Rast wasn’t a badass fighter and didn’t get to spout a plethora of memorable quips. He was a bad guy who committed a terrible crime, got sent to the Wall, and revealed his true colors when confronted with a greater menance. It was an everyman performance, but he ultimately represented what a significant portion of the Night’s Watch really was. We appreciate the good men of the Night’s Watch – Jon, Sam, Grenn, Edd, etc. – all the more because they were forced to serve with men like Rast, and they did so in service of their larger mission. But they never became like him, and when he betrayed them, they put him down. Barnes’s role was a necessary one, and his brutal death was satisfying for a reason.

    Plus, as Fury notes, Barnes appears to be a nice and thoughtful guy – nothing like his character at all. I’m glad that he got to be a part of this great show.

  21. TheSilentOne
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Mullendores monkey,

    He got out of that but died in the water after his “trial”.
    His boss got his face crushed by Bane & he had to listen, though.

  22. Red Hound
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    All three did really good. I was hoping to see more of Locke, his comradery with Ramsay had a lot of potential.

  23. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    One of the reasons why Jaime’s arc was so strong last year was because Locke was such an excellent antagonist. Thank you, Noah Taylor, for being just plain awesome and oddly hilarious in your tormenting of Jaime, and scaring the crap out of me when you showed up on the Wall, it’s a real testament to your abilities.

    I thought it was pretty cool that they took a character from season 1 and made him a major mutineer and Mormont’s killer. I used to get Rast mixed up with Grenn in the early days, but now that’s going to be hard to do since seeing Barnes’ memorable performance the last couple of years.

    I’m one of those Gorman fans, loved him in Bleak House, and was happy to see him on my favorite show. Was sad he was only in it for a bit last season, but his contribution was a highlight of the Craster’s Keep mutiny. I enjoyed his elevated role this season and it’s too bad people were too busy talking about other issues to appreciate what a great villain had been created in only a few moments of screentime.

  24. OldeCrone
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I kind of had a respect for the old bear (as Ours is the Fury is criticising the character, but ‘twould be a dull world if we all thought the same)…I can’t recall having seen Luke or Noah in anything previously (though it’s possible I had and didn’t realise it at the time). Burn Gorman I recognised from TV in the UK in the “Oh, I know his face” sort of way. Of course no job is for ever, especially not for actors but hopefully the three defunct baddies (or rather the actors playing them) will move on to something else soon. Come to think of it, as “Game of Thrones” Season 4 finished filming some time before it was broadcast they’ve probably already moved on….

  25. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    OldeCrone,
    That wasn’t me- FireAndBlood wrote Luke’s Curtain Call, as we noted. :) Me, I love the Old Bear.

  26. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Finally our curtain call! These are always the best because it’s the only time we don’t all snipe at each other.

    I admit to being one of the doubters when it was revealed the Vargo Hoat would be replaced with someone named Locke. I was so looking to forward to “thapphires!” But the character and Noah Taylor’s performance won me over quickly. He was still on the villain end of the spectrum, but a bit more three dimensional than Vargo. Even the most puristy of book purists climbed aboard the Locke train. I’ll miss the character even though he died at the right time IMO.

    Who knew Burn Gorman would be such a great villain? I mostly just knew him from Torchwood. I really hope to see him play a villain sometime in the future. If he wound up playing one in the Marvel cinematic universe I would pay for a ticket for once instead of waiting for Netflix like usual.

    Rast was a minor role, but he’s been with us from the beginning so it will be strange to have him gone. Joining the chorus of people who are hoping he’ll return as a wight. After all, he wasn’t burned at the rape ranch (copyright Gay of Thrones) with the rest of the mutineers.

  27. Greenjones
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Daniellica,

    Exactly. D and D killing Locke now is like GrrM killing Viserys when he did. Viserys could have sowed dissention and been built up as a bigger villain and could have even become a rival to Dany. But he was killed early on and subverted these expectations. I’m sure a lot of people would like to have still have Harry Lloyd around but that on George’s part was a good decision. I think Locke’s death is too.

  28. Zack
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Daniellica:
    All three of these actors kicked the hell out of their roles–amazing work.

    I was also hoping for more intrigue and milking of suspense from Locke, and I think D&D knew that. Part of this story is that even when we get what we ultimately want, we never quite get it how we want it. Life is unpredictable and our plans constantly get mucked up with the intervention of circumstance. In a way it is almost perfect that Locke died this way, with no glorified battle or prolonged standoff, but a quick snap and undignified dump in the dirt. He underestimated his captive; he made a grievous error by not killing Hodor & Meera & Jojen, and he payed for it.

    Prost, gentlemen! You shall be missed.

    I’m kind of amused at the idea of nobody at the Wall finding out Locke’s intentions. He’ll be celebrated as a Brother of the Watch, killed while protecting the realm.

  29. WildSeed
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Salut and farewell to Barnes, Taylor and Gorman. With exception to Barnes, whom I’ve never heard of, I had reasonable expectations for these actors portraying their respective roles on GoT. I was disappointed, but not because of their performances, the script veered away, just a bit, from the full potential of what we viewers may have seen onscreen. No doubt all fulfilling the task they were assigned to, Taylor , IMO, stood out the most. He was believable and demonstrated well his simmering psychosis , as Locke. I selfishly wanted to see more of him. Gorman, on the other hand, has proven more besides, in his non GoT roles, however his performance as Karl seemed reserved for his final scenes. Anyone not familiar with his work has only to look up his resume’, he’s been busy and demonstrated a proficiency at achieving a variety of character personalities. I like his upper class statesman type the best, although I viewed him first in ” Torchwood “.

  30. WildSeed
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    I guess my comment is being filtered through the ” Spam ” filter , again ??? Praytell, Why ?

  31. WildSeed
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    LOL, agreed ! It’s nice to do these.

  32. Raga Dal
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    They were all fantastic in all their murderous glory, and will be sorely missed.

    I have to admit a small personal preference for Burn Gorman. Aside from being a huge fan of his work, he also did this for me when I couldn’t attend/help work for Chicago TARDIS (Chicago-area Doctor Who con) 2 years ago. What a sweetie!

    Friends who saw him in “Oliver!” on stage in London said he was a terrifying Bill Sikes.

  33. Spidey-Dan
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m sad to see Locke go. Aside from Noah Taylor’s brilliant performance, I had imagined a whole subplot of him being abandoned by Roose Bolton for failing to capture Bran and becoming trapped by his Night’s Watch oath.

    I pictured him becoming an unlikely ally to Jon, owing more to his antagonism of the Lannister-loving Janos Slynt than to actual friendship. Jon would come to rely on Locke’s underhanded resourcefulness in his rivalry with Thorne and Slynt. While Jon’s own morals were compromised by Locke’s methods, Locke would find himself aiding one of the most honorable members of the watch.

    It would’ve been an interesting direction to take the character, and it also would have added some flavor to Jon’s own story in the future. Alas, ’twas not to be.

  34. Amanda M
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    All three did wonderfully, but Noah Taylor is in a league all his own — he is a fantastic actor with an incredible range!

    Anyone who isn’t squeamish/enjoys revenge-slasher flicks and wants to see more of Noah Taylor’s more violent/twisted side as an actor should watch “Red White and Blue”. His performance stuck with me for days after watching that film.

    Wish Locke had stayed around longer. Great character, played by a brilliant actor!!!!

  35. Tar Kidho
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    In my opnion, playing a baddie realistically (a.k.a not batman-villain style) is often much harder to pull of than playing a Ned-like character. On GoT, we’ve been blessed with a number of greatly portrayed baddies, and Noah, Luke and Burn firmly belong in that list. Great jobs, Sers, sad to see you go!

  36. Sir Guinan
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    The fight between jon snow and Karl was good but once Karl stabbed Jon, he had him. All he had to do was stab him with his other knife. Instead he did some bullshit one liner. That’s my only critique of that episode.

  37. Sir Guinan
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    The fight between jon snow and Karl was good but once Karl stabbed Jon, he had him. All he had to do was stab him with his other knife. Instead he did some bullshit one liner. That’s my only critique of that episode. Also I thought Locke was gonna kill jon snow.

  38. mage
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I know he’s a bit too old but Burn Gorman would’ve been an amazing Ramsay too

  39. Daniellica
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard: This sudden turn of events for Locke may anger his friend Ramsay even more, don’t you think?

    Aye, if he ever hears about it. I more imagine Locke’s death will give Throne and Slynt further shit for Jon to eat, having taken a raw recruit on a ranging (as a steward), resulting in his death. Besides, once Stannis shows up, no one will need any excuses to be angry.

    Zack: I’m kind of amused at the idea of nobody at the Wall finding out Locke’s intentions. He’ll be celebrated as a Brother of the Watch, killed while protecting the realm.

    Such lovely ironies. :D

    Spidey-Dan: It would’ve been an interesting direction to take the character, and it also would have added some flavor to Jon’s own story in the future. Alas, ’twas not to be.

    Jon’s story is not going to need much extra seasoning coming up, I should think. There are many interesting paths they could have taken with Locke–I think a number of us wondered if he might ultimately become the knife in Jon’s back–but the direction they DID take was interesting as well, albeit for other reasons. It would have been fucking delicious to see Locke interacting with Stannis & co., though!

  40. Valyrian Plastic
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Sir Guinan,

    It was even dumber that Jon didn’t simply raise Longclaw as Karl was lunging at him, because…

    A. It’s made of Valyrian Steel and can easily cut through a leather jacket!
    B. It’s 5 feet long!

  41. Tatters
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    Just think about what Jon is going to do if he finds out what Locke was up to and who sent him. He might even go south, breaks his oaths and betray his brothers for his own selfish desires.

  42. Rickard Greyjoy
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    Burn Gorman’s playing another villain now on AMC’s TURN. Total opposite ends of the spectrum though. Whereas Karl was from Gin Alley his character on TURN is an English Army officer during the Revolutionary War.

  43. Dave
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Noah Taylor earned his character’s glorious prosthetic-enhanced death. Locke added a sense of dread to every scene. You never heard him make a threat and thought to yourself, “Yeah, you and what army?” Whether implied or holding a blade an inch from your eye, Locke was a character you believed would kill you in an instant. It would have been interesting to see him somehow evade Hodor’s grasp and make it back south of The Wall. Locke was a resourceful villain, but it was not to be…

    Luke Barnes’ Rast got my attention as soon as Benjen sat him down by the fire. He was, indeed the Everyman at Castle Black and was the perfect foil for every doubting, piggish emotion felt by the societal rejects inhabiting the place. Of course, he rebelled when the opportunity presented itself.

    Burn Gorman’s brief-but-effective turn as Karl was a great deal of fun to watch, and made me wish we’d gotten to know this character better much sooner. I argued that the brutal scenes at Craster’s Keep would be repaid in full with a gruesome, karmic death, and I was right. If nothing else, his death cemented Jon Snow’s leadership position in the Night’s Watch.

    It’s a shame to see these talented actors leave the show, but they made the good guys more interesting by being the very best in evil and villainy.

    Cheers, lads.

  44. ATG
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    All three of them were great on the show, they will definitely be missed.

  45. Saul
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Rickard Greyjoy,

    It took me four episodes of Turn to figure out where I had seen this actor before. Then I quit and after a quick look at imdb, I was shocked. Really, really good actor.

  46. Strider
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Taylor’s Locke was cunning, ruthless and unpredictable, and there was nothing comical about the scary glint in his eyes. But in season 4, when Locke was unexpectedly sent to the Wall to hunt for the Stark boys, we saw another side of him, as he used rough charm in his attempt to befriend Jon Snow.

    Perfectly stated. I was one of the non-believers, and I didn’t think much of Vargo Hoat to begin with. Even so, I was not convinced of what possibly could Locke have over the book character that I considered the equivalent Bolton’s man. Everything apparently. Character gone to soon? I should think so, but as it was pointed out to me, in a style in keeping with Martin’s own MO regarding characters being built up and killed. Shocking and unexpected.

    I have to say I knew very little about the actor, but color me a fan now, Mr. Taylor!

  47. serum
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Amazing work, all three played their parts exceptionally! Well done good sers!

  48. King in the North Carolina
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    If there’s a character actor working in film or television who consistently makes more interesting and memorable choices than Burn Gorman, I don’t believe I’ve seen his work.

  49. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Lots of well-written comments here, so I’ll add my own.

    Locke was a great embodiment of the simmering resentment that rightly exists throughout Westeros, and so to see him evoke that, as a man being patronized by one of the most highborn people in the continent, as a sort of justification for chopping off Jaime’s hand was really well done. It really elevates that episode, “Walk of Punishment,” and so it was good to see him kept around for Season 4, though I admit I wanted a bit more of him. I will say, however, that he, too, has one of the best line readings in the entire series thus far: “Well, this is one shameful fucking performance.” Beautiful. That and, “I only got one bear.” Bravo to Noah Taylor, who made me completely forget Vargo Hoat.

    Karl Tanner, the “fookin’ legend” of Gin Alley, of course also had one of the great GoT line readings, the aforementioned “You are a bastard. A daughter-fucking, Wildling bastard.” But also because he closes his eyes just before he says it. It’s just brilliant, and we knew Burn Gorman was going to get taken down at some point, and well, he was. But he really added some spice to this story, and if anything at least gave us the chance to watch Jojen Reed’s most awesome moment so far as well.

    Rast is an important character in that you have to have people who act as a part of the background for a long period of time, and serve a certain purpose, much like Ian Beattie’s Meryn Trant. But we did get some decent shading at the end out of him, in that he was clearly not the psychotic that Karl was, or some of the others, just a bastard in general. Then again, he does taunt Ghost and wound Hodor, and you just don’t do that. So, ipso facto, Ghost rips his head off. A good death. Luke Barnes did nice work.

  50. Turncloak
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    I’ll miss Noah Taylor :-(. “Who the fuck is Jon Snow?” Lol

  51. Chickenduck
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Zack,

    Noah Taylor is extremely versatile. He was in some pretty good Australian drama films as a teenager, there were two in particular that got a lot of positive critical attention back in the 80s called The Year My Voice Broke and Flirting. Worth a look if you want to see something completely different from him.

  52. loco73
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Well what can you say about these guys! A big than you to these amazing actors, Noah Taylor, Burn Gorman and Luke Barnes! They had the thankless of portraying some of GoT’s most despicable characters, who gave even our favourite psychopath Joff a run for his money!

    Ahhh Locke … Jamie’s hand called to say…Hodor bitchslap!!! Seeing Hodor via Bran getting his first kill by crunching Locke’s neck! Epic! As for Noah Taylor he is such a versatile actor! It was a treat to have him on the show! No wonder he is Cameron Crowe’s favourite actor! Let’s not forget that the man played the ultimate villain…Adolf Hitler, pre-genocidal Hitler I grant you, failed artist Hitler, alongside John Cusack in the movie “Max”… So there you go…

    As for Karl or Qarl or whatever correct spelling I’m missing, well “fucking legend” Karl fittingly ended with a sword through that big mouth of his, though he was pretty fast with those knives and Jon almost got his ass kicked, Valyrian sword and all! But a most deserving death for a despicable son of a whore! Say “ahhhhhh” Karl….uhhh look you have another mouth on the back of your head! Burn Gorman is another one of those actors that can elevate any and very scene they are in! And he did! Stealing every moment he had on screen! I’m glad mr. Gorman lives on as a prick British officer in AMC’s “Turn”!!!!

    Last and not least is the least understood, sulking and brooding of our murderous psychopathic trio, Rast…whose name pretty much described the depths of depravity this character embodies! Hey Rast, word of advice, don’t fuck with direwolves, “direwolves remember”! Literally in this case, as Ghost so deliciously bit and ripped his head off! Ahhh if only we could have gotten a few more seconds of Ghost eating his overdue meal…raw steak a la Rast! Luke Barnes was awesome in portraying this despicable character with such zeal and enthusiasm, LOL! But no seriously, great job!

    So a heartfelt thank you to these three actors and the job they did not only for the show but on out behalf as the audience!!!

  53. TheFrozenKing
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    thank you all for your wonderfull preformance.
    Noah Taylor as Locke was just freaking brilliant! i will def miss him the most. “have you seen what i can do with a blade?”

  54. Zack
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Chickenduck,

    Interesting! Thanks for letting me know, I’ll definitely seek them out. I have very little experience with Aussie TV, as an American, so it should be an interesting learning experience in addition to seeing more range from a great actor.

  55. Locke's beard
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m so disappointed about Locke being gone. I’m devastated. As much shock and horror as I was about Ros, maybe more so. AND I’M A BOOK READER.

    Can’t account for taste.


  • Recent Comments

  • RSS Recent Forum Topics

  • Archives

    • 2014 (1081)
    • 2013 (679)
    • 2012 (550)
    • 2011 (512)
    • 2010 (309)
    • 2009 (174)
    • 2008 (47)
  •