Game of Thrones Interview

Podcast: Ian Beattie (Meryn Trant) and Josef Altin (Pyp) discuss their time on Game of Thrones

Plenty of current Game of Thrones cast members have been talking up season 7 lately, but former cast members are in demand, too. The good folks on the We Have a Hulk podcast recently spoke to both Josef Altin, who played Jon Snow’s buddy Pyp for the first four seasons of the show, and Ian Beattie, who played the loathsome Kingsguard knight Meryn Trant. Have a listen below. Altin’s segment starts at 14:03. Beattie begins at 24:36.

Let’s take a closer look at their responses, starting with Josef Altin.

  • You may recall that Pyp died during the Battle of Castle Black in season 4, shot through the neck with an arrow by Ygritte. Tough way to go, but at least it was quick. That was the last scene Altin shot for the show, which was appropriate.
  • Brutal as it was, Altin was glad the producers kept the entirety of Pyp’s death scene in the show. Grenn (Mark Stanley) was another story. Grenn died fighting (and killing) Mag the Mighty, the king of the giants, but we didn’t see his final moments. According to Altin, such a scene was filmed — it was just cut for time. The producers filmed a bit where Grenn stabbed Mag the Mighty under his armor. The giant died, but fell on top of Grenn, killing him.
  • Most everything you saw on the Castle Black set was really there. “The only green screen was the top of Castle Black…to make it a bit longer.”
  • Altin doesn’t watch the show anymore, but if he had to pick a favorite to win the Iron Throne, he’d go with Arya. “She’s badass.”
  • What would Altin name the dragons? Tony, Brian, and Amanda.
  • If the producers asked, Altin would gladly come back to Game of Thrones as a wight. “I wouldn’t say no. I’ve had a dream where the doors open, I’m on the horse, skull, fire.” He’d come back as a wight.
  • Altin currently working on a show called Unforgotten on Hulu.


Next up, Ian Beattie:

  • Beattie played a monster on Game of Thrones, but sounds like a really sweet guy. “I have to be perfectly honest: I miss [working on Game of Thrones] terribly…It’s like becoming part of a big family, and whenever you exit the show, you have to leave that family behind, and it’s very very tough.”
  • Why has Game of Thrones become so popular? “It has to start with the story…Game of Thrones has some of the best storylines a television series has ever seen…The production values in the show are second to none…I think that’s another factor. The acting is sublime…They’re so perfect in their roles in this show…And the other factor I always thought made it successful is you literally do not know what’s going to happen next in this show, and that keeps the viewer gripped.”
  • “What I love about the show and what I think we all realized quite quickly in making the show was that we were making a bit of history. This show will be watched 20 years from now by a new generation, and they will, I believe, love it as much as our generation loves it now.”
  • Recall that Arya murdered the hell out of Meryn Trant at the end of season 5. What was that like? “I was blind for about 10 hours,” he said, facial prosthetics being what they were. It was all worth it, though, as he and Maisie Williams wanted to make the scene as real as possible. “So whenever she pulls my hair, [she really did it.] Cause I made her do it, and she made me do it…We both really went for it, and to this day it’s one of my proudest days on set, because when I saw the final product, that’s her and me. That’s nobody else. That’s us doing that. All of it.” (Although he admits that a stunt guy and girl were also briefly involved.)

  • Beattie still watches the show, and geeks out over the Battle of the Bastards.
  • Who does Beattie want to win the Iron Throne? “I used to think Daenerys. I’m not so sure now. As long as Tyrion’s there behind the Iron Throne, I’m not sure I’m too worried who wins it. But the other problem with winning the Iron Throne [is]…when you die, who’s gonna take over for you? Is it all gonna start again? George Martin has always surprised us. I see no reason to suppose why he won’t keep doing so. I think any guess you make at this stage is just not gonna happen.”
  • He knows nothing about season 7, although he’s excited that Tom Hopper will appear (as Dickon Tarly).

This time next year, we’ll have a whole new crop of former cast members! In the meantime, best of luck to Altin and Beattie.


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