Natalie Dormer (Margaery) on what she won’t miss about Game of Thrones


Natalie Dormer is Game of Thrones alumnus on the rise. The actress, who played Margaery Tyrell on the HBO show for five years before dying in the Season 6 finale, will soon star in the thriller In Darkness, from a script she wrote herself. And just last week, she spoke at the United Nations about the plight of women and girls in war-torn countries. “I will always be grateful that playing Margaery has lifted my profile in the way that it’s lifted all the cast’s profile,” she told Elle during that event. “I can do some good, like being here.”

It’s fitting that the woman behind Margaery, a character with ambition to spare, is making the most of her visibility. Dormer is an actor by trade, but she has many interests and speaks eloquently about them. For example, here’s her take on the ongoing debate over the perception of the definition of feminism:

"There’s 130 million people in crisis in this world at the moment, in humanitarian crisis, and most of them are women, more than half of them are women. So can we all stop slinging mud at each other about definition? Feminist, whatever the definition, whatever you call yourself—I am, I’m not—none of us want little girls being forced into early marriage before they’re 12. None of us want gender mutilation; none of us want rape as a tactic for war. So I just think that if we stopped playing on the superficial level and concentrated on women in real crises throughout the world, it would be a better thing if we all stood together about the important stuff and stopped getting distracted by superficial things."

And here she is the ongoing debate regarding onscreen nudity:

"You know, I don’t believe in nudity for nudity’s sake, nothing gratuitous. But, you know, some of the most successful, talented actresses of our generation, be it Julianne Moore, or Charlize Theron, or Charlotte Gainsbourg, or Isabella Rossellini, if you know your cinema history, have taken their clothes off. There’s nothing wrong with nudity, per se, if it’s part of the storytelling and it’s eloquent and it says something about the raw humanity of the story. So again, you see, we’re getting caught up with labels: “Nudity: bad.” It’s not about “nudity: bad.” It’s about gratuitous oversexualization of children; it’s complicated."

But not all the talk was so high-minded. The magazine also asked Dormer about her time on Game of Thrones, including what she’d learned from playing Margaery.

"Every role affects an actor a little bit. There’s always a little chunk of a character that stays left over in your heart. When a show communicates on such a vast level internationally, you know, and philosophizes about power, gender politics, and crimes against humanity, which Game of Thrones deals with all those things, then I’m just grateful that it reinstates my faith that art can be life applicable. We can actually learn and have dialogue about stuff through escapism and fun, you know?"

Okay, that was still pretty high-minded. How about this: what won’t Dormer miss about filming Game of Thrones?

"All the pins stuck in my head from the wig. I would set off a metal detector. And you know when your head gets really itchy? So when the wig gets put on at like 5:30, 6 A.M., and you can’t take it off until 7 P.M.—I won’t miss all the pins scratching against my scalp."

There we go. Margaery’s hair did often look complicated—just look at her do when she married Joffrey.

I don’t wanna think about how long that took. That also segues into another fun question: did Dormer swipe any props from the set?

"I have Margaery Tyrell’s—I didn’t take it, I was given it—but yes, David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] gave me Margaery Tyrell’s wedding crown. So that is sitting on my bookshelf."

We’ve seen Margaery marry twice—to Joffrey and Tommen—but I think she wore the same crown both times. Odds are that’s the one on her bookshelf.

Finally, Dormer revealed who’s on Margaery’s hit list for Game of Thrones Season 7.

"My gosh, well, obviously, Cersei took so many of us out in the last episode and she’s really turned dark; even Jaime Lannister can see that, so I don’t think that Cersei Lannister is long for her Westeros world."

“I hope she’s not,” she added, one last swipe at her sworn enemy from beyond the grave. We wish Dormer luck—not that she needs it—and we’ll see if her hopes are borne out next year.