Pilou Asbæk talks playing the “idiot douchebag” Euron Greyjoy


Pilou Asbæk made a splash on last night’s episode of Game of Thrones as swaggering pirate Euron Greyjoy, who marched right into the Red Keep throne room and asked for Cersei Lannister’s hand in marriage while her brother-lover was standing right there. To hear showrunner Dan Weiss tell it to Entertainment Weekly, that kind of bravado was what the show was going for when it brought Asbæk on.

"We knew we had somebody with a special star quality and we haven’t had somebody with a rock star swagger who doesn’t give a sh– before. Everybody in this world cares very deeply — whether they’re awful, wonderful or, most of them, somewhere in between — they all care deeply about the politicking and give a lot of thought to everything they do. To have somebody traipse onto the stage with a swagger and the attitude that Euron has, it’s a lot of fun and lets a lot of air into the room. There are not too many people who can do that convincingly and luckily we have one."

Asbæk, who sounds like he gives a fun interview, weighed in, too, describing Euron as “kind of a joker type”

"He doesn’t take anyone too seriously. He doesn’t take himself too seriously. You have a character in the books but you also have to make it personal. So where he’s much more like a demon in the books, he’s much more f—ing enjoying himself here. I want to show a guy who just loves it. Those psychopathic sociopaths I’ve met in my life are smiley and well-mannered and they’re the biggest pricks in the world. It’s fun to do a character who’s a fun ride."

At the same time, he describes Euron as amorphous, a guy who changes his stripes to fit whatever situation he’s in. “The guy you met on the bridge is not the guy at the Kingsmoot, and is not the guy you see with Cersei and is not the guy you see on the ship,” he said. “He’s different he’s different with different people. This season he’s more charming. He’s much more f—ing enjoying himself. He’s such a f—ing idiot douchebag, an impolite selfish child.”

Will Asbæk be able to make a coherent character out of a guy who’s changing all the time? So far, it’s all seemed to hang together, but we’ll see how it goes with the rest of season 7.

In the meantime, some fans are comparing Euron — the show’s new resident psychopath — to the psychopaths in the show’s past, like Joffrey Baratheon and Ramsay Bolton. “Ramsay was the new Joffrey,” Asbæk said. “I think Ramsay was a great character and played by a great actor. But for me, Ramsay is 100 percent evil. I think Euron is not, which makes things a bit more conflicted within him. I’m more like a hooligan.” We’ll be curious to see which parts of Euron aren’t 100% evil. Underneath it all, he probably just wants to be loved.

But at the moment, he wants the Iron Throne more, and he wants to go through Cersei to get it. “Cersei sold her soul many moons ago,” he said. “Maybe that’s why Euron likes her. I think he considers her to be a worthy wife. Euron’s not a Lannister, he’s an Ironborn, she’s something better. There’s just one guy in the way…”

Next: Five Best and Worst Moments from 'Dragonstone'

And now, because it left such an impression, we present: people on Twitter cracking wise about Euron’s outfit:

How does Euron feel about all this?

Watch yourselves.