Curtain Call: Paul Kaye


Actor-comedian Paul Kaye was always perfect as the failed, drunken priest known as Thoros of Myr. Sure, Thoros was a bit of a jerk, but he was still likeable, a guy who loved his best friend Beric Dondarrion and who had realized that the Lord of Light had given him a greater purpose.

Thoros appeared in 10 episodes of Game of Thrones episodes, although it feels like more. His first appearance was in season 3’s “Dark Wings, Dark Words,” where he and the Brotherhood Without Banners capture Arya, Gendry, Hot Pie and eventually the Hound. Thoros resurrects Beric Dondarrion (for the sixth time) after the Hound kills him, though he admits that he has no idea how he does it — he just says a prayer to the Lord of Light, and the Lord responds.

Kaye played the part with a stoic kind of humor — a sort of ‘whatevs, bro’ attitude — but he could turn deadly serious when the situation called for it, as it did when his lord and friend Beric Dondarrion fell dead. It was this combination of characteristics — roguishness mixed with sincerity — that made Thoros interesting to watch. Yes, he was a fallen drunk, but he was still fighting for what he believed in.

Thoros and Beric marched north in season 7, and Kaye turned in one of his finest moments, played in stormy near-darkness, when Thoros joins the Hound in burying the farmer and his daughter in “Dragonstone.” Later, in “Beyond the Wall,” Thoros is bitten by a wight bear and soon dies of hypothermia. To the last, he was an intriguing cocktail of contradictions — he valiantly saves the Hound from the wight bear, and then dies ingloriously in the night. There is a gentle smile on Kaye’s lips as Thoros lies frozen, as if in his last moment of life, he was amused and happy to go in service to his god. Wherever Thoros is going next, we hope there’s lots of wine.

The London-born Paul Kaye has been acting in both comedy and drama since 1995. He started small — one of his “uncredited” early parts was “Zombie behind the ‘Winchester'” in Shaun of the Dead (2004). He first received notice in the part of Dennis Pennis, a shock interviewer on The Sunday Show (1995), which established his reputation as a controversial comedian.

Since then, the prolific Kaye has been a regular on British (and later American) television for 20 years, appearing in established TV series like Eastenders (2007), Midsomer Murders (2009) and Lilyhammer (2013-2014). He’s also appeared on Ripper Street (2013) and Dr. Who (2015), two shows known for showcasing Game of Thrones alumni.

What’s up next for Kaye? He’s busy as usual, with the features Anna and the Apocalypse (2017) and Tomorrow (2018) on his release docket. Best of luck, Mr. Kaye. May the Lord of Light be with you.

Next: We break down the trailer for 'The Dragon and the Wolf' shot by shot

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