The Game of Thrones showrunners discuss last night’s shocking death


Shocking moments are business as usual for Game of Thrones finales. The season 7 finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf” was no different, as one of the show’s longest-lasting characters met their fate. Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss chatted with Entertainment Weekly about the actor’s departure. SPOILERS follow below.

Of course, that departing character was Aiden Gillen’s Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, a member of the show’s cast since season 1. Weiss and Benioff both praised Gillen’s work on the show, with Benioff revealing how he got on their radar to begin with:

"We had been huge fans of Aidan’s work on The Wire and other movies and TV shows. He’s just one of those guys you know is going to give you something good. And with Aidan you don’t know what he’s going to give you. He’s able to change things in ways that are strange and beguiling, yet to the betterment of the character and the show."

Some say “beguiling,” others say “ever-changing accents.” However you categorize his performance, Benioff gives Gillen a lot of credit for shaping the character:

"Littlefinger is a much different character than we initially imagined, and the bulk of the credit for that goes to Aidan. He’s just a phenomenal actor and a great one to spend time with. We loved having Littlefinger along for the ride, but he f—ed with the wrong girls."

Helen Sloan – HBO

Littlefinger did indeed mess with the wrong girls. Still, Weiss was elated with Gillen’s final scene. “I was so happy with his last performance on the show. We think people will get some good gasps out of the scene.”

Every actor whose character is killed off on Game of Thrones receives a call from the showrunners before the start of the season. Gillen gave his thoughts on his call here. Now, Benioff gives us a look at what it was like on the other side of the line:

"It was one of the harder death calls we had to make. Relatively speaking, he’s a minor character if you look at his screen time. The fact that Littlefinger looms so large when people talk about the show, and when we think about the show, it’s really a credit to Aidan. Every scene he’s in manages to make you think about Littlefinger. And when he’s at the center of a scene — like his final scene in the finale — he’s completely mesmerizing. We’ve had a lot of death scenes on this show and this is one of the great ones. Diana Rigg [as Olenna Tyrell] was so true to her character in the end, and Littlefinger was so true to his character — in his own cowardly, horrible way."

Next: Kit Harington expects a “bloodbath” in Game of Thrones season 8

We won’t miss Littlefinger, but Benioff is correct: it was hard to take our eyes off him when he was on screen.

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