Gendry (Joe Dempsie) made his long awaited return to Game of Thrones in season 7, joining Jon Snow’s expedition beyond the Wall after Davos “rescued” him from King’s Landing. But after sprinting back to the Wall for help in the sixth episode, he was absent for the rest of the season. Speaking to Digital Spy, Dempsie implied that won’t be the case during season 8, saying he’s filmed “a fair bit…I’ve done well out of it this year, for sure.”
Of course, shooting “a fair bit” doesn’t mean his character will survive the series, as Dempsie was quick to remind people. “As with all these things, we never shoot in chronological order,” he said, “so you might have people coming in at the beginning and at the end, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they make it all the way through!”
On Game of Thrones, survival is never a sure thing, and after so many years on the sidelines, Dempsie just sounds happy to be in the mix for the big finish:
For me personally, the only real hope I had for the character was just that he would be there when the reckoning came. You got the sense – even back in season 3 – that this was a show that was building towards some incredible climax, so you just wanted to be there when it all happened. Not even necessarily just from a character point-of-view, [but] from a personal point of view – to be stood there on the set when they’re making that ending… that end game. So yeah, I’m very happy to be involved and be on set for season 8.
When you consider how long Gendry was in exile, it’s no wonder that Dempsie isn’t sweating whether his character lives or dies — for a long time, he didn’t even know if he would return at all, although showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss assured him that was “always the idea” when he rowed away from Dragonstone at the end of season 3. “[B]ut things can change and there’s so many strands they have to keep in their mind and weave together that you’re never sure.”
It wouldn’t have surprised me, and it wouldn’t have angered me at all, if they’d got to season 7 and just not really had time for Gendry. So to not only come back and have that loose end tied up, but to have been given the amount of story I got, has been great – because not everyone gets that.”
Way to go, Dempsie. We’d have been calling Benioff and Weiss twice a day.
In any case, now that he’s back, Dempsie no longer has to endure fans asking him if he’s still rowing. “That became a fairly consistent part of my day-to-day existence for the years that I was out of the show,” he said, “so it’s nice not to have to keep that particular secret! However, there’s a whole raft of new secrets that I now have to keep, so it never really lets up, the pressure to keep your mouth shut when it comes to anything to do with Game of Thrones!”
New secrets, you say? For anyone interested, by Dempsie’s own admission, the way to get him to talk is booze.