Don’t sleep on Euron Greyjoy: “I do some cool s—” in season 8


Ever since Euron Greyjoy showed up on the scene, he’s left an impression on Game of Thrones fans, something actor Pilou Asbæk said was deliberate. “In collaboration with Dan, David and [director] Miguel Sapochnik, we created a character that was more like a rockstar, more like “F**k you, I want to see the world burn, and while I see it burning I’m going to have a good time,” he told HBO on its Making Game of Thrones blog.

Sounds a lot like Heath Ledger’s Joker if you ask me, which is a great thing.

If you’ll remember, at the end of season 7, Euron leaves the Dragonpit summit and says he’s going back to the Iron Islands. Later, Cersei revealed to Jaime that this was a ruse, but Asbæk only reads his scenes, so he didn’t know if he was coming back for season 8 — Nikolaj Coster-Waldau  had to tell him when they were in an airport together.

"And Nikolaj was like: “Are you f—ing kidding me? Tell me you read the scripts and you’re not one of those cliché actors who only read their own lines. You’re sitting with the most hyped scripts in the world and you haven’t read them?” I’m like, “What do you mean?” And he says, “In the next f—ing scene Cersei tells Jaime the whole plan of what might happen in season 8, and you’re part of that and you haven’t even read it? You think you’re out?” And I was like, “Oh, don’t tell anybody Nikolaj.”"

Bad Pilou. As an aside, apparently he and Coster-Waldau — both of them Danish — have been friends since Asbæk nannied for Coster-Waldau’s kids when he was younger and unsure what he wanted to do with his life. It’s hard to picture Euron Greyjoy watching your children, but here we are.

Asbæk also discussed Cersei and Euron’s intimate encounter in the season 8 premiere, something Lena Headey had strong opinions about. “I think she did it because she had to, but the way we did it is to make clear he actually loves her,” Asbæk said. “He’s intimidating and evil, and in many ways a menace, but for me it was very important it was genuine love, or else it would be a bit one-dimensional.” That’s…sweet? Hard to tell.

As for Euron’s role in season 8, Asbæk cautioned Entertainment Weekly not to count him out. “My agent sent me a text that said the most likely character to die first is me,” he said. “So a lot of people are gonna lose money … I do some cool s—.”

Asbæk joined the show in season 6, after it had become a proper phenomenon. You might think that would be intimidating, but not for Asbæk. “It was f—ing awesome,” he said. “It was a big deal. I had like two introductory scenes in season 6 but I wasn’t until season 7 until I felt I was a part of the GoT universe.”

"I had an idea for season 7. I read the script and I said, “What if we made him a bit more like a rock star, where you don’t know if he’s going to kill you or f— you?” The costume designer was totally into that idea and made his outfit more rock star-ish and it established the character more than I expected. And when I was talking to Cersei and Jaime in the throne room I say, “So here I am, with 1,000 ships, and two good hands.” And Dan and David came up and said, “Take away the ‘two good hands,’ it’s too much.”"

Asbæk, more confident than he was in season 7, argued against cutting the line and eventually prevailed. “I went to them like, ‘Guys, don’t take it away. I know exactly how to be this guy, he’s gotta be charming, he’s gotta be arrogant, he’s gotta look Jaime right in the eye and say it with the biggest f—ing smile — because he’s an idiot and a prick and that’s what I like about the character.’ So they said, ‘Okay, let’s try it out’ and we did it. They said later, ‘We’re so f—ing happy you insisted on that.’”

Back to season 8,  Asbæk hailed showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss as “creative geniuses,” while saying “they have known from the beginning where they wanted to go.” That’s comforting, but WHERE’S GHOST? Sorry.

Unsurprisingly, Asbæk said that Euron’s loyalty to Cersei may not be ironclad. “Euron’s in a position where he can bet on two horses. He can go with Team Cersei or Team Daenerys. He’s got opportunities.” Now wouldn’t that be a plot twist, if Euron were to abandon Cersei for Daenerys?

Finally, Asbæk touched on Euron’s relationship with his niece and nephew, Yara and Theon, “I don’t think Euron gives a s—. For Euron his main focus is power and Theon doesn’t have any. Yara and Theon are nothing to him. They’re not a concern.” Maybe that explains why Euron never killed Yara? Guess we’ll have to wait for answers.

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