Game of Thrones cut Beric Dondarrion’s final line


Beric Dondarrion, he who had been brought back to life going on 10 times in service of the Lord of Light, was one of several characters to die in the most recent episode of Game of Thrones, “The Long Night.” Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, actor Richard Dormer talked about his final moments on the show, and how he never expected his character to make it all the way through. “I always knew he had a purpose — and as we saw, he finally found it. It was with Arya all along.”

"I knew it would have something to do with the Starks. I knew it would be Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Arya or Sansa (Sophie Turner). It was going to have something to do with the promise Beric made to Ned Stark all the way back in season one. I wasn’t that surprised to read it."

If you don’t recall, Beric first appeared in season 1 (then played by David Michael Scott), when Ned Stark, acting as Hand of the King, charged him with finding the Mountain That Rides and bringing him to justice. That didn’t end well, as the Mountain killed him…more than once. But it was worth it so Beric could make it to the moment when he saved Arya Stark from being killed by a wight in that Winterfell hallway.

The scene, which features Beric getting stabbed several times as he blocks wights from chasing Arya and the Hound, looked painful…and it was. “Did you see how hard I was hitting all that scenery?” Dormer asked. “I was getting slammed all over those walls. It was brutal!”

"I remember what it was like on the day. I don’t normally watch my scenes back on the monitor, but there was one bit I wanted to see. I wanted to make sure that it looked realistic after he was stabbed. After the “Bericade,” he runs. I saw this limping shadow. I felt a lump in my throat. I actually felt empathy. I felt sorry for Beric. I felt so sorry for this character. I’ll never forget that. It was quite moving. He could still run after being stabbed seventeen times."

Okay, first of all, “Bericade” is a great way to describe this scene. Second, while I didn’t feel too badly for Beric when watching the episode — we just hadn’t spent a ton of time with his character — Dormer has me thinking I owe his death scene another look. He did take a lot of blows before finally expiring in that hall.

"I think it’s because he has to make sure Arya is safe. Once he looks into her eyes and knows she’s survived the hallway, he’s done his bit, and now he can die. What drives him on is almost a superhuman spiritual strength. That’s what gets him through the door. It’s so he can get into the room, look at Arya, and know that she’s safe. He wants to say one last word to her. I said something on the day we shot it, but I’m kind of glad they didn’t use it."

So what were Beric’s final, unheard last words?

"“Live” I just looked at her and said, “Live.” And then, boom — he’s gone. But he doesn’t get to say it [in the episode], and he doesn’t need to say it. Life has been his whole struggle through the series. He’s been struggling to protect life, protect innocents. He’s a real knight, I suppose. He was noble."

I’m okay with that line being cut; it’s a little on the nose. Three cheers for Beric’s sacrifice, though!

Interestingly, Arya isn’t the only character saved by the Bericade. The Hound, whom Beric talked through a panic attack earlier in the episode, also benefits. Is the Lord of Light looking out for the younger Clegane brother, too?

"[Beric] knows that his destiny, Arya’s destiny and the Hound’s destiny have been tied up together from day one. In some ways, he’s also saving the Hound. He’s saving both Arya and he’s saving the Hound. He knows that the Hound can help fulfill another part of Beric’s destiny: kill the Mountain. I think Beric figures, “If I save [the Hound], he’s going to look after [Arya]. She’s going to do something special, and he’s going to do something special.” There’s always been a begrudging respect for the Hound. I think he likes him, too. I think Beric actually does just like the guy. They’re chalk and cheese; there’s no way they can be friends. And yet, here they are, protecting one another and fighting for the same goal. It’s just really profound, actually."

I think we can all agree that the Hound has a yen to kill the Mountain. Hell, he and Arya can do it together.


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Finally, Dormer named what he’ll miss most about the show.

"I’m going to miss my sword, my flaming sword. (Laughs.) You know, when I’m wandering around my apartment looking for my cigarette lighter? I always think that if I were still Beric, I could just go, “Vroom!” Light up my cigarettes without a worry. (Big laugh.) I really miss the costume and I’m going to really miss that camaraderie. We laughed so much while we were making this show. It was a lot of hard work, but we had a lot of laughs doing it, and we sang a lot of good songs."

Funny guy, Dormer.

Rest in peace, Beric. Finally.

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