Pilou Asbeak (Euron Greyjoy) responds to fan backlash over “The Bells”


The most recent episode of Game of Thrones, “The Bells,” is probably the most controversial in the show’s history, featuring as it did a shocking heel turn from Daenerys Targaryen, who burned King’s Landing to the ground in an unexpected bout of rage.

Delivering simpler pleasures was Pilou Asbeak as Euron Greyjoy, who got to get into a scrap with castmate Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister). “That was pretty intense,” Asbeak told INSIDER. “We might have had a little bit of help from a stunt double … I can’t remember. No, I don’t think so, I actually think we did all of it. Because you see our faces, right?”

"Nikolaj is not a guy who backs down. And I’m not a guy who backs down. We’re both Danish and we’ve known each other for 20 years. So when we were doing [the fight], we had to go all in, because you don’t want to be the guy who chickens out. We got pretty bruised while filming that fight, but it was fun…I slammed my head into a rock. That hurt … that was irritating. Because you got tired, you know? We shot it for two days. It was Nikolaj’s final scene, and then he was wrapped on “Game of Thrones” so it was also very emotional. Even though he’s super professional, you know you’re aware that when this wraps he’s done — Jaime Lannister is done on “Game of Thrones.”"

Asbeak felt privileged to be a part of such an important ending. “[My] final line is, ‘I’m the guy who got Jaime Lannister.’ But I felt like I was saying ‘I’m the guy who got to do the final scene with Nikolaj.'” Aw. Friends. “Nikolaj, he’s a funny guy. He’s 15 years old when he’s around me. You can’t see it because I look old and he looks very young, thanks to my genes. It’s OK. I’ve had a fun, interesting life with a lot of cigarettes and a lot of alcohol and I’m not regretting it. You can hear it in my voice as well.”

Asbeak is clearly a funny guy, too, or at least an interesting guy. Euron wasn’t a particularly deep character, but I liked the manic energy Asbeak brought to him.

Euron has a more ornamentation in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, ornamentation Asbeak was aware of when he got the part. “And I was like [drops voice to a whisper], ‘Oh my god, he has an eye patch. He’s called Crow’s Eye'” he remembered. “‘Oh how f—— cool. Oh he drinks something called Nightshade? Which is some kind of weird alcohol that gives you blue lips?'”

"But the moment I came in they were like, “No, he doesn’t wear an eyepatch. And we don’t do the Nightshade.” And I was like, bummed, but I didn’t want to show I was bummed. So I went like, “Yeah I totally agree. Stupid. Such a cliche pirate.” You know? But I would have loved that. If they had given me a wooden leg I would have said, “Thank you.”…It’s two very different characters. I think [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] wanted a not-so-mysterious villain, the way he is in the books. They wanted to do something else."

I’m gonna say he could have pulled it off, or at least had a lot of fun trying.


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Finally, Asbeak got meta when asked who he’s rooting for now that both Euron and Cersei are dead. “I’m rooting for Dan and David,” he said. “For them to be happy with what they have created.”

"I think they will be, because right now, people are very angry. Some people are very angry and some people are very happy. I think, guys, just … please. Everyone has done the best work they could, under the circumstances they could, and I think it will stand the test of time. Honestly, I swear to God I think that. So I hope Dan and David are going to end up on the throne."

It’ll be a while before we can determine whether this ending stands the test of time. For now, we’ve got one more episode to go. See you Sunday.

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