We’re almost at the end of 2019, and people are still talking about the divisive ending to Game of Thrones. Plenty of the actors and crew members have weighed in, but the cast is so huge that they could keep giving their opinions for years and we’d rarely hear the same one twice.
Case in point: Express recently talked to actor Clive Mantle, who played Jon “the Greatjon” Umber in the very first season of the show. If you’ll recall, he was the Northern lord who challenged Robb’s authority, and then Grey Wind bit off his fingers, and then he was like, “You’re alright, kid.”
Northerners are weird.
Anyway, Mantle has talked to plenty of fans since the show ended in May, and he’s had time to form his own opinion. “In these situations when you do fan conventions you talk to them and people are really split about the ending,” he said. “I loved the ending, I thought it was fantastic because it was gentle, kind and hopeful because Jon Snow seemed to be leading a group of people to create a new race who would hopefully learn from mistakes of the past and be a kinder society. That’s what I read into it, whether it’s true or not I don’t know.”
I’d like a nicer and kinder world than we live in at the moment but a lot of people wanted more blood and guts and thunder. I don’t know how you would have followed the previous seven or eight series with some ending that satisfied all of those different storylines, it’s virtually impossible, so I think a really gentle ending was perfect.
First of all, I love the phrase “blood and guts and thunder.” Those words should hang out together more often. Second of all, I don’t think that’s really the reason people were upset with the final season — I think it has more to do with the perception that the show rushed through important character beats and plot developments, and of course the “you can’t please everyone” defense is pretty tired, even if it is technically true.
I do agree with Mantle about Jon’s ending being pretty hopeful, though, which I enjoyed. Someone needed to leave this series with at least the possibility of happiness.
Talking about his experience on the show more generally, Mantle said he “sort of enjoy[s] it more now in hindsight than I did at the time.” That’s because in was filming in “minus 22” temperatures while envious of costars who got to work in warmer environs.
In any case, what’s the guy who played Mord the jailor (Ciaran Bermingham) think of the ending? Everyone get in here!