Liam Cunningham played Davos Seaworth for seven seasons on Game of Thrones, bringing a core of decency to a show that could be unforgivably brutal. He’s following suit in Domina, a new drama about the rise of the Roman Empire that just premiered on Sky Atlantic. He plays Livius, the father of lead character Livia. Naturally, Livius a good man trying to make his way in a city full of power-hungry graspers, and refuses to join the famous plot to assassinate Julius Caesar because it’s “un-Roman.”
If being type-cast as the decent, pure-hearted man in a nest of vipers is Cunningham’s fate, he could probably do worse. Before he found acting he was an electrician, and doesn’t sound like he wants to take up the trade again. “Hopefully it doesn’t come to that,” Cunningham recently told The Telegraph. “If I do have to go back, it might be a bit weird knocking on someone’s door. ‘I’m here to fix your fuse box.’ ‘Are you not Davos Seaworth?’ ‘Yeah, things are bit tight at the moment…’”
Anyway, Domina has more in common with Game of Thrones than just his character. It’s a tale about ambitious people fighting for power, and has its share of GoT-style sex and violence. “You have an obligation to show it, warts and all,” Cunningham said.
That said, like everyone else, Cunningham has trouble watching scenes like this with his family members, only it’s more awkward because sometimes he’s a part of them. “I had to keep my son away [from Game of Thrones] until he was about 15,” Cunningham said. “He’s a bright boy but it’s always difficult when a sex scene comes on. I would throw my hands in front of his eyes and start singing loudly. Obviously it went on for eight seasons. As he got older he would just start laughing and say, ‘Dad, take the hands away!’”
Liam Cunningham weighs in on the ending of Game of Thrones
Although it’s been gone for years, people are still talking Game of Thrones, particularly in light of its divisive ending. Cunningham still remembers the infamous petition over two million people signed to try and get the final season remade. He almost seemed wistful about it. “They’re just demonstrating their feelings,” he laughed. “That’s OK. It was two years ago and people are still talking about it every day…”
“There was no way we were going to please everybody,” Cunningham said, talking about the series finale. “People never like having something they’ve loved taken from them. There was so much speculation about who was going to be king, how the story was going to roll out. Line of Duty is a perfect example… if you outwit people, they think they’ve been hoodwinked. If they get it right, they turn around and go, ‘Well, I knew that was going to happen…Maybe people weren’t happy that it was a happy ending. It’s possible.”
People are more than entitled to feel unsatisfied if they feel unsatisfied. I think history will be kind, let’s put it that way.
We’ll check back in a few years! In the meantime, HBO is expanding the Game of Thrones universe with new shows like House of the Dragon: