Like every year on Game of Thrones, Season 6 brought a fair share of death. HBO chatted with the actors at San Diego Comic-Con whose characters passed away last year – including Iwan Rheon, Kristian Nairn and Faye Marsay, who played Ramsay Bolton, Hodor and the Waif, respectively. Read up on the fan responses, souvenirs and surprises of dying on Game of Thrones.
Getting the News
Iwan Rheon at SDCC.
Nairn was surprised to learn of not only of his character’s death, but the meaning of his name. “It’s amazing to me that I’ve known [author] George [RR Martin] now for seven years. I always asked him the origin of Hodor and he never told me. He really is good at foreshadowing and keeping things secret.”
Rheon found out about Ramsay’s fate nearly a year ago. “I got the phone call from [series creators] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss]. They were like, ‘Congratulations! Ramsay gets to the Iron Throne.’ At that point, I knew he was dead.”
Marsay found out at the script read-through. “I was flipping through pages and was like, ahh!”
Nairn said that his last day on set was also his favorite. “I wrapped right around my fortieth birthday. Isaac was the one who got on the megaphone and said, ‘Kristian Nairn, you’ve wrapped.’ It was quite an emotional moment.”
At the Game of Thrones panel, “Battle of the Bastards” director Miguel Sapochnik talked about filming Ramsay’s death: “We spent a long time on that scene. There’s such a wish fulfillment aspect to it.” Sophie Turner explained that although the scene was her favorite, she was very saddened by Ramsay’s death. “I love Iwan so much,” she said. “It’s always the evil ones that are the nicest people in real life.”
Rheon received a memento from set: “I was sent the paring knife that I used to cut the apple in the Osha scene. I brought it back to Belfast and forgot to give it back and they didn’t ask for it. It was a spare, so nobody needs it now.”
Nairn snatched a souvenir as well: “I took a bit of one of the broken doors. I’m going to put it on my wall.”
Faye Marsay at Comic-Con.
Marsay was honored by the strong reactions fans had to the Waif: “People hated her, but they loved her as well. I was really proud of that as an actress. I don’t mind people saying they hated the character – it’s a sign that I’ve done something right.”
Nairn was surprised at the intensity of fan response. “People were howling like a banshee crying. People genuinely annoyed. Like, ‘You really ruined my day.’ [Laughs.] I love how seriously people take it. It just shows how invested people are in the show and it’s awesome.”
Marsay sees her legacy in Arya’s storyline: “I think the Waif served her purpose for Arya.” Rheon agrees with Sansa that House Bolton will likely disappear: “That tends to be what happens in Game of Thrones because the history is written by the winners. I guess he’ll go down in history as a tyrant. I don’t think he will be extremely remembered unless someone’s pregnant. You never know. I hope she isn’t.”
“Hodor’s legacy is to work hard,” said Nairn. “Be kind to people and hopefully you won’t end up being slaughtered against a door by a herd of undead.”