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‘Game of Thrones’ Season 6: Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on Their Characters’ Surprising Turns

Game of Thrones premiere Emilia Clarke
John Salangsang/REX/Shutterstock

The “Game of Thrones” Season 6 premiere is coming.

The stars of the HBO show hit the red carpet on Sunday night at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles — two weeks before its highly anticipated return.

In keeping with the secrecy surrounding “Game of Thrones” premieres, the actors were tight-lipped about upcoming storylines, but many of the cast members agreed that their favorite death so far in the series was Viserys Targaryen, played by Harry Lloyd.

“Who gets covered in gold anymore? We set them on fire and we do all these other things, but I need to see someone else covered in gold,” said Emilia Clarke.

Clarke, who plays the silver-haired Daenerys Targaryen, said that we’re going to see her character take some surprising turns.

“You’re going to see a little bit more of who she really is,” she said.

Clarke said she’s thankful to be a part of the conversation about strong female presences on TV.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays the one-handed Kingsguard Jaime Lannister, shared that there’s a lot in store for his character this season, including facing Cersei. He also said Jaime is going to have to “step up.”

“The whole power structure in King’s Landing has changed because of the Faith Militant, the religious uprising,” he said.

Coster-Waldau also added that his character will have to really be the “man of the family,” but shared it will be tricky because “there are some very powerful women around.”

As for his favorite moment on the show so far, he thinks back to the first episode.

“You know, I remember when I read the scripts for episode one, Season 1 and when Bran climbs up and he sees Jaime and Cersei together and then he’s pushed out the window, when Jaime says ‘the things I do for love,'” he said.

When starting the series, Coster-Waldau knew what was going to happen for the first three seasons. Seeing the changes since those first moments, including the connection between him and Brienne of Tarth, have been great for the Danish actor.

“It’s a dream part for an actor,” he added.

Jonathan Pryce said that we will learn a lot about his character High Sparrow, who’s pivotal in the sixth season.

“You’ll learn what motivates him and where he came from, why he decided to join the Faith,” he said. “He’s on a mission to clean up the world, whether it’s for the good or for the bad. Some people will have to suffer on the way but for him, it’s for the good of the many.”

Eugene Simon, who plays Lancel Lannister — one of the Sparrows in the Faith Militant group led by Pryce’s character, said that anyone who is in the crosshairs of the group will be affected by this religious uprising, especially the aristocrats.

“This is an ideology that has really tried to bring the common man to the forefront, but also become a theocracy,” said Simon.

“It’s a frightening situation,” he added, saying the concept will start to express itself in a very complicated and twisted way.

Simon had originally auditioned for the part of Joffrey Baratheon, but said that Jack Gleeson was “so damn good as Joffrey” and he’s incredibly happy to be able to play the part of Lancel Lannister.

“There was an understanding of his position when he starts in seasons one and two, where he would go after a period of time,” he said about his character arc. “But there was never any full knowledge that it would come to fruition.”

Simon added that his character in early seasons was lost and weak, but called Lancel in Season 6 “the Ghost of Christmas Past” in terms of his experiences from the early seasons.

“I’ve been very, very lucky to be someone who is told that kind of story,” he added.

When asked about the similarities between his character and himself, Liam Cunningham who plays Ser Davos, joked: “I wish! That man is decent, there’s no good in me.”

Keisha Castle-Hughes, who plays Obara Sand — Oberyn Martell’s daughter — was a massive fan of “Game of Thrones” before joining the cast. She reminisced about her journey from being a young Oscar nominee to appearing on “Game of Thrones.”

“It’s super exciting coming from a place like New Zealand as well and reaching those achievements. It takes a lot of hard work and a lot of good people around you, and never forgetting where you came from. I’m super grateful,” she said.

As for her character this season, she said, “Obara lives her own life, does her own thing. No one can make up her mind for her and that stuff becomes very apparent.”

Also in attendance were creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Lena Headey who plays Cersei Lannister, Sophie Turner who plays Sansa Stark, Maisie Williams who plays Arya Stark, Alfie Allen who plays Theon Greyjoy aka Reek, Dean-Charles Chapman who plays Tommen Baratheon, Michael Huisman who plays Daario Naharis, Joseph Naufahu who plays Khal Moro, and Iwan Rheon who plays Ramsay Bolton.

Following the season premiere screening, the cast, executive producers and guests headed across the street to the Roosevelt Hotel, which was transformed into Westeros for the night, complete with a replica Iron Throne. The lavish party spanned two floors, and attendees could have their photo taken in the Hall of Faces, where they posed alongside actors dressed as a Dothraki clansman or the Red Priestess; take a drink in Castle Black, where Three-Eyed Raven soothsayers were on hand to read their fortunes; or get a screen-printed bag emblazoned with and image of the Night’s King or House Stark banner.

Other famous faces among the crowd included Tesla CEO Elon Musk; “Girls” star Alex Karpovsky; Faye Dunaway; “Bessie” thesp Queen Latifah; “Veep’s” Reid Scott and Timothy Simons; “Getting On” lead Alex Borstein; “Silicon Valley’s” Kumail Nanjiani; Lisa Bonet; the stars of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and many more.

“Game of Thrones” Season 6 will resume the battle for the Iron Throne on April 24 on HBO.

(Additional reporting by Laura Prudom.)