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Remote Controlled: ‘Game of Thrones’ Star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Shares Theories on His Character’s Possible Death

Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera.

In today’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV Debra Birnbaum talks with “Game of Thrones” star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, ahead of the premiere of the show’s highly anticipated seventh season.

Last season ended with a massive explosion at the Sept, planned by Cersei to defeat her enemies — and Jaime looked none too thrilled when he saw his sister settling into the Iron Throne. So going into the season, one of the big questions is the state of their relationship. “I think you can forgive her. You can understand why she’s acted the way she has, because of the love she has for her children, her need to protect them,” says Coster-Waldau.

But of course her actions led to Tommen’s suicide — the last of their three children. So that sets up a confrontation between the siblings/lovers, he reveals. “Without spoiling anything, but there is one line that Jaime has in episode one, when he says, ‘What are we doing this for?’ And, she says, ‘Well, we’re doing it for the family.’ I said, ‘But that’s just you and me, now. That’s it.’ But she is hellbent on power.”

The question is, he says, “What will he do?”

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau photographed exclusively for the Variety Remote Controlled podcast
Dan Doperalski for Variety

Coster-Waldau admits he’s one of those “annoying” actors because he’s always questioning plot points. “That’s just the way it is. I’m not fighting them,” he says of working with showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff. “But I’m just questioning everything because I have to understand. I only have to look at my piece of the puzzle, obviously, you go really deep, and with Jaime, there’s so much to dive into, and there’s the history with Cersei. And I have to remember that the show is not about Jaime Lannister.”

But he’s grown fond of the character he’s played over the last six seasons, despite all of Jaime’s flaws. “I like the idea that, often, you see a story where a woman gives up her life to be with her husband, and here, it’s kind of the opposite,” he says. “You have Jaime, who gave up his life to be close to his sister, to the woman he loves, and has lived his life on her terms. Everything he’s done has been to be close to her, to protect her, to serve her needs in many ways.”

Plus, he adds, “Will there be a point when he has to change these ways?”

He teases, too, that the reunion with his brother, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), who’s heading to Westeros along with Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), may not go quite well. “If there is a reunion. I mean, last thing we heard was Jaime said, if I ever see him again, I’m gonna kill him,” he says. Tyrion’s murder of their father, Tywin, was “a difficult thing to forgive, I think.”

But he dismisses any hope of a romantic reunion with Brienne (Gwendoline Christie). “I think they have this real affection for each other, and respect, and most importantly, they have real trust,” he says. “[But] do they have romantic feelings for each other? I don’t think he’s really capable of [that]. Unless he’s able to completely leave Cersei, I don’t that’s gonna happen. I think he’s a very monogamous man. He’s faithful.”

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau photographed exclusively for the Variety Remote Controlled podcast
Dan Doperalski for Variety

He doesn’t think Jaime will win the Iron Throne — “He’s had his ass on that seat once, and it just caused him nothing but agony” — but he doesn’t think it should be Jon Snow and Daenerys, either, with a “happily ever after” ending. “That’s too obvious,” he says. “You could see that happening, but I don’t really believe it.” His prediction: “Tyrion’s going to end up on the throne, which would make sense, and would be good,” he says — with the added tease, “he’s gonna call himself Targaryen.”

Naturally, he wouldn’t reveal who dies this season, but if and when Jaime finally gets killed, he says, Jaime will get “fried.” “There’s been these moments where a fire plays a big part of the show, but also in his storyline. So, I could imagine that one of those dragons would just roast him,” he says. “Or like a Romeo and Juliet thing. He kills either Cersei, and then he kills himself, or Brienne kills him. That’s very romantic. I think it’s gonna be less romantic, though.”

But he has an idea for spinoff, should Jaime survive: “The Braime Bunch.” “You’ve got to give the fans what they want, right?” he teases. “So, it’s gotta be a Braime sitcom. They finally get together. Seven kids. They just can’t stop themselves once they get into it.”

You can listen to today’s episode here:

New episodes of “Remote Controlled” are available every Friday, and you can find past episodes of “Remote Controlled” here.

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