×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Game of Thrones’ Star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on Series Finale, Controversial Storylines

Winter has at last arrived in Westeros, and Jaime Lannister has indeed filmed his final scene on “Game of Thrones.”

“I don’t think it’ll ever be gone from my life. I’m going back to Belfast next week,” Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays the incestuous warrior on HBO’s acclaimed series, told Variety’s New York bureau chief Ramin Setoodeh at Cannes Lions. “I’m not 100% done, but I’ve shot the last scene with me.”

Aside from potentially hinting that the final scene of the series might not include the one-handed heir to the Lannister line, Coster-Waldau praised creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff for how they close the final six episodes. “They just couldn’t have done a better job on ending our story,” he said. “We’ve worked harder than ever before. We spent twice as much shooting these six episodes than we did on two full seasons before. No expense has been spared. We’ve gone all in.”

Coster-Waldau also addressed how the show strikes a “fine balance” in conveying shocking storylines and putting plot first. “I think that’s what the show has been very good at,” he said. But he did acknowledge that Shireen being burned at the stake “was just cruel. I understand why they did it, but I just couldn’t watch it. And it was difficult to even read.”

The actor also struggled with Robin Arryn’s continual breastfeeding even at age seven. “It was so weird and wrong on every level,” he said.

Despite the large cast and crew on “Game of Thrones,” Coster-Waldau commended that “we haven’t had any a–holes on the show. It’s quite something.” After nine years since they shot the pilot, he noted his longstanding affection for his castmates that will continue once the show wraps in 2019. “I’m gonna miss all those people, that’s for sure.”

Coster-Waldau also spoke out about gender representation and equality in light of the Me Too and Time’s Up movements of this past year.

“Globally, there’s a lot of work to be done. You still have 150 countries, more, where they have legislation that discriminates against women,” he said. “But you do have a feeling that the times are changing, and they’re changing fast in a good way.”

He also noted how society will look back in 20 years and probably think: “How could that happen back then? Why didn’t people do more? How did you ever function under those rules?”

In recognizing that “there’s still a long way to go,” he also acknowledged how “you can see it changing.”

“It’s one of those things where there is no way back, because it makes sense,” he said. “It’s going to happen because it’s the only right thing.”

The final season of “Game of Thrones” is slated to return in 2019.

More TV

  • Succession

    How 'Succession' Costume Designer Dressed the HBO Drama's Leading Men

    Few shows in recent history have received as much attention simply for the clothes as “Succession.” The costuming on the show is indulgent, and impeccable; it arguably plays as big a role as the actors. Entire articles have been written about Shiv’s backless turtleneck — her clothes and her hair. The men on the show [...]

  • Game of Thrones Avengers Endgame

    'Game of Thrones,' 'Avengers: Endgame' Among Most Popular Tweets of 2019

    Twitter released its top-trending topics and tweets of 2019 with “Game of Thrones,” “Avengers: Endgame,” and actor Tom Holland commanding the most tweets in the TV, movies, and actors categories. BTS holds both the No. 1 spot in the most-tweeted-about musicians category and the second-most-retweeted tweet worldwide. Since its release in June, a video of [...]

  • Andrew Scott'1917' film premiere, Arrivals, London,

    'Fleabag' Star Andrew Scott Teases Future Projects With Phoebe Waller-Bridge

    To the delight of “Fleabag” fans everywhere, the “Hot Priest” Andrew Scott received his first-ever Golden Globe nomination Monday morning. His role instantly became an internet phenomenon, thanks in large part to his chemistry with “Fleabag” creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge. He’s up against Alan Arkin (“The Kominsky Method”), Kieran Culkin (“Succession”), Stellan Skarsgård (“Chernobyl”) [...]

  • Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his side's

    Canal Plus, beIN Sports In Exclusive Talks For Distribution Deal

    Vivendi-owned pay-TV banner Canal Plus Group and the global network beIN Sports have started exclusive talks to sign a five-year exclusive distribution and sub-licensing deal in France. The two companies previously tried to forge a partnership in 2016 but it was denied by France’s anti-trust board. Under the proposed deal, Canal Plus would distribute all [...]

  • The 'Watchmen' Season Finale and More

    What to Watch on TV This Week: 'Watchmen' Season Finale on HBO

    Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV. Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, “Watchmen” airs its season 1 finale on HBO, and “The Expanse” returns for [...]

  • CBS HEADQUARTERS

    ViacomCBS Will Explore Sale of Black Rock CBS Headquarters

    ViacomCBS will explore the sale of the famous Black Rock building, which has served as the headquarters of CBS since the mid 1960s. Bob Bakish, CEO of the company, which was created last week from the merger of CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc., said the newly combined entertainment conglomerate would explore the sale of sundry [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content