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‘Game of Thrones” Iain Glen Is ‘Too Afraid’ to Watch Jorah Fight in the Battle of Winterfell

SPOILER ALERT: Do not keep reading unless you’ve seen “Game of Thrones” Season 8 Episode 3, titled “The Long Night.” 

The brutal Battle of Winterfell during “Game of Thrones” Season 8 Episode 3 left thousands of casualties. Among the most tragic was Ser Jorah Mormont, who fittingly perished defending his beloved Khaleesi.

Iain Glen, who plays Jorah, reveals that he hasn’t yet been able to bring himself to watch his character’s final episode. He has become “so invested” in the character that he’s “a little afraid” to sit down and watch his on-screen demise.

Glen shares with Variety what his final moments were like on set and how he feels now that his time in the cultural phenomenon of “Thrones” is over.

Well that’s it for Ser Jorah.

That’s it. I am no more. I am deceased. I’ve been disallowed from saying that for a long time, it feels odd finally saying it.

How did it feel to shoot your final scene?

As always you shoot things out of sequence. My death scene wasn’t actually the last scene I shot, the last scene I shot was… oh actually, no, no, no, I’m not allowed to say! Having been very good for a decade, I was just about to trip up then. But I’m really proud to have been part of this extraordinary whole, when I read the scenes, right from the word go, I said to Dan and David, I could see them coming towards me being aware of what they’d done, and I said, “Say not a word, it’s the most perfect ending and I’m very happy to go out of the show this way, having been there since the start.”

What were your emotions watching it on screen?

I’ve not actually been able to watch it. I just watched episode two, and I’m just reminded what a wonderful job David and Dan do. Episode one and two reminded the audience of what a long journey you have been on with these people, how much you have invested with these people. They’ve been at each other’s throats, but now they have come together. This mad group of characters who are full of their own various faults, to fight for life against death. I just feel so utterly invested in it that I’m slightly afraid of actually watching the third episode.

You’re in for a ride when you see it. It definitely feels like a climax to the entire series.

I think it’s brave storytelling to have such a monumental center piece to the season, whatever unfolds afterwards will be of a different tenor. Watching that second episode really reminded me of saying to my wife, ‘Do you remember our first kiss under the National Theater in the car park?’ That’s what I feel when I watch the show, you’re reminded all the time of that’s when they met, oh they used to hate each other, that person’s making love for the first time, and I know that because I saw them as a kid. You’re really invested and then you threaten them, there’s a lot that needs to be resolved and a lot that needs to unfold, but it was a bold piece of dramaturgy to put a monumental, cataclysmic, very, very hard to top episode bang in the middle.”

What were your final moments on set like? Was there a celebration?

David and Dan produced this framed piece of storyboard for everyone for their last scenes, and they wrote some lovely words on the back.

Which storyboard did they choose for you?

It was the gladiatorial sequence when Ser Jorah was in front of Daenerys and took on the various fighters in the pit. They made a farewell speech and we all had that on our last day, whether it was in front of just a blue screen or a big set with lots of actors involved. I don’t think it’s giving anything away to say I was part of a very big scene that we were shooting and there were lots of people there. That’s the way you want to end it rather than just being with the visual effects guys and the writers, which happened to some, but mine was a proper send off. I felt very bereft in that moment. You leave the set and there’s a little walk back to the base, and I kept looking back to the set having done my last bit, taking it all in. I kept holding the costume in my hands, stopping and reminding myself that this was it.

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