(Spoiler warning: Don’t read if you haven’t seen Sunday’s “Game of Thrones”; Also, Dormer teases what happens to her character later this season.)
The moment every “Game of Thrones” fan has been waiting for just happened.
King Joffrey Baratheon — a.k.a. Jamie and Cersei Lannister’s incest baby who grew up to be the sick, twisted bastard that mercilessly beheaded Ned Stark — is dead. The whole world is jumping for joy, even his on-screen wife (well, almost wife) Natalie Dormer.
TheWrap talked to Dormer about the shocking episode, her reaction to Joffrey’s highly anticipated death, and what it means for her character, Margaery Tyrell.
What was your reaction to Joffrey’s death when you found out about it? And then your reaction when you actually saw it happen?
The beauty of “Thrones” is that even when you know what’s going to happen in the book, you’re never quite certain how Dan [Weiss] and David [Benioff] are going to do something, and when they’re going to do it. So for everyone who knows what’s coming, and the cast included, it’s incredible that these amazing and dramatic twists in the plot have the ability to shock and awe you, even when you’re expecting them.
The way Jack (Gleeson) played it was really incredibly harrowing to watch. It was quite a tragic experience.
I’ve been waiting for Joffrey to die since the first episode of the series, because he’s this horrible human being. Do you view it the same way, or do you have a little more compassion for Joffrey being his queen?
No. Neither Natalie Dormer or Margaery Tyrell have any compassion for Joffrey at all. The guy is irredeemable, he’s a complete monster. Jack Gleeson is a wonderful human being, and Joffrey Baratheon is a terrible piece of work.
So there will be a Joffrey-shaped hole left in the “GoT” world because everyone loves to hate Joffrey. I think very few viewers have ever engaged in hating and despising a fictional character quite to the same extent that everyone feels about Joffrey, which is quite an accolade that Jack has achieved. He’s the baddie of all baddies.
Obviously the cast and crew are going to miss him immensely as part of the family. And I’m sure the viewers will have that same sort of oxymoron of being incredibly glad that the fu—r’s finally dead. It will leave this gaping whole in our Westeros lives. Who will we hate then?
While I loved how he went, and how unexpected it was, it wasn’t as satisfying as I thought it would be, for some reason. Did you find it to be a satisfying end to such a wretched human being?
The thing about “GoT” violence, in tribute to the artistic decisions that the directors and creators make, violence on “Thrones” is always quite realistic. I know there’s a lot of it, we’re at war and it’s bloody, but it’s never heightened or fetishized. You know? The violence is always quite naturalistic, which is what makes it so effective. The Red Wedding would be a perfect case in point.
I agree with you in a way, that there’s something about Joffrey’s death because it was so naturalistic — that is what would happen if you started asphyxiating on poison. It wasn’t stylized in such a way, but I think you need to take a hit there, because “Thrones” does such a good job about making violence as real as possible, and I think that’s always the more artistic choice.
Sorry if that’s a hyper-intellectualized answer.
No, that was a fantastic answer, but enough about Joffrey. Let’s talk about you. Let’s talk about Margaery. She keeps finding the wrong guy. Do you want her to find a good one?
It’s not about her finding a guy, it’s just I want her to be settled and I want her to find her position. In the chess game of “GoT,” she’s like this bishop that is constantly moving around the board. Her grandmother is maneuvering her, and because of what happens in the upcoming episodes, she realizes how she’s been maneuvered unwittingly. The girl is really quite talented, she just needs to find her place in the sun.
I feel sorry for Margaery, because it’s kind of, “Oh well, back to the drawing board.” She’s got to find a new position for herself.
Yeah, I was a little confused of where Joffrey’s death leaves Margaery.
She’s confused. She’s like, “Am I queen? Am I not queen?” Obviously, they didn’t consummate the marriage, so am I above Cersei? Is Cersei above me? It’s like being announced President and you didn’t get sworn in. And actually, she’s put in an incredibly vulnerable position, because it hasn’t been officiated.
Her and the Queen of Thorns need to really recalibrate and work out how they’re going to play it. Even though a choice was made to kill Joffrey, how is that going to play out in the power play thereafter? Margaery’s in a very precarious position — again.
On one hand, Margaery seems like a really great person, but on the other hand, I feel like every character on “GoT” is motivated by power and willing to do whatever to get it. Do you think she has genuinely good intentions for King’s Landing?
I think she’s a genuinely sincere person. And I don’t see having a political agenda and being a nice person as mutually exclusive. That’s the majority of politicians in the Western world. They have ambition for themselves and their career, and what influence they’ll reach, but often they come from completely legitimate moral and ethical places where they just want to do the right thing. You say all of the characters in “GoT” would do anything, but I don’t think Margaery would do anything. I don’t think Margaery would kill a pregnant woman. The Tyrells are not the Lannisters, and I genuinely believe that, even though it turns out that the Tyrells are still very dangerous, they’re still not the Lannisters. They certainly don’t have black hearts.
Margaery wants to be queen because she genuinely believes that a child that she can control on the throne will be for the betterment of Westeros. I think she has pure true intentions for the populace. Definitely.
Do you think that makes her a stronger character, more suited to survive in the “GoT” world, or a weaker one?
I think Cersei warned her in a previous episode that if you have anything you care about, it’s a weakness. That’s kind of the exploration and the experiment in “GoT.” Ultimately, if you care about for someone or something, it can be used as a vulnerability against you. Margaery cares very much about her family, but she’s going to be abandoned by her family. She gets pretty much left out on her own, as happened to Sansa. So it’s going to be very interesting to see if Margaery is going to become more cynical as the stakes get higher, and she’s in a more vulnerable position. It will be interesting to see if that’s a development, or if her heart will get stronger.