Actor Conleth Hill portrayed Varys, the Spider, on Game of Thrones for all eight seasons. The character has traveled The Seven Kingdoms several times over and always concerned himself with who was best suited to sit on the Iron Throne.
But in this week’s episode, “The Bells”, the character met his demise at the hands of (or dragon) of Mad Queen Daenerys.
Hill sat down with Entertainment Weekly and gave a length interview discussing his feelings on how Varys was killed off but also how he felt the character had been treated in recent seasons.
Here are some key moments from the interview.
On the death of Varys:
I took it very personally. I took it as a person, not as an actor or an artist. I understood the reactions of previous actors who had been in the same position a lot more than I did at the time. You can’t help feeling that you failed in some way, that you haven’t lived up to some expectation that you didn’t know about. The only thing that consoles you is people who worked a lot harder than you are in the same boat. So that helps. I don’t think anybody who hasn’t been through it can identify with it. They think, “What’s all the fuss about? You’re all finishing anyway.” But you take it personally, you can’t help it.
On finding out his character was being killed off:
At the time, nothing could console me. I kept thinking: “What did I do wrong?” There wasn’t any pre-warning. All these famous stories about [actors on Thrones] being taken out for a meal or being phoned at the very least [to notify them that their character was being killed off]. This was just reading cold hard copy.
On his favourite moments from across the series:
I loved the traveling with [Tyrion actor Peter Dinklage] and just the two of us in that cart. I think the stuff that was said in there understood the nature of freaks and outsiders so precisely. In a way, that was lost when we got past [the narrative in George R.R. Martin’s] books. That special niche interest in weirdos wasn’t as effective as it had been. Last season and this season there were great scenes and then I’d come in and kind of give a weather report at the end of them — “film at 11.” So I thought he was losing his knowledge. If he was such an intelligent man and he had such resources, how come he didn’t know about things? That added to my dismay. It’s now being rectified with getting a great and noble ending. But that was frustrating for a couple seasons.
It certainly sounds like the actor has some unresolved feelings about how Varys was portrayed in recent years and certainly with how he was killed off.
Did you feel his demise was fitting for the character?
Game of Thrones stars Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams. The series airs on HBO in North America and Sky Atlantic here in the UK.