Game of Thrones: Owen Teale (Alliser Thorne) Reflects On Sunday’s Episode

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** Following article contains spoilers for Sunday’s episode [Oathbreaker] of Game of Thrones season 6 **

thorne arrestedAnd now his watch is ended. These words not only apply to Jon Snow but also to the three and a half men he hanged in the recent episode of Game of Thrones. One of them was Ser Alliser Thorne (Owen Teale) and in a recent interview with EW, Teale was asked if he expected Thorne to last this long after being on the show since the beginning:

“It’s no secret that another actor did the pilot and then they replaced him with me. I had worked with HBO before. I had done this film for HBO about 10 years ago, Tsunami: The Aftermath. I didn’t know what I was arriving into. And I thought it was too big, that I’m only in one part of the story, trying to make itself real and believable, and that it will overextend itself and it won’t be credible. There’s loads of programs that try to copy Game of Thrones, and you can see it in the background with the CGI. And my story is pretty bleak up on that wall in Castle Black.”

The 54-year old Welsh actor also reveals his trick behind playing one of the most hated characters on the show:

“In Thorne’s boots is not a nice place to be. I found the most important thing when playing the character was to just get rid of a whole section of feelings that I have as a human being — like joy, for instance, that’s just gone. Once I achieved that, in my mind, to look at Jon Snow, who has the world before him and talent and is this personable human being, to look at him while you’re feeling joyless, then Snow presses all the wrong buttons — that really helped to be able to react to him as a character and not as me.”

Teale then thanked showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss for adding more dimension to his character like Thorne’s speech at the Battle of Castle Black and giving him a few memorable quotes (‘You have a good heart, Jon Snow. It will get us all killed’):

“He wasn’t a very fully fleshed character to begin with, and I take it as a great gift that [showrunners] have given me these bits and invested in the character.”

The actor also reflected on Jon Snow’s death and resurrection and how he felt about this plotline:

“I was quite close to Kit. I remember thinking that I hope he really is dead because if you play the card of the magic too much then the credibly of the whole thing drops a little. Death is not heartbreaking anymore, and part of what you love about this series is it will break your heart. But then I was immediately impressed when I realized what they were doing with bringing him back was investigating what it means for that to happen — they’re not just bringing back Jon Snow like he never died. I think they’ve done the right thing, and it’s farewell for me.”

When Thorne and his men murdered Jon Snow in season 5 finale, he became one of the most hated characters on the show for the past 10 months or so. Teale says that though the fans generally hated the character, they have been quite nice to him on the streets:

“When it aired, I was in Greece making an independent film. It was warm; I was wearing shorts and sunglasses, but still people seized upon me as this guy who had done this thing. Jon Snow represented hope and humanity and he’s a very lovely guy, and I thought people would just hate me, but I have to say that wasn’t true — most just thanked me for bringing such drama to the show. They hated the moment, but loved it, as well. And although we were a collective that killed him, they laid the blame at my door because of the ongoing…“hate” is a strong word, but I guess he does hate Jon Snow. Once a drunk came out of a restaurant with a knife in his hand, and I thought: Which way is this going to go? Then he offered me the handle and said, “Oh no-no-no, I just want a photo — you hold the knife to me.” I got used to that. People want me to look very mean for a second and say, “For the watch…” I’ve really enjoyed doing something as an artist that provokes such a reaction.”

He shares another interesting fan interaction:

“A guy came up to me once when I was with my wife. He was walking back and forth, and eventually he came up and said, “Would you do me a favor? Would you call me a ‘bastard’ into my phone? I said, “Don’t be silly,” and my wife said, “Oh, go on!” I grabbed his phone and said, “You f—ing bastard.” He was so excited. It’s become part of the culture.”

And finally he reveals the favorite scene he shot in Game of Thrones which is unsurprisingly the courtyard sequence during the Battle of Castle Black:

“The battle scene, coming down into the courtyard. That was my Henry V moment. I’ve never played Henry V, and that really was “once more unto the breach” as the Wildlings were coming over. That ticked a few boxes. The rain that was pouring so hard that night, it was like Blade Runner. They put some boards coming down like a boardwalk so you can walk into the courtyard because a huge amount of water was falling into a small area. But in the few minutes before we shot so much water had come down the boards had floated away. They said, “Just keep going!” There was something really exhilarating about it.”

Owen Teale will surely be missed on Game of Thrones. He was among the finest actors on the show and though we are happy to see Thorne dead, as an actor he was an absolute treat to watch. We will leave you with his speech at the Battle of Castle Black (below). Farwell Ser Alliser Thorne! You fought, you lost and now you rest.


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