Game of Thrones actor Alexander Siddig is definitely not happy with the way his character (Doran Martell) died on the show. He reveals to StarTrek.com that he was originally contracted for four episodes in season 6 and his death in the first episode was definitely an afterthought:
I’m not really sure what happened there. I was contracted to do at least four episodes this season, but then I was in L.A. doing publicity for something else, and I got a call at the Chateau Marmont and there were familiar voices on the other end of the phone. It was one of those guys, and because they didn’t introduce themselves it was like, “Hi, it’s me.” I was like, “Is that David or Daniel?” Anyway, they said, “You know what this phone call is about.” I was like, “Yeah, well, I guess I do.” “So we were going to kill you off at the end of last season, but we decided that we’re going to have to kill you off at the beginning of next season.” I was like, “Okay, life goes on.” But there was something wrong about that because I had been contracted for four episodes in the following season, so if they were going to kill me off at the end of the last season why would they contract me for those four episodes? Because it costs them money whether I do them or not, so it’s not great business sense to do it just in case.
So something happened; I have no idea what. There was an enormous amount of fan excitement when I got named to be on the show, and everyone was like, “Oh my god, yes, Doran Martell. He’s going to be great as Doran Martell.” That might have been the kiss of death. Maybe they didn’t want quite that much attention on that character. Maybe they thought, “Well, let’s prove that we’re going to stray from the books. We’re going to do something else, and he will be our first example of that.” So maybe that could have been the case. Or maybe I just screwed up. Maybe I said the wrong thing to the wrong person.
Siddig also thinks that HBO themselves may have leaked the first four episodes in season 5:
The whole landscape has changed, and everything is a secret now. Everybody is paranoid about some leak on Facebook or Instagram or YouTube. The internet has changed the landscape since 1992. Pretty much you had a blog with no pictures in 1992, and you couldn’t really get anything exciting on the web. But now you can leak pictures and footage, and people can get the episodes and the scripts and whatnot. So I think the secrecy is kind of understandable, but also there is an element of hype about it that makes it… the more secretive it is, the more special it is. And certainly Game of Thrones plays that. They misinform the crowd and they give them tidbits to send them in wrong directions. So, for example, last season, I believe that the first few episodes were stolen and downloaded online, and everybody got to see them before the show actually aired, and everybody was furious at HBO and whatnot. I don’t know if you remember. I am almost positive that those four episodes were leaked by HBO themselves. So there is an enormous amount of spin going on. I can’t tell you that for sure; that’s just my opinion, but it’s games; everybody’s playing these games.
So Game of Thrones is kind of the king of secrecy and spin and mystery and intrigue, as far as fans are concerned. Because there is such an appetite for gossip, everybody was asking me, “Is Jon Snow dead?” I was like, “I don’t know, he might be.” The only thing that was impossible and difficult was last season when I did it, I knew Jon Snow was dying because I got the scripts. I couldn’t even tell my wife, so it was infuriating. I don’t like walking around with secrets. I can’t stand it. You just make a deal with the devil.
People were coming up to me, you can imagine… thousands of people coming up to me in the streets, all over the place, going, “Oh my god, oh my god, it’s Doran Martell. Can I have a photo? What happens next season?” I was like, “Here’s my autograph but tomorrow you’re not going to want it because I’ll be dead, but I can’t tell you.” Anyway, it was one of those things. But I know that, from an actor’s point of view, professionally you don’t want to be on a show like that for too long, unless you are one of the top leads who originated the show, because your schedule gets kind of messed up. You don’t earn as much as you would if you were doing another show, because they’re Game of Thrones, and they don’t have to pay anyone. So it’s kind of a blessing in disguise. I just moved away, and being on it at all sticks, and everyone goes, “Oh, the guy from Game of Thrones!” It doesn’t really matter that you weren’t on it very long.
This is not the first time an actor has expressed discontent over the way they were treated on the show. Ian McElhinney (Ser Barristan) was also disappointed when his character was killed in season 5, especially when he is alive and well in the books. Ed Skrein (Old Daario) also made an allegation of ‘politics’, when he was replaced by Michiel Huisman.