‘It’s the Ultimate Humiliation’: Ellaria Sand Actor on Tyene’s Death

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Game of Thrones’ official website makinggameofthrones.com chatted with Indira Varma (Ellaria Sand) about the events of episode 3 (The Queen’s Justice) of season 7 and also confirmed that we will not see Ellaria again on the show. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

HBO: In Episode 3, What is happening for Ellaria when she sees the Mountain is alive?

Indira Varma: I think there’s the humiliation of being caught [by Euron]… she’s absolutely gutted. Her dream was to meet Cersei head-to-head and battle it out as equals. When you’re chained up and gagged, that is not meeting someone in an equal way. So that in itself is horrendous. Then seeing the Mountain, oh my God – it’s utter shock, and it brings it all back. It’s sorrow at that point, and disbelief. She feels humiliated.

HBO: What was your first reaction to reading the dungeon scene?

Indira Varma: Initially, I got the phone call from [series creators] Dan [Weiss] and David [Benioff], who said, “We’re really sorry. We’re going to kill you off.” I said, “I knew it was coming. Don’t worry – but it better be a good death!” Then I read it and I was like, “What the f**k? I don’t even speak! I don’t even die on camera!” That was me, the actor, going, Where’s my moment? Then, re-reading it, I thought it was brilliant. It’s even better than I could have expected. As I was reading it, I didn’t know what was going to happen next. I didn’t know what [Cersei] was going to do to Ellaria, and I thought that was really exciting.

The revelation after the kiss was brilliant. I really enjoyed the challenge of having to express more than one color through my eyes. It’s difficult. You don’t want to play one note in a long scene like that. Because I didn’t have any dialogue, and I was gagged and chained to the wall, I had to find ways to tell her story in a different way.

HBO: What did she think of the irony of Tyene’s death?

Indira Varma: Poor Ellaria, I don’t think she was expecting that. She thinks of herself as the poison queen. The idea that Cersei had figured out what her poison was — it’s the ultimate humiliation. And then to watch her lovely daughter die… It’s hell, awful, beyond your nightmares.


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