The fate of Ellaria Sand will be left to our imgination, Indira Varma, who played the role on Game of Thrones, has confirmed. In the third episode of season 7 (The Queen’s Justice), we saw Ellaria and her daughter Tyene Sand being tortured by Cersei and the latter getting poisoned with a laced kiss, just like the way Ellaria poisoned Myrcella. We then see Cersei verbally tormenting a gagged and bound Ellaia, who helplessly watches her daughter die a slow death.
Speaking to EW, Varma confirmed that we will not see her character again on the show and also talked us through that gruelling scene. Here is an excerpt from the interview:
How did you find out about Ellaria Sand’s fate?
[Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] called me, but I kind of knew already. Obviously there’s lots of trimming going on. It’s all coming to a head and you have to get rid of less important characters that the audience hasn’t had the chance to invest in as much. So I was expecting it. I wasn’t heartbroken. And I was like, “As long as I die on screen…” and they were like “Yeah!” But of course I don’t die on screen. I stay alive, I’m just not going to reappear. I think it’s really clever.
It’s more haunting, I think, doing it this way…
It’s really dark. What I love about this scene is you’re reading it and from one sentence to the next you don’t know what’s going to happen — how Cersei is going to treat her victim. I just thought the delivery of that information was so clever. Especially since the kiss comes before the information.
One of the great things about the scene is it plays with audience expectations and allegiances. Because, I think, we’re naturally inclined to feel sorry for Ellaria and Tyene, the victims. But your character, as Cersei rightly points out, did murder her innocent young daughter, and your daughter is a killer too.
I hope people feel that. Ellaria hasn’t had quite the screen time so people are inevitably more invested in Cersei. But people were so in love with Oberyn [Pedro Pascal] and there’s a bit of that residue carrying on, and obviously, nobody wants to see somebody’s child killed in front of them — that’s every parent’s worst nightmare, beyond worst nightmare. It’s quite a challenge from an acting perspective to be interesting with no lines. It was fun trying to play anger resentment and impotence in that situation, but still wanting to fight. At what point do you give up wanting to fight? It’s a human paternal instinct where you just want to keep fighting for your child.