NOTE: Major spoilers ahead. Do not read if you haven’t seen Season 8, Episode 5 of Game of Thrones, The Bells.
Following the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones on Sunday, The Bells, Conleth Hill — who portrayed Lord Varys spoke with Entertainment Weekly and revealed how he feels about the show’s final season and his character.
Since it’s 2011 debut, Lord Varys played a key role in the unravelling of Game of Thrones’ plot.
He often helped main protagonists by providing them with not only previously disclosed intel, but his own moral compass and ultimate voice of reason.
From serving the late King Robert Baratheon to travelling across Westeros with Tyrion Lannister, Varys came a long way before serving Daenerys Targaryen as her Master of Whisperers during the longstanding and recently completed Great War.
However, to the surprise of thousands of fans across the board, Varys’ fiery demise was met in Season 8, Episode 5, and according to Hill, 54, he “took it very personally.”
“I took it as a person,” admitted Hill, “not as an actor or an artist. You can’t help feeling that you failed in some way,” he continued, “that you haven’t lived up to some expectation that you didn’t know about.”
After going against her and attempting to convince Jon Snow to take the Iron Throne, Daenerys quickly had Varys executed (burned to death) by the last known living dragon, Drogon.
“I understood the reactions of previous actors who had been in the same position a lot more than I did at the time,” he revealed, referring likely to the countless number of co-workers he’s lost to the show’s brutality, including Aidan Gillen, who portrayed Lord Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish.
Hill added that he hoped he could “have had one more meeting with Littlefinger,” as that was his character’s nemesis throughout the series. “I was very bummed to not have a final scene with him,” said Hill. “I was bummed not to have any reaction to him dying.”
Unfortunately for Hill, it wasn’t just the most recent episode that left him disappointed. He revealed that he was left a little bit dissatisfied with his character’s arc since Game of Thrones’ sixth season.
“That’s been my feeling the last couple seasons,” he continued, “that my character became more peripheral, that they concentrated on others more.”
“It just felt like after Season 6, I kind of dropped off the edge,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “I can’t complain because it’s six great seasons and I had some great scenes these last two seasons. But that’s when it changed for me a little.”
Some longtime fans of the show and diehard Lord Varys supporters took to Twitter to share their frustration with Hill too.
Here’s what they had to say:
Unfortunately for Game of Thrones showrunners, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, last Sunday’s episode (The Bells) earned itself mostly harsh reception among its fans as a result of Daenerys’ supposedly “rushed” character arc.
When asked how he thinks fans will feel about Game of Thrones’ upcoming finale, Hill admitted he was unsure. “I have no idea,” he admitted. “I don’t know how I feel. I can’t anticipate it until it happens.”
Episode 6 of Season 8 — the long-awaited series finale — airs on Sunday night.