Brian Fortune on Game of Thrones season 6, the Night’s Watch and killing Jon Snow

Night's Watch

Now here’s a Game of Thrones interview worth checking out. Natalie Dormer interviews are a dime a dozen (and I’ll read every one of them, don’t get me wrong) but how often do we hear from the men who killed Jon Snow?

In a new interview with Newstalk.com, website of Ireland’s Newstalk 106-108FM, we hear from Brian Fortune, who plays Othell Yarwyck of the Night’s Watch on Game of Thrones. 

In discussing his favorite scenes from the past, he confirms his presence in the new season. “I really enjoy shooting the Mess Hall meeting scenes. Arguing with Jon Snow about allowing the Wildlings to seek refuge at Castle Black, the election of Jon Snow as the new Lord Commander, the beheading of Janos Slynt, the Jon Snow scene and a couple of great scenes in Season 6 that of course cannot be discussed.”

You have to wonder what the consequences will be for Yarwyck and the others who plunged a knife into Jon Snow in the season 5 finale. With that new teaser poster, more than ever Jon is at the forefront of people’s minds.

“It’s not every day you’re shooting a historic scene in probably the biggest TV show ever, and of course the reaction to Jon Snow’s death was phenomenal!” the actor tells Newstalk.
Jon's end

Thankfully, it doesn’t sound like Fortune got too much of a hard time from fans after helping kill Game of Thrones‘ leading man. “When the scene was fresh in people’s minds a couple of guys gave me a bit of a hard time verbally and I was called a bastard among other things by some ladies. Pretty tame stuff,” he says.

As for the crew and background cast of the show, the actor only has glowing words.

He says, “The camaraderie among the cast, crew and extras is terrific. The Night’s Watch extras are an amazing bunch, some of them have been with the show since day one. They travel from all over the country and abroad, sleeping in each others spare rooms, on couches and floors. On and off screen buddies. No, hand on heart, I can honestly say I love every being minute at Castle Black, it’s an honour.”

Fortune talks more about his acting career and keeping the secret of Jon Snow’s killing in Newstalk, so swing over there for the complete interview.

46 responses

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    1. I just remembered that this is the guy who hugged Jon after he said his vows. I honestly didn’t expect him to be the second guy to stab him. It’s pretty sad.

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    2. yeah, i’m pretty sure one of those “great scenes” in the mess hall in season six will be the remaining members of the watch talking about how things will be now that snow is dead, and that another will be these guys later stopping everything and looking on in stunned silence as jon snow walks in.

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    3. lol what is so special about natalie dormer’s interviews?? i mean no real shade, but she’s been saying a lot of stupid things lately too.

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    4. I read the complete interview after the link. When talking about the poster, he says ‘he’s still alive? News to me! (Laughs)’. Interesting choice of word -still- does this mean he didn’t actually die? Or is ‘still ‘ kinda shorthand for ‘resurrected’? .

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    5. I Dream of Spring,

      I don’t read it that way. “Still live” in this sentence context meaning not dead. The actors are supposed to be acting as though Jon Snow is dead. (Even though no one actually believes it.)

      Though frankly, the poster didn’t depict Jon as alive.

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    6. I like Natalie Dormer – no problem reading more from her for me!

      Great to see an interview with Brian Fortune, the ones with the NW gang are fairly few and far between, and he’s a great actor. 🙂

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    7. This guy will be able to tell his grandkids that he killed Jon Snow, lucky him! I wish I lived in one of the places where they have been shooting GOT. I would have applied for an extra job and, if I had been lucky, I could have told my non-existant grandkids: “See, grandma is that Kings Landing beggar/ Bravosi passer-by/ Meereenese slave you can see on this scene!”

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    8. I wonder where all the wildings are at the time of Jon Snow’s death….are they a couple days away past Moletown? Are they still near Castle Black. Will we see Tormund hear the news and immediately charge back?

      What about Davos? So many questions!

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    9. Bodog,

      We didn’t hear anything about them leaving, and Jon would presumably want the warriors to help garrison the Wall, so in the absence of indications to the contrary I’d assume they’re still around.

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    10. I wonder if an exasperated and overladen Hodor ever wants shout “Just this once, get off my back!”

      Just a thought.

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    11. He played Bowen Marsh in the first season, right? I can imagine how people react to Connor or Owen. Kit talked about how Owen Teale is like the sweetest guy on the set, friendly and funny. He even got to keep him away from the fans during photos or autographs and not to spoil his character. Some people might not take him seriously after such a funny encounter and to play grumpy but badass Alliser Thorne. Btw kudos to D&D for improving his character.
      Really curious to see post FTW era on the Wall. Their plans for Wildlings, who’s gonna get the blame for Jon’s death and what s gonna happne with Mel. They’re bunch of a rapers, pickpockets and thieves. Hardly gentlemans.

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    12. I Dream of Spring,

      I have to believe there’s a twist to this that nobody is seeing. For example, that Kit’s character in next season is not really Jon Snow (no, I don’t mean he changes his last name, but that he’s a totally different person from Jon Snow).

      If they wanted to preserve suspense about Jon Snow’s situation, they could have done what GRRM did in ADWD and left the ending ambiguous, by ending the scene immediately after a couple of stabs. But they didn’t, they dwelled on him after the stabbing to make it very clear that he died.

      Why would they make that decision and then tell everyone to lie about Jon’s status during the offseason? It would be just as easy and understandable to say they can’t talk about what happens to Jon. Why dash their own credibility to pieces when it actually leads to LESS suspense?

      How many Jon Snow fans who don’t know about the spoilers we do have now decided to quit the show because their favorite character is dead? Why would the showrunners want that?

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    13. crimethink,

      Sorry, but if Kit Harrington is coming back he is playing Jon Snow or at least the man who used to be Jon Snow. No way he is a completely different character. Nothing that we know points to that.

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    14. crimethink:
      Why would they make that decision and then tell everyone to lie about Jon’s status during the offseason?

      Because TV shows do that all the time to increase media interest.

      How many Jon Snow fans who don’t know about the spoilers we do have now decided to quit the show because their favorite character is dead?

      Very few, one imagines. The prospect of some substantial portion of the audience quitting over a certain point of no return is perennially raised, but never happens.

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    15. Geralt of Rivia:
      He played Bowen Marsh in the first season, right?

      That was the impression that many fans had after Season 1 (and it may have actually been the case at the time – no one knows). But Fortune was never actually credited as Marsh in the show, and in Season 4, it was confirmed that he was playing Yarwyck. The GOT Wiki has a nice explanation of the issue. http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Othell_Yarwyck

      “During Season 1 it was believed that Fortune was playing Bowen Marsh, and Dennis McKeever was playing Yarwyck, based on comments by Fortune and McKeever’s character delivering a line said by Yarwyck in the books. Neither of them were absolutely confirmed to be playing these characters, however, as their names were never stated in on-screen dialogue or in the credits. McKeever reappeared in Seasons 2 and 3 in a background role in the Great Ranging, in which Yarwyck didn’t partake. In Season 4, Fortune’s character was directly identified in on-screen dialogue as Yarwyck, and Michael Condron was subsequently cast as Marsh for Season 5. This establishes that Fortune’s character should always be considered to have been Yarwyck, while McKeever was simply playing an unnamed Night’s Watch officer. While this might technically be a retcon, Season 1 never absolutely confirmed which characters these actors were playing, so it introduced no internal continuity errors. “

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    16. crimethink:
      I Dream of Spring,

      I have to believe there’s a twist to this that nobody is seeing.For example, that Kit’s character in next season is not really Jon Snow (no, I don’t mean he changes his last name, but that he’s a totally different person from Jon Snow).

      Night’s King somehow possesses or wargs Jon Snow’s body as a result of the resurrection magic. Jon Snow = Night’s King theories confirmed. Evil Jon works to destroy the Wall from the inside.

      (I haven’t once stopped to consider how stupid this sounds before clicking on ‘Post Comment’.)

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    17. That time of year is coming up – the “Best Of” lists. Entertainment Weekly‘s latest issue named the Game of Thrones cast one of the Entertainers of the Year 2015.

      The magazine article had a nice collage of pictures from S5.

      Happy Thanksgiving to the staff and US commenters out there! 🙂

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    18. crimethink,

      First of all why would they let it ambiguous when it isn’t ambiguous even in the book,i don’t what book you read but it’s pretty clear Jon is a goner there too.and second of all,no,nobody is going to quit the show just like nobody quit after Ned or Robb or whoever died,on contrary actually .

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    19. Bit of trivia: According to the Transportation Security Authority, there are three dragons on the no fly list, but none of their agents have the nerve to approach them. (Srsly, would you?)

      Winner: Daenerys Targaryen.

      Loser: Donald Trump.

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    20. If GOT was around in the 1950’s:

      Senator Joseph McCarthy: “Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the High Septon?”

      High Sparrow: “I reserve my right to plead the fifth amendment and the Faith of the Seven.”

      ——-

      Counsel Roy Cohn: “Miss Mirri Maz Duur, is it true you promised Daenerys that you could save Drogo’s life using blood magic, and was this in any way connected to Joseph Stalin?”

      Mirri Maz Duur: “I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashion, and by the way don’t expect to wake up alive in the morning. Just saying.”

      ——-

      Senator Joseph McCarthy: “Mr. Shaggydog, can you shed any light on communist infiltration into Winterfell?”

      Shaggydog: “Woof woof woof!”

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    21. In my opinion in both show and books Jon Snow is going to change significantly. Personality, temperament wise. It makes sense both symbolically and plot wise for the return from the dead to a be a new version of the man. It’s an age old story from many mythological tales that George RR Martin has been influenced by. A god like figure is murdered and resurrected, but upon his return he is different. In many ancient tales he is usually colder, distant, introverted and aloof and this figure doesn’t talk much but you know he’s coming. In the tales from Egypt and Norse and East Asia this figure returns violent and merciless. Blood thirsty and hell bent on destroying what destroyed him and his family.

      I think that Jon Snow is coming in both versions.

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    22. Jared,

      The GoT Wiki is making an assumption as well though. Probably based on the fan need to make everything make sense.

      The basic truth is Fortune was playing “Senior Night’s Watch Officer” in season 1 and that’s that. And then he was Othell Yarwyck in season 4 & 5. Those are his official credited roles.

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    23. Bodog:
      I wonder where all the wildings are at the time of Jon Snow’s death….are they a couple days away past Moletown? Are they still near Castle Black. Will we see Tormund hear the news and immediately charge back?

      We saw the Wildlings exit the tunnel and head straight out the front gate of Castle Black. So, I don’t think they are inside the walls of CB but are camped just outside its gates. Hopefully they’ll hear the commotion post-FTW and come knocking on the door to find out what is going on.

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    24. Sean C.: Because TV shows do that all the time to increase media interest.

      How does stating that a character is definitely dead and gone forever increase media interest? Wouldn’t media interest be greater if the cast and producers left Jon’s life/death status a mystery when giving interviews? That’s what dramatic shows usually do in these kinds of situations.

      I know I’m totally going against the conventional wisdom of this site, but we’ve been down this road before with the annual Stoneheart predictions. The people insisting that she was showing up in Season 4 (and again in Season 5) said that the actress and producers were lying when they said she was gone forever, but it turned out they were in fact telling the truth. It’s possible they’re all really lying this time, but it’s hard to see why they would do this.

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    25. crimethink: How does stating that a character is definitely dead and gone forever increase media interest?Wouldn’t media interest be greater if the cast and producers left Jon’s life/death status a mystery when giving interviews?

      Observe the enormous media interest the whole Jon Snow saga generated.

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    26. crimethink,

      Where’s Wimsey to answer this? The difference is that Jon is one of (if not THE) central protagonists of the story. Catelyn was not. Remember that D&D also knew that the book readers would be VERY skeptical of the “he’s definitely dead” stance, and that dichotomy fosters LOTS of discussion and thus publicity.

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    27. crimethink,

      Just look out how people freaked out over his poster for season 6 and it increases interest in the show. People are talking about it and that’s what they want. You’re wrong thanks to spoilers. We saw pictures. Simple as that.

      LSH and Jon different scenarios. Jon is one of the main three protagonists of this series and his purpose to story was letting Wildlings through the Wall or what? His story will continue.

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    28. Sean C.: Observe the enormous media interest the whole Jon Snow saga generated.

      There would have been even more media interest if his status was left a mystery.

      And GoT is the most popular drama series in the world right now; any hint of what’s happening next season is going to draw tremendous interest regardless. No need for the producers to risk their credibility in an attempt to get attention.

      You’re wrong thanks to spoilers. We saw pictures. Simple as that.

      We saw pictures of Kit Harrington on set, with a totally different hairstyle and clothes than Jon Snow has ever had before. That hardly proves me wrong.

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    29. crimethink,

      That proves he’s out of Watch and as a new person. Alive. Since when Jon fought with Longclaw, in his Stark uniform like that against Boltons before? Can’t be a flashback and if it’s a vision…which is wrong but let’s say for the sake of the argument, he will be alive. If you want to say that it’s some kind of trick on people, you really think they would bother with it? Another proof is Kit’s presence in Belfast and he was or will be filming his great scene with Sophie, Aiden and Iwan in the courtyard of Winterfell. We know this thanks to Sue.

      Hardly proves you right. If you don’t want him alive and in next season fine, but you’re wrong here. If you think his arc ended with him letting Wildlings through the Wall and being killed. You probably don’t understand what is George here aiming for.

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    30. Baddogonline,

      Also he has this in common with Jon (if everyone’s favorite theory correct): Brynden has the interesting distinction of having both Targaryen blood and the blood of the First Men.

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    31. doug:
      In my opinion in both show and books Jon Snow is going to change significantly. Personality, temperament wise. It makes sense both symbolically and plot wise for the return from the dead to a be a new version of the man. It’s an age old story from many mythological tales that George RR Martin has been influenced by. A god like figure is murdered and resurrected, but upon his return he is different. In many ancient tales he is usually colder, distant, introverted and aloof and this figure doesn’t talk much but you know he’s coming. In the tales from Egypt and Norse and East Asia this figure returns violent and merciless. Blood thirsty and hell bent on destroying what destroyed him and his family.

      I think that Jon Snow is coming in both versions.

      While Jon Snow coming back different could make sense GRRM already did have characters returning as both introverted and distant, Beric Dondarrion, as well as bloodthirsty and merciless, LSH. Combining this to the hits that Jon warned to Ghost so he would not died the similar way as the other two I do not think he is changed that much. Of course his goals and methods might change by his experience but he would still remain himself.

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