Curtain Call: Brenock O’Connor

Olly

Well, the #FuckOlly movement has finally paid off.

In the last scene of “Oathbreaker,” the newly resurrected Jon Snow executed his traitorous Brothers, including Olly, the teenage boy who’d become one of the most hated characters on the show.

To be perfectly honest, I never understood the fandom’s bile towards Olly and I probably owe much of my sympathy for him to Brenock O’Connor’s performance.

Admittedly, Olly got the short end of the stick in terms of writing –

which led many viewers to denounce him as an annoying, one-note thorn in Jon Snow’s side. However, O’Connor still deserves credit for his performance, for not playing Olly as a young Brutus biding his time, but as a boy whose childhood was stolen from him, who witnessed atrocities and turned bitter when he was denied justice. As David Benioff put it in Inside the Episode for “Mother’s Mercy,” “Olly’s not a bad guy. Olly’s a kid who’s seen just way too much horror way too early and he makes a decision that’s a really hard decision for him but you understand where he’s coming from.”

Jon Holloway

Credit: Jon Holloway

Neither Benioff nor D.B. Weiss ever planned for the peasant boy from the Gift to develop such a tragic arc. In fact, the role was originally so small he didn’t even have a name.

In an interview with Westeros.org, Bryan Cogman revealed that O’Connor’s character was originally written only as “boy in hamlet” and was never intended to do more than deliver the Thenns’ message to the Wall.

Benioff and Weiss told Variety that it was Dave Hill, their assistant at the time (who’s since been promoted to staff writer and story editor) who proposed giving “boy in hamlet” a name and expanding his role to make him a Night’s Watch recruit and Ygritte’s killer.

According to Cogman, Brenock’s talent was a major factor in the decision.

“Brenock also had given an amazing audition so we knew he could handle it. And he and Kit have a nice dynamic- Kit rightly honed in on the idea that Olly reminds Jon of Bran and the family he lost.”

Despite the strength of his performance (and my assumption that most GoT viewers are old enough to distinguish between reality and fiction) … or perhaps because of it, O’Connor received some pretty deplorable hate mail when “Mother’s Mercy” aired in the United States.

“‘I’m going to murder you and your family, rape your corpses and feed them to my dogs.’ That was the first ever comment I got from that. So, yeah, it was quite brutal.” C’mon, GoT fans, we’re better than that.

O’Connor will appear next in the World War II drama, Another Mother’s Son. Hopefully the sixteen-year-old is at the beginning of a long and successful career.

I wish you well, O’Connor. Don’t let the bastards get you down.

brenockkitjohn

122 responses

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    1. He did an amazing job and I hope people appreciate that. It’s not an easy gig, and handling that as a teenager is pretty remarkable.

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    2. I think Olly is the most iconic show-only character. I met many people who were shocked that he wasn’t part of the book.

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    3. Anytime I have a strong and visceral reaction to a character in a show like GOT, I attribute it to the quality of the actor/actress. Olly, Thorne, Joffrey, Ramsay etc. All great actors.

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    4. mau,

      Well, he is and he isn’t. I do think he’s MUCH more unique from Satin than say Locke was from Vargo Hoat.

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    5. Olly was a kid who tried to put on his big boy pants and was killed because he was not ready to be a big boy. If Jon Snow is Westeros Jesus, Olly is Westeros Judas. And he got hung too Hahaha, fuck you Olly

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    6. Let’s remember that Curtain Calls are about paying respect to the actor. Not about dancing on graves. Thanks.

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    7. Olly, himself, sucked and we’re supposed to feel this intense anger and betrayal towards him, same as Jon at the end of Oathbreaker. But O’Connor was great as Olly. That character would have felt so corny or cheesy in most other young actors’ hands. So, bravo to him.

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    8. I’ll admit, I was one of the people who was looking forward to see Olly die, and was satisfied when he did. But, saying things like that to the ACTOR? Seriously, people…?

      Brennock’s performance was a large part of the reason this character drew such a reaction from so many people, and he should be commended for that. And, as much as I hated Olly, I could totally see where he was coming from, and I completely understood his feelings (though yes, in the end, #FUCKOLLY). I thought the character was written well, and I really liked the tragedy to his arc. But none of that would have come through as strong as it did, were it not for Brennock.

      I wish Brennock the best of luck in the future. This kid is going places (assuming he decides to continue acting).

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    9. I feel bad for saying “fuck olly” after he killed Jon Snow, he did have a tragic storyline, and I understand why he wanted to help kill Jon. He didn’t deserve so much hate, and the death threats the actor got because of a fictional role he played.

      Props to O’Connor for doing such a great job in this small role. After seeing Olly’s dead face after being hanged made me feel sick to my stomach, it was gut wrenching.

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    10. The strong reactions from fans shows was a great job he did in his role! A big thank you and all the best to him in his future adventures!

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    11. Well done Brenock! It isn’t hard to play a character that is hated (rightly or wrongly) by the show’s audience, but it is even harder when that character is in the biggest TV series in the world. It makes it an even bigger achievement when you think that Brenock is only a teenager.

      The fact that people hated Brenock showed what a great job he had done. He wasn’t just “that random kid” who stabbed Jon Snow. You actually knew who he was, why he did it, and his whole character arc. I think many people actually could sympathise with the actions taken by Olly, and didn’t actually hate him at all (including me). They could understand how he found himself in that position, and only a supreme acting performance could help achieve that.

      Thanks to Dave Hill for the initial idea of expanding Olly’s role. It made Jon Snow’s death much more tragic as we felt for both Jon and Olly. Alliser and company are great, but bringing in a child like Olly really elevated the scene as we knew the friendship that once existed between Jon and Olly.

      Good Luck for the future Brenock. I’m sure you will go on to some fantastic roles. Hopefully they will be as memorable as your role as Olly.

      And Now His Watch Is Ended.

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    12. Olly was used by grown men (Thorne etc) for their own agenda. He was a child that watched his parents be killed by the Wildings , easy picking for corrupt adults. The actor did an amazing job.

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    13. Chuck:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      Man I don’t know the rules, just joined this forum a month ago. But i take your point.

      No biggie. Like Sue said, not worth quibbling over. CC is just a time honored tradition 🙂

      I’m surprised Brenock didn’t get a single line of dialogue this season.

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    14. Olly got more justice than a lot of characters on the show: he killed Ygritte and Jon killed the Magnar of the Thenns who led the attack (together with the majority of the Thenns and Wildlings who came from the south side). Jon took him in, trained him and treated him like a real brother in spite of everything. The execution of the traitors was deserved; you can’t have them running around CB after all of this and an example needed to be set to the NW. Olly failed to see the big picture, even though Sam explained things to him clearly in season 5 (I think it was the Hardhome episode).

      That being said, the actor doesn’t deserve to get death threats from people who can’t distinguish fact from fiction. I hope he has a long career ahead of him.

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    15. Have to admit that Brenock O’Connor’s acting is great, no wonder so many people hated Olly. The pure look of hate when the noose was round his neck was so realistic. Could be a wonderful future for this young actor. Nothing personal, but glad that Olly was hanged.

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    16. people who hated Olly never got the depth of the “nights watch vs. wildlings for 1.000 years” issue… Olly and Thorne were in fact the peak of that huge load of conflicts. it was a difficult task to demonstrate different motives: love for big brother Jonno and hatred for the traitor. and concerning that olly was conflicted emotionally without contemplating on the night watch codex and rules (That was Thorne’s subject), It makes me think, that the portrayal of Olly was highly difficult…

      So, I raise my glas to Brenock. Great performance. People will miss you only half as much as you deserve it… To die on screen, next to Owen Teale and still being the center of attention! You nailed and earned it!

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    17. In the end, I wasn’t cheering his death. The character had such a fucked up little life if you remember what the wildlings did to his village and parents right in front of him (and then the Magnar of the Then’s telling him that he’s going to eat his parents). What he helped do to Jon was cruel and calculated, there is no denying that. But think about that happening to your parents, and then the very people that did it are just allowed to roam freely in the lands where your village used to be.

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    18. I’m sorry for Brenock. He was a good actor, and he seems like a nice kid. Kinda reminds me of Tom Holland.
      I never got the point of the #FuckOlly movement, especially because there didn’t seem to be a #FuckThorne, #FuckBowen or #FuckYarwick movement.
      I like to see Olly as a male, lower-class Arya.

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    19. Jack Bauer 24,

      Well, it’s not great, but here’s my own little mini-CC for Brian Fortune (I don’t really have anything to say about Michael Condron):

      I thought Brian Fortune did a great job as Othell Yarwyck. Both as the supportive Night’s Watchman from the first season, as well as the submissive follower in seasons 4 through 6. I was always impressed by his acting in that one scene in season 4, episode 7. You can tell he is truly concerned by what Jon is saying, but is too scared to speak against Thorne.

      Brian did a good job playing Yarwyck’s submissiveness, uncertainty, anger towards Jon and the Wildlings (season 5, episode 5), and finally his regret, and fear of death. When the four of them were about to be hanged, Yarwyck was the only one I genuinely felt sorry for. I hope Jon DID send that letter to his mother…

      He played a minor character, but he did it well. I will miss Brian.

      PS. I know this thread is supposed to be about Brennock, so if this is inappropriate to post, I will understand if it is deleted.

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    20. I can appreciate that the actor is not the character he played and as that I have to really give it to this young man for making me really not like him at all and very happy to see him swing.

      That said, I really do wish him well in the future. He deserves to have a role where people can really appreciate him and the tweets and emails will be much more favorable. Especially being so young, he is going to grow and change in looks – most won’t remember this a few years from now when seeing him act.

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    21. LatrineDiggerBrian:
      But think about that happening to your parents, and then the very people that did it are just allowed to roam freely in the lands where your village used to be.

      That is the aspect I couldn’t sympathize with, his blanket hatred for all the wildlings. It’s like saying a black man killed my family, so all black people are guilty and should die. The majority of those wildlings were not involved with the killing of his parents, he couldn’t see past that, it consumed him and ultimately led him down the wrong path. But it is a fact that many people do feel that race/culture blanket hatred in real life – it is still wrong, but it happens.

      Even though Olly was a show only character, I felt that he fit into the GOT world really well – much of that due to Brenock. I always saw the Wildlings like wilder, deadlier form of gypsies – they live by and die by different rules and ‘normal, civilized’ people would have a tough time living with them, let alone understanding them. The show depicts them too often as tough, but kinda noble, likable, etc… when there are many horror stories thoughout the years to give people like Olly and Thorne a real justifiable hatred for these people and their way of life. Olly’s story showcased that and gave it a little more balance, but even then I don’t think it really swayed too many people – but I do see a few comments here and there from those that got it. I wish the show had more time to deal with all the nuances sometimes, but I know it can’t…

      I guess it is a compliment to his acting how many people ‘hated’ him (even in real life)… yeah, that is how you should take it Brenock… the internet is a fickle place, it will move to a new target soon enough, but your performance and future career are just fine – keep it up.

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    22. Count me as one of the people that didn’t hate Olly. Yes, Jon Snow is a very popular character and of course people were upset, but if you look at things from his perspective, his actions become understandable. Aren’t these grey areas why we love this story?

      Brenock did a great job. Especially in his final scene. He conveyed everything with no dialogue at all. I’m glad he’s getting other work already.

      If anyone deserves a fuck you, it’s the idiots who would send a kid death threats because he played a character who stabbed another character. What the fuck is wrong with people?

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    23. Brenock was great! Kudos to him as an actor…. I mean, look what he did this season with ZERO lines!

      I think a few things tweeked the book readers against him. He took the place of iconic Ghost as Jon’s last word. He killed, not one, but TWO main characters proudly. He seemed a telegraphed plot device, especially at first.

      But in the end… he served his purpose, and was certainly a better example of revenge than the Sand Snakes.

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    24. BigMac:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      Well, it’s not great, but here’s my own little mini-CC for Brian Fortune (I don’t really have anything to say about Michael Condron):

      I thought Brian Fortune did a great job as Othell Yarwyck. Both as the supportive Night’s Watchman from the first season, as well as the submissive follower in seasons 4 through 6. I was always impressed by his acting in that one scene in season 4, episode 7. You can tell he is truly concerned by what Jon is saying, but is too scared to speak against Thorne.

      Brian did a good job playing Yarwyck’s submissiveness, uncertainty, anger towards Jon and the Wildlings (season 5, episode 5), and finally his regret, and fear of death. When the four of them were about to be hanged, Yarwyck was the only one I genuinely felt sorry for. I hope Jon DID send that letter to his mother…

      He played a minor character, but he did it well. I will miss Brian.

      PS. I know this thread is supposed to be about Brennock, so if this is inappropriate to post, I will understand if it is deleted.

      That was awesome. Well done 🙂

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    25. thorne garnet:
      Olly was used by grown men (Thorne etc) for their own agenda. He was a child that watched his parents be killed by the Wildings , easy picking for corrupt adults. The actor did an amazing job.

      Well said! That’s exactly how I’ve felt about him.

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    26. For the character of Olly, I have a very complicated feeling towards him, overall more sympathy than hatred. The world is too difficult for a child with traumatic experience to understand. If a side story is made and told from Olly’s point of view, perhaps he’ll be understood and I dared say, even loved. If anyone tries to substitute the situation with a real life, historical atrocity that one would relate to, it’s not difficult to feel sad for him and other such people.

      Olly is unlucky not only for the murder of his parents, but also having no one who’d actually have time to look after a scarred child, barring him from manipulation and enlightening him patiently about the larger image that – as the viewing Gods we’re lucky know, but not so much for the ordinary small people there. I guess it must be frustrated and bitter for Jon too, at the end of Ep3, to execute one who could be a hope of a possible brighter future, yet now devoured by hatred and stubbornness, impossible to save. It’s ironic how a lot of viewers wanted Olly to die, as death might be an easier way out, it’ll be harder for him to live on.

      So R.I.P Olly, and those unfortunate, unknown ordinary people of Westeros.

      Anyway, I’m so relieved after watching the interview video, knowing Brenock to be such a nice, mature young man, who’s also quite insightful about the GoT story/theme. Hopefully he knows more than us about coping and ignoring those mad haters. Good luck with your acting career, you have so much potential!

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    27. Imagine with a child’s eye view, your family murdered and eaten by vicious cannibals and see if you don’t want the guy dead who gives them a helping hand to come live in your back yard, pardoned of all past crimes.

      People who hate a character for that haven’t put themselves in that character’s mindset.

      People who hate the actor, they’re just weird. He did a fantastic job.

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    28. Well, wasn’t his performance in what was supposed to be basically a one-off appearance good enough that they wrote him in to kill Ygritte and then keep him around? I thought that he did a great job with that roll. What he captured well was that taciturn anger that so many teens get, where you can tell that they are just shouting at you in their heads but not actually saying anything.

      And you cannot fault the character’s courage: he was one of the only ones to attack the Wildlings despite being so badly outnumbered. And, no, I never forgot that Olly had seen his parents slaughtered by Wildlings (and added to their menu): and nobody living through that could think that White Walkers he never had seen could be as dangerous as people who ate his parents.

      I hope that this kid is able to use this as a springboard for a full acting career, if that is what he wants in life. He seems to have the talent to become a fine actor.

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    29. I have to believe that the majority of the #FuckOlly movement was perpetuated be people who are not yet parents. Maybe not.

      We don’t like Olly because he participated in killing our hero. But, I understood his motivations and as mother, it broke my heart to see his death played out, even though in that universe, Olly was considered a man who said the words and needed to relieve a proper punishment for his crime. Doesn’t mean I enjoyed his death. It was gut wrenching.

      Best wishes to you, Brenock. You’re very talented and have a bright future to look forward to!

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    30. Totally agree with the article – Olly hates the wildlings for what they did, but hes young and possibly could have been influenced by Jon While he is gone he is surrrounded by other strong characters like Thorne, whose hatred has had years to develop and easily influences the young boy (just how the High Sparrow influences Tommen). He admires Jon – until he lets the wildlings in,and really for him, there just couldn’t be any other decision So there we are. And the fact that he would not change his expression on the gallows when Jon walked by, tells us he stood by it.

      The young actor did a fine job portraying Olly, and deserves cudos for not only his effort, but his mature way of handling the horrid comments he received. I do hope this Curtain Call, and our comments, make their way to him. I hope he has a long and happy life.

      eta – loved that photo of him with kit and I can’t remember his name (plays sam)

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    31. viki,

      Yeah but Tormund was the leader of them and he was there that day butchering his family. What’s to say he doesn’t lead more bands of wildlings to do the same? Olly doesn’t know Tormund as well as Jon does.

      It would just be very frustrating to have that happen to your family and then to get no justice.

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    32. Brenock O’Connor did a really good job with the role. It is difficult to play such a hated character. I hope the best for him in his acting career.

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    33. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      I was gonna say that it’s the Jon Snow super fandom..

      I thought Olly’s best moment was turning the winch for the lift during the Wildling attack. I would have run but he stayed there turning.

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    34. Chuck,

      Yeah, people think it must be easy to play an evil character. Only if you want a caricature. It takes true talent to make someone so complex that people stay interested.

      Chuck,

      There are no such rules. Hodor as much as you’d like 🙂

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    35. I LOL EVERY TIME Jon looks up at him for his last words and Olly is just mean mugging him. Congrats to Brenock. He will always be remembered for this role. I can’t believe he’s 16.

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    36. Flayed Potatoes,

      Olly failed to see the big picture, even though Sam explained things to him clearly in season 5 (I think it was the Hardhome episode).

      He didn’t see the big picture because he was a boy. I bet when you were his age you had trouble seeing the big picture.

      Lyanna_Targaryen,

      I

      have to believe that the majority of the #FuckOlly movement was perpetuated be people who are not yet parents. Maybe not.

      What does having kids have to do with it. I will agree that being a parent changes one’s perspective on life, but not being a parent doesn’t make you a monster.I am childless by choice; this choice does not influence how I feel about fictional characters and suspect most feel the same way. The hate comes from people being angre for killing Jon., has nothing to do with their parental status (am I a tad touchy about this topic? Why yes why do you ask ? 🙂

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    37. The actor was amazing! Great job and really appreciated him

      Though the #fuckolly is warranted
      Yes he was a child who was traumatized

      But when you can stab someone in the heart, someone who was good to him – that’s a little much lol
      So fuck olly! But great job brenock

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    38. ash,

      The kid saw his parents butchered in front of him. I can’t say I blame him for his anger. I didn’t say he should’ve been spared, I’m saying he wasn’t a one note villain. He was just a kid who saw too damn much.

      I also mentioned the being a parent thing because anyone telling a child actor they want to rape his corpse because of his part in a television series must be a kid, or else not have a fully-developed brain. Just my $.02.

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    39. Because of my deep and abiding love for the Starks and Arya in particular, I could always see where Olly was coming from. We cheer Arya’s vengeance but despise Olly for his? Even Jon knew that Olly killing Ygritte was him getting his due and he never held it against him. Jon Snow stans are something else.

      Kudos to you Brenock O’ Connor. I hope being Olly isn’t a hindrance to your career – best wishes to you!

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    40. Really good actor despite my issues with how the character was written at times – anyone making threats to the kid is a douche nozzle. Not being able to separate a character from an actor is pretty sad. Regardless, bye Olly! 😀

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    41. The fact that someone would say that to a kid is absolutely fucking appalling. Give them two minutes with Ramsay.
      Brenock did an amazing job. Great kid, great actor. He made that hanging scene insanely chilling.

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    42. His long angry stare at Jon in “Oathbreaker” lacked dialogue, but it didn’t need any. You could tell exactly what this kid was thinking purely in the looks between the two.

      And that only comes when the actors involved are of high quality. O’Connor will definitely have a bright career in front of him. Well done.

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    43. When you generate the kind of hatred and vitirol for your character as he did, you’ve done your job as an actor. Well done, sir.

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    44. Olly was the unfortunate result of youthful trauma and pretty damn terrible advice (given the situation) by Sam and overall misunderstanding from even Jon. I’d even go as far as to say that Jon should have known how Olly felt.

      Either way, good job Brenock.

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    45. agreed, he was a good actor. While I hate Olly and was pleased to see him go, I can separate the two things from each other. Most people can’t in regard to tv show fandoms though.

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    46. Great job, Brenock! We will be looking forward to your future acting…

      Also, thanks Petra – nice eulogy

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    47. It was not difficult to see why olly did what he did …..
      He was a kid whose parents were buthered ….and probably hate washed by throne ….
      final moments he was angry and afraid at the same time ……and it was done well by o Connor ….
      One of the biggest show on earth ..today …
      played a major role in one of the major events in a major storyline ……and elevated a medium level character to one of the most talked about character …
      Credit goes to the actor for gaining the show runners faith that he could take that major role …..and execute it brilliantly …He wasn’t overshadowed by awesome throne ,,and that says a lot …
      This is another case of actor making the role great …by his hard work and getting more screentime …as result of it…

      as much as we hated olly ( I really didn’t you know …..If you see my previous comments …..on other threads I wanted Jon to forgive him) ……..Let’s
      give a huge standing ovation for. ……………… Brenock O’Connor…………………..

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    48. Brenock O’Connor is an extremely talented young man. To hold his own amidst this extraordinary cast on the biggest show in the world is no mean feat, particularly at his age and level of experience. Few performers his age could have done it. Fewer still could have held up so admirably under the totally unwarranted vitriol that was directed at him by a small but unfortunately vocal number of viewers who lack anything resembling a shred of perspective. Yet O’Connor did both, and maintained a positive outlook – never lashing out or responding with scorn. He deserves all the respect we can offer him.

      Whether a character is loved or hated, it takes a skilled actor to make them indelible. The assassination of Jon Snow became one of the most-talked about scenes in television history. Olly – and in turn, O’Connor – played a central role in that iconic moment, and not just because he struck the killing blow. It proved to be the defining point of his character’s rather tragic arc. He’ll be remembered for a long, long time.

      Oddly enough, Olly fits an archetype shared by some of the most beloved creations in fiction. He was a young child who lived a peaceful and happy life with his family until everyone he loved was murdered in horrific fashion. He was spared, and went on to join an ancient order dedicated to protecting the realm. His service brought him into conflict with the very people who had killed his parents, and he was able to avenge their deaths while also saving someone’s life. We’ve seen versions of that story many times before. Many characters have walked that path have been called heroes.

      But this is Game of Thrones, and things aren’t that simple. Olly was part of a more nuanced story in which the inherent cruelty of his world was matched only by the moral complexity of the people who shared it with him. The characters who wronged him – or who he believed had wronged him – were beloved in their own right, and so Olly became a villain in the eyes of many. Yet that reading was too simplistic as well.

      Olly’s tragic flaw – if something so natural could even be called that – was his inability to overcome his deep-seated fear and his justifiable anger at the people he blamed for his terrible losses. Those feelings calcified into a burning hatred that he was unable to set aside in the name of the greater good – a concept that must have seemed so distant and intangible to a boy who had never been north of the Wall, nor seen the army of the dead. That made his perspective seem limited to those of us with a gods-eye view of the entire gameboard. But from the perspective of this highly damaged young boy, there was only one move to make.

      If Jon hadn’t been so fixated on achieving that greater good at the expense of everything else, he might have been able to more fully understand what Olly was going through, and see the danger lurking behind his gaze. But their inability to see eye-to-eye brought suffering to them both. When Olly ended Jon’s life, they words they exchanged were laden with pain. When Jon ended Olly’s life, there was only silence. They were once close, but they had drifted irrecoverably far apart. There was nothing else that either of them could say.

      As time passes, I hope more people will look back on the character of Olly and the actor who played him so well with a sympathetic eye. I have confidence that if he wants to continue acting, O’Connor will go on to have a long and productive career that will allow more people to appreciate him for the talented young man he is, and not just as the boy who killed Jon Snow. He deserves better, and I hope that all of us who love the show will come to acknowledge the grace with which he bore such a heavy burden, and celebrate him accordingly.

      Good luck to Brenock O’Connor with whatever comes next!

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    49. Oh, and since there won’t be a separate Curtain Call for either Michael Condron or Brian Fortune, I’d like to salute them here as well. Their roles as Bowen Marsh and Othell Yarwyck were small ones, but they played them well, and it was nice to have a few more recognizable names and faces on the Wall. I’d especially like to acknowledge Brian Fortune, one of an ever-shrinking club of actors who has been with the show since Season 1. To be one of the Originals is a badge of honor, and Fortune can wear it proudly.

      Thank you for your fine work, gentlemen. You’ll be missed.

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    50. Thanks for playing the Olly character so nice and convincingly. Very well done. I think it is always harder to play a character which will not be liked than everybody’s darling. Part of the hate against Olly shows that you did play him very successfully even though the hate against the actor is never ok and shows that some viewers are not able to differentiate between actor and played character. As to the character’s arc itself: yes, killing your lord commander is not ok but I certainly understand the background which led to it and that makes it all the more plausible (and shows that it was good writing).

      And now his watch has ended.

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    51. Donna:
      Have to admit that Brenock O’Connor’s acting is great, no wonder so many people hated Olly.The pure look of hate when the noose was round his neck was so realistic.Could be a wonderful future for this young actor.Nothing personal, but glad that Olly was hanged.

      I agree. Brenock is a good actor and played his part well throughout his scenes in the Seasons. Even that look he gave JS just before he was hanged along with Thorne and the others was so powerful. Just pure hatred for the man who brought the Wildings including Tomund through The Wall who lead the attack against his village and responsible for the murder of his parents.

      For a character that was invented for the TV show and and not in the books, he will go down in GoT history as the boy who killed both Ygritte (saving Jon Snow’s life from her arrow) and then Jon himself for supporting the Wildlings.

      I often wondered if GRRM was disappointed the Olly character was not of his making? I’m sure he approved though of this non-book character and the part he played in GoT.

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    52. Olly has to rank among the most tragic characters on this show, which is truly saying something.

      Unlike so many others who entered the Game willingly and with their eyes set on a certain goal, Olly was thrust into it in the most violent and horrific way, and against his desires. To experience such a terrifying ordeal so early in life marked him forever, and his experience was indicative of what men like Thorne referred to when they called in the list of Wildlings’ greatest crimes.

      It came as no surprise in Mother’s Mercy when he became the Brutus to Jon Snow’s Caesar. He had never seen a wight, White Walker, or experienced any of the terror of a Hardhome or a Fist of the First Men. To him, the Wildlings were the evil that lived north of the Wall. Of course, for killing Jon Snow (even temporarily) he became irredeemable to many Thrones fans.

      He didn’t get much screentime this season, and not a single spoken line, but his death scene is memorable for the glare he gives Jon just before he dies. He and Kit both nailed that scene, and it is largely thanks to Olly that Jon is abandoning the Watch. He doesn’t want to experience another betrayal like Olly’s.

      Well done, Brenock. May your next acting gig be a character beloved by all!

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    53. Tycho Nestoris,

      I thought Olly’s best moment was turning the winch for the lift during the Wildling attack. I would have run but he stayed there turning.

      That was a terrific moment and young master O’Connor nailed it.

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    54. I won’t go on about how well Brenock played his part. I think that is pretty evident based on people’s reaction to killing JS. He was totally believable. I loved the emotions he was able to convey in that snear he wore on his face the last two episodes he was in. My comment is for the people who would actually carry that hate into real life and send hateful messages to him like it was a REAL act that he carried out. I mean seriously fans (and I doubt it was anyone from this site because I think we are all pretty sane – I think… lol) but ‘Im just like sitting here, and Im wondering how does anyone really take a fictional show like this, and go after an actor for something they did, in said FICTIONAL show? This is where I start to dislike fan loyalty. To take it to that level is just ridiculous.

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    55. Au revoir, and best of luck going forward, ye of mine own last name…

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    56. Black Raven: I often wondered if GRRM was disappointed the Olly character was not of his making? I’m sure he approved though of this non-book character and the part he played in GoT.

      He’s certainly stated that he had done a few characters in the books like they were in the show. I’m thinking of Shae and Osha. I wonder if he feels the same way about Ygritte, whom I felt was infinitely more effective on screen, much of that, admittedly, due to Rose Leslie.

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    57. Well done to him on his performance, saw the kid briefly in a British show called Dickensian

      I’m a Jon fan but personally never got the hate either

      Jon has made a deeply controversial decision,

      But it is important to not just have grumbling extras as the face of its controversy, but to give a character face to it, eg the Wildlings brutally abuse the Gift (and new Gift) area and it is important to have a visual cue as to what this is

      The other of course was Thorne, who raised some valid points about the integrity of the Night’s Watch

      I always go back to the Wall battle, where they have that great conversation about blocking the Tunnel and that someone is always second-guessing your decisions

      As for Ollie once again, I guess if he is indeed 16 that’s why he didn’t get any dialogue

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    58. Up to the last minute I thought that he would be spared. Too bad. Everybody deserves a second chance, especially when they are so young and have been through so much.
      Best of luck with your career, young Mr O’Connor.

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    59. I really found Olly’s character arc rather compelling, and that’s a real testament to the actor. He came out of the gate performing very well, and I don’t think they would have expanded his role in Seasons 4 & 5 if not for his solid work. Olly saw his parents killed in a raid led by Tormund, who Jon Snow openly allied with. His emotional turmoil was clear throughout, even as he went from being conflicted about his loyalties to pretty much hating Jon by the end. His betrayal felt real, believable, and, in my view, understandable, thanks in no small part to O’Connor’s performance. Another incredible young actor that we we are lucky to have. Wish him good luck in the future.

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    60. His face, when he stabbed Jon, rage, fear, and guilt all at once, before he even spoke. It broke my heart. Best of luck to this brilliant young man.

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    61. Amazing how sweet, young and innocent that kid looks when he’s not glaring; and how much he’s asking to be smacked when he is glaring. You did it, Brenock, you made the whole world get wildly passionate about your character! What more can a great actor ask of himself? I look forward to following your long career kid.

      I started to appreciate Thorne much more when he made that half-way apology to Jon in “Watchers on the Wall,” (season 4, Ep 9) then went on to fight bravely. I really appreciated Owen Teale more after these recent interviews. Not sad that Thorne met his fate at Jon’s hand, but must congratulate Teale on his performance of this, ahem, thorny character.

      Art Parkinson was adorable as a little kid, and still carries that charm as a teen. Can’t imagine what’s in store for Rickon; nothing horrid I’m hoping. Looking forward to his coming episodes and watching Art develop his skill. I saw him in “San Andreas” recently, and thought he was great in his role. Another young man who’s career will be fun to follow.

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    62. No tits — no mercy. A sad lesson for Olly and everyone else. Jon spared Ygritte (twice) but Olly had no chance… And this sort of reflects the values of our fandom/society. Everyone loves eitger of them wineitgerwineitgerhas ever went through any redemption, the fact that they are attacked excuses all the murdering and pillaging, while just demanded to suprOllysupress hatred, and he is sentenced to death for failing. So, foreigners are much more entitled for compassion, than the native folk, especially if they have tits or at least make dirty jokes… To say the truth I am still unable to go through Olly´s death. It´s not the way you solve problems even in a fictional world.

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    63. Hodor Targaryen:
      I really found Olly’s character arc rather compelling, and that’s a real testament to the actor. He came out of the gate performing very well, and I don’t think they would have expanded his role in Seasons 4 & 5 if not for his solid work. Olly saw his parents killed in a raid led by Tormund, who Jon Snow openly allied with. His emotional turmoil was clear throughout, even as he went from being conflicted about his loyalties to pretty much hating Jon by the end. His betrayal felt real, believable, and, in my view, understandable, thanks in no small part to O’Connor’s performance. Another incredible young actor that we we are lucky to have. Wish him good luck in the future.

      Yeah this is all a fair point

      We have to remember also that Tormund at Orells behest was going to have Jon kill that Horse trainer guy as well

      But I guess when you see something like Hardhome it all goes out the window, eg the Thenn guy went to help Jon get the glass, and Edd has become rather chummy

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    64. I never understood people who wanted Olly dead. The boy was a kid who saw his family killed – mercilessly – by wildlings. By Jon Snow’s love among others. Of course he wouldn’t want to make alliances or trust them.He was a kid who was manipulated due to his fear and hate. And… he was a kid. I don’t think any children deserve to be executed no matter their crimes but I do accept that in Game of Thrones that’s the only penalty for treason but the #fuckolly trend has been sickening to me and so is the animal cheer over his death. It disgusts me, really.

      I think the actor did well with what he had and I hope he won’t be harrassed on the streets or the internets… oh, he already is. 🙁

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    65. People who sent him death threats just because of the character he played are complete and utter morons.

      He played the part very well and hope he will have a great future ahead of him.

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    66. as much as I hated Olly for participating in the killing of the lord Commander .. I couldn’t help but feel sadness over his death. this boy has seen his parents slaughtered in cold blood right in front of him. and now the only one who took him in and believed in him is siding with the same people who murdered his own parents. it’s tragic to say the least. he died holding this never-ending Anger deep in his heart.. props to Brenock for his amazing performance.. you’ll be deeply missed. and I wish you good fortune in the Wars to come.

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    67. The fact that Brenock as a person came to be hated so much by some is probably a testament to his acting and the writing of the character, someone who at first seemed so minor yet played a key role in events. Definitely a character whom anyone with understanding of human nature can empathise with his motives if not the act itself.

      Yet another great casting and find – thanks to Brenock for bringing his talents to the show and I wish him all the best for his future!

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    68. R.I.P Olly. Yes, Brennock O’Connor was a great actor. I never saw Olly as a villain. He was a grey character just like everyone else. He went from the victim to hero who saved Jon’s life and then he slid to the dark side. His actions were clearly foreshadowed in season 5.

      I never understood the intense hatred towards Olly and I’m glad the mutineers were given a clean death instead of being slaughtered by Wildlings and Ghost as some predicted.

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    69. It’s worrying when some folk don’t seem to grasp the difference between fact and fiction. Of course in former centuries (I’m referring to the UK here – I don’t know about other countries) it USED to be legal to hang children as young as 7 – for things like stealing a petticoat. I haven’t caught up with “Dickensian” yet but I’d like to see how Brennock did in that. Good luck for the future young Mr O’Connor.

      Off-topic, there was an episode of “Law and Order – SVU” on in the UK the other night. I hadn’t seen it before but it must have been an “old” one because Christopher Meloni was in it. Briefly a twin brother and sister who were involved incestually were scamming middle-aged men. Elliott actually mentioned “twincest” – I wondered if the writers of SVU had watched GoT or maybe if something like that had happened in real life (though I know a rider goes up at the end of every episode saying the story is fictional; I sometimes think they take a true story and change it somewhat).

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    70. As he mentioned in twitter account, if not for some good suggestion by now writer Dave Hill, his only dialogue would have been just “Potatoes!”

      Brenock brought Ollie to life that we as a viewer was affected by his decisions.

      “I wish you good fortune…..”

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    71. Addendum:

      Jared: Jared
      May 11, 2016 at 10:25 pm
      Oh, and since there won’t be a separate Curtain Call for either Michael Condron or Brian Fortune, I’d like to salute them here as well.

      I agree, Jared.

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    72. Sullied by Knight:
      The strong reactions from fans shows was a great job he did in his role! A big thank you and all the best to him in his future adventures!

      I see quite a lot people saying stuff like this, but than Sand Snakes actresses must be the best actors on the show. I think the real reason why both Olly and Sand Snakes are hated have nothing to do with actors but with a “quality” of writing.

      In Olly case he was especially predictable plot device on the show that is famous for its shocking unpredictabilty. From the first moment he was shown, i saw commenters here to be sure he will be the one to be kill Ygritte. Another episode told us that he is the best archer from his village – so it was obvious how he will kill of her. Than the next season he was hatefully glaring at Jon everytime he was on screen, even unsullied viewers were quite sure he will “try to kill” Jon.

      I dont think i am alone who hated Olly for this reasons. Like Dorne, 20 good men or 30 best killers, Olly was a symbol of what happens when the writers abandon GRRM template and start writing their own material. Arguments about quality of actor or about how missunderstood the character was are emty for me, because it have nothing to do with reasons of my hatred for this character.

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    73. Can someone do a long overdue Curtain Call for Jory Cassel? If Prince Trystane can have one then how about a trip back in time for Jamie Sives?

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    74. Olly was an iconic face for abused children in wars. His story uses to happen in real life every day down in africa. Google the storys of children forced in the “lords resistance army”, “boko haram” or back in the days of charles taylor. You traumatize children or collect children traumatized by war and manipulate them into commiting atrocities. It’s way to easy.

      I never got it, why people hated him and not the manipulator behind him, which was Thorne (both very well played BTW).

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    75. One of GoT’s strong points, is the amazing talent amongst its many actors. Brennock did great with a small role and made it stand out! From the fear in his eyes when confronted with Styr, to the tears when killing Jon, to his final unrelenting anger at the noose. His story a sad reminder of those unlucky children born into horrible circumstances. It did seem like he never really had a choice (he did of course, but not many would take that road) after seeing Tormund again, the men who murdered his parents (his father in the short time we saw him, seemed like the world’s greatest dad). Hope his horrifying death image gave the haters some pause.

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    76. Brenock’s performance of Olly was great. I found him extremely sympathetic right up to the end, in spite of not agreeing with his actions. What an amazing tragic arc!

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    77. GaiusB: I see quite a lot people saying stuff like this, but than Sand Snakes actresses must be the best actors on the show. I think the real reason why both Olly and Sand Snakes are hated have nothing to do with actors but with a“quality” of writing.

      In Olly case he was especially predictable plot device on the show that is famous for its shocking unpredictabilty. From the first moment he was shown, i saw commenters here to be sure he will be the one to be kill Ygritte. Another episode told us that he is the best archer from his village – so it was obvious how he will kill of her. Than the next season he was hatefully glaring at Jon everytime he was on screen, even unsullied viewers were quite sure he will “try to kill” Jon.

      I dont think i am alone who hated Olly for this reasons. Like Dorne, 20 good men or 30 best killers, Ollywasa symbol of what happens when the writers abandon GRRM template and start writing their own material. Arguments about quality of actor or about how missunderstood the character was are emty for me, because it have nothing to do with reasons of my hatred for this character.

      It’s called foreshadowing. There was a lot of foreshadowing in the books as well. Olly always stayed true to his character and that is not bad writing.

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    78. Lord Parramandas: R.I.P Olly. Yes, Brennock O’Connor was a great actor. I never saw Olly as a villain. He was a grey character just like everyone else

      I wouldn’t even say he was a grey character. Olly was first and foremost a young kid who saw his parents killed before his eyes by boogeymen that every child in the North learns to fear and hate. From my (contemporary) perspective, he wasn’t responsible for anything he did. How many like him exist even today all around the globe, raised from an early age to a life of misery, crime, loss, or hardship? Frankly, I find it a little disconcerting that there are so many of us who’d sooner kill such a kid than try to help him.

      My thanks goes to Brenock for bringing such a compelling character to life (and death 😉 ).

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    79. Mr Fixit: I wouldn’t even say he was a grey character. Olly was first and foremost a young kid who saw his parents killed before his eyes by boogeymen that every child in the North learns to fear and hate. From my (contemporary) perspective, he wasn’t responsible for anything he did. How many like him exist even today all around the globe, raised from an early age to a life of misery, crime, or hardship? Frankly, I find it a little disconcerting that there are so many of us who’d sooner kill such a kid than try to help him.

      My thanks goes to Brenock for bringing such a compelling character to life (and death ).

      With “grey character” I meant that he evolved through a series. He wasn’t a full villain and he had good and bad moments.

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    80. Lord Parramandas: With “grey character” I meant that he evolved through a series. He wasn’t a full villain and he had good and bad moments.

      Of course. I agree with you. I just took issue (if you can call it that) with the word “grey”. I’m not sure kids are best described in those terms because they’d first need a fully developed personality and a clear understanding of right and wrong. But yes, I fully support your sentiment regarding him.

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    81. Mr Fixit,

      The problem with olly is that he was ripe to be manipulated by the others to join the mutineers. His hatred for the wildings made him an easy mark. Arya was in the same place with her ‘hitlist’ where she could easily have been manipulated into killing without thought for the consequences. She found the hound/Jaqar whilst Olly found Thorne and his crew.

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    82. Team Hodor,

      I hadn’t thought of the Olly, the child soldier angle. I think GRRM has said something that Arya’s experience is akin to that of a child soldier. There must be orphaned children in war zones who are trying to survive by the skin of their teeth.

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    83. Difference between Arya and Olly was that Arya never really found a positive male role model after losing her family whereas Olly did in Jon Snow – and rejected him.

      For Arya; Yoren, Jaqen, The Hound all helped to bring out the “dark side”. Even Beric and Thoros despite a veneer of respectability only really compounded that with their attitude of to change things for the better sometimes you have to do what may be considered evil (one person’s freedom fighter is another’s terrorist).

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    84. That last scene, I was seeing it through both of their eyes:

      Olly, this kid who had so revered this man like a big brother, feeling betrayed because this man refused to protect him and Westeros from the Wildlings, stares at his former LC in disgust.

      And Jon, a man who had looked upon this child like a little brother, realizing that he has to execute a child…someone he cared about, because it’s his duty and he can’t suffer traitors. You can see the heartbreak in Jon’s eyes.

      That final scene was played out perfectly, and I commend Brenock on his portrayal.

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    85. While he was feeling a bit under the weather after his rez I think it was having to execute Olly that sent Jon over the edge and to resign his position.

      But will he get any bad karma for it or will the old gods and the new regard his actions as righteous?

      In that world was Olly regarded as an innocent or not? In our twisted world the actor playing Olly was regarded as a child which made him a target for cowardly online bullies – where an adult would not have been so abused?

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    86. GaiusB: I think the real reason why both Olly and Sand Snakes are hated have nothing to do with actors but with a “quality” of writing.

      In Olly case he was especially predictable plot device on the show that is famous for its shocking unpredictabilty.

      Shocking twists don’t automatically make good writing. Often it’s quite the opposite, actually. The Red Wedding would have felt cheap and unearned if there was no foreshadowing, no setup. The same goes for Ned, Jon, Roose, Doran and the like.

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    87. ssgorik,

      Jamie Sives, who played Jory Cassel, actually did receive a belated Curtain Call back on the old website (Jory was killed before the Curtain Calls became a regular feature. The first one was for Harry Lloyd as Viserys).

      Google the Curtain Call for Ron Donachie, who played Rodrik Cassel. Jamie Sives and Jory are honored in that article as well.

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    88. Luka Nieto,

      Along the same lines, when is storytelling ever praised for Deus ex machina plot devices or arbitrary outcomes? Yes, Olly was pretty much Chekhov’s Olly: but, on the other hand, if you didn’t see the Ides of Snow coming in the book by the last chapter, then you were not paying attention! Conversely, if GRRM had not made it clear that Marsh, etc., were bordering on mutiny before they knifed Jon, then it would have been bad writing on his part.

      That does not mean that there cannot be some “shock” when it finally happens. After all, the reader/viewer can focus on one thing at a time: so a simple “distraction” (“Your Uncle is Home!” or “There is a giant squashing a knight!”) takes your focus off of the creepy closet door long enough for the Axe-murderer to take you off-guard.

      Ser Not Appearing in this Series: whereas Olly did in Jon Snow – and rejected him

      Well, Jon was aiding and abetting the enemy, who’s crimes included eating Olly’s parents. From Olly’s point of view, Jon was betraying him (Olly), not the other way around.

      sj4iy: That final scene was played out perfectly, and I commend Brenock on his portrayal.

      Yeah, it really was. I had been leaning towards expecting Jon to pardon the traitors using essentially the same justification that he used to pardon the Wildlings: we have to put aside the past and fight the greater enemy. However, I also considered it possible that Jon would be partially deranged when passing judgement due to the shock of being brought back, or running still on the emotion from when he last existed. In other words, almost anything could have happened! I thought that this worked out very well: it impressed on us that Jon has not lost his humanity, while at the same time pushing Jon along further as a colder individual.

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    89. Being a father of (at least) 3 doesn’t mean I can’t gleefully hate a child character like Olly (or Joffrey. Please don’t tell me having kids means I can’t say #fuckjoffrey!). Honestly, even nice teens who belong to you are hard to like a lot of the time!

      You can simultaneously enjoy things like the MSU fan who’d photoshopped Olly into a Michigan jersey, or root heartily for the characters demise without needing to be lumped in with the trolls who can’t separate characters from actors.

      I bet he’s a baritone now. It seems they could’ve gutted the audiences hate with a well-turned last sentence about his family. That would’ve been devastating, but would’ve sounded ridiculous in the deep bleating voice of a teenager. That last seething glare was great, tho.

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    90. Wimsey:

      Well, Jon was aiding and abetting the enemy, who’s crimes included eating Olly’s parents.From Olly’s point of view, Jon was betraying him (Olly), not the other way around.

      Oh I understand that from Olly’s POV, and it’s a logical character arc – but from OUR POV Jon Snow is the good guy who sees the bigger picture and could have been a positive male role model given the chance.

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    91. The difference between a good villain and a bad one is this. The good one makes you hate the character, and regard him/her with some sort of level of loathing that makes you desire them getting their just desserts as quickly as possible.

      That was Olly and a credit to Brennock O’Connor.

      (A bad villain makes you want them dead because the actor sucks. Like Joaquin Phoenix in Gladiator.)

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    92. How could you not understand the bile toward the character? He turned on Jon. Whereas Jon didn’t turn on Olly, per se. He just understood the idea of something called “the bigger picture” or “the greater good.”

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    93. Luka Nieto: Shocking twists don’t automatically make good writing. Often it’s quite the opposite, actually. The Red Wedding would have felt cheap and unearned if there was no foreshadowing, no setup. The same goes for Ned, Jon, Roose, Doran and the like.

      Which is one of the great strengths of the books: GRRM does an excellent job of foreshadowing in such a way that major events feel both shocking and inevitable once you see the full picture. The show is a bit more clunky about this, largely because it only has so much time to fit things in and has to make each second count, and partly because it is much shorter and less complex. Authors, in contrast, have more room to drop subtle hints among a bank of false leads.

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    94. It was interesting that all 4 mutineers had differing emotions as they stood, noose around their necks, before Jon. Fear, Remorse, Acceptance, Hatred. Only Alliser exhibited any sort of nationalist pride in his last moments. Olly, glaring at Jon in life and death, had no words, but had the most impact. Jon’s decisions matter. I wonder if it would have had the same effect with Olly exhibiting fear and confusion over his fate during his final moments, since he was obviously manipulated by the others (Thorne)?

      Olly was an interesting addition to the adaptation. Thanks to Brenock for a job well done.

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    95. dubq:
      How could you not understand the bile toward the character? He turned on Jon. Whereas Jon didn’t turn on Olly, per se. He just understood the idea of something called “the bigger picture” or “the greater good.”

      Dealing with a child so heavily traumtized as Olly was is a full time job. JS couldn’t fullfill that, cause he was busy saving the world. It’s sort of a classic tragedy (nobody does anything wrong from his PoV), but I don’t get it why ppl got so mad on Olly. He’s just a tool. Thorne could have used somebody else easily.

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    96. I don’t like the character in season 5-6, but I love the actor and his performance!! (the looks between Jon and Olly in Oathbreaker, (Fav episode) WOOOW!!!. Brenock O’Connor is an amazing actor!

      An anecdote, a friend tell me that today, he went to see Kit Harington the theater, Dr.faustus 🙂

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    97. Mianna,

      Same here, and it’s really surprising me the number of people who are celebrating over the killing of an ~preteen boy without even trying to put themselves in his shoes.
      At least w Jeffrey he’d earned it himself, but Olly clearly seemed confused and to be believing what he had always been told about the wildlings, and everything he’d experienced himself firsthand (as he’d so frequently remind us).

      Then again, I read his demeanor at the end as him being terrified but putting on a young boy’s bravado rather than admit he could have been wrong, or that he was afraid in the face of death. Most of my friends read it as him being angry. Guess it shows just how good Brenock was that we were able to get nuance.

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    98. mau:
      I think Olly is the most iconic show-only character. I met many people who were shocked that he wasn’t part of the book.

      Olly certainly is the most successful wholly original character in the TV series to date.

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    99. Chuck,
      I agree Brenock was brilliant in the role. I can also understand Olly’s anger and hatred. What was taken from him was incredibly tragic. He wanted revenge same as everyone else on the show, when their families were murdered. He also felt betrayed by Jon. He looked up to Jon and he felt betrayed.

      It’s sad to see some of these brilliant villains leave the show but we do need to move forward. Be proud Brenock you were an amazing Olly.

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    100. Congratulations, he did well!

      I never understood the hate for Olly. I mean, you can hate Ramsay and Joffrey but Olly is a grey character, he didn’t kill Jon because he’s vicious. He did it because the context and his background told him to do it. I felt sad when he was hanged, what a waste!

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    101. In his brief stint on the show the Brenock O’Connor did an excelent job no doubt, to imbue Ollie with enough life and character, so as not to have just a one-dimensional medieval Justin Bieber ravaged by tweener angst.

      Many thanks to Brenock for his work on the show and what he brought to Ollie and the series in general!

      As for Ollie “you came, you saw…and then you died you little twat” ! Ygritte and Jon…nah, nope, yes #FuckYouOllie…you got off easy you little shyte!

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