Curtain Call: Owen Teale

Thorne

And now his watch is ended.

Owen Teale did not match the book description of Ser Alliser Thorne, and that’s where that ends.

In every other way, the man- the actor- did something rare on the show, which was to surpass the role given, elevating the character’s importance on the show and in my own headcanon. For me it was the season 1 “Die, like flies” speech he gave to Jon and Sam. That’s the one that made me sit up, take notice, and say “This cat’s different. He means something.”

tumblr_mba9jrzcgz1qis07wo1_500Owen played Ser Alliser as a man with no humor, virtually no human warmth, as grim and foreboding as that which he worked to defend. His personality reflected much of Castle Black and the Wall, in fact; his was a stark life–he was more stark than Jon Snow could ever be. And some would say he was a man lacking in honor, but I feel he had his own particular code of honor–one that brooked no failing of morality, as he saw it, and certainly no weakness.

I’m exceedingly curious what sort of man Ser Alliser was before he took the black, and I wonder if Owen had somehow mapped that out in his head. (In the books, Ser Alliser’s only “crime” had been in supporting the Targaryens during Robert’s rebellion. And for his loyalty: the Wall.)

33F8CFF100000578-3580252-image-a-18_1462767365311This felt like a man who had lost so much in life already, only the bones of his frame retaining life, all warmth gone, though he did not lack for leadership ability or martial skill.

(I particularly enjoyed his fight with Tormund, his ’round-the-support riposte attempt especially. For a moment it seemed as though Ser Alliser might get the better of Tormund Giantsbane!)

And so he perished as doggedly as he lived. Olly died with a grimace; Alliser went with the grim certainty that everything he had done leading up to his execution was in the right. Ser Alliser said it himself: he would do it all over again if he could. This was a man who had already stared death in the face so many times, and when it was his time he did not flinch.

“I fought. I lost. Now I rest.”

imageWe say it often. Nina Gold knows her shit. She finds not only the right piece for the massive puzzle that is Game of Thrones, but she often finds people that do much, much more for the role than it may have initially called for.

Owen had distinguished himself as an actor prior to his role on Game of Thrones. His television and film career stretches as far back as 1984, when he appeared in The Mimosa Boys. He played Wil Scarlet in Robin Hood, was in The Thin Blue Line (bloody excellent), and appeared in Belonging and Torchwood (as all Brits are contractually obliged to). And this is only naming a few.

He won a Tony for his stage role in A Doll’s House. He played Roland bloody Freisler in Conspiracy. (How ’bout that, History nerds!)

Owen Teale-2Ser Alliser died, his role on Game of Thrones ended, but I assure you, Owen Teale is alive and well and thriving. He is married to noted British actress Sylvestra Le Touzel (they met during a production of Henry IV), and is the father of three children. Owen is slated to star in Nocturne, now in post-production, and in the short Panic, slated for this year.

But I’ll end this simply: I absolutely love him as an actor. His presence raises the quality of any production he is in. I would watch Owen Teale in anything, and I will actively seek him out in the future.

Thank you, Owen! Your presence will be missed. But know that you garnered at least one fan. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Owen Teale

Give the man your love, House Gatewatch!

112 responses

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    1. Fantastic actor; I absolutely loathed Thorne and that’s a testament to Teale’s acting chops. Just a multi-faceted actor and character; generally came across as an ass but also had moments where you respected him.

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    2. I want to hire him to come to a party sometime, just so he can walk around calling everyone a bastard.

      Bravo, Ser!

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    3. Another nuanced villain/antagonist this show is so good at. Thank you Mr. Teale for a great performance.

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    4. Owen really was a fantastic Alliser. It was hard to like Alliser because of what he did, but you certainly understood his actions from the very first season to his last appearance. It is slightly disappointing that we never got to see Alliser appear in Kings Landing (due to scheduling issues), but I’m glad D&D were able to bring him back for Season 4 (and beyond). It would have been easy to combine his role from then on with Janos Slynt, but Alliser was a much more complex character, and it is much easier to understand his hatred of the wildlings.

      I’m sad to see Alliser leave not only because it means we won’t see Owen’s fantastic performances any more, but it would’ve also been interesting to see him become an important ally in the battle against the White WalKers. Only a fine acting performance could make me want to see an antagonist become an important ally in that battle, so kudos to Owen.

      And Now His Watch Is Ended.

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    5. Owen Teale took what could have been a small role done a decent job, but not Owen Teale he gave us an Ser Alister who had lived a life that at the wall was grim. He was grim after losing one life and going to the Wall, he was in his own way an honourable man. One wonders what he’d make of the theory R+L = J? If he’d been able too would he have supported Jon?

      Anyway that was not to be. RIP Ser Alister your watch has ended, and thank you to Owen who gave us a sterling and memorable character. Thank you.

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    6. Yep, it was the “die like flies” scene that sealed it for me, as well. Thorne could just have been a 2-dementional ass, but Owen Teale made him a human being. You didn’t have to like him, but you could admire him and what he stood for. And he went out like a boss.

      Well done, sir.

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    7. Very great actor and brought depth to a character that could have ended up as a one note shadow.
      Be sure to check out the Beautiful Death for him! The best imo, as real as the man!

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    8. Ser Alliser was in my opinion one of the biggest improvements over the book characters. A character who sole purpose in the books is being an ass to Jon, became a really complex and fully rounded character on TV.

      The first time I noticed that, was the interrogation scene at the beginning of season 4. I really hated the scene in the books because it was too much like good guy vs. bad guys, not to mention that it seemed out of place. But on the show, he at least partialy believed Jon, as opposed to Janos Slynt.

      I really liked the idea, that he was temporary Lord Commander and main rival at the elections instead of Janos Slynt. It made far more sense to me.

      “The Watchers on the Wall” was an episode where ser Alliser trully shined. His speech was in my opinion one of the best ones in the entire series.

      I was initially worried that the character would go full-villain mode in season 6 and I’m glad he stayed the same character. At the end he got a clean death (some sort of) and in my opinion, it was better that way instead of being slaughtered by wildlings as some hoped. “I fought and I lost. Now I rest. But you will be fighting their battles your whole life”

      Owen Teale is a great actor and he really brought ser Alliser to life in much better way. I really hope that people would someday realize that killing Jon Snow does not make him one-dimensional villain as some think of him these days (And I don’t mean those on Watchers on the Wall).

      R.I.P ser Alliser

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    9. I loved to hate Alliser Thorne. I loved to loved Owen Teale because of it. Not a drinking gal but I’m raising my Crystal Light to him.

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    10. I love Owen Teale. Some time ago I saw him in a comedy role when we still had BBCiPlayer. Can’t remember the name of the show, but he was very, very funny. What a wonderful actor he is with the ability to play a number of roles so believably. I’m going to miss Ser Alliser Thorne, BAMF that he was.

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    11. From the first time he uttered the words “Lord Snow” with all of that contempt in that Castle Black training scene in season 1, Owen had me hooked. I instantly hated him. But Thorne always had his own reasons, and to hear him speak, he believed he was doing what was right for the watch, even if he was super duper mean to some of my faves. A real hard ass, with honor.

      It wasn’t until he admitted to Jon during “Watchers on the Wall” that Jon had been right all along, paired with his following speech to rouse the men to fight the wildlings that I actually found myself, dare I say, cheering for Alliser Thorne.

      I still hate what he did by killing Jon, but I know why he did it and when I put myself in his shoes, I can’t say I blame him. He died with as much honor as he could, given the situation. “I fought, I lost; now I rest.”

      Both Owen Teale and Ser Alliser Thorne will be a missed presence in the show. Best of luck to him!

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    12. He did a marvelous job with a character that was set up to be hated in season 1, but in the last seasons he still gained my respect. I think it was Owen’s no-nonsense and down-to-earth way of playing him that did it for me.

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    13. He was so good in “Watchers on the Wall”, as others have mentioned.
      Thorne: Brothers have defended this castle. She’s never fallen before. She will not fall tonight. Those are Thenns at our walls. They eat the flesh of the men they kill. Do you want to fill the belly of a Thenn tonight?
      Nights Watch: No!
      Thorne: Tonight we fight. And when the sun rises, I promise you, Castle Black will stand! ( cheering ) The Night’s Watch will stand! ( cheering ) With me now! Now with me!

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    14. His speech on top of the wall at the Battle of the wall vs. The wildlings was one of the best speeches by any Game of Thrones character up until this point.

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    15. As much as I disliked some of his character’s actions, I thoroughly enjoyed Owen Teale’s performance as the surly Ser Alliser Throne. Unlike most of the “antagonist” characters he was more than one dimensional. He showed extreme loyalty to the Night’s Watch, true affection towards Maester Aemon, deep respect for the former Lord Commander Jeor Mormont, and could admit when he was wrong (if he truly felt that way).

      I got chills during his rousing speech in The Watchers on the Wall episode (“WITH ME NOW!”). And during that same episode he had a moment with Jon where he admitted he made a mistake and I thought their relationship might improve. I didn’t but Alliser continued to do what he felt was right, no matter the cost, and no matter who got hurt. Ultimately, this proved to be downfall but you have to respect him and appreciate the depth Teale gave his character.

      I will miss his surly behavior and no nonsense attitude but I look forward to seeing what becomes of the Night’s Watch and Jon without Thorne’s presence. Thanks Axechucker for the enjoyable read and appreciation for a great character on Game of Thrones.

      And now his watch is ended.

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    16. But know that you garnered at least one fan.

      I’m sure that he garnered much more than one fan. I was not familiar with Teale before GOT but I will never forget him or “his” Ser Alliser.

      Like so many others on this show, he elevated his character beyond the books. Ser Alliser tried to find purpose in the hard, dreary life as a man of the NW. I didn’t like him and I didn’t always respect him but I understood him.

      My favorite moment of his was in “Watchers on the Wall” and his “tonight, we fight” speech. And fight he did!

      I, too, will seek out Teale’s roles in the future.

      (Love the photo of Teale withe GRRM and James Cosmo.)

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    17. Owen was a huge gift to the show: he was a commanding presence who gave a nuanced performance for a complex character. He was a large part of what made the Wall storyline compelling, and he will be greatly missed.

      If any of you are lucky enough to live in UK or visiting in Sept- Dec, he will be appearing in the play No Man’s Land – with Sirs Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, no less! Now that would be a privilege to see.

      https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/2016/owen-teale-cast-in-no-mans-land-with-ian-mckellen-and-patrick-stewart/

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    18. And now his watch has ended. Thank you for the amazing control of voice, range, and pitch which just sopped of disgust.

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    19. He was really good. Part of me still wishes that Jon had spared him: I think that an Alliser beholden to Jon would have been really interesting and a sort of resentful loyalty that Teale could have pulled off well. However, I also realize that there would not be time to do much with that.

      And credit to B&W for expanding Alliser’s role in the adaptation. They took wonderful advantage of the potential in both the source material and in Teale’s acting ability.

      Sniff. “Lord Snow” will never quite sound the same again…. 🙁

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    20. We need some characters who help us hold grudges or at least put us at odds so we are morestrongly moved or have larger catharsis. Thank you for your amazing acting and give us emotional twists and conflicts. Ser, please rest in peace.

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    21. Owen Teale is brilliant. That’s all.

      See Alliser was an antagonist to Jon, but he was true to his mission, even if he could not see the Big Picture and made a poor decision that cost him his life.

      Anyway, I’ll miss the actor if not the character.

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    22. The Dragon Demands: WHY would Thorne kill Jon because he let wildlings through the Wall…AFTER Thorne himself opened the gates to let the wildlings through the Wall?

      Gee, maybe because Thorne was at that time the single most unpopular man in the Watch and he had no reason to think that other members of the Watch would refuse to allow the charismatic Lord Commander back in?

      Rebellion takes time to foment and it takes cause to drive it. Letting that many Wildlings through would be something that would cause NW members to ask: wait: why did we do that? And within a week or two, Alliser goes from being the least popular man on the Wall to the second least popular man on the Wall. But until Alliser knows that, he is not going to act.

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    23. Great actor, great acting and in show completely consistent with his view of morality (defend the realm of wildlings) until the end. Thanks for bringing life to such an unlikeable character on-screen.
      And now his watch has ended.

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    24. Owen Teale is amazing. And no shade to that first guy who was originally cast in the role, but I’m so happy Teale stepped in and kicked ass. He’s a great actor and it was a pleasure to have him sneering and leading and stabbing his way through the seasons.

      The Dragon Demands,

      We’re here to appreciate the actor, not nitpick the plot. This is a Curtain Call, please remember that. God knows we’ll have enough of them this year.

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    25. Sue the Fury,

      Wait, he was recast? I didn’t know that.

      What a great job he did as Thorne. He just owned that part and I was with him from the beginning, from his great “you don’t know cold” speech that really gives you a sense of his worldview and why he thinks the way he does. I’ll miss the clever little twat.

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    26. Sue the Fury: Owen Teale is amazing. And no shade to that first guy who was originally cast in the role, but I’m so happy Teale stepped in and kicked ass.

      Who was originally cast? That might have been serendipitous, to say the least.

      Greatjon of Slumber: I was with him from the beginning, from his great “you don’t know cold” speech that really gives you a sense of his worldview and why he thinks the way he does.

      What was great about that was how he affected some sort of “tic” to his expression, as if there was part of his face that he could not move that usually would. He did that elsewhere, too. In books, you sometimes read characters as having “laughing eyes” or “dead eyes,” and although that reads well, it also does not really mean anything. However, the facial performance did one of those rare jobs of making his eyes look “dead.”

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    27. TONIGHT WE FIGHT !

      AND WHEN THE SUN RISES I PROMISE YOU … CASTLE BLACK WILL STAND !

      THE NIGHT’S WATCH WILL STAND !

      WITH ME NOW ! NOW WITH ME !

      And no his watch is ended.

      Thank you for your art, Owen !

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    28. Apparently some guy named Derek Halligan was originally cast in the role but later pulled out for unspecified reasons.

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    29. Perfect tribute to one of my favorite actors on the show. Cheers, Axechucker! 🙂

      With the potential exception of Kerry Ingram as Shireen Baratheon, no actor elevated my opinion of the character they portrayed than Owen Teale. He is the definitive Alliser Thorne to me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

      As many have already stated, it was Teale’s performance in Season 1 – specifically the “You don’t know cold” speech that he gave to Jon and Sam in “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things” – that first alerted me to the idea that Thorne could be something more than a boilerplate antagonist for Jon Snow. According to the DVD commentary, that speech was a late addition to the episode, as the writers quickly realized just what an untapped treasure they had on their hands. As such, a great debt is owed to David Benioff, Dan Weiss, and the other Game of Thrones writers for creating a richer and more nuanced role for Teale to inhabit. But it was Teale who revealed untold depths in the words he was given to speak, and the silences that he created between them. It was a level of mastery that only the best actors ever find.

      Ultimately, it was Teale’s performance in Season 4 that truly elevated his Alliser to greatness, especially in “The Watchers on the Wall”. I don’t think many people will dispute the claim that it’s Thorne’s finest hour. In the lead-up to that the incredible battle sequence, Teale was given an opportunity to pull back the curtain on Alliser as far as the character would realistically allow. What he revealed was a man who, despite being inherently harsh and occasionally cruel, nonetheless remained a dutiful and effective leader who could be surprisingly introspective. In doing so, my esteem for what the writers and Owen Teale has done with this character grew even more.

      Once the battle began, Thorne earned further sympathy and cheers through the strong leadership he exhibits in the face of impossible odds, as well as his awesome duel with Tormund Giantsbane. I was expecting him to die in that battle, but Teale’s performance was so fantastic that I was rooting fiercely for him to live. Ultimately he did, though his survival would have unfortunate consequences for our beloved “bastard”.

      (Seriously, does anyone enunciate that word better than Teale does? No wonder fans stop him in the street and ask him to say it).

      Alliser’s participation in the mutiny that (temporarily) killed Jon Snow means that the character’s legacy is destined to fall on the darker side of the show’s eminently gray moral spectrum. But the beauty of the show establishing Thorne so clearly in previous seasons was that all of his deeply-entrenched beliefs and actions rang true to me, even in that moment of devastating betrayal. I had no trouble believing that Thorne would stab Jon, but neither did I doubt that he was committing such an act for the greater good as he saw it. The best villains believe they’re the heroes of their own story, and while I’d hesitate to call Thorne a villain, that certainty shone through in the way that Teale carried himself when he donned Alliser’s black cloak. The Night’s Watch meant everything to him, after all. His tragedy was being unable recognize the form that the greatest threat to that institution would actually take.

      As Stannis once said “a good act does not wash out the bad, nor the bad the good.” We’ve seen throughout Game of Thrones that the ancient order of black brothers is capable of both great heroism and terrible crimes. No one embodied that dualism better than Alliser Thorne. He was, in many ways, the consummate Night’s Watchman, representing the best and the worst of the men who guard the realms of men from all that lies beyond.

      With Jon’s resurrection, it was all but a given that Thorne’s watch would end in turn. Many were eager to see him die, yet when the time came, I saw most of those same fans offering up their respect for the character, especially for his attitude in the face of death: “I fought. I lost. Now I rest. But you, Lord Snow, you’ll be fighting their battles forever.” Thorne remained true to himself in the end, and as always, Teale delivered the words perfectly.

      As harsh and despicable as he could be at times, Alliser Thorne was a wonderful character, expertly played by a kind and thoughtful man who happens to be a superb actor to boot. We were blessed to watch him work his craft on Game of Thrones for four of its six seasons to date. Selfishly, I wish that his watch could have lasted just a bit longer. But now that it’s ended, there’s no doubt that he has earned his rest. I eagerly await whatever projects Owen Teale will take on in the future, and I wish him all the best!

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    30. I was hoping Thorne, as a former Targ loyalist, would be around when (and if) R+L=J was divulged. His reaction would have been interesting.

      Teale was absolutely fantastic as Thorne, even if I disagreed with his FTW role in the show. His speeches and loaded insults were priceless. Thanks for playing, Owen!

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    31. The Dragon Demands,

      I thought the same as you but I’ve changed my thinking. I won’t go into all the whys and wherefores here because it’s not the place for it. But I will say that one of the primary reasons is that because Teale did such an awesome job selling Thorne’s motivation.

      He really was superb in the role of Ser Allister Thorne. I’m not someone who weighs in on every Curtain Call even though so many of the actors and actresses do such great jobs. But I thought his performance really stood out even on a show that has featured a lot of great acting..

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    32. Amazing, nuanced performance from an amazing actor. After his WOTW speech, I would’ve followed that man straight into hell.

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    33. The Dragon Demands: ….Yeah I wanted to edit that to be only two lines after my anger cooled but by then the edit function had timed out.Sorry.

      OT: You really need to get over yourself….

      Hated Thorne , Owen Teale played him so well. I can’t say I will miss him though, you know, because of what he did to Jon.
      Another great actor I was introduced to thanks to GoT.
      And now his watch had ended.

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    34. Arkash:
      TONIGHT WE FIGHT !

      AND WHEN THE SUN RISES I PROMISE YOU … CASTLE BLACK WILL STAND !

      THE NIGHT’S WATCH WILL STAND !

      WITH ME NOW ! NOW WITH ME !

      And no his watch is ended.

      Thank you for your art, Owen !

      He was so good in Ep9 S4 that I truly hoped his character might come around. Sadly, he stayed true to who he was, but was always a delight. I never could hate this character. I understood him from the get go and while he was an “antagonist”, I just could not think of him as a “villain”.

      God bless, Owen Teale. I am truly a fan.

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    35. Alliser was always a complete and utter dick. Yet, in his own way, he was one of the most honorable people in the show. He’s doing what he think’s is right, and his commitment to what he believes is right is unwavering and incredibly impressive.

      He fought. He lost. Now he rests.

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    36. Thorne wasn’t well liked, but he will be well missed. Excellent portrayal by Owen Teale.

      I’ll be checking my calendar to see if I can catch him in the production that Iridium posted above. That alone would be worth the trip over.

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    37. Teale really made a well-rounded villain out of what could’ve been a one-note character. Thorne’s nastiness to the new recruits was unforgivable, but he was filling the overbearing boot-camp drill sergeant role as was expected of him. I never doubted that he was truly committed to the Watch, genuinely brave and able to lead. What a pity that he was never able to transcend his resentment of Jon – or find out who he really is! He could’ve made an extremely valuable lieutenant. I regret that the two characters came to such a total impasse.

      We shall not see his like again. And now his watch is ended.

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    38. He was a wonderful foil for Jon. As a leader he was as strong and brave as Jon while lacking the vision and compassion that make Jon great. In some ways Alliser is like the opposite of Davos an ideal second in command but spoiled by bitterness at life. His voice will always be the voice of Ser Alliser during re-reads of the books. Owen gets cast often as authority figures because of his natural authority. He played a police chief in River – a small role – but he made it memorable.

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    39. I echo the comments in praise to Owen Teale. His portrayal of Ser Allister Thorne was brilliant. Someone we loved to despise due his hatred towards Jon Snow and his harsh treatment to those under him.

      However, even at the end, he was true to his word and wouldn’t have changed what he thought was right. An honorable man who never faltered on his oath to the Nights Watch.

      I’ll certainly miss him… And now his watch is ended – RIP Ser Allister.

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    40. MCH,

      He would never support Jon. From the get go he seemed to have a dislike of him. Whether this was what the writers wanted to portray to set up the betrayal I don’t know. There was bitterness (wounded pride?) but he shopwed that he was more than capable. Stoic to the end. A good meaty role for him, and he played it well.

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    41. Anther example of Owen Teale’s range as an actor was his role in a 2005 episode of “Midsomer Murders” called “Second Sight” in which he played a shy gentle giant who may have second sight and who is as far from Ser Alliser as imaginable.

      Can’t help but notice that since the success of GOT my local PBS station repeats that episode quite often. Come to think of it, “Midsomer Murders” is a treasure trove of appearances by the GOT cast.

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    42. iridium,

      he will be appearing in the play No Man’s Land – with Sirs Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen,

      Oh I so want to see that! Maybe on National Theatre Live?

      I agree with all of the great moments others have talked about, but no one mentioned my favorite: during the first meeting with Jon as Commander, when Slynt refused to obey the order – Thorne at one point stepped in from of Janos to block the others from taking him away. He paused for a half a second, just enough time to let you know that he could have stopped this. But he knew Slynt would never be able to defend the wall, and moved aside for him to be dragged to the bloxk. Just brilliant

      Jared,

      As harsh and despicable as he could be at times, Alliser Thorne was a wonderful character, expertly played by a kind and thoughtful man who happens to be a superb actor to boot. We were blessed to watch him work his craft on Game of Thrones for four of its six seasons to date. Selfishly, I wish that his watch could have lasted just a bit longer. But now that it’s ended, there’s no doubt that he has earned his rest. I eagerly await whatever projects Owen Teale will take on in the future, and I wish him all the best!

      This. Can’t think of anything else I’d want to add that others havent said. Just to raise a glass to a great actor, and hopes we see him again. (btw I love the photo of him as a young man!)

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    43. I remember how happy I was when I saw he was back for season 4. He was awesome, more great casting from Nina and D & D.

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    44. Thorne was one of several characters who I greatly prefer in the show to the books. In the books, he’s a 1-dimensional asshole. In the show, he’s a 3-dimensional asshole. This was due, in large part, to Owen Teale’s pitch-perfect performance.

      I had never heard of Teale before this show, but now I would check out anything with him in it. I could not imagine a more perfect Alliser Thorne (no offense to Derek Halligan, who was originally cast). Though I didn’t like a lot of his actions, or his treatment of certain characters, I could never bring myself to hate him. I could see that he was following his own code of honor, and he clearly took his job seriously (and that speech he gave in WOTW was one of the best in the entire show, IMO).

      Though I give credit to D&D for writing the character with far more complexity than he had in the books, none of that would have come through so clear, were it not for Owen. He gave me a respect for Thorne I never expected to have. Thorne stayed true to himself until the bitter end.

      “I fought. I lost. Now I rest.”

      And now his watch is ended. You will be missed, Owen.

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    45. I had no idea he was in Conspiracy! So many good actors in that movie.

      …1.5 hours later courtesy of HBO…

      Yep, he was pretty good there too. Same awesome voice, portrayed Freisler about as I remembered him historically being.

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    46. What made me smile in his favor at the end was the way he said “Lord Commander.” In his inimitable way, he made what should be a title of respect sound like the biggest insult ever – the same as he always did when calling Jon “Lord Snow,” in that distinctly gravelly voice of his.

      I’ve voiced my respect for his acting ability in prior threads. I was hoping the character would come face to face with the White Walkers, but the hanging was satisfying, especially with his final speech. Teale had the ability to consistently take some pretty good dialog and make it great and memorable. This Watch is ended for OT, on to the next thing, Sir, with my applause.

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    47. An absolute gem. Truly a Thorne in Jon’s side. Hahahahahahahaha…..no? I’ll show myself out. Will miss him.

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    48. Gotta give the writers some credit also for the wonderful Alliser Thorne character. That scene mentioned in the article when he confronts Jon and Sam, with the ‘…die like flies…’ line. That whole speech is what sold the character to me. He is an absolutely magnificent villain, so layered. Jon even had respect for him, despite all. Owen Teales performance is on level with the best in the show, up there with Charles Dance, Peter Dinklage, Alfie Allen, Alexander Siddigg and Stephen Dillane, (maybe not dillane, that performance is out of this world).

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    49. He is a fantastic actor. He had me in stitches in a show called Stella set in the Welsh valleys. He played a man who liked to experiment sexually with his wife. Their Cathy and Heathcliff role play is etched in my brain forever.. Both roles so completely unrecognizable from each other and yet equally brilliant.

      Farewell Owen Teale, now your watch has ended.

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    50. CatspawAssassin,

      Love Midsomer, don’t remember that one…I’ll have to look it up.

      In fact, who else from GoT is on Midsommer Murders? I remember David Bradley was in an episode…that’ it though. Would love to get some titles so I can rewatch some (although we stopped collecting the DVDs for a while)

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    51. I don’t think I can add much more to what others have said. Great actor who helped flesh out a character who easily could have been a simple villain, and made him one that was bold and courageous, who was willing to kill for his deeply flawed convictions. Had a great voice, and no one quite said “bastard” or “c—ts” quite like he did. I will miss him

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    52. Superb performance from Owen Teale. Much as I loathed Ser Alliser, I always secretly hoped he would come to see things Jon’s way as he was fundamentally a man of honour.
      I will miss him, in a way I haven’t missed even some of my fave characters who have been killed off.

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    53. Brilliant actor. I always loved scenes with Alliser. He really captured this hardened, bitter man who has forgotten how to feel joy – but he was still so charismatic! I’ll be a very happy girl when I see him in other things after this. And now his watch is ended.

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    54. Much preferred Show!Alliser where you could understand his opinions even if you didn’t agree with them, and considered him a bully. Owen definitely helped give that air of a very capable and steadfast officer but who was inflexible and unable to adapt to changing times – and basically fail to realise the true threat came from the very enemy that The Wall was built to contain. The sort of man you can accept in command in battle or to train others as a fighter but not to lead in peacetime.

      Diolch yn fawr a hwyl fawr Owen!

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    55. One of my favorite characters and so much better than in the books. Truly masterful job by Owen Teale and he will be missed. Much like Michael McElhatton as Roose Bolton.

      “I fought, I lost and now I rest.”

      It pretty much describes his character. He did wat he thought was right for the Watch, he’s not ashamed of it and would do it again. No crying, apologies or anything. Just accepting his fate.

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    56. I’m sure I mentioned it on another thread but the first show I can remember Owen Teale in was “The Fifteen Streets” where he played the good brother and young Sean Bean played the bad brother (well more the irresponsible brother – not taking proper care of one of his younger siblings led to her being drowned). I looked at a list of some of the things Owen Teale had been in over the years and see he was Ham Peggoty in the 1986 “David Copperfield” series (it’s been adapted since then of course with other actors). Count me among those who think OT did a good job portraying a not particularly likeable character.

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    57. Teale’s performance as Alliser Thorne was one of the great supporting characters in any genre, not just fantasy based drama. I looked forward to scenes at Castle Black because I knew that Teale’s Thorne would find a way to be central to whatever was happening, even if he was off screen and out of frame. You just knew that this menacing energy was there waiting to do something to challenge the obvious protagonist, Jon Snow. And at the end of Hardhome, when there was tension and suspense as to whether Thorne would open the gateway, the look on Thorne’s face as he obeyed his commander was just as I thought it would be “a mask that barely covered rage”. I hope to see more of Teale as the GOT producers have showcased an actor of energy and depth who deserves to be known and appreciated more widely. A standing “O” from this fan.

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    58. Teale did a great job in the role and really gave depth and meaning to a minor character. You could definitely see why he did what he did as a member of the Night’s Watch. He will be missed, and I wish him well in all his future endeavors.

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    59. Fantastic performance by Owen Teale, one of the standouts

      The good thing is that everything he said had a degree of legitimacy about it

      His speech for the battle for the Wall was excellent, as was the “someone always second guessing your decisions when you’re in Command” convo with Jon standout, and of course standing up to Tyrion etc

      But for mine the standout scene was the scene where he was made First Ranger and Slynt got beheaded

      A sign of a great quality actor is when they can be diverse (convincingly), but on top of that is when they can say so much without saying anything at all

      He didn’t utter a word during that scene but conveyed so much with his facial expressions etc

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    60. Oh, man! I saw him in that production of A Doll’s House. He was freaking great. Janet McTeer was Nora and of course she’s like six feet tall, so there was this wonderful moment where Torvald came home, Nora went to kiss him and dipped herself so that she was slightly shorter than he. God, that’s one of my favorite shows I’ve ever seen on Broadway. They were soooo good!

      I am not normally one to hang around backstage afterwards to collect autographs, but I did get hers and his. Thanks for that mention of it; I totally forgot that was him as Torvald and it made me go dig through my files to make sure I still had the Playbill he signed (I do).

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    61. Nice write up. I couldn’t have said it better.
      Yet another antagonist on the show dies and we are left wishing we could somehow see more.

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    62. The moment for me when I started to really take notice of Thorne was the fight at Castle Black and the “With me!!” speech he gave beforehand. He was so impressive in the role I couldn’t help but love-hate him! And now his watch has ended!

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    63. his thin blue line work was so great, his riposte to habib here makes me laugh every time.

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    64. Hodor Targaryen,

      That’s what I get for posting when I really should be sleeping. 😉 I meant the BBC mystery series(es?) in general are a treasure trove of GOT actors’ appearances. Offhand, in the past month I’ve caught sight of David Bradley (Walder Frey)* and Alfie Allen (Theon)** in separate Midsomer episodes.

      * “The Green Man”
      ** “Death and Dreams”

      And, I think it goes without saying that James Cosmo (pictured above as the late Jeor Mormont) completely stole the MM episode “The Axeman Cometh.”

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    65. One of the best actors in the show! Owen was amazing!

      The writing did help, greatly, turning a 1-note asshole into a well rounded character.

      But as other had said, this wouldn’t have been possible without the brilliance of Owen Teale!

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    66. An amazing actor that, along with the writing, made the paper-thin character from the books into an actual three-dimensional character. One of my favorites. His last words were perfect for him, not unlike Stannis’s.

      Mihnea,

      He really cannot stop, can he? Such an unstable fella.

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    67. And now his watch is ended.

      Alliser Thorne was a man that acted as best as he could think of, and in some way, he was absolutely correct. He was always ready to do things himself if need be. He commanded respect.

      Owen Teale truly made this man someone I could not only believe in and respect but also follow had I been in Castle Black. He was the necessary pragmatic to Jon the idealist. The fact he might have been wrong (we won’t really know till the end of the story, however) doesn’t in any way diminish the character.

      So really well played, Owen Teale!

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    68. Arguably on the top 5 list of most complex show characters. Just when you thought you hated him, you rooted for his bravery… and when it came time for him to die, having killed one of our favorite characters, it was difficult to be happy about it.

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    69. Dolorous Methuselah:
      The Dragon Demands,

      I thought the same as you but I’ve changed my thinking.I won’t go into all the whys and wherefores here because it’s not the place for it.But I will say that one of the primary reasons is that because Teale did such an awesome job selling Thorne’s motivation.

      He really was superb in the role of Ser Allister Thorne.I’m not someone who weighs in on every Curtain Call even though so many of the actors and actresses do such great jobs.But I thought his performance really stood out even on a show that has featured a lot of great acting..

      Given the state of American politics, it is obvious that racism is not a hard sell even today, let alone in Westeros.

      Unfortunately racism is what drove the traitors. While it was “understandable”, it was also entirely deplorable, unlike the more complex and compelling reasons the book traitors had. The TV traitors were simply unable to cooperate with a different race, even when in their own interest to do so, while TV Jon was killed with having done anything a just person could argue was wrong or a violation of his oaths. This made Jon’s death feel a lot more black-and-white on TV, which I found disappointing.

      Teale was great, though. He sold a bigot’s thinking as well as anyone could have.

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    70. Awesome actor!

      Kind of ironic when he said: “you`ll hang for this, bastard” to Jon back in season 1 !!

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    71. Chad Brick,

      The writing and Teale’s performance made Jon’s death morally grey, not black and white. We could see the dilmma Thorne was facing. The Night’s Watch has defended the Wall against the wildings for hundreds of years, losing many of their members in the process, and Jon let them through the gates and allowed them to settle into the very land that they’ve raped and pillaged. To them, that is the ultimate betrayal and they felt justified in their actions. In the book, I found Jon’s actions unbelievable. For the entire book, he has been planning the Wall’s defenses for the White Walker’s invasion. Then, he decides to take away men that the Watch desperately needs to go on a suicide mission against the Boltons. Jon’s stupidity and inconsistent characterization took me right out of the story.

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    72. Young Dragon:
      Chad Brick,

      The writing and Teale’s performance made Jon’s death morally grey, not black and white. We could see the dilmma Thorne was facing. The Night’s Watch has defended the Wall against the wildings for hundreds of years, losing many of their members in the process, and Jon let them through the gates and allowed them to settle into the very land that they’ve raped and pillaged. To them, that is the ultimate betrayal and they felt justified in their actions. In the book, I found Jon’s actions unbelievable. For the entire book, he has been planning the Wall’s defenses for the White Walker’s invasion. Then, he decides to take away men that the Watch desperately needs to go on a suicide mission against the Boltons. Jon’s stupidity and inconsistent characterization took me right out of the story.

      The entire basis of Thorne et al’s “the wildlings are the enemy” logic is racism. It was not their sworn mission, even if their day to day behavior had devolved into fighting them. When killing wildlings became contradictory to thier true mission, racism overwhelmed reason and they made a choice both irrational and immoral.

      Book Jon’s choice was far from “suicidal”. Both the Watch’s and the Wildlings numbers were far greater and the Bolton’s hold far mor tenuous in the books.

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    73. Chad Brick,

      It is racism and it isn’t. The wildlings have attacked the Wall, they’ve murdered many brothers of the Night’s Watch, and they’ve caused havoc in the North. Thorne has good reason not to trust them.

      In the books, Jon was planning to lead an undisciplined army against hardened Northern soldiers. The wildlings couldn’t even defeat Stannis’s puny force, how would they be able to defeat the Boltons, who had many more soldiers?

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    74. Could not agree more! In Nina Gold We Trust, in casting Owen Teale she picked the perfect guy for the role. Must not have been fun for Owen to play someone so intense and bleak, but he was the perfect Ser Alliser, and made us all love Jon, Sam, and the rest of the Night’s Watch gang all the more for how they interacted with him. And now his watch is ended.

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    75. Young Dragon:
      Chad Brick,

      It is racism and it isn’t. The wildlings have attacked the Wall, they’ve murdered many brothers of the Night’s Watch, and they’ve caused havoc in the North. Thorne has good reason not to trust them.

      In the books, Jon was planning to lead an undisciplined army against hardened Northern soldiers. The wildlings couldn’t even defeat Stannis’s puny force, how would they be able to defeat the Boltons, who had many more soldiers?

      And vice versa. Both the books and TV have a lot more Crows north of the Wall than Wildlings south, until Jon lets the latter through. It’s precisely this petty tit-for-tat that leads to a lot of war.

      The traitors’ inability to see beyond their racist box was the root of the matter, and Jon’s ability to do such is nothing but commendable. Book Jon, in contrast, made debatable decisions in tough situations.

      Flat out, the TV traitors were wrong and evil, even if you can “understand” racism. The book traitors were not right but not unambiguously wrong, either.

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    76. Chad Brick,

      I’m going to ask this nicely – can you please take this disagreement out of the Curtain Call thread? This article is not the place for you to air your grievances about how the story was written. The vast majority of us are here to celebrate a great actor whose time on Game of Thrones has come to an end. In all of your posts so far, you have offered up one measly sentence in praise of Owen Teale and spent the rest of your time venting about how you thought things were so much better in the book. It’s fine if you believe that, even if I personally disagree. But this Curtain Call is not the place for those concerns.

      By all means, celebrate Owen Teale with the rest of us. But take your arguments to another article on this website. Or to the forums. Literally anywhere else but here. Please.

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    77. The way Owen Teale played Ser Alliser was simply brilliant. Could never bring myself to hate the character much because of all he’d seen and supposedly done. In his own harsh way, he cared…a lot. N most of not all of that got conveyed by mr. Teales performance.

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    78. Great character portrayed by a great actor. He stole the show in Watchers on the Wall. That single episode changed my entire view of the character!

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    79. Well I was also a fan of Owen Teale and the wonderful work he did on ‘Game Of Thrones”, the nuance and subtlety he brought to his character, as well as the substance and added dimensions.

      I never saw or thought of Ser Alisser Thorne being without honour, he certainly wasn’t a coward. I think that on the contrary, because he had experienced loss (and judging by his demeanour, those lines and creases in his face, and those blue, humourless, almost White Walker eyes, also a fair amount of heartache and pain), he had found himself in the Night’s Watch again, or at least the idea and ideals of what the Night’s Watch stood for and should have been, realities notwithstanding.

      His code and his honour were groomed and moulded on that of the Night’s Watch and that informed how he saw the world around him. I don’t think he was a “bad” man either (we’ve had plenty of examples of that in the novels and on the show) simply based on the fact that he soo deeply disliked Jon Snow, that he eventually conspired to murder him once Jon became Lord Commander, took the reins of power and started acting contrary to all that he (Ser Alisser) believed down to the marrow of his bones. Ser Alisser was a hard man, no doubt, as expected from someone who had spent soo many years living in Castle Black at the base of The Wall. As we’ve seen, Castle Black, The Wall, the Night’s Watch and the North in general suffer no weaklings and fools. And whatever you may think of Alisser Thorne as a character, he was neither of those things.

      But, much like Ned, Robert, Tywin, Stannis and Balon, Ser Alisser was also a man of his time, a product of his environment, and as such limited and stuck to what he knew to be right and how the world was supposed to make any sense. And to him what Jon Snow did pretty much upended all of that…so Ser Alisser acted as he saw the only way fit to maintain that reality and keep the world spinning as it had. He gambled and he lost. or as he put it “I fought, I lost…now I rest”….

      Applause and a bow for Owen Teale aka Ser Alisser Thorne, he did all that and more! And now his watch is ended!

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    80. Thorne could have easily been a one dimensional antagonist. Instead Owen Teale went far beyond the few lines he had in the script and gave us a fully fleshed out character. You may have disliked Thorne, but he earned our respect.

      He took his own choice, he fought, he lost. And now his watch is ended.

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