Following the lead of cast mates Carice van Houten, Hannah Murray, and John Bradley, Richard Dormer (Beric Dondarrion) and Joe Dempsie (Gendry) have now sat down with BUILD Series to discuss the final season and their overall Game of Thrones experiences.
“It was absolutely amazing,” Dormer says about Wednesday’s New York City premiere, highlighting this incredible moment: “They got us all on stage. There was about forty of us–of the cast. Sean Bean was there, Charles Dance—half the people were already dead. And then the curtain just lifted up, and there was Radio City Hall, and it was like 5000 people going ‘Wooooh!’. I’ll never forget it. It was an incredible experience.”
“The first episode [that screened at the premiere] is kind of like a teaser of what is to come,” he explains, “so it didn’t reveal that much, but it gives you a taste.”
“With Thoros gone, who was his best friend, I think Beric is now liberated, in a strange way, so I think he would welcome death,” Dormer says of Beric’s chances of survival–or rather, his lack of chances of being revived again. “He’s died six times. He’s tired. He has been to the Darkness and seen there’s nothing there. I think he’s literally going to run to the arms of Death. But he will do so if he thinks it’s a good enough sacrifice.”
Personally, I’m so looking forward to Beric’s sacrifice, though he’s one of my favorite characters—or perhaps because of it. Having long survived past his book counterpart, Beric’s journey in the show has been most compelling. I loved every one his ruminations—with Arya, Melisandre, Sandor, and Jon—about life and death and sacrificing himself defending the former against the latter, and I can’t wait to see how that plays out.
Joe Dempsie was mostly there to promote his role on the second season of British espionage TV series Deep State, but of course Game of Thrones does come up eventually:
“[For Game of Thrones I was] mostly in Belfast,” Dempsie laments. “Before I got to go to Iceland in season seven, people would ask ‘where do you actually film Game of Thrones?’, and I’m like ‘Do you watch it?’, ‘Yeah’, ‘So you know there’s like places that look really hot–that’s Dubrovnik; places that look really cold–that’s Iceland; and all that grey drizzle in-between? That’s where I am. The whole time. And that, my friends, is Belfast.”
“Getting to come back [in season seven] was amazing. Although they’d told me at the end of season three Gendry was gonna disappear for a while, [so] I was under the impression they were going to bring him back… [showrunners] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss had] a big undertaking, writing and directing the biggest TV show in the planet, so if after a couple of years of me being gone they’d turn around and just said ‘look, we just don’t have time,’ I would have understood, and carried on watching as a fan.”
“You’ll just have to wait and see about [Arya and Gendry reuniting in season eight],” Dempsie teases. “But that’s the cool thing about season eight. You could all tell towards the end of season seven that everyone on Westeros is converging now, so you’re gonna get some character meetups that you might not have seen before and some ones that maybe you’ve been waiting for. I think it’s a really, really satisfying season opener.”
“When Davos comes and finds [Gendry] in Flea Bottom, he’s been waiting for so long. He doesn’t know what he’s been waiting for, but having had his world opened up in that way and learning the truth about who he is, I think he feels a desire to be part of something bigger. He wants purpose. [In season eight] he still has that desire,” Dempsie reveals, “but now he’s seen what is coming from the other side of that Wall, so although he knows that’s what he has to be a part of, he’s still terrified of it. I think that’s what a lot of the characters are doing at the beginning of season eight. We all know what’s coming.”
We do know what’s coming. And it’s coming in just nine days!