Last week, Liam Cunningham traveled to Bangkok in order to promote Game of Thrones, and a local publication got a particularly insightful and funny interview from the actor who portrays Ser Davos Seaworth. Cunningham discussed Davos’ journey throughout the show, the painful deaths of Shireen and Stannis, and who should sit on the Iron Throne —and who actually might, which is an entirely different question.
SAYS got to sit with the actor and asked him about everything from the show’s appeal to the dreaded last supper with the producers. The following are only some choice quotes:
“What’s interesting about Davos is that he has remained the same,” Cunningham said about the Onion Knight. “I mean that in a good way – his loyalty, his decency, he’s got a conscience, he will stand up and say, ‘No, this is wrong. You can’t do that.’ He doesn’t care if it’s his life in danger and I think, in a way, he’s almost like the voice of the audience. There’s a lot of morally ambiguous people on the show, so you need some characters to put their hand up to speak up for the audience like Davos and even Samwell Tarly, who are kinda like the ‘conscience’ of the show.”
That’s not to say Davos has not had to suffer through a lot along the way, including the deaths of his son, his princess, and his king. And it was difficult for the actor too: “I really miss working with Stephen. Stephen Dillane is a wonderful guy, a magnificent actor. I’m a big fan of his, so I wasn’t happy when they killed him. Very unhappy.”
Though Cunningham very much misses the man who portrayed Stannis for four seasons, in terms of characters there is no doubt about who he misses most: “Shireen. I was sitting in my little room at home with a big pot of coffee and the door locked, and when I read that scene I just went, ‘WHAT? You gotta be kidding me! Noooo…!’ I couldn’t believe it.” And it’s not just the character he wishes was still around, but the actress as well, as is attested to by the following absolutely enchanting story of the farewell between Cunningham and Kerry Ingram, who played Shireen Baratheon:
“I love doing those scenes with [Kerry], she’s a brilliant actress. When we said goodbye, I didn’t know she’d bought me a gift but I had a gift for her – a silver Irish-made stag like the one I gave her in the show. When I gave it to her, she pulled out a pillow and it had a stag embroidered on it. She also gave me a book that said ‘Grammar for Dummies’. She’s got a bit of a sense of humour, that girl.” That’s just so incredibly adorable!
Nevertheless, Cunningham does not oppose these decisions creatively, however tragic the outcome. As he put it, the explicit sex and violence are a crucial part of the show:
“[Not showing the sex and violence] would be patronising and condescending to the audience, it would be treating the viewers as if they’re not as intelligent as they are. For example, the death of Shireen. I’m in a show that shows the burning of a child! It’s a horrible thing to show, but it was necessary to show you how dangerous chasing power can be, how it turns the mind of a father and mother to do to their own child.”
That’s enough about Davos’ past and the many deaths he had to endure. What about the future? What’s next on the game of thrones? Who will sit on the Iron Throne?
“Carice van Houten [Melisandre] was asked that question awhile ago and I have to agree with her. She said, ‘I would like to live in a world that was ruled by Samwell Tarly.’ But she said there’s no way that’s gonna happen, and I think she’s probably right!”
“It looked like the guy at the beginning of this, Tyrion [Peter Dinklage], would be the right man for the job, but he likes [drinking] a little bit too much”, the actor continued. “I think Jon Snow would be good, but he doesn’t strike me as someone who wants to. He’s had power thrust upon him. He never asked to be king, it was all the other people in the North who made him king and he has a responsibility to his people. But with this show, who knows who’s gonna end up a king. It could be anybody. Or nobody.”
There you have it. If Cunningham is right, it should be Samwell, but that’s too happy an ending for those who are paying attention; it could be Tyrion, but as practiced as he is perhaps he is not that stable; and Jon would make a good king, but he wouldn’t want to take that mantle. Or perhaps nobody at all will sit on the Iron Throne! Perhaps there won’t be an Iron Throne to sit on by the end of this story! What say you, dear readers?