The Fall of Lysa Arryn: An Interview with Kate Dickie


Many moons ago, at another time in another place, a sweet little Scottish lady read an article written by yours truly regarding her final act on Game of Thrones and praising her for her work on both the series as well as other mediums.

Little did I know that the article would serve as a catalyst in cultivating a beautiful yet unexpected friendship.

Sometimes, the stars align. And I can honestly tell you that Kate is as wonderful a person as she is an actress.

So Ladies and Sers, without further delay, please enjoy a WotW exclusive. A man finally got an interview with his dear Lysa… 


Oz: Kate, thank you so much for taking the time to entertain a few questions! To say that I am nervously enthusiastic would be a gross understatement.  It is truly an honor.

KD: You are so welcome sweetie. This interview is long overdue and I’m grateful for your patience.  It’s also an honour to be speaking to The Great Oz!

Oz: Also, I want to apologize in advance for any questions that you may have fielded in any prior interviews.  As you know, I am an Unsullied (non-book reader) and refrain from many interviews for fear of being spoiled. With that being said, Kate, tell us how you came to be involved with Game of Thrones from the onset and if you had previous knowledge of the book series from George.

KD: I love that you’re an Unsullied, it’s great to see the perspective from someone who hasn’t read the books and doesn’t know what’s going to happen. I wasn’t aware of George Martin’s wonderful books until my audition came up for Lysa, so it was a whole new world for me too. I did a self-tape first and then was asked to go for a recall. I was really delighted to get the part as she is unlike any character I’ve played before and I just felt a connection to her, strange as that may sound. Sometimes you just read a script and get an overwhelming urge to give that character their voice, to look after them, and that’s how I felt about Lysa.

Oz: When you first read the script for your role as Lysa Arryn and the resulting introductory scene of your character, did you fall out of the chair due to lack of oxygen to the brain or did you uncontrollably laugh into convulsions? Or, none of the above? 

KD: I think a mixture of both at first! But I’m always attracted to characters who are complex and dark so it was thrilling too. I remember calling my agent and saying ‘I love her! I absolutely love her!’ I know most people would say ‘I hate her! I absolutely hate her!’ But for me, I just saw a very damaged, fragile soul who, yes, had made terrible decisions and awful ones too, but was also someone who’d had a traumatic, sad life and was psychologically broken in a lot of ways. And that’s what made me want to look after her.

Oz: I understand that a prosthetic was used, but even so how did you and Lino Facioli (Robin Arryn) prepare for what I presume was a very uncomfortable scene?

KD: Yes we used prosthetic breasts, I hope people know this! Lino who plays Robin was absolutely brilliant in dealing with the breastfeeding scene. We rehearsed it with Brian Kirk the director long before we filmed it and just made sure that we were as comfortable with it as we could be. On the actual day of filming I remember us getting the giggles at first a couple of times in between takes as it was such a bizarre thing to be doing, but on the whole we just treated it like any other scene as much as we could and tried not to get too hung up about it. Lino’s mum was always around on set and Lino would read his book in between shots or we would just chat, so it was all good.


Oz: How early on in the process were you aware that the actions of your character (in a coordinated effort with that damn Baelish) would ultimately instigate the sequence of events depicted in Game of Thrones?

KD: I was aware very early on, before filming started. Once I got the part I read the books up until she died, as I just wanted to glean as much information on her background as I could. I’m so glad I did as it definitely helped my decisions on how to play the scenes. The fact that she was hiding so much and that she had done so much for Littlefinger was a great knowledge to have about her. But I’m loving that now I don’t know what happens next as it’s a great way to watch it.

Oz: Does Aidan Gillen have generally tolerable mouth hygiene? Not that I am interested, but for your sake, I hope so.

KD: Aiden has fabulous mouth hygiene and is a true gent and lovely person. I really enjoyed working with him and it was a real privilege to have scenes with him. I think he’s a great actor.


Oz: In the lemon cake scene with Sophie from Episode 5 of Season 4 “First of His Name”, you were able to seamlessly and believably transition from sweet, nurturing Aunt to a jealous, “batshit” crazy woman in a scene that was just over three minutes in length.  How difficult was it to achieve that gamut of emotion in such a short time frame?

KD: Ohh the lemon cake scene! Poor Sansa! Thank you, yes it was a huge arc of emotions to go through in such a short space of time but for Lysa completely normal, this is what the inside of her mind was like. And she had no edit button, so everything she felt inside came out. She couldn’t help herself. It was a challenge but a good one to have and Michelle McLaren directs you so beautifully and Sophie is so brilliant to work with that I was spoiled really and don’t feel I can take any credit for the scene. Oh jings, and I can’t tell you how many lemon cakes Sophie had to eat! I doubt she’s eaten one since!

Oz: You recently finished performing a stage play in London for Thornton Wilder’s Our Town.  Can you describe the experience and whether you prefer to be on stage or filmed on set?  

KD: I had an amazing time doing Our Town, it was so much fun. The director David Cromer is out of this world and I had a great experience with him and the cast. I did theatre for many years before doing tv and film so it was great to go back to it. Oh it’s really difficult to compare theatre and screen as they are so different in many ways, and yet not. It’s hard to describe but I love them equally for different reasons.

Oz: I have a confession… I told one of my partners in crime here at WotW that you and I were scheduled to converse and he has a question for you.  But I have to warn you.. He is a loose cannon that carries an axe as a sidearm.  Do you consent?

KD: Yes, I consent. I have my battle armour ready 🙂

Oz: OK… 


Axey: Kate, where does Lysa’s death rank in your career of character deaths? Was it more fun to film Lysa’s fall, or to film your character Ford getting smashed against a wall by an alien in PROMETHEUS? Or was there a better death in another production? 

KD: Ooh, interesting question, I will lay my shield down for a second to answer it.  I loved both of those death scenes! Poor Ford, it was a nasty death for her and she was terrified out of her wits, whereas at least Lysa didn’t know what was coming until it was too late. But then she was so betrayed, so the last seconds of her life were utterly tormented whereas Ford’s, although terrifying beforehand, was very quick and she didn’t die the tormented soul that Lysa did.  I’m afraid I just can’t choose! They were both a lot of fun to film.

Axey: Is a character’s end generally fun to film or sad? What’s your LEAST favorite kind of scene to film?

KD: It’s both really. You’re sad to say goodbye to someone you have cherished and looked after, but at the same time these scenes are fun to film. Lysa’s was challenging for me as I’m scared of heights and I had to be hanging from a harness very high up while I was filmed from below, but it’s good to be out of your comfort zone and do things that scare you. I think so anyway. And can I just say that the director Alik Sakharov is absolutely incredible! I loved working with him so much, what an honour it was. I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to have had the chance to work with the directors, cast and crew that I did on Game of Thrones, it really was special. My least favourite scenes to film are probably ones that I have to be violent to someone in. I filmed a scene recently on something that reduced me to floods of tears as I had to do something really awful to someone. Those ones I find tough. But again, you have to find a way through it and do your character the justice they deserve. It’s my job after all. I do go through a mourning period when I stop playing a character though, you miss them.

Oz: You and I spoke briefly before you headed to Sundance for your role in The Witch.  The film has received great reviews from a number of sources. What can you tell us about the Sundance experience and about the film itself? 


KD: We had a marvelous time at Sundance! It was so much fun. We filmed The Witch last Spring in Kiosk in quite a remote part of Northeastern Ontario and it was a real labour of love from all concerned, so it was surreal to be showing it at Sundance and getting such a fabulous response. It’s set in 1630 in New England and it’s about an English Puritan family who get banished from their Puritan plantation and set up home next to these woods.  I feel it’s more of a horrific tale rather than a horror as such and is really about a family imploding. It reminds me of the Grimm’s Fairytales in a lot of ways. I was so made up for Rob Eggers our director who won Best Director in the U.S. Dramatic Competition that we were in. He is a name to look out for, what a brilliant writer and director he is. Ralph Ineson who plays the father and Anya Taylor Joy who plays the daughter are amazing in it. They’ve become really close friends of me now, I love them. Oh and the kids! They were great too. See, I’ve been spoiled with the people I have worked with! And we all left a piece of our hearts in Mattawa, the beautiful wee town we stayed in while we were filming. It’s so beautiful there. The film gets released in the Autumn.

Oz: What else does the future hold for Kate Dickie?

KD: At the moment I’m working on a TV drama called The Frankenstein Chronicles and as well as The Witch, I also have another film coming out this year called Couple In A Hole, which is about a couple living in a hole in the ground. It’s another interesting and unusual story by writer and director Tom Geens.

Oz: If you ever venture to the southeastern United States, would you ever consider stopping by House Oz and meeting Ozzette and the Ozlings? 

KD: I would absolutely stop by your house and probably eat you out of biscuits and drink all your coffee!

Oz: One more question my dear before I release you from this dungeon of inquiring minds… is there any chance in hell that Lysa caught a moon vine after falling from the moon door and will reappear in Season 5 just waiting for a man from a fantastic website to save her?

KD: She tried! She tried so hard Oz, but alas no, she is no longer with us. I will miss her so.

Oz: Well, shit.


Special Thanks to: the Staff at WotW, Sue, WinterPhil, Zack, Ozzette, and the readers of WotW and WiC. Without you, something like this would have never been possible. Most of all, thank you Kate.


Follow Oz on twitter here.


  1. Fantastic interview Oz, thank you!!

    Its a pleasant change from watching those cringe-worthy red carpet interviews 🙂

  2. That’s awesome )

    And thank you for stopping in, Ms. Dickie; you did a fantastic job – there wasn’t a scene you were in that wasn’t riveting.

  3. Great interview!
    Katie is one of the best actors on GOT. Her portrayal of Lysa was amazing, loved her!

  4. Great job, Oz! Really enjoyed it.

    Lion of Night,

    Totally agree. I told Oz earlier that the Industry should sit up and take notice of his questions because that is how it should be done.

  5. She seems lovely !!!

    Congrats Oz for the interview and, once again, amazing kuddos to Kate for her performance !

  6. Thank you for this Oz. I know you have wanted to conduct this interview for some time. Kate does seem down to earth and not at all pompous.

  7. Kate Dickie was superb, really got across Lysa as someone quite demented without being too OTT. When she was screaming at Sansa and threatening to push her out the moon door she totally sold it going from apparently calm to crazed. Another great casting.

  8. Lovely interview Oz <3

    Thank you so much and also to the loevely Kate 🙂 We're really spoiled here.

  9. She seems very nice! Happy for you Oz. She did one of the best portrayals of the entire show imo.

  10. Wow, you all are spoiling us with articles and interviews and overall fantastic work these days! Bravo!

  11. Great job, Oz, and congrats on one of your dreams coming true! Thanks to Kate, as well. 🙂

  12. This made me grin like an absolute loon–yay Oz! Lovely interview. Am so pleased you had a chance to speak with Kate and will keep my fingers crossed that The Ozzies get their biscuit and coffee date!

  13. Kate Dickie is the perfect Lysa. She made you feel sorry for her even as she scared the crap out of you.

    What a great interview – thank you Oz! It must have been so exciting for you to meet her.

    (And now to watch Prometheus again, I had forgotten she was in it.)

  14. What a lovely interview. Great job! And how wonderful for Ms. Dickie to do this for a fan website. Can’t wait to see her in her other projects.

  15. Oz, rock star as usual. Kate seems wonderful. She was in scenes with some very talented people and made so much out of a…difficult? character

  16. What a lovely interview! There were some really interesting questions, and it was quite in-depth. Thank you Oz, and thanks Kate for agreeing to an interview here at WotW. It is ssuch a marvellous community, and this interview just cements its place as one (if not the) of my favourite places to visit online.

  17. Oz, I am impressed. Great stuff with Ms. Dickie. Glad you found a way to make it happen! Cool woman.

  18. Such a fun interview to read, it made me really happy to see Oz and Kate finally have their interview. Lysa shall be missed!

    Definitely one of the best castings this show has ever done.

  19. Oz finally got his interview with Kate Dickie! A man is damn pleased.

    Kate seems like a thoroughly lovely woman, in addition to being an extremely talented actress. She was perfect as Lysa, and she’ll be missed on the show going forward. Nevertheless, she’s got a bright career ahead of her. In particular, I’ve heard great things about The Witch from several trusted critics who had the opportunity to see it at Sundance. I’ll definitely be making it a priority to see that film once it’s released in the U.S.

  20. Thank you so much for the news of the release of The Witch! it looks so amazing and there was no info for a long time

  21. Haha, well done, you must have been so happy! She’s amazing, on and off screen. I remember writing a review of Red Road for a cinema zine, it’s a great film and her performance really stayed with me.

    Can we start a campaign to have you do All The Interviews? Especially if you can replace the inane red-carpet idiots at premieres, as someone said above.

  22. Lion of Night:
    Its a pleasant change from watching those cringe-worthy red carpet interviews.

    Agree! Congrats on a great interview. I’m sure it was thrilling to interview her.

    Thanks to Kate Dickie for the interview and for a memorable performance. Lysa’s time with us was too brief.

  23. Keep up the fantastic work, Oz! Oh, and you better stock up on biscuits and coffee, because Lysa is Coming.

  24. HelloThere,

    Thanks for the link. I was particularly excited when I read this comment (using spoiler quotes, just to be safe)…

    But when, in one lovely scene in this new season, two characters find themselves in an old, old crypt and one of them shares a faraway memory with the other, one that has grander implications than they can likely imagine (but we can!), the series whispers with Martin’s same melancholy magic.

    Sansa and Theon?

    Yet another reviewer expressing mild concern about the Sand Snakes.

    I only have trepidation about the Sand Snakes of Dorne, who are played a bit too campily for this remarkably un-cartoony show.

  25. That was such a fun interview!


    A good review. I’m particularly happy about this:

    As ever, there are some concerns about how much time the show is able to devote to each plot thread—seasons past have felt like short-shrift highlight reels rather than fully realized stories. But Season 5 does, so far, feel in some ways the most well-rounded season since the first, more confident to ditch side plots that, while cherished by book fans, only serve to weigh down and distract the series.

    And I wonder what this refers to:

    But when, in one lovely scene in this new season, two characters find themselves in an old, old crypt and one of them shares a faraway memory with the other, one that has grander implications than they can likely imagine (but we can!), the series whispers with Martin’s same melancholy magic.


    Unfortunately the first four episodes contain a single scene with the Sand Snakes, and apparently they made their introduction too campy for some. Still, I have hopes that they will become more interesting and grounded as the season goes on 😉

  26. What an amzing actress, she played the role perfectly and should have gotten an Emmy nod for her performance.

  27. mariamb,

    It seems likely, and I would believe it. However, I’ve been thoroughly spoiled and I haven’t heard anything about such a scene in the first four episodes they sent out for review. In fact, I’ve been told Theon doesn’t talk much, if at all, in the first four episodes.

    It may be Barristan and Dany…?

  28. Great interview Oz, a really good read.

    Having just finished watching the commentary for episode 407 I was reading the whole thing in Kate’s voice :p

  29. Luka Nieto,

    Thanks. I am only a little bit spoiled about the first four episodes so you are probably correct. If so, its sounds like a scene that we have needed for a long time.

  30. mariamb,

    I could tell you the topic of Selmy’s two conversations with Dany, if you want. However, maybe you want to be completely unspoiled 😉

    It could also be Sansa and Petyr discussing Lyanna and the story of the Tourney at Harrenhal, which is confirmed (though I don’t know if it happens at the crypts of Winterfell; that’s just speculation.)

  31. Luka Nieto,

    Thank you but, at this point, I prefer to remain unspoiled. I was spoiled about many of the major events in the book and already know too much about S5. Appreciate the offer, however.

  32. Thank you for this interview to one of my favorite actress in this show! She did an amazing job, I swear.
    I will miss aunt Lysa. I kinda hated her, okay, but I will miss her.

  33. Luka Nieto,

    I think this season will be the best in terms of how well the narrative is crafted. And it seems like D&D are not afraid to let the story breathe and focus on the aftermath while still remaining focused and building the endgame.

    The end of season 4 was the end of the first act in ASOIAF. Now D&D can build the second act from the ground up, but with a complete knowledge of where they are going (something they did not have in season 1).

    My only question…. will bran’s assassination’s identity ever be revealed? (lol)

  34. Fantastic interview.

    Great nod to “The Witch”. Movie sounds awesome.

    Also, Kate’s orgasm in the episode 7 commentary is the highest point of the DVD extras this season.

  35. What a fantastic interview!

    Congrats, Oz, and thank you, Kate Dickie, for your time, generosity, humor, and of course, your superb work on Game of Thrones.

  36. As always, great job Oz!

    Also – love the fabulous Ms. Dickie & Lysa’s time was much too short on the show.

  37. Oz, I am in awe…not only have you managed to score the interview of your lifetime (to date) but you knocked it out of the park! Kate seems great and your questions were excellent.
    I am humbled at being a witness to this historic moment. Kudos!

    ps–>Hope she shows up for biscuits and coffee. Let us know!

  38. She is such a fine actress.
    I don’t think, I can’t remember one, a proper ‘show’ interview like this in the years she was on the show.
    I did see a few con-interviews but those seem rare to me.
    Can’t remember her ever getting a single Red Carpet, not sure, but I didn’t see it.

    Yeah I would like to see a campaign to find actors from GoT who never got a proper interview about the show.

    Francis Magee , Yoren, comes to mind …
    Now Jerome Flynn may have but I can’t remember one.
    Conleth Hill now shows up for Red Carpets , didn’t used to, and I think a very short interview… but nothing proper.
    Simon Armstrong may have … I don’t know.
    Mia Soteriou or … Amrita Acharia … Dan Hildebrand
    … o heck they are too numerous to mention.
    A nice campaign to pick up good actors who did a fine job but never seemed to have a good focused interview.

  39. dob,

    It wasn’t critical of the material, rather, as he has expressed in the past, a feeling that the show would be better with 12-13 episodes. His biggest critique is that he wants more.

  40. Brilliant all round! So thrilled for you, oh Great and Powerful, and that Ms. Dickie is getting some of the love she deserves. Keep on showing them how it’s done.

  41. dob,

    I think this shows why D&D have made the decision to cut many new characters from the books, and vindicates it to some extent (of course you could say they still could have cut more, but I like the new faces, so…)

  42. KrakenDaughter,

    That’s a different thing. Tywin is dead and

    will just be seen laying down, as dead people do, as confimed by Charles Dance.

    The bit from the review said the character people thought dead would be literally kicking, which rules out Tywin.

  43. Tim Goodman (from The Hollywood Reporter) reviews for Game of Thrones on Metacritic :

    Season 1 : 100
    Season 2 : 100
    Season 3 : 100
    Season 4 : 100
    Season 5 : 70


  44. Just wanted to tell you all “thank you” for the kind comments and elated that you enjoyed the interview. Kate is such an easy person to communicate with, not to mention incredibly humble. She made the interview a breeze.

    And that note thanking the readers of this here fine site is sincere… without you guys, I likely never would have had the chance.

    So, lets group hug and get ready for Sunday night. Marko is bringing the adult beverages. Axe is dressing in drag.

  45. Well done, Oz! Kate seems like she’s awesome in person and her role as Lysa was amazing to watch- I was always glued to the screen when Lysa was on, Kate brought so much to the role it was mesmerizing in a “that woman is crazy” sort of way! 🙂 And a perfect incarnation of book Lysa as well! The lemon cake scene with Sophie was one of my favorites of season 4!

  46. KrakenDaughter,

    Tywin appears as a corpse in the Sept, my understanding the way the line reads is the character is still kicking, but doesn’t use the alive portion of the expression, though viewers thought they were dead.

    Could Tywin still be alive in episode 1 and Cersei speaks to him briefly.

    Perhaps someone that was killed returns as a wight briefly in a scene. There is that rumor of a visit to the far north in ep. 4. I am sure those here who have seen it are going to keep mum, which is good, I like surprises.

    So who could be a wight…could the fire not have burned Ygritte, which would really cause angst for Jon later on if confronted with the reality, which would be kinda awesome. Then there is Craster’s Keep, there was no one to burn Rast, unless Ghost ate him.

    There is the obvious one for book fans, you know who I am talking about.

    The critics and those here on the site are keeping a good job of not mentioning who it is, which takes discipline.

    Which Arrow star has been cast for GoT, I don’t remember any being mentioned.

  47. Ozymandias,

    That’s odd, because his only real complaint is one he feels has always been a problem with the show. He was otherwise very positive. Must just be how metacritic interpreted it.

  48. tyjon,

    The reason i didn’t say


    is because there’s so insane amount of hype about that character, someone would definitely have spilled the been by now .
    Thniking about now, i have feeling it’s Allester Thorne, his fate was left ambiguous last season and some people i knew thought he died.

  49. Thanks for the great interview Oz. Kate seems like a really cool and sweet person. I’m glad they were able to get her for Lysa. Couldn’t imagine anyone else doing a better job.

    Edit: Just wanted to add that she’s always reminded me a bit of Amanda Plummer. Another actress who does ‘crazy’ very well.

  50. Ozymandias,

    Did you read the review? I would have guessed it would be rated much higher by metacritic. His only critique was that he wanted more episodes, something he has made mention of every year. I don’t understand how it was scored a 70, when the review read very much like a 4/5 or 4.5/5 stars review.

  51. tyjon,

    These are all the possibilities I can think of

    Benjen, which would be highly unlikely
    Lady Stoneheart, which is also extremely unlikely
    Sandor Clegane
    Gregor Clegane
    Craster.. I don’t think we saw what happened to his corpse in the show did we?
    Greatjon Umber.. I think some people thought he was dead due to the Red Wedding.
    Alisser Thorne.. as KrakenDaughter said, several people thought he was dead

    I’m probably forgetting a good amount.

  52. dob,

    Don’t short the plus. I enjoyed that review. Any acknowledgment of Jon’s story being “100 percent more interesting” makes me happy.

  53. Hole in the Ground (it’s to far to scroll back up!) sounds like it’ll be funny.

    I like Lysa. I like Kate Dickie, she was a good choice for Lysa. Seemed like she got along well with Lino, Aiden and Sophie, so that puts those scenes on a different level.

  54. “Unfortunately, that’s left the start of Season 5 responsible for picking up the pieces, and the result is a return to the slower, methodical pace of storytelling lastseen when Ned Stark still had a head.”

    this is a good thing in my opinion!

  55. Congratulations, Oz! We all know how much you have longed for this.

    Kate, if you’re reading this, know that I really admired your work on Game of Thrones and that I think you’re a truly amazing actress. The wide array of emotions displayed in the lemon cake scene and in “Only Cat” (alas, your sister) were awesome and Lysa’s last face from pure and tender love to heartbroken and confused frustration will stay with me as one of the high points of the series. Congratulations to you too.

  56. A Girl Will Obey,

    Can we start a campaign to have you do All The Interviews? Especially if you can replace the inane red-carpet idiots at premieres, as someone said above.

    Actually I’d go farther, and ask not just that you do all the interviews, but you school other so called journalists on how to conduct an interview before they meet with a GOT actor/director/writer etc. Great job, oz,as usual.

  57. Heyyyyyyy let’s take the spoiler talk to literally any post but this one. Not in Oz posts, okay?

  58. Sue the Fury,

    Yeah, I’ve quickly stoped doing so after a few posts !

    Once again, kuddos Oz and Kate and so looking forward to your reactions after every new episode Oz !

  59. Nice interview

    Kate Dickie did a great job as Lysa, pretty much in all the scenes she was in

    Only issue I ever had was with the whole blurting out of “Jons wine” along with Olenna brazenly confessing. ASOIF is good for being a bit more cryptic or indirect in the reveals and these were a little too brazen. Was a bit like BR Cave with Bran and co and fireball CoTF being out of the usual formula

    None of this was Kte Dickies fault though of course

  60. Luka Nieto,

    He does, and they’re among the best out there – unerringly enthusiastic, funny, and quite insightful. Here’s his review of the season 4 finale, for reference.

    Apparently he’s also doing a weekly podcast devoted to the show this year – Watching the Thrones. As a long-time listener of the Hollywood Prospectus podcast (where he and his buddy Chris Ryan also discuss Thrones) I’m looking forward to that as well.

  61. Thank you for this interesting interview!

    I simply loved Kate acting as Lysa, she really nailed the character’s disturbing personality, and yet you also felt sorry for her, while hating her as well 🙂

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