Curtain Call: Finn Jones


As with Osha, Loras’ demise demonstrated that, no matter how much you’re expecting a character death, it doesn’t cushion the blow. In an episode as lethal as “The Winds of Winter,” Loras’ death still hit me hard. One moment he was hunched next to his sister in the Great Sept of Baelor, a bleeding, ragged shell of his former self and then, in an Avada Kedavra-like burst of green, he (along with most of his family and dozens of onlookers) was gone and I was left with a sense of shock and loss comparable to what I imagine Unsullied viewers felt after the Red Wedding.

Though I confess Loras was one of those rare cases where the off-screen enthusiasm of the actor enhanced my appreciation for the character –

– Jones gave a fantastic performance as Loras Tyrell. He balanced the young lord’s arrogance, charisma and vulnerability and played his fall from the overly confident Knight of Flowers to the broken man who begs his sister to “let them win [to] make it stop” with tremendous empathy.

His on-screen rapport with Natalie Dormer was excellent, as Loras and Margaery had one offinnjones the few relationships in the show that remained supportive and loving until the very end. And before a certain shadow baby ruined everything in season 2, Jones also had a wonderful chemistry with Gethin Anthony. Together, they gave the show’s first LGBT couple an important sense of tenderness and dignity and it was nice to see a relationship that was only hinted at in the books fully realized on the screen.

Jones has expressed an appreciation for Theon Greyjoy’s character arc on multiple occasions and stated that, if he hadn’t been cast as Loras he would have liked to have played Theon. So, it’s interesting how closely Loras’ development parallels Theon’s in season 6: a once-proud man broken by captivity and reunited with a strong sister. In a way, this underlines the tragedy of Loras’ story. In a show full of ruined men – Theon, Sandor, Jaime – Loras died before getting the chance to rebuild himself.

However, at Magic City Comic Con last January, Jones expressed contentment at the possibility of Loras’ death.

Outside of Game of Thrones, Jones played Julian Bell, the son of Vanessa Stephen and Clive Bell, in the British miniseries Life in Squares in 2014. He also appeared in the indie horror film, The Last Showing with Robert Englund and the Asylum film, Sleeping Beauty, which he described as “Hell … I’m going to write a book about it one day, it was so bad. Terrible.”

Jones will be returning to the small screen in 2017, swapping Westeros for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to play Danny Rand in the Netflix series, Iron Fist. There’s something comforting about seeing Finn Jones in a new show so soon after Loras’ tragic demise but Jones already captured the tongue-in-cheek catharsis of the meta-rebirth better than I ever could.

Gods, I’ll miss you, Finn.

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    1. Hodor!

      Edit to Add:

      Finn Jones added a lovely level to Loras that could really be felt through his acting. His journey was raw and painful – we felt empathy and identified with Margery greatly because of what FINN did. Kudos!

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    2. A really good actor. I honestly felt sorry for Loras this season, despite his brief appearance. He was excellent in all the precious seasons as well. Favourite moments:
      1)Episode 4×02 : [About Cersei] “-You”ll never marry her.
      -And neither will you”
      2)His scene with Margaery in this season
      3)The funny scene with Cersei after Sansa and Tyrion’s wedding ceremony
      4)His scenes with Renly. Their chemistry was great, I wish the show had kept the scene when he cries over Renly’s corpse.

      Farewell Loras!
      I don’t like superhero shows but I’ll definitely check out Iron Fist, just for Finn. We wish you good fortune in all the acting jobs to come!

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    3. Finn was a delight, both on screen and off. He channeled his confidence, sense of humor and intelligence into Loras. His final scene with the High Sparrow was heart-breaking. I loved his enthusiasm for this show. His interviews were always highly entertaining. I am so sorry to lose Loras.

      Looking forward to the Iron Fist. Well done, Finn; you have a great career ahead of you.

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    4. Finn Jones brought an amazing enthusiasm to GoT offscreen and in character never fell into the trap of making Loras too much the “gentil parfit knight” that Sansa dreamed of. His opposition to Brienne joining Renly’s Kingsguard showed there was always just that touch of vulnerability and insecurity no matter his skills in combat, but at the same time you could see why Renly had such respect (and more) for him. And that helped to sell the tragedy of his arc in the 6th season, that he was the ideal Kingsguard who was hung out to dry instead and a victim of others’ ambitions.

      I would like to have see a more interesting and rounded storyline for Loras in seasons 3 & 4 but none of that lies on Finn of course. I hope Finn goes on to even greater things!

      My favourite Loras line:

      Loras Tyrell: Stannis has the personality of a lobster.

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    5. Lord, at least Finn got one spurt of dialog there at the end!
      Art Parkinson got Zero!
      That’s still a mystery.

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    6. I really liked show Loras mainly due to Finn’s characterization. Always felt bad for Loras. He wasn’t a game player like Margaery or Olenna, nor was he a dunce like Mace. He was just a good guy in a bad situation. Too bad he couldn’t live to find happiness.

      Oh, and a special curtain call for Finn Jones’ flowing locks that got cut off for his final scenes!

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    7. I think if I had the chance to spend time with two cast-members, I’d have chosen Finn and Alfie.

      Well done Finn, you were a delight in interviews, I wish you good fortune in the Iron Fist’s wars to come and hope you smoked a joint for Loras !

      Great contination dude !

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    8. He was perfect for the role. Too bad he didn’t have much to do.
      Looking foward to Iron Fist and The Defenders ???

      Rhaenys Stark,

      Don’t forget my favorite: Loras trying to say something nice about Tywin in his funeral…and failing.

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    9. I’m gonna miss him off-screen as well as on-screen. He always had such great energy during interviews and comic cons.

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    10. Finn’s one of those cast members who are genuinely excited about the show and really care about their character.
      He had his own opinions on the handling of Loras’s characterization (most of which I agreed with) and was not afraid to express them. Kudos to him and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

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    11. Thinking back through the seasons, Loras had such a wide range of emotions and situations to handle. Finn did a fantastic job handling them all. I’m surprised (and sorry) to see him go. I really thought a redemption arc was in his future that would return him to the grand knight he used to be. I still enjoy the extremely awkward wedding conversation with Sansa as they sat by the pond! Thank you, Finn, and looking forward to Iron Fist!

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    12. I felt like Loras Tyrell and Barristan Selmy were the two biggest letdowns that show have had in terms of characters. Both roles had fantastic actors that weren’t given enough to do. And their deaths didn’t seem to fit well.

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    13. I think my love for Loras was mostly due to Finn’s enthusiasm to the show and his fans. Most interviewers/talk shows always want the main characters, but Finn was just such a down to earth fun person to meet when I met him at some cons.

      Can’t wait for Iron Fist!

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    14. I was genuinely shocked to see Margaery, Loras and Mace go. Such great characters and actors!

      Finn is on Twitter @FinnJones

      So is Roger Ashton-Griffiths who plays Mace. He’s very sweet and loves to interact with fans – @ashtongriffiths

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    15. Always liked Ser Loras and Finn Jones. If you follow him on Instagram/Twitter he’s a hoot. Really looking forward to Iron Fist.

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    16. A bow to the Knight of Flowers – farewell Ser Finn! I am sure that we will be watching you for many years to come.

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    17. So sad to see him go… Speaking as a young, and currently in the closet, homosexual from the north of England, I think Finn handled this aspect of his character perfectly and I was truly moved by many of his scenes as the emotions he displayed were so relatable and really hit home. Especially in the earlier seasons when he had a bit more to do, like the outtake from season 2(?) when he was mourning Renly’s death with Margaery.
      It’s the relatable characters like these which make Game Of Thrones THE best program around and I hope to meet Finn one day to thank him personally for his fantastic portrayal of Loras, until then I wish him the best in his career I’m sure he will go far!

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    18. Rhaenys Stark,

      I wish the show had kept the scene when he cries over Renly’s corpse.

      This. Once I saw the clip of this scene, Loras’s character changed for me. It was an amazing piece of acting and adding depth to the character. I wonder why it was cut

      Sullied by Knight,

      I still enjoy the extremely awkward wedding conversation with Sansa as they sat by the pond!

      You mean the one where he says ‘fringed sleeves’ and the internet went bonkers thinking he’d saie French? heh

      Great actor for the part; looking forward to Iron Fist!

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    19. mau:
      He was with us from S1. Goodbye.

      Yeah those Season 1 deaths hit hard.

      Also, can I say that his Season 1 armor was magnificent! Looked liked the most expensive thing from the first season.

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    20. Loras is another example of taking an incidental character from a book and using him extremely effectively as a foil for multiple story, plot and thematic elements in a film or TV adaptation. Part of it was writing and direction, and part of it was pure luck: the show happened to be being made right at the time when homophobia is a perfect way to show how awful people like the High Sparrow really are.

      But a lot of it was Jones. Yes, directors asked for it: but he delivered the combination of characteristics that the article mentions. And he did particularly well with “broken Loras” in the end.

      Alas! The uses for Loras (and the number of incidental role that he could subsume) probably is at an end. But even that was perfectly Game of Thrones: our mental fist pumps for seeing the High Sparrow and his jack-robed thugs get what they so richly earned was both simultaneously partly for what they had done to Loras, and at the same time at the expense of Loras.

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    21. With so many characters having been killed off in the GoT season 6 fina,e. I’ll just state that Finn Jones did his job as Loras well (even if show Loras differs slightly from book Loras). It doesn’t look as though he is going to have to worry too much about where the next job is coming from though.

      Slightly off topic but here at the links to the Septa Unella and Mace Flicks and the City videos (recorded before the season 6 finale aired)

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    22. I first liked Loras when he proclaimed the Hound the winner of the tournament he just won. The enthusiasm Finn showed there was so true to life. I kept wanting him to say.. he is my squire..whose squire hasn’t seen his knights thigh… but that wasn’t to be…

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    23. I never imagined that Loras would get so much focus on TV and I think it was a clever move to openly show him as homosexual. In the books, the whole thing is so subtle that I never thought about it and I always considered book Loras a background character. Praise to Finn Jones for his believable portrayal of a character, from a flamboyant person in first season to broken man in sixth season.

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    24. No where close to the shock, surprise or impact of the Red Wedding.

      Heavily foreshadowed and not enough time spent with most of the victims prior to their demise.

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    25. Finn Jones has been great throughout. Actually managed to meet him at last NYCC, he was cool and let me make a short video.

      I really wish they had used Loras more – he doesn’t have that much to do after the second book/season, but I wish that Season 6 itself found some way to send him on a suicide mission against Euron’s ironborn which ended up in him getting burned alive, like how he gets doused with boiling oil at Dragonstone in the books (to free up a fleet to fight Euron’s forces, etc.) With sympathy, I don’t see how the showrunners could easily have done this given how the storyline was condensed (make him join the Kingsguard as punishment or something? I dunno).

      Shrug. Either way, in BOTH versions Loras got burned alive, which I found deliciously ironic; and he acted the hell out of every scene he was in.

      And I know I’m in the minority here but….for god’s sake I *preferred* Loras’s Season 1 hair. There, I said it. It was like a pre-Raphaelite painting.

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    26. Goodbye Finn. You played your part well, and good luck in the future. I’m very much looking forward to seeing you and Jessica Henwick next year in iron Fist, and I’m sure you’ll ace it.

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    27. Jones had some great funny moments. “He was such a force. Everyone knew, just how much of a force he was…” But I was also very impressed with his dramatic work this year. He had such a tragic end this year, it was so sad to see him brought so low before just dying. Jones helped convey the tragedy of the character, great work. Wish him luck.

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    28. Another character I expected to see survive S6. That’s GoT for you! One never knows whose going to make it into the following season 😮

      Great acting by Finn and the best of luck to him in the future.

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    29. Finn Jones – one of the best actors to hear interviewed, his enthusiasm and insight into the character and the Game of Thrones world was appealing. I am really going to miss Loras. Although I felt that Renly and Loras were portrayed much less ‘stereotypically’ in the books and in that way were perhaps done a bit of a disservice (my opinion, deal with it), you couldn’t find a better Loras than Finn.

      I was happy that, although he spent Season 6 broken in a cell with little screen time, at his trial he spoke firmly without hesitation, without tears or trembling but not without emotion.

      That he went out in his sister’s arms (and with his dad) was extremely comforting to me. Of all the losses this season, he is top 3 with Margaery and Hodor for me.

      Finn’s Instagram post of his hair cut was pretty funny. I will be making an effort to follow his future projects.

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    30. It always sucks to see characters who have been around from the beginning go. He is still the only person to defeat the Mountain. Loras illustrated well as a character so much of what makes this world such a terrible world. He fairly openly despised strong but uncaring rules like Stannis and Tywin and he was absolutely right that, in a just world, a man like Renly, who actually cares about people and is actually loved by others, would make the best king. Unfortunately, this is not a just world and a prerequisite for being a great leader is making it to the top in the first place, and the process tends to weed out all but the worst people. Loras did not belong in this world. He was a knight of summer. Between Renly and Margaery, he has probably had the purest relationships on the show, where he honestly just loved these people and wasn’t trying to use them for anything.

      Unfortunately, he has barely had a place in the story since season 4. Adding in an indictment of homosexuality to the many other things that were terrible about the sparrows didn’t really add much, though it’s a better end than having boiling oil poured on you offscreen. Good work, Finn, and I’ll be glad every time I see you anywhere else in the future.

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    31. Like Rhaenys Stark, Crannogman Matt and ash, I was moved by Finn’s performance when he wept for Renly – it was sheer despair, which made me think there could be nothing worse than seeing your beloved one dead.
      I had expected Loras to die, but his death seemed even more unjust because of his trying to save his life by giving up his own identity. As a broken man, he surrendered to his enemies but it was still in vain. The only comfort I can find is that his sister didn’t abandon him, but fought to save his life.

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    32. It’s finally starting to hit me just how many cast members who’ve been around from S1 that we’ve lost.

      The character of Loras could’ve so easily gone wrong in multiple ways. He could’ve come off as a stereotypical douchey rich kid or he could’ve been a gay stereotype instead. But Finn never let Loras be one dimensional. I’ll miss him and like many others wish he’d have had another scene or two this season.

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    33. Finn is definitely in my top fav GoT off screen personalities. His interviews are always entertaining and quirky so I look forward to watching any convention coverage if he’s there. He was fantastic as Loras and I wish we could have seen him fight more. His end was one of the saddest in the show I think as he was at his lowest point. Sorry to see him go. Great job Finn!! Rock on! 🙂

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    34. He was great in his last scene … I believe he had his best scenes with Renly. I also like the scene with Sansa where he dreams about the perfect wedding … and the bride of course.
      Definitely going to give a try to Iron Fist because of him and I think Miguel is directing …

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    35. Oh drat, the entire Tyrell family is now extinct. Very moving scenes with Maergery, such a contrast with the Lannister twins. One of the rare good guys, well met Ser Loras, best in the future Finn Jones.

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    36. Finn is a sweetheart and a gentleman, gamely accepting the crown of golden roses my friend and I presented him with at a con and chatting with us at length about costumes and characters and everything under the sun. His performance was always solid, even when they didn’t give him much to actually do, and thanks to him and Natalie (and Diana of course) I’m forever a spiritual daughter of beautiful gay House Tyrell.

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    37. You shall be missed, you sexy slut puppy ;'(
      Here’s to hoping Iron Fist keeps the golden curls going.

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    38. Pigeon,

      Heh, never noticed that. I could see them enjoying some down time together 🙂


      He is still the only person to defeat the Mountain.

      When I was watching this scene a few months back, I seemed to remember in the books that the reason he won was because his horse was in heat and the stallion couldn’t keep away. Thats why Mt beheaded his horse. There is no mention of this in the show (not sure how they could) but am I remembering that right? Or am I remembering this happening with another character, and Loras won fair and sq?

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    39. ash:

      When I was watching this scene a few months back,I seemed to remember in the books that the reason he won was because his horse was in heat and the stallion couldn’t keep away. Thats why Mt beheaded his horse. There is no mention of this in the show (not sure how they could) but am I remembering that right?Or am I remembering this happening with another character, and Loras won fair and sq?

      Yep. That’s how it was in the book.

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    40. He was with us since season 1.Remembering his scenes makes me nostalgic about the earlier seasons and that we are near the end.Finn was really great though.He did good with both the dramatic and comedic scenes.My favurite scene of his remains the deleted one with Renly’s body.I wish him all the best

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    41. Freoduwebbe,

      And in the show too.

      You can see Gregor having problem dealing with his horse and Loras smirking noticing this. And when the whole thing is over, Littlefinger comments to Ned and Sansa about Loras’ horse being in heat, which a Sansa still full on knightly tales completely dismisses as something too dishonorable for Loras to do.

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    42. A great actor and a great guy. Loved his work and what he did with Loras. And I really enjoy seeing him in interviews, always so enthusiastic about the show and about life in general. It is wonderful to see so much optimism and passion in someone. Glad he is taking that forward into his Marvel project, and very happy for him to have such a great new opportunity. A lovely example of when good things happen to good people.

      He was always incredibly committed and passionate about Loras, in all aspects of his character and story, in both the books and the show. He also really understood the importance of emphasising his relationships with both Renly and Margaery, and made the most of each chance to do so. It was great to see the relationship between Loras and Renly shown more directly than the books, especially by two actors like Finn and Gethin who showed such great commitment to the material and gave it their all, never holding back, and their chemistry made both the physical and emotional aspects of the relationship so convincing. And as others have said, the deleted scene from season two where Loras talks about his love and grief for Renly is also a very beautiful and moving sequence, which I will never understand being edited out of the episode, and I think contains some of Finn’s best work in the series:

      As well as his love for Renly, the scene also showed the tenderness between a brother and a sister, and he and Natalie created a very sweet sibling relationship which also provided a lovely contrast to the troubled sibling relationships between the Lannisters. After the Loras-Margaery connection starting so well in season two, but then not being shown in much detail the next two seasons, it was so nice to see the show focus on it again in season five and especially season six, and to see that become one of the most emotional aspects of the recent King’s Landing story.

      His scene with Nikolaj in The Lion and the Rose was also great fun, and made me sorry that we didn’t get more on screen of the Loras-Jaime dynamic that the books explored. Another thing I wish we had seen more of was Loras as a knight, his appearance in Blackwater is fantastic, as is his performance at the joust in The Wolf and the Lion, and I enjoyed the final brief scene of him sparring in Sons of the Harpy just before his arrest.

      While I found much of the way the writers handled Loras following season two to be problematic, especially season three, Finn always gave his best whatever he was given and found ways to bring nuance to the material. On the rare occasions the scripts referred back to his relationship with Renly, he found beautifully subtle ways to communicate how much he had meant to Loras: when the High Sparrow interrogates him in season five, he has no problem looking at him directly when denying being with any other man, but cannot look him in the eye when denying being with Renly, and in the confession in the season six finale, saying Renly’s name is the one point in his confession where Loras cannot prevent his voice from breaking with emotion.

      His performances over the seasons also conveyed really well how much Loras himself was so frequently obliged to put on a ‘performance’ within the world of the show. His first ever scene in The Wolf and the Lion is where Loras ‘plays’ the role of the knight handing a flower to a female admirer, because social codes wouldn’t allow him to give it directly to the man in the audience who he really loves; while his last ever scene in the series is where Loras has no choice other than to play the role of the penitent who has to denounce the man he loved, but with Finn’s performance making it clear that despite his declaration, Loras is actually hating every moment of having to go through this.

      I thought that the trial sequences in seasons five and six were also some of his best work. The inquest scene in Unbowed Unbent Unbroken is important to show Loras as being (despite subsequent bizarre D&D retcon dialogue writing in Book of the Stranger that he “never was strong”) still firm and defiant at this stage, refusing to give in to the High Sparrow, which makes the breakdown and confession in the season six finale all the more devastating when it happens. And while I am still unsure of exactly why D&D wanted to break Loras so completely in the minutes before his demise, given that everyone in the building was doomed anyway, I am glad that Finn got the opportunity to do another substantial scene and exhibit his range. One of the most heartrending endings to a character’s journey that I have seen on the show.

      One of the things I also really appreciated about his work in relation to the show was how considerate he was towards people who cared about his character. When he talked about how he related the show’s take on Loras to the book’s version, he showed he made a huge effort to find a way to connect both and have them not seem incongruous, not dismissing the book version the way some actors did for their characters. And he also made a lovely effort in interviews and on Twitter for people who cared about the Loras/Renly relationship, to make them feel better about the way Loras’ story went in the later seasons, taking the time to clarify Loras’ feelings for Renly, and that his involvement with others after Renly’s death was a way to deal with his grief, not a sign of having forgotten him. Many actors would not have bothered to make those kinds of statements and reassurances, and it meant a lot to many people that he cared enough to do that.

      Thank you Finn, for all your efforts both onscreen and off-screen. Wishing you the very best with Iron Fist and everything else in the future.

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    43. Great characterization, his presence will be missed.
      I would’ve loved them to give him more character building scenes, like with Jaime or something. Their exchange in the White Tower in Feast was one of my favorite moments in the books oddly. Anyway, he went out like a boss, very charismatic delivery during his trial.

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    44. Dennai,

      , Littlefinger comments to Ned and Sansa about Loras’ horse being in heat, which a Sansa still full on knightly tales completely dismisses as something too dishonorable for Loras to do.

      Ah thank you. There were several times that my hearing loss caused me to lose conversations, so totally missed that (I love captions now, makes life so much easier and more enjoyable!)

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    45. That was a truly lovely tribute, Petra. Your affection for Loras and for Finn really shone through in your piece. Great work!

      It’s always sad to see one of the original cast members fall. Finn was one of only fifteen actors left who had appeared in all six seasons of Game of Thrones as the same character. With his loss and the loss of Julian Glover, that number is down to thirteen. I fear it’s inevitable that we’ll lose more before the show ends.

      Finn’s departure is particularly painful because he was consistently one of the most avid and engaging ambassadors for the show. Whenever he was interviewed during red carpet premieres, or at conventions, or just during standard publicity events, his enthusiasm for the show and his affection for the people he had the opportunity to work with shone through, and it always shone brightly. It certainly seems as though enthusiasm and affection was reciprocated – whenever I saw photos of the cast hanging out away from the set during the filming season, Finn was almost always present. It didn’t matter whether the scene was unfolding in a pub in Belfast or on a boat floating in the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Croatia – Finn was there, enjoying life and the company of his friends. It seemed like everyone loved him, and honestly, why wouldn’t they?

      Onscreen, Finn deserves credit for the range he proved to be capable of exerting and the subtle emotional depth he brought to many of Loras’s scenes. He could play both comedy and drama. He could deliver witty quips or call upon deep reservoirs of emotion. The confident poise he displayed during the tournament scene in Season 1 convinced me that this was one of the very best knights in the Seven Kingdoms – perhaps the best. Loras’s strong relationship with Margaery, and Finn’s chemistry with Natalie Dormer was a consistent strength throughout his tenure on the show, and as others have noted, his rapport with Gethin Anthony, both onscreen and off, was excellent. The deleted scene from Season 2 where he mourns Renly’s death and Margaery consoles him is one of only two cut scenes that I wish had made the final cut (the other being Pycelle’s scene with Tywin from Season 3).

      Seeing Loras so broken at the end was heartbreaking, but I’m glad that tragedy afforded Finn one last substantial scene to play. He was excellent, as he has been for the past six years, and I have no doubt that he’ll kill it as Iron Fist. It’s a great opportunity for him, and he deserves it. While I’m behind on all of the Netflix MCU shows, I fully intend to catch up so that I can watch him embark on his new heroic venture. House Tyrell may have gone up in smoke, but I have every confidence that our Knight of Flowers will continue to grow strong!

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    46. Adored Finn and loved Loras.

      I still remember how many straight rabid fanboys complained about the gay “sex” scenes from seasons 1-5. Good on D&D on writing and keeping them in and making those fanboys feel uncomfortable.

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