George R.R. Martin is known for being indiscriminate in killing characters off in his Game of Thrones book series, but writers for the inspired HBO series may officially be more ruthless. The show has killed off a number of characters still alive in the books, and while there have been many pure and innocent characters taken too soon on the show, one that felt especially cruel was Myrcella Baratheon.
But, apparently, we should give the writers a slight bit more credit. In a recent interview at MCM London, the actress who portrayed Myrcella, Nell Tiger Free, let slip that her character’s Season 5 finale death was intended to be far more gruesome than what actually aired. What? Game of Thrones creators showing restraint?
You may recall that in the Season 5 finale, titled “Mother’s Mercy,” Jaime goes to retrieve Myrcella from Dorne, and once safely on the ship back to King’s Landing, he reveals to her that he is her real father. In a rare moment of allowed happiness, Myrcella tells her father, “that a part of me always knew and I’m glad,” giving Jaime the father-daughter moment he never dreamed he’d get. And then [SPOILER ALERT] blood runs out her nose and she dies in his arms. A poisonous kiss from Ellaria Sand on the docks of Dorne kicks in and ruins the only bit of joy Jaime’s had in a while.
Sad, but not nearly as disgusting as it was going to be. Free fills us in on what could have been:
“Well, originally — I don’t know if I should say this, but — originally what happened is they gave me loads of mashed up bananas with like blood, like fake blood, and my brains were supposed to be all over the ship and stuff.”
That sounds more like the Game of Thrones deaths we’re used to. Free does express that she’d rather warmed to the idea of her character sharing a similar to fate to the majority of character deaths on the showing, saying, “I was so excited. I don’t like gore but, like, I knew they were just like bananas, so I was okay with it.”
Compared to other GoT deaths, Myrcella’s is decidedly tame. In the same episode, the equally angelic and innocent Shireen Baratheon — Myrcella’s cousin, though not by blood of course — suffered a horrific death as a human sacrifice burnt at the stake by the hand of her own father. But the ultimate decision to tone down the scene makes sense. Free explains that “They wanted Myrcella’s death to reflect her life and wanted it to be sweet, which is rare for Thrones.”
Considering Shireen’s death and Jon Snow’s assassination all occurring within the 60 minutes of that finale, perhaps we should all be grateful things didn’t go as originally planned.
Season 7 of Game of Thrones returns on July 16.