(Spoiler Alert: This story contains major plot details and reaction from several cast members to the “Game of Thrones” Season 4 finale, “The Children.”)
It was a major television bloodbath. In the “Game of Thrones” Season 4 finale, Wildlings, Stannis Baratheon’s soldiers and Shae all met their end. But perhaps the most impactful exit of them all was the death of the most feared character throughout four seasons – Charles Dance’s Tywin Lannister – who was killed by the son he’d sentenced to death – Tyrion Lannister (after being freed by Jaime).
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister, said losing Charles’ Tywin is undoubtedly a big deal to the continuing drama.
“For me, it’s just a huge loss because… he’s been such a formidable presence, both as the character, Tywin Lannister, whose just such an amazing character, and then, of course, what Charles brings ever since he had his first scene, I think, in Episode 7 of Season 1,” Nikolaj told Access Hollywood. “He has really anchored the power of the Lannisters, so it is a huge loss for the show, but also, it clearly changes the whole dynamic in this world.
“Up until the last [episode], the Lannisters have definitely been the most powerful, and with him gone, and all the other stuff that happens in Episode 10, who knows what’s going to happen next. But I’m going to miss Charles for sure, ‘cause I just think that, you know, you don’t get any finer actors than him.”
Charles is indeed a fine actor, and as Tywin, he was Westeros’ finest puppet master. He coordinated The Red Wedding, helped reveal Ser Jorah Mormont’s betrayal of Daenerys Targaryen at just the right time, and came this close to getting Tyrion sent to the Night’s Watch, and having Jaime take his place at Casterly Rock. Filming the scene where Jaime agreed to return to his childhood home as heir, to save the life of his younger brother, was the last one Nikolaj filmed with Charles (although it was not Charles’ last Season 4 scene).
“He was just amazing to work with. Also… without any lines, you got a feeling that clearly, this was something Tywin had planned. He was expecting Jaime to just show up,” Nikolaj told Access of the Tywin/Jaime moment earlier in Season 4. “But also, just what I loved, in all the seasons, is that even though he’s such a stern and hard man, I still got the feeling that… as much as he disliked his other son, he had hopes and… he at least wanted Jaime to do well, to kind of step up in his world, to take on his mantle. So there was some kind of love there in a very weird way.”
A force to be reckoned with on screen, Charles brought levity behind the scenes.
“He’s a lot of fun. He has a very, very dry sense of humor, but he’s a lot of fun,” Nikolaj said. “He just has an exquisite sense of humor.”
Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, echoed Nikolaj’s sentiments about Charles’ exit and Tywin’s death.
“That was sad because Charles is such a valued cast member and he’s a really funny, great guy,” she told Access.
“I haven’t had that many scenes with Charles, but he’s really funny,” she added. “I remember the first time I met him, and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, it’s Charles Dance.’ And he walks in the room and he’s like, ‘Hi, I’m Charlie. Nice to meet you,’” Sophie said. “He’s really, really nice.”
Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) said the exits of Sibel Kekilli’s Shae, and Charles’ Tywin, are just a reminder that no one is safe in “Game of Thrones.”
“Sibel is hilarious. … She is absolutely hysterical and a very talented actress and Charles is another icon and I am so sorry to be saying goodbye to those two, but it’s just all part of the wonderful world of ‘Game of Thrones,’” Gwendoline said. “Don’t’ get too close to anyone.”
-- Jolie Lash