The final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones looms in the distance, as do the fates of the men and women facing down the White Walker threat — including Tyrion Lannister, Hand of the Queen, played to multiple Emmy-winning heights by Peter Dinklage.
Season eight won’t arrive until 2019, but Dinklage and his colleagues have already wrapped their work on the hit series. What does the future hold for Tyrion? Dinklage now knows the answer… and it’s a complicated answer, as he tells it.
“I feel very, very — I’m trying to find the right word,” he told Vulture in a recent interview. “I think he was given a very good conclusion. No matter what that is — death can be a great way out.”
Certainly, Game of Thrones is no stranger to pairing many main characters with… well, The Stranger. Death looms large all over the drama, with countless high-profile series-regular deaths: Sean Bean’s Ned Stark, Richard Madden’s Robb and Michelle Fairley’s Catelyn, just to name a few. Even Jon Snow (Kit Harington) died, if only briefly. Still, some major players have felt untouchable along the way. The idea that Tyrion could die before the final season was simply unfathomable. But now that the season is nearly upon us? Perhaps it’s worth considering Dinklage’s warning that “death can be a great way out,” even for someone as vital as Tyrion.
Whatever fate awaits him, at least we can assume this much: Dinklage’s final day on set was not the same as Tyrion’s final moment in the series.
“It’s always anticlimactic for the character’s last day,” the actor said about his last time portraying Tyrion. “Nothing is shot chronologically, so you don’t get some big mountaintop scene or anything. It’s just, ‘That’s a wrap on Peter Dinklage.’ But as anticlimactic as it was, my last day was also beautifully bittersweet. A lot of people whom I love were on set that day. Even if they weren’t working, they came to set, which was beautiful. I tried to do the same thing when other actors were wrapping out. If it was their day, you would go to set to say good-bye. It was really hard. I won’t say their name or their character’s name, but one of the young people on the show wrapped this past season and everybody was a wreck. This person had grown up on the show, you know? They were a child and now they were an adult. And then they’re done. It’s like we were witnessing this person saying good-bye to their childhood. I know Game of Thrones is just a TV show, la-di-da, but it was our life.”
Meditating further on Tyrion’s arc, Dinklage said his character “certainly developed a deeper sense of responsibility over the course of the show. He was a pretty irresponsible character to begin with. He used his position as the outcast of his family like an adolescent would. He pushed it in their [the Lannisters’] faces. The beauty of Tyrion is that he grew out of that mode in a couple of seasons and developed a strong sense of responsibility. Not morality, because he always had that, but what to do with his intelligence.”
Follow THR.com/GameOfThrones for more details as the final season approaches.