The final season of Game of Thrones was packed with more major character deaths than ever before, and what made them even more heartbreaking was the fact that the actors had to find out who would live and die in Season 8 at a group table read, rather than being warned ahead of time like the actors of killed-off characters in previous seasons. This took a particular toll on one actor. Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from the final season of Game of Thrones. Conleth Hill’s reaction to Varys’ death scene in Game of Thrones shows just how upset he was while reading Varys’ final moment for the first time.
A week after HBO aired the series finale of Game of Thrones, the cable network premiered a behind-the-scenes documentary called Game of Thrones: The Last Watch on Sunday night. The doc focused largely on the production side of how Season 8 was made, but some of the most interesting moments came from footage of the show’s cast reading through their final scripts for the first time. One moment that has since gone viral online is how Varys actor Conleth Hill reacted to finding out that his character would suddenly be killed off in the penultimate episode of the series. In Season 8 Episode 5, Daenerys Targaryen discovers that Varys has been pushing for Jon Snow to become Westeros’ ruler instead of her, and she promptly sentences him to death, ordering Drogon to incinerate him.
The reading of this scene is shown in The Last Watch documentary, and it is clear that Conleth Hill is very upset by his character’s sudden death so close to the end of the series. As Emilia Clarke reads her lines sentencing Varys to die, Hill tosses his script aside and sits back in his chair with his arms folded. Viewers can also see Lena Headey and Gwendoline Christie comforting him during the moment, and Clarke also gives him a very sorry look after whispering "Dracarys." You can watch the moment and check out some fan reactions below:
Conleth Hill expanded on his disappointed feelings in the moment of learning Varys would die in an interview with Entertainment Weekly after his final episode aired. Hill said that he took the death "very personally," thinking that he had failed in some way. He went on to describe how difficult it was to find out about Varys’ death during the table read without any warning beforehand:
The death also came as a shock to fans, since Varys had long been held up as one of the most cunning characters in the series, but true to his secretive ways, Varys’ final scene did introduce some interesting fan theories that add even more depth to his character.
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