Will the real Giantsbane on “Game of Thrones” please stand up?
In the third episode of the show’s eighth and final season, “The Long Night,” Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey), Westeros’ resident inspirational speaker, used her final moments to take out one of the biggest foes in the battle against the undead ― a wight giant.
After the giant breached Winterfell and swatted her to the side, Lyanna, dragonglass in tow, ran at it, letting out a battle cry. The giant picked her up, crushing her and seemingly about to take a bite. Before her last breath, she made one thrust of the glass into the undead beast’s eye, sacrificing herself as she took it down.
The scene sent Lyanna off with a bigger bang than that same wight giant breaking past Winterfell’s gate, and people on the internet lost their minds. Ramsey told HuffPost on Monday that the response had her “pretty hyped, actually.”
“I was very excited to die, if that doesn’t sound too weird,” she said.
In our interview, the 15-year-old actor discusses her death scene, names a successor to take over Lyanna’s speeches and talks everything else “Game of Thrones,” even if she’s not really allowed to watch all of it yet.
Congratulations on probably having a better claim to the name Giantsbane than Tormund has.
Yeah, pretty great. That’s such a funny scene [his giant’s milk story]. I did watch that bit.
I mean, the show features some very adult content. Are you able to watch it all?
Yeah. No, I’ve not seen lots of it. I’ve been watching Season 8, but there’s a few bits where my mom and dad have just kind of stood in front of me and put their hands over my eyes [laughs]. But most of it’s OK. I’ve not seen pretty much any of Seasons 1 through 5. Maybe I’ll watch when I’m 18. Who knows?
Have you been paying attention to all the memes about your scene?
Yeah, I have. … Some of the memes are really, really funny. There’s lots that people have put on, those GIFs. They say they’ve not really cried at “Game of Thrones” until this episode, and they’ve got some very funny GIFs of people sobbing.
What was it like finding out you were gonna die?
I heard a rumor that everybody gets called up if they’re gonna die and gets prepared, but I didn’t, so I was reading the script — I obviously had to keep it quiet, as well — trying to tame my excitement about it.
What’s it like slaying a giant?
It’s pretty cool. It’s kind of a David and Goliath situation, I think. Also, the fact that both times it’s been the eye that actually killed him. David got the stones in his eye, and Lyanna got the dragonglass in the giant’s eye, so it was pretty amazing.
Did the scene change at all?
There were so many discussions about how it would look, so I had to keep going back and doing more bits. I thought I’d wrapped. They realized they still needed more shots and more shots and more shots. So they wanted to get it completely right. They didn’t want to do a half-hearted job, which was great.
Also, you got to be zombie Lyanna.
That was fun. I had contact lenses in actually. That’s my first time wearing contact lenses, and it was weird because they were blue, so I couldn’t quite see out of them very well. It was a very strange experience. It was kind of like an out-of-body experience. It was fun though. But the actual scene, we shot that in a green-screen studio. I was lying on the floor a very long time, and it got very cold even though it’s inside. But it was great.
It’s probably good Arya killed the Night King. I don’t know what a zombie Lyanna would do to Westeros.
Oh, I don’t know either. Ooh ...
You and Arya [Maisie Williams], two powerful young women, had the biggest moments of the episode. What was it like learning about those scenes?
It’s great. It’s just empowering. It shows everyone can fight. It’s not just a male thing or an adult thing. Kids, teenagers, women, everyone is as capable as each other, especially because Arya won us the whole battle and she is a young woman. Amazing.
This was a tough episode for House Mormont. Anything to say to House Mormont fans?
I’m very, very sorry that I died and Jorah [Iain Glen] died. That’s the end of House Mormont now. That’s the end. Wiped out. But to be fair, at least that’s one less house having to fight for the throne, I guess.
You got to have a great meetup with Jorah. How was filming that scene?
It was great to work with Iain Glen, and also John Bradley’s Samwell Tarly in that scene as well. So that’s two actors I have not actually worked with before, and it was amazing. It was nice to have like a more intimate scene that wasn’t just me talking to a load of grown men in a big room. It was nice to have a personal moment with a character, especially being Lyanna’s cousin.
Lyanna’s made so many great speeches to all those grown men. How’s it showing up all those guys?
It was pretty empowering because Lyanna’s so confident, the character gives me confidence as well. It was a good opportunity.
Now that Lyanna’s gone, who’s your pick for taking over speech-giving?
That’s a good question. Hmmm, let me think. I think Brienne of Tarth, Gwendoline Christie. She already made some great speeches, so I think she should be the one to keep making them and take over from Lyanna.
That’s a perfect pick. Also, Brienne seemed to respond whenever you said that one line, “I don’t plan on knitting by the fire while men fight for me.”
Yeah, that was fun as well. That’s a great line that [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] wrote.
Were there any Lyanna lines you liked that got cut?
I was supposed to have more scenes in Season 7, but due to time and stuff like that, those scenes ended up getting cut. But I remember there being some really good lines in that with Lord Glover. I was supposed to have some scenes with him where I basically put him in his place, but that got cut.
Oh, I love when you called out Lord Glover. Or Lord Cerwyn.
Oh, yes. She likes to name people. The more, like, direct address.
Speaking of some iconic scenes, your stare-down of Ramsay Bolton [Iwan Rheon] became a meme of its own. What was filming that like?
That was the first scene I ever filmed on anything, on any show. That was the very first time on any set ever. That was a pretty amazing experience. That shot, which has got memes of me giving him the death stare, I didn’t know I was even doing that face. I was just thinking like Lyanna, thinking how much I hated this guy, Ramsay Bolton. So that face just kind of appeared organically. I didn’t even know I was doing it, so when I was watching that bit in Season 6, it kind of made me laugh because I didn’t have any recollection of doing that face.
Who would you want to end up on the Iron Throne?
Maybe Arya and Gendry [Joe Dempsie] together. That’d be cool, wouldn’t it? I don’t know whether that’s gonna happen or not, but that’s what I’d like.
Before you go, what’s one final Lyanna speech you’d like to give fans?
Oh, hold on. OK, so she’d go, “With courage and confidence, we can face our battles.”