Spoilers ahead, of course.
He’s a pirate. He’s a dragon killer. And he is not the father.
Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk) had a few wild seasons on “Game of Thrones,” culminating with him smiling as he died fighting Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) in Sunday’s penultimate Season 8 episode, “The Bells.”
The character of Euron has always been unpredictable, but perhaps his most baffling move was one time when he didn’t do anything.
In Episode 4 of the final season, Cersei (Lena Headey) tells Euron that he is the father of her unborn baby. He seems to buy it, though the audience already knows that Jaime is the baby daddy. Later in the episode, Daenerys’ (Emilia Clarke) army arrives at the gates of King’s Landing asking for Cersei to surrender. Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) begs her to give up, for the sake of her unborn child.
Record scratch ...
Hold up. Euron just found out about her pregnancy and is standing right behind Cersei when Tyrion makes his appeal. Wouldn’t he have some reaction to Tyrion knowing about the baby?
The episode’s director, David Nutter, previously told HuffPost that Euron was “not paying that much attention.” But in an interview with Asbæk on Monday, we asked if Euron actually thought he was the father.
“No,” said the actor. “Does it make a difference?”
Asbæk then answered his own question: “Maybe it was the motivation, why he wanted to kill Jaime, because if Jaime was dead, [Cersei] had no one else except him. And you know sometimes love — sometimes you arrive and it’s not love at first sight. This is a love I have to grow into. It has to grow on me.”
The actor makes a good point. Euron’s got some determination.
In order to have that final square-off with Jaime, he needed to swim all the way to shore after Drogon destroyed his ship, locate the Kingslayer and goad him into a fight.
The actor thinks Euron’s spunk is what had Cersei coming around to him in the end. “As she said in Episode 1,” Asbæk insisted, “‘You’re not boring. I’ll give you that.’”
In the rest of our interview, we talked about his big fight, all those Euron memes and whether the Golden Company should’ve brought Cersei those elephants.
Pilou, how’s it going?
Bill, I’ve seen a great documentary about Huffington Post. Yeah, I have no idea why I watched it but it was very, very good.
Really? Awesome. I mean, I’ve obviously been watching the stuff you’re in recently.
Oh, you like porn?
Maybe I need to check your IMDb more closely. I was just talking about “Game of Thrones.”
Oh. sorry. You only got eight minutes.
[Laugh] Well, how are you feeling right now that it’s finally out?
It feels great, Bill, to be honest. Because you’ve been walking around two years now with a secret. It’s like you’ve been married. And you’ve had this mistress. You can’t tell the world about this mistress, even though it’s best sex you’ve ever had. So you’re walking around biting your own tongue just waiting for the moment for the world to know. And now I’m like, “Thank God.” I’ve loved every single moment, but now I can spill the beans.
Well, let’s spill the beans then. What was that final fight like with Jaime?
I loved fighting Nikolaj because he’s a Dane. The community of Danish actors is very, very small, so for two of them to be on one of the biggest shows in the world is kind of a miracle, to be honest. And it was just amazing to fight my good friend Nikolaj, who I’ve known for like 20 years. One of the first shows I ever did when I came out of drama school was with that guy. We only had a couple scenes together, but it was just amazing. I like him. I used to work in a kindergarten 17 years ago, and his children were in that kindergarten, so in a very stupid way you could say I was the manny for his kids.
Yeah, but it was great. I think [the episode] needed it because you had the big fight between The Hound and The Mountain.
Right, the Cleganebowl.
People expected that fight, but no one expected the fight between Euron and Jaime, and it’s fun. It’s always great to work with Rowley Irlam, the stunt coordinator ... It’s always wonderful to work with those guys because they’re just so good at their jobs ... You know what they make and create is something awesome and cool for your storyline and your character.
Well, what’d you think of some of the other big moments, like Cersei’s death?
Well, I haven’t seen it.
No, I haven’t seen anything since Season 6.
Why not? Just don’t like watching what you’re in?
No, I don’t mind that. Sometimes you have to watch your own stuff to become better because you need to see all the things you’ve done. You’re a professional football player, you watch the game you played, so you know how to be a better football player. It’s the same thing with acting. You got to look at your material and go, “Where can I be better? Where can I be more original? How can I develop as an actor? How can I create more surprises for the audience?”
The reason I haven’t seen it is that me and my wife were big fans, and fans for five seasons. But the moment I became a part of it, it went from passion to my work. It went from passion to being professional. And we’re a very small family, and you don’t want to discuss work at home because it’s boring.
Whenever I worked at a restaurant, I didn’t eat there for like a year. So I can get that.
Exactly. Because you know how they cook the chicken.
Yeah and it was fast food, so it was sketchy chicken.
[Laugh] I love that. That’s my favorite moment of the evening!
Your Instagram is great, especially the memes you shared. There was one recently with Euron looking up at a sign saying, “You are not the father.”
Yeah, that was a good one. Someone sent it to me. My real niece and nephew told me I need to be more active on social media because social media is the future. That’s what they said. They’re 18 and 19 ... and they told me two posts a day, it’s got to be personal, not too private, but it’s got to feel personal, Pilou. And they’re like teenagers, so I’m like, “OK, can you guys help me out?” They were helping me out because I’m not very good at it. And they told me self-irony is good. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Dany stomped the Golden Company and Euron pretty quickly. Do you think the elephants would’ve made a difference?
The only place an elephant makes a difference is in a zoo.