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Go Westeros: Inside Iain Glen’s Head, The Guy Who Plays Game of Thrones’ Biggest Cuckold

Poor Ser Jorah; he can’t catch a break. When he’s not exiled by his one true love Daenerys Targaryen, through most of his own doing to be fair, he now has to contend with the fact Jon Snow is getting cozy in that dragon roost. Still, he’s taking what he can get.

“I think he’s back within the loving embrace of Daenerys which is where he’s been working towards for the last couple of seasons,” actor Iain Glen said in a HBO interview transcript exclusive to the media, with emphasis on “think”. “Obviously, the Great War is impending. There have been movements towards the end of the last season of trying to take on the Army of the Dead and trying to persuade people of their existence. That’s where he is.

“He’s her head of the military and right-hand man. I think he has accepted Tyrion is now her wise advisor and that he has a different role now. There have been manoeuvrings around Daenerys about whose role is whose but I think he’s very content where he is.”

From Triangle To A Straight Line

Thanks to recent Season 7 developments, he’s putting his libido in check while observing the going-ons between her and Jon Snow. “I think he’s shed any sexual passion for her after having been accepted back so completely by her.”

Perhaps it’s the character’s noble soul that makes him approach the cock-blocking Stark bastard boy diplomatically. At least, that’s what Iain thinks. “[Ser Jorah is dealing with it] quite well, in the sense that you would obviously not lose entirely the feelings that you had for her, but I think he has been so removed from her and wanted to be with her for so long that he would not want to jeopardize that.”

“Deep down,” he added, “something must be tearing inside him.” Would Ser Jorah do the unthinkable and maybe find some way to take Jon Snow out of the picture mid-battle?

Or just stay on the course of being the noble chivalrous hero, despite the fact that’s what get most men and women killed in Westeros?

Either way, he has no time to deal with that since he’s got that greyscale affliction to sort out.


Fight. Club.

But enough about the lovey-dovey soap opera; how about Ser Jorah’s story arc and his pivotal moments throughout the show? “We’ve got to take on the unbeatable,” Iain said when referring to the Night King and his undead army in Season 8. “It’s like the human against the superhuman, but there are other variables including dragons – and there’s one of them working for the other side as well.”

“It’s about the battle of all battles and whether we can succeed. Everything is thrown up in the air. There’s dispute and confusion, even within alliances.”

“It’s a very disparate bunch of people who have been at loggerheads for eight seasons that are now trying to unite and serve the same purpose.

Anything could go any which way.”

In all the 9 years he’s been doing this, the iconic scene he uses to introduce his character is the gladiatorial sequence in the Great Pit of Meereen in front of Daenerys. And that’s not including all the other hard work and toils he’s done to make the entire show’s many character arcs gel.

“It was very beautifully done,” said Iain. “It’s like you fast track a story of arriving, surprise, fighting, nearly dying, saving the day. Then there were some very sweet words on the back from [showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss].”

“[In retrospect], sometimes the scale of it and what was required meant that you had to be around to go out to do a minute’s work or not be used or wait around.”

True, Iain has felt frustrated as an actor because he couldn’t get his acting muscles up in certain moments, leading to reshoots. He recalled his shooting work in Iceland where the actors and crew had to get up in ungodly hours and max out on the daylight shoots and scenes. “[Y]ou’re getting up early, dragging yourself there, getting covered in shit…it’s hard when you’re doing that day after day.”

“But then,” he added, “you take a step back and you remember that you are a part of a bigger whole and you appreciate why that is.”

“[I]n those days you were in the most breathtakingly stunning scenery. You do it and you feel both high and exhausted. Then, you go do that journey all the way back home to have drinks with everyone. It’s the hard graft of it that makes it what it is, makes it Thrones. Deep down, you don’t begrudge a second of it.”

Iain summed up his whole Game of Thrones acting experience in one eloquent sentence: “It’s the difficulty that makes it so pleasurable.”

Game of Thrones Season 8 will be out 15 April, Monday at 9am on HBO (Astro Channel 411/431 HD). 


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