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“Blew my mind [but] made me really angry,” EW’s Sandra Gonzalez emailed yesterday morning after catching up on the first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. “Joffrey must die!”
Yup, it’s hard to watch Thrones’ debut season without wanting to snuff its most despicable villain — the teenage King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), who executed a popular character in the show’s ninth episode. But just wait until season 2 debuts Sunday. The premiere includes a new execution scene that’s likely to elicit gasps from viewers (don’t worry, we won’t spoil it). And a few episodes later, we find out what the young king might be like in the bedroom.
“With his coronation, his malicious deeds amplify tenfold,” Gleeson promises. “He thinks everyone should say yes to him ’cause he has the right to be where he is, so he doesn’t take no for an answer. There are scenes where I just do malicious things for no reason.”
Gleeson was taking questions from EW between filming Thrones last fall in Croatia. In fact, the actor was shooting the scene that opens Sunday’s premiere, set during the young king’s “nameday” party (Thrones-speak for birthday), where he naturally takes every opportunity to torment his subjects.
Joffrey’s upcoming reign of terror worries his mother, the Queen Regent Cersei, who begins to realize what a monster she’s created. “I kind of rebel against her,” Gleeson says. “I’m changing up the design of the Throne Room and kind of throw my toys all over the floor.”
The actor says his favorite Thrones scene to shoot so far was in the show’s second episode where he bullies the butcher’s boy with his sword. “I really liked that scene just because that’s the first time the audience sees Joffrey for who he is.”
“Jack’s the nicest person on earth probably and is so thoughtful; he’s funny, he’s decent to people,” says Thrones executive producer Dan Weiss. “And yet he has this unfailing sense of what the most horrible person in the world would be like and how he would say a line — because he always gets it right.”
Fans, Gleeson says, have been very polite when recognizing him in public, despite wanting to trounce his TV character. “They’ve always been nothing but lovely,” he says. “I haven’t gotten anybody coming up to slap or yell at me.”
For more on season 2, buy EW’s cover story on Thrones here.
And if you’re catching up on Thrones first season like Sandra, check out our recaps of the first season here — and be sure to go to EW.com this Sunday night for our premiere recap.