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'Game of Thrones' Liam Cunningham: Why season 6 is 'astonishing'

‘This season resets the chess board’

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Helen Sloan/HBO

Liam Cunningham’s Game of Thrones character Davos Seaworth is right smack in the middle of the biggest mystery of season 6: How will the Emmy-winning HBO drama handle the aftermath of Jon Snow’s death? There’s so much frenzied speculation about the plotline that the first trailer for the new episodes featured Ser Davos more prominently than any other of the show’s 20-plus regular characters. Fans have so many burning questions: Is Davos in danger now that the Night’s Watch traitors have murdered Jon? Is Jon dead really and truly dead for all-time real? And what about the sorceress Melisandre — will Davos discover that she had young Shireen horribly murdered last season?

“The Twittersphere went mad last year,” Cunningham tells EW. “There were also a couple complaints too — like, ‘Why did you f–king leave [Shireen]?’ There’s now a big expectation about him finding out. I think Davos absolutely needs to find out what happened.”

As a character, Davos has traditionally functioned on the show as a strong ruler’s right-hand man. “He’s not a born leader of men, but a go-to guy if there’s confusion or something sticking in your mind that can’t be sorted,” Cunningham notes. “He’s a very good man to get an opinion from, and he won’t B.S. you. As he says to Stannis, he will ‘tell the hard truths.'”

That status has also, in Cunningham’s opinion, helped protect the Onion Knight from the wrath of others — at least so far. “He’s one of the few in the show who are not self-serving and finding themselves in trouble because of their ambitions,” he says. 

RELATED: ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 6 First Look

Now that dynamic may have shifted in season 6. Davos’ former lord, Stannis Baratheon, is dead — even though some refuse to believe it (“Unbelievable!” marvels Cunningham. “Just because they didn’t see the sword going into him …”). Jon Snow, the Night’s Watch Lord Commander, was killed in the finale as well (“I made it out of there by the skin of my teeth. The gods of HBO and George R.R. Martin are looking down upon me …”). And that leaves Ser Davos … doing what, exactly? What can we expect from season 6? 

“This season’s cool because it resets the chess board and people get partnered with new people,” Cunningham says. “Last year it was ‘worlds colliding.’ This year, it’s almost like you’re in a different drama series. There are new plans — and they’re enormous plans. There are new loyalties. There are new tensions. There are tensions between people where there were not tensions before. The words on the page are as delicious as what we’ve had in the past. And it’s culminating in some of the most remarkable television that’s ever been made. It’s astonishing.” 

More recent GoT coverage: On Wednesday, EW posted an interview with Ramsay Bolton actor Iwan Rheon who teased how his character is going to be evolving this season. On Tuesday we revealed our Q&A with Arya Stark actress Maisie Williams talking season 6, feminism, and more.  

For more on Game of Thrones season 6, get last week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, which goes behind the scenes in Northern Ireland and Spain, plus profiles six of the show’s female stars. Follow @jameshibberd for ongoing GoT coverage, subscribe to our Thrones email newsletter, and bookmark this page for our latest GoT stories. 

Game of Thrones premieres April 24 on HBO.