By James Hibberd
April 20, 2014 at 12:00 PM EDT
  • TV Show

This contains spoilers from Sunday’s Game of Thrones

Making a grand entrance on a ghostly ship, Sunday’s Game of Thrones saw the return of Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish to the game board. Littlefinger swooped in to rescue the imperiled Sansa Stark following the assassination of King Joffrey. But for what purpose? Actor Aidan Gillen, promoting his upcoming indie film Beneath the Harvest Sky, answered a few Thrones questions in a rare interview about his character.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So this is probably the biggest season yet for your character. Can you tease what we can expect?

Aidan Gillen: For me the season is about developing more of a parental and surrogate parental side — the sweeter side of Littlefinger comes through, as well. I’m off on my travels and laying plans. He’s always laying plans, [this is one of his] meticulous and far-reaching plans, geographically and generationally, even. So it’s quite interesting. Am I being cryptic enough?

I think so. Were you excited to have your own pivotal storyline this season that gets you out of King’s Landing?

Gillen: Absolutely. Absolutely, I was excited when my ship showed up. I did like my time in King’s Landing, but it’s time to move on. I move into new territory and interact with different characters. The whole fact that Game of Thrones has become a pop culture phenomenon just adds to the excitement. And the fact we don’t know how this ends, nobody knows how it ends.

We do know Littlefinger has rescued/abducted Sansa. What is it about Sansa that he finds so alluring — Baelish has always seemed material minded in the past and not really romantic.

Gillen: Well, there’s the obvious. The obvious connection of Sansa being Eddard Stark’s daughter. There’s also somebody there who holds some intrigue. I feel I can teach her, and take her under my wing. But I have a feeling she may have her own agenda.

You’ve normally avoided Thrones interviews, is it to try and keep your somewhat mysterious character as mysterious as possible, or is there another reason?

Gillen: I just don’t want to do any. I personally feel as an audience member that the less information I have about what’s coming up, the better. I try not to read reviews. I try not to watch trailers. I generally have an idea of what films and TV shows I want to see. And I don’t want to know about certain events, and I certainly don’t want to know what the actors think to complicate things even further. Because I want to see what the characters are doing. And I certainly don’t want people to tell me what’s going to happen or tell me their process.

Your character has been described as “the most dangerous man in Westeros,” and now we’ve learned he was one of the plotters who took out King Joffrey. What do you think of that description?

Gillen: He’s dangerous. People tend to refer to Varys and Littlefinger as the characters who are the most dangerous. Dangerous in that you’re not sure what his game is or where his allegiances lie. You know, he’s keeping a lot of options open and playing the long game.

How ambitious do you think he is?

Gillen: Very ambitious. That’s all.

Check out our recap of Game of Thrones episode 3 “Slaves to Love.”

— Nina Terrero contributed to this report

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HBO’s epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series A Song of Ice and Fire.
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