Spoilers from Sunday’s Game of Thrones finale: It was the perfect Father’s Day episode of Game of Thrones: Tyrion kills Tywin, the unloved son executing his cold-hearted, calculating father as he sat on the most ignoble throne of all. It’s a move that will change Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) forever — and one that eliminates Tywin (Charles Dance), one of the show’s strongest characters.
We spoke with both actors about the finale scene very briefly last year. Dinklage said Tyrion went up to confront his father because he “can’t leave without some closure.”
“He doesn’t know what’s going to happen,” added Dinklage. “He understands the force that Tywin is, so I think he’s smart enough to know that there are consequences for going up there. But he can’t leave without something. He needs that closure. No matter what it is, he needs something. Maybe he’s going to get killed, but he just can’t leave yet.”
Tyion then pulls the trigger on his father after the patriarch repeatedly calls a Shae “whore.” “Tyrion is grief-stricken about what he just did [to Shae] and Tywin doesn’t give a sh–,” Dinklage said. “So that’s the finger that fires.”
Dance is one of several actors on the show who read only the scripts, not George R.R. Martin’s novels. He says he only learned his character’s fate last season. “Someone in the street came up and said, ‘You got this great death scene,'” Dance recalls. “And I said, ‘Have I? What was the manner of my death?’ And then he told me, and I said, ‘Oh, right!’ So then I went into a bookshop and a grabbed a book and I said, ‘Oh, I see.’ It’s quite spectacular.”
Before the murder, Tyrion also catches his ex-lover, Shae, in Tywin’s bed — and kills her as well. “[Tywin is] a hypocrite as well, I’m afraid,” Dance sighed. “He’s a ‘do what I say, not what I do.'” Worst of all, he makes the fatal mistake of continuing to antagonize his son even while staring down the business end of a crossbow.
“As far as Tywin is concerned, [Tyrion] is the one area he’s failed in because in 15th, 16th century in Europe, any imperfection — whether it’s dwarfism, blindness, a child born unperfected — ideally, you smother them, get rid of them, put them in a bucket or anything,” said the actor. “He let Tyrion live, to his astonishment, and Tyrion is the brightest of his three children, the wittiest, and the cleverest. Those are the qualities that he would admire if he weren’t a dwarf, but the fact that he’s a dwarf is a continual reminder of his failure. So as long as he’s alive he’s going to treat him like sh– –it’s horrible.”
“I’m not one of these actors that tries to find the good in a character,” Dance added. “If a character is a sh–, he’s a sh–, and you play him full on as a sh– — don’t try and make him nice, you play him full on.”
As for his absence next season, Dance had one hope for his character: “I just hope I get a state funeral afterwards as well. They should start season 5 with a great f–k-off funeral for Tywin.”