Game of Thrones actor on his longtime character's sad demise
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The following piece contains spoilers about the Game of Thrones sixth season finale…
Poor Ser Loras! The Knight of the Flowers and Tyrell heir had such a bright future. Then he spent season 6 locked in a dungeon being tortured, only to get blown up in the finale alongside his beloved sister Margaery. But don't feel too badly for actor Finn Jones — his next gig is starring in Netflix's superhero drama Marvel's Iron Fist. Below we spoke to Jones, who always has such infectious enthusiasm for his work, about his character's untimely fate and his exciting new role (note: some of Jones' answers regarding Iron Fist role were previously published).
Entertainment Weekly: Loras is in such terrible shape, he's totally transformed.
Finn Jones: He's not the Ser Loras who was the gleaming Knight of Flowers who all the girls want to marry and all the dudes want to be. He's just lost his will do anything but get out of this hell. I imagine he's been beaten every day, abused physically, sexually and mentally. He can't take anymore. I read this book, An Evil Cradling by Brian Keenan. He was a teacher who traveled to Beirut where he was held hostage and kept in isolation for five years. Reading about his situation, and what he went through, both physically and mentally, helped me get my head around Loras' situation. All he knows is his sister, who he's relied on and always been by his side. He's just begging her to help him.
How did you find out his fate?
Well, I got scripts 1 through 9 and read them all and thought, "Cool, cool, cool. This is good. I only got episode 10 to come." I felt really positive, there's only one more episode left! Then it was the evening before we got together for the table read and they were holding back the script for episode 10. And I was like, "Why didn't I get episode 10 yet? That's really weird. It's 5 p.m. and we're doing it tomorrow. Why haven't I received it?" And just as I was saying that I get a call from [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss]. And as I'm picking up, I'm staying positive, thinking, "Maybe they're checking in to say ‘Hi.'" And they were just like [a long pause of dead silence….]. And I was like "Ahhhh, God no! I was so close to season 7!"
Oh man, that's funny. When making the death calls, they don't even need to say anything anymore! What was your reaction?
Just from a personal point of view, I would have loved to be there to the very end. But I think the timing of it was so perfect. Better to blaze out, quite literally, than fade out in seasons to come. I was really grateful for all the time on Game of Thrones. I don't think there could be a better end for my character. I felt very satisfied. From an acting and character perspective, I was just really grateful. It's amazing how everything works out for the right reasons sometime.
Right because now you landed this huge Marvel role.
And I was terrified! I had been on Thrones for six years. It was yearly employment. Now I was at a crossroads and I had to think of what the future is. I was very blessed that something like this has come along at the right moment.
What was your favorite scene for Loras?
Oh, that's really tough actually. All have been good. The first scene always stands out. The one in the tournament. It was my first day on set and I had just been knocked off my horse and I had The Hound and The Mountain fighting above me. And the bandstand had all the other actors, and I'm in the middle of it all. And I'm thinking: "F—ing hell, what have I started? What am I in for? This is kinda big."
And what was that last day on set like?
Brilliant. Again, everything felt right. My last day wasn't really the big final finale scene. It was the scene before that, just before they shaved my hair all off. It was a very simple scene, no dialogue. Everyone came down to wish me goodbye. David and Dan came down. It just felt like a complete end to my journey on Thrones. And very weirdly, I remember this so clearly: I just finished filming and I went to an airport and I was sitting in a lounge and I was decompressing and taking it all in, thinking, "Here we go, new stage of my life." And I got an email for the audition for Iron Fist. And I'm like, "Oh, new audition." And I didn't think that much about it at the time. But it's just fun how things click into place. It was a good couple months after that before I secured that role. There was something in the air guiding me along.
What was your reaction to [landing Iron Fist]?
I love the character. What really drew me was the character and the story. I really enjoy how he's a superhero with a real heart but has spiritual elements as well. I think it's going to be an exciting character to play because there's this contraction of on one hand he's from a very wealthy family, he's a billionaire, on the other hand he's been in this world of K'un-Lun for a long time where he's learned kung fu and buddhist philosophy. There's a contradiction in those elements that's going to be really fun to play.
You're in preproduction in New York. Have they let you try on a costume yet?
No. At the moment I'm in the physical preparation for the role. Every day for the last month, I start my day with about two and a half hours of martial arts — which is kung fu and Wushu mixed with a bit of tai chi, and other stuff as well. In the afternoon I'll do weight training with a trainer to bulk me up and get my physically right for the part. And in evenings I've been doing meditation classes and learning buddhist philosophies.
That sounds like so much fun.
It is! I've always dreamed of a role that bridged spiritual discipline and badass superhero. This is the kind of role I've been waiting for for a long time. Now that it's happened, it's like a dream come true. I'm super excited.
I remember when it was announced that Gwendoline Christie was cast in The Force Awakens. She said the first call she got was from you and you were just screaming and happy for her. So it's great to see somebody who's been so supportive of others get such a cool role.
Actually, Gwen reacted exactly the same when I got this. She called and was like, "Lots of emojis! Lots of really positive vibe emojis!"
READ ON: Here's star Natalie Dormer revealing her feelings about her character's tragic end. Here's star Lena Headey with her thoughts on those huge game-changing twists (she doesn't think she'll last long!). And star Emilia Clarke making her bold season 7 predictions. Plus there's our ultra deep-dive recap with our opinions on the finale. Our breakdown of that Tower of Joy reveal.Maisie Williams reveals who Arya should kill next. And don't forget to subscribe to our Game of Thrones Weekly podcast (New episode posted below)! <iframe width="540" height="540" src="http://embed.acast.com/ewgameonthrones/ep.10-schemequeens" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" class="" allowfullscreen="" resize="0" replace_attributes="1" name=""></iframe>
HBO's epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series A Song of Ice and Fire.