Game of Thrones: Davos actor talks ‘awkward’ romance between Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen at the end of Season 7
While he waits to see the scripts for Season 8, Liam Cunningham talks about the sexual relationship between Snow and his aunt, the upcoming battles, and his personal hopes for the final season
Davos Seaworth is going to have his work cut out for him in the final season of Game of Thrones.
Jon Snow’s trusted adviser, played by Liam Cunningham (War Horse), will have to deal with White Walkers breaching the northern wall; a Westeros military truce that may not be what it appears (Hello, Cersei Lannister!); and a complicated sexual relationship between Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, whose brother was confirmed to be Snow’s father in the Season 7 finale.
“I’ll tell you something, it’s going to be an awkward cup of coffee when it comes out who he is and what they have just done. The look on [Targaryen’s] face is going to be interesting” when she learns she is Snow’s aunt, says Cunningham.
Before the Targaryen-Snow tryst in the Emmy-winning HBO drama, the biggest collection of characters in recent seasons came together to discuss a temporary truce in a dragon pit.
The actual setting, a Roman Empire-era coliseum in Spain, was “an extraordinary location,” says the Irish actor, 56, “about an hour-and-a-half drive from Westeros.”
“When you’re aware of what we were standing on, which is an arena where a lot of people died a long time ago, there are a lot of ghosts in that place,” he says.
The scene, “where there was as much going on off the dialogue as there was in the dialogue,” featured “these wonderful actors standing on a stage. It was like an old-fashioned proscenium arch. This is proper acting, no film-star stuff,” he says. “I felt Lena Headey, [who plays Cersei Lannister], was absolutely amazing and Peter [Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister], was glorious.”
The dragon pit scenes served as a wonderful reunion for the actors, too, Cunningham says.
“It was extraordinary to be there with this gang of people who only normally meet on red carpets,” he says. “Our evenings were filled with beautiful Spanish food and very small amounts of beer. It was lovely.”
Back in fictional Westeros, however, the characters are facing daunting odds, both from the White Walker threat to the north and Cersei’s secret plan not to join with the other armies against the northern invaders.
The White Walkers “are on their way. Just as [Seaworth and Snow] have convinced everybody this is going to happen, right at the end of the episode they’ve come through the Wall. They’re now in the Seven Kingdoms,” he says. “The Night King is on the back of a dragon. It’s not a White Walker, it’s a white flyer.”
Cunningham doesn’t expect to see any Season 8 scripts for a couple of weeks – filming may start in October, but that could change – but he knows the stakes will be higher in the final season.
“This is for the survival of the Seven Kingdoms. It is not these little battles any more, Cersei [against] Targaryen. All bets are off,” he says.
The only thing more surprising than low-born Seaworth’s position as Snow’s esteemed adviser, which contrasts with his earlier career as a smuggler, may be that Seaworth is here at all.
“Who would have put money on Seaworth making it this far? I should have put some money on it,” Cunningham says. “I did have an ambition a couple of seasons ago to go, ‘I’d love to make it to the last season.’ Of course, being a typical actor, now I say, ‘If I make it to the last season, I want to make it to the last episode.’ Whether I will or not is anybody’s guess.”