‘Game of Thrones’: Richard Dormer on Beric Dondarrion’s “Moving” Arc in the Final Season

     May 3, 2019


Spoilers ahead for the latest Game of Thrones episode.

Seventh time was the charm! Beric Dondarrion can now finally rest in peace on Game of Thrones after fulfilling his purpose.

The lightning lord, who was played by Richard Dormer, fought valiantly in Season 8’s “The Long Night.” With his flaming sword, he took on the Night King’s soldiers and helped Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann) overcome giving up (after the character was triggered by fire) by reminding The Hound that an exhausted Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) was still in the fight.

Before Beric fell inside Winterfell’s halls, he saved Arya’s life, leaving the world of Westeros for the last time just before fellow Lord of Light follower Melisandre (Carice van Houten) gave the trained assassin a speech about brown, green and blue eyes that would help propel the young Stark to go and kill the Night King.

And despite filming the episode, Dormer – like many fans – found himself worrying about the Thrones gang as they battled the undead while he watched it at 2 AM on Monday morning as it went out live in his time zone.


Image via HBO

“It was very strange because even though I knew what was going to happen, I was still terrified for all the characters,” he told Collider.

GoT gave an emotional and courageous ending to Dormer’s character in the episode. The lightning lord fended off hordes of undead soldiers while saving Arya, and he sustained more than a dozen stab wounds before taking his last breath.

“I found it quite moving actually because I really – I like Beric. I think he’s a decent, good soul,” Dormer responded when Collider asked about watching his character’s death scene. “He’s a proper knight. And I just thought it was very — incredibly heroic how he died. And I also love that he just wouldn’t give up until he was absolutely sure that Arya and The Hound were safe when he fell through the door. So yeah, I think he was, I don’t know, it was like 18 stabs or something? It was crazy.”

It also came after Beric got his own “hold the door” or hold the archway-style moment?

“I think it’s called a Beric-ade,” Dormer said (ha!).

Although his character did die for a seventh and final time after serving the purpose the Lord of Light brought him back for, Dormer was there as van Houten and Williams filmed the scene between Melisandre and Arya.

And even in death his character remained intriguing. Beric’s non patch-covered eye didn’t close after his death – it opened.

“The way they did it, which I thought was very interesting, is that … he’s alive with eyes closed, and then, as he dies, his eye opens … his one eye opens. So I had to keep my eye open for about four hours as they did that scene,” the actor revealed.


Image via HBO

“The Long Night” episode also saw Beric fighting outside of Winterfell’s gates on the ground alongside The Hound, Brienne of Tarth, Podrick Payne, Ser Jorah Mormont (RIP), Jaime Lannister, Grey Worm, Gendry, Edd (RIP), Lady Lyanna Mormont (RIP), and Samwell Tarly. Dormer said he took part in about 30 of the show’s night shoots.

Asked how the actors kept their spirits up between takes during those dark, cold and muddy nights, Dormer shared that the cast had a little hut “with a couple of fan heaters in it and we would go in between 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning sometimes, and we would sit for half an hour every couple of hours.” During that time, they’d try and get warm, dry out, and keep each other’s spirits up with humor and music as some of the actors had ukuleles, he said.

But did they create any songs? Is there a potential for a CD or say, a Soundcloud file, Collider jokingly asked?

“I don’t think so. The Brotherhood without Banjos? I don’t think so. Don’t hold your breath,” he laughed.

Now, Dormer can watch the show like the rest of the world. When asked if back during the cast’s famed Season 8 table read he was interested in leaving or sticking around after they finished reading “The Long Night,” Dormer said he did a little of both.

“I popped in and out, but I didn’t want to know the ultimate ending,” he said, adding he wanted to be able “watch it and be as surprised as everybody else.”

game-of-thrones-beric-dondarrion-death-richard-dormer-interview“So yeah, I know some things, but I don’t know everything,” he told Collider.

And surprisingly, no spoiler talk came up while shooting.

“Well, weirdly nobody really talked about their plotlines even though we knew,” he said.

“It’s incredible actually … the unspoken kind of thing, which was, just don’t talk about it, you know? It’s the greatest secret,” he laughed.

One secret the actor no longer has to keep is how Beric died. Many of the cast members have revealed that they were given storyboards of pivotal scenes for their characters when they got a series wrap. Dormer told Collider his was of Beric’s death scene and it’s a GoT memento he can finally put on the wall.

“Now I can because it’s not a spoiler,” he said.

For more on Game of Thrones, be sure to take a look at these recent write-ups:


Image via HBO