As Game of Thrones Season 8‘s April 14 premiere date quickly approaches, one question dominates all others: Who will sit on the Iron Throne when all is said and done? This is the show’s final season, after all, and unlike George R.R. Martin’s forever-in-progress books, the HBO production will actually have a conclusion.
We had that all-consuming question in mind when we recently got the chance to sit down with Harry Lloyd, who’s set to play Charles Xavier–Professor X–in the third and final season of FX’s X-Men adaptation Legion. Game of Thrones fans, however, will probably know Lloyd better as Viserys Targaryen, Daenerys’s abusive brother from back in Game of Thrones Season 1.
Lloyd couched his opinion in the fact that he’s “not quite up to date, shamefully,” though he plans to catch up before Season 8 arrives. But his nomination for Ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, King or Queen of Westeros, and Warmer of the Iron Throne is nevertheless perfectly valid: nobody.
“I kind of want no one on it, to be honest,” the actor said, grinning. “I just want it to become a really nice, kind of democracy.”
He did offer one more alternative, though: “I’ll tell you what, I always wanted Hodor to be in charge,” he continued, laughing–clearly aware of the character’s fate in Season 6. “But, yeah–maybe with some time travel?”
With this line of questioning begun, we couldn’t stop at one. To this day, Viserys’s gruesome death at Khal Drogo’s hands in Season 1–with a pot of molten gold poured over his dome–stands as one of the show’s best. We asked Lloyd whether there’s been another since then that topped it. Surprisingly, he went all the way back to another Season 1 death.
“You know what one of my favorite deaths has always been, was just a couple of episodes after mine, in Episode 8 of Season 1, when Khal Drogo rips that guy’s tongue out,” Lloyd said. He remembered discussing the scene with Jason Momoa, who played Khal Drogo (and, of course, went on to portray Aquaman in Justice League and his own standalone movie). According to Lloyd, the scene was written as a more straightforward sword fight, but Momoa had other ideas.
Momoa apparently got involved personally, asking the art department to whip up a convincing tongue that looked like it had been ripped out root and stem. “And it’s Game of Thrones, so the art department, you know, they rustled one of them up–they probably had a couple already on file,” Lloyd recalled.
“I just thought that was a wonderful little sequence, and the fact that it was so collaborative,even in that first [season],” he continued, “I always liked that.”