Jonathan Pryce is no stranger to having to die onscreen, and he is not alone. It is common for actors to have to bring their characters to the most absolute of earthly ends. For Game of Thrones fans, Pryce is well-remembered for having played the High Sparrow who --spoiler -- later met a notable demise. He joined the cast in Season 5.
Jonathan Pryce’s Game of Thrones character ultimately met his end in one of the most intense denouements in the show’s history, if I may say so myself. The Season 6 finale saw Cersei Lannister take her revenge by destroying the Great Sept of Baelor. In doing so, she killed Pryce’s High Sparrow and many others.
It was not the last time that one of Jonathan Pryce’s characters died via explosion. He also went out that way on FX’s Tom Hardy starrer, Taboo. Pryce shared that upon learning of the twist, he was simultaneously keeping the secret of his Game of Thrones character also getting blown up. Of the odd twist of dying twice via explosion and dying on-screen in general, the actor told Vulture:
I see it as a kind of good luck, a little talisman. I keep dying in fiction, so in life I’m OK.
That is one way to look at it! Jonathan Pryce is clearly taking his on-screen deaths in stride. It is fair to say that while Pryce is no stranger to having his characters die, he has not necessarily arrived at Sean Bean levels as of yet. Bean's knack for on-screen deaths has reached near-legendary status, and interestingly Sean Bean also starred in and perished on Game of Thrones.
Only Jeffrey Dean Morgan could potentially hold his own against Sean Bean in terms of on-screen deaths. While Bean may be taking a different stance when it comes to dying on-screen and turning down those sorts of roles these days, Jonathan Pryce does not seem as concerned. Going out in an explosion on Game of Thrones and Taboo does not seem to have shaken the veteran thespian in terms of his real-life mortality, at least, or his sense of humor.
Jonathan Pryce’s take is a contradiction of life having to imitate art, and it is clearly working for him as no superstition seems to be seeping in. Pryce will have a tough time following up on the shocker that was his Game of Thrones’ exit, anyway. That is one death that lives among television’s most shocking.
Jonathan Pryce’s Game of Thrones death was years ago, and it certainly has not hurt his career. The 2020 Oscar nominations saw Pryce’s name take a prime spot. Pryce landed a nomination for Best Lead Actor for his portrayal of Pope Francis in Netflix’s critically acclaimed drama, The Two Popes. Someone’s career is certainly not dying!