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Game of Thrones is a fantasy drama set in a period less technologically advanced than today. With that in mind, the actors and actresses on the series know they will have to grapple with older weaponry, costumes and technology (not to mention magic and more). But sometimes the requests from producers are wilder than others. Recently, Charles Dance, known as Tywin Lannister by Game of Thrones fans, opened up about the craziest thing showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss ever asked him to do.
Apparently, while on set one day, the creators approached Charles Dance, asking him whether or not he was a vegetarian. After ascertaining the actor was cool with meat, they showed him a scene of Tywin skinning a 'stag.' Gamely, Dance agreed to shoot the scene.
“So, this butcher arrived with a dead animal and they gave me a little room to work in, gave me a sharp knife, and showed me how to skin it and spill the guts into a bucket. The next day, they gave me another dead animal, and we shot it. It was a bloody good time, but it took me two days to get the smell off my hands.”
Fans of Game of Thrones should remember the episode, though it occurred a while ago. So long ago, in fact, that Jaime Lannister still had two hands! The Season 1, Episode 7 scene followed a conversation between Jaime and Tywin, discussing what it means to be a Lannister and how to keep the family name at the top of the food chain. It’s pretty impressive to see Dance capably butcher an animal while having a heated conversation with his son on the show—especially since he was only given one day to practice before the scene was actually shot.
Dance tells the Daily Beast it’s the craziest scene he ever shot, which is saying something, considering the show is filled with battle scenes, crazy deaths, magic and dragons. In fact, his death came at the hands of his son, who used a crossbow to kill him on the privy. If we are talking about wild scenes to shoot, that probably takes top marks, as well. Still, how many non-hunters ever get the opportunity to gut and skin an animal?
While we may not see any animal skinning in Season 5, we may not have seen the last of Charles Dance on the show. Tywin Lannister did kick the bucket in Season 4, but the actor also recently spoke out to say audiences have not “seen the last of Tywin Lannister.” We also know Game of Thrones is set to use flashbacks for the first time during Season 5. If the old curmudgeon does return, I’ll be happy to witness a few more tongue lashings from the Lannister patriarch, with or without any guts in the scene.
HBO’s Game of Thrones is expected to hit the schedule in the spring.