Game Of Thrones Actor Asked The Writers Not To Kill Him Off, They Didn't Listen

Spoilers abound in this article if you haven’t caught Sunday’s Season 5 episode of Game of Thrones “The Sons of the Harpy.” Everyone still here? Alright, let’s go.

During last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, fans saw Ser Barristan Selmy, played by actor Ian McElhinney, killed off in an epic fight sequence against a group of the Sons of the Harpy. When McElhinney first read the script for the episode, he was shocked to learn he would die, especially considering Ser Barristan is still alive and well in George R.R. Martin’s books. But McElhinney didn’t just take the news lying down. Instead, he tried to argue with showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff so he could extend his shelf life on the series.

I did talk to them about it. I gave some arguments of my own why I thought Barristan was kind of important in Daenerys' story, important enough that he should stay in Daenerys story, and he didn’t... It's their call at the end of the day, so you kind of have to accept whatever the decision is, but I did certainly sort of ask them further about it.

Apparently, however, his arguments didn’t take. The actor told the Huffington Post that he obviously respected the decision from the producers, but that the storyline sort of came out of nowhere for the character, which is certainly true.

Well, if I'm honest, I mean part of me was very disappointed because I wasn’t expecting necessarily for that to happen to the character at that point, so part of me was disappointed because that’s a shame ... I guess it’s fair to say I was expecting to be around for a while yet. So it was a bit of a shock.

At least he got a pretty epic death scene. While we haven’t seen enough of Ser Barristan’s badass antics on the series, save the times he saved Dany’s life and scorned Joffrey’s rule in the court, this week we finally got to see him fight in a sort-of battle to maintain peace on the streets of Meereen. The older warrior showed up at just the right moment, taking down several warriors—and possibly saving Grey Worm’s life in the process—before getting stabbed himself.


Speaking of Grey Worm, actor Jacob Anderson also pops up in the interview to talk about the big fight scene. The episode ends on a cliffhanger, with viewers uncertain whether or not Grey Worm will live, but the way the actor speaks in the interview about being left on the “tenterhooks” for a while before receiving another script makes it seem as if he will be back and breathing when Game of Thrones returns next week, which would be good news for Missandei.

We’ll find out soon enough. Game of Thrones airs as part of HBO’s Sunday night lineup, hitting the schedule at 9 p.m. ET. Here's everything we've seen this season so far.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.