WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for the Season 7 finale of Game of Thrones! Continue reading at your own risk…
Sunday night’s Game of Thrones finale marked the end of the line for the master of chaos and deception, Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish. The showrunners for the hit HBO series spoke out about killing off Aidan Gillen’s character in the Season 7 finale episode, titled “The Dragon and the Wolf.”
“We had been huge fans of Aidan’s work on The Wire and other movies and TV shows. He’s just one of those guys you know is going to give you something good,” co-showrunner David Benioff said during an interview with EW.
“And with Aidan, you don’t know what he’s going to give you. He’s able to change things in ways that are strange and beguiling, yet to the betterment of the character and the show. Littlefinger is a much different character than we initially imagined, and the bulk of the credit for that goes to Aidan. He’s just a phenomenal actor and a great one to spend time with. We loved having Littlefinger along for the ride, but he f*cked with the wrong girls,” Benioff added.
Dan Weiss also showered Gillen with compliments for his portrayal of the ever-scheming Littlefinger.
“I would echo that there’s such a beautiful strangeness to his performance and it’s almost all coming from what he brings to the character. He almost turns Littlefinger into a mystical embodiment of will-to-power and thriving on chaos,” he said.
“There’s something impenetrable to everything he does. It’s like you keep peeling away the skins and there’s never an end to the masks. He’s been such a pleasure to work with and so consistently elevates everything he does. But I was so happy with his last performance on the show. We think people will get some good gasps out of the scene,” Weiss said.
According to Benioff, the decision to kill off Littlefinger was no easy task.
“It was one of the harder death calls we had to make. Relatively speaking, he’s a minor character if you look at his screen time. The fact that Littlefinger looms so large when people talk about the show, and when we think about the show, it’s really a credit to Aidan.
“Every scene he’s in manages to make you think about Littlefinger. And when he’s at the center of a scene — like his final scene in the finale — he’s completely mesmerizing. We’ve had a lot of death scenes on this show and this is one of the great ones. Diana Rigg [as Olenna Tyrell] was so true to her character in the end, and Littlefinger was so true to his character — in his own cowardly, horrible way,” he said.