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Game of Thrones star Aidan Gillen on Littlefinger's shocking death in the season 7 finale

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It finally happened. Petyr Baelish is dead. Chaos has fallen from it’s ladder. And the best part? It was our very own faceless assassin Arya awesomesauce Stark who did it. Arya’s kickass skills of slashing Littlefinger’s throat in one go like it was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is laudable but we’ll discuss that at another time.

For now, let’s just talk about Littlefinger’s poetic death and what it must have felt like for actor Aidan Gillen to experience it at the hands of a master assassin and her badass sister Sansa Stark. The player was played at his own game, and Aidan Gillen spoke to EW about when he got the fated call from the show runners, and more.

He said that the show runners never call the actors themselves unless it’s ‘the call’.“The infamous call. It’s so obvious what it is. [Showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff] never ring you up — maybe once in six years. I learned about that call from [Roose Bolton actor Michael McElhatton] when he told me about his call and he talked about how it made him feel”

“And I thought if I get that call — or rather when as this has got to happen sooner or later to a character like Littlefinger — I wondered how it would make me feel. Because the show is such a part of your life for so many years, you start to think, ‘What will your life will be like outside of it?’ It’s a potent loss.”

In reply to what he felt like when he got the news, Aidan said,“You’re left a little bereft — for your character and for your experience. It also immediately makes you quantify the hugeness of what that experience has been over the last seven years, which has been massive.”

When asked about whether the show runners joked about Littlefinger’s death, he said, “No joke. They just promised me a “river of blood.” Well, it wasn’t really a river of blood, but they promised me more than poor Michael got. It’s better to go out at the end of [the season] with a good arc then at the start of episode 2. Even if I’m only in a few episodes — like last season I probably had less than any season — once your character is established as part of the world people feel like you’re there all the time.”

He then spoke about how risky it was for Littlefinger to play Arya and Sansa against one another.“With carefully laid plans there’s always a bit of risk involved. He’s put himself in a situation that could backfire on him. I think he likes it. [His plans] are never fail safe. But he puts himself on the line like a good gambler.”

Aidan said that he was expecting the death and that he wished it was Arya who does it. “Well, I did an interview with a publication [in 2015] and they asked me how I thought I would go. I said I thought Arya would deliver the blow. So it was as promised.”

When asked about the kind of emotions Littlefinger revealed before his death, Aidan said, “I don’t want to say too much about that. I don’t want to lay my cards on the table. I want to preserve that. There were more feelings for Sansa than I’ve let on the in the past. It becomes obvious. It’s an emotional farewell. And it’s a humiliating position to be in.”

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He then said that the death scene wasn’t the last scene he shot on set. “My last day on the set wasn’t that scene. [The execution] was the second scene I shot. I quite enjoyed doing things that way — shooting [Littlefinger’s death] and then shooting what comes before. When you know what’s coming you relax a little in the way you interact with the others. There’s something else that seeps into your performance — a kind of serenity. But yeah, I did find it quite emotional [shooting the finale scene].”

Aidan discussed a few more things in the interview. Read it all here.

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