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Pilou Asbæk talks about villains and Game of Thrones



There are no real villains in this world, only heroes extinguished in society. This signifies the inherent goodness in each one of us, however bad our circumstances and experiences may have molded us. And it’s interesting to look at a Villain. To know, what goes into her/his making as the bad guy/gal. Whether it’s the JokerLord Voldemort or Jack Torrance from The Shining, there’s always a mystery around the villains that one wants to know more.

Game of Thrones has had its fill of characters who want to inflict pain. Most characters operate in a self-designed net of morality, but some of them seem to keep that net safely hidden from the world. Euron Greyjoy is one of them. One never knows what goes inside him or what he might do next. And he has made a lasting impression in the last two seasons.

Pilou Asbæk, who plays Euron, recently talked to SYFY WIRE about his recent roles as Villains and Game of Thrones.

Discussing what was it like bringing his Game of Thrones-run to a close, he says, “I came on board in Season 6, so I had two seasons, mostly. Like Stanislavski, the father of all theater, said, “There are no small roles, only small actors.” It doesn’t matter the size of a character, it matters how you do it. And you can see in Season 7, [Euron’s] impact. There are three or four scenes, but I’m driving them. I love him. I got some great scenes next season as well.”

The Danish actor plays Dr.Wafner, a Nazi officer in his new film Overlord by Bad Robot Productions. His role as another villain has managed to surprise the audiences. He credits this to his discussion with the director, Julius Avery about doing every scene exactly opposite of how it seems on paper.

“I told Julius, “The reason why we need to do it is, it’s going to be even more of a cliché. So, we need to work with the cliché. We need to make the cliché our strength.” There’s a reason why a cliché is a cliché, there’s some truth to it, we had to turn it upside down. We had to make him charming and fun, not like [Euron] in Game of Thrones.”

He insists that Wafner and Euron are unlike each other. “It’s two very different characters. The only reason why anyone would want to compare them is because they’re both evil. How f**king superficial is that? They’re both male. Okay, please, come on!”

The actor has been playing bad guys of late. Is there more? “I don’t want to be caught in the same roles. I want to change it. But this is not my home court. That’s Denmark.

So, whenever I want to do a hero, I go home and I do my drama. And what I take from the Danish cinema is that I act everything for real. No matter what kind of film I’m doing, no matter how silly it might be, I take the premise for real. And I try to do it as three-dimensional as possible.”

He furthers his approach to playing a dangerous character, “It’s all about collaboration. I always say this when I do the “villains,” to put it so superficially, but I have a discussion with the main cast and the director, and I say, “This is a team effort. No one is better than the weakest link. You are the lead in this film, therefore my job is to make you shine. 

For me to make you shine, I need a character who is not a f**king idiot. Because the stronger the ‘villain’ is, the stronger you will be.” There’s nothing worse than one-dimensional villains. If you can have a villain that is a mirror, if you can have the antagonist being a mirror of the protagonist, that is even stronger.”

Through the film, Wafner changes mentally as well as physically. Pilou talked about his approach to changing himself. “My background is four years of theater at the National Prop School of Denmark Copenhagen. One of the courses, we had to build your own mask, where you would sit and create a guy, and with that mask, you would do a Commedia dell’arte. You don’t have that tradition in American films. You really don’t work with those things.”

He also had help from Andy Serkis, the motion capture acting giant from The Lord of The RingsPlanet of the Apes and The Last Jedi.

“He was like, “Okay Pilou, what is it you want?” And I was like, “Andy, I’ve never done this kind of transformation, and you did all these incredible films.” He was like, “It’s all about decisions. The more decisions you make, the more freedom you’re going to have.”

His recent roles in films and television have had an impact. He says, Ghost in a Shell changed a lot of things, and so did Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones is so massive. I was in Chile, and I got pulled over in security. It was like, “Holy s**t!” I felt like a criminal, I hadn’t done anything, but I felt like a criminal.

And then they just said, “We love you in Game of Thrones. Can we have a photo with you?” They closed the whole border! No one came into the Chile airport for 10 minutes while I was taking photos. [Laughs] It just tells you, it travels everywhere. Game of Thrones is the biggest show on Earth. Probably the biggest show there’s ever been.”

He admits to being one of the big fans of Game of Thrones, seeing all of it till the moment he joined. And after that? “The moment I became a part of it, I have not seen one second since.”

On his plans to watch it all when it ends, “Maybe I’m going to be one of those selfish actors that’s just going to watch my own scenes because I’m too lazy,” he laughed.

Here’s another video where Julius Avery and Pilou Asbæk discuss Overlord, Villains, and Bad Robot. The film premiered at the Fantastic Fest in September and releases in the United States on November 9, 2018.

Euron is currently believed to be sailing to Essos to ferry the Golden Company, a mercenary army, for Cersei Lannister. We hope for a chilly return. What are your thoughts? Tell us in the comments.


If it was up to us, we would have wanted Game of Thrones to run for a couple of more seasons at least. Not more than that because we wish to sound reasonable. But whether we digest it or not, the sensational HBO show is over for good. Books and spinoffs aside, of course. Despite the end of its run, it’s a show that’s bound to remain with us as is the case with all stories that indulge, enchant, and entertain.

There’s no doubt indeed that it was the biggest show ever and perhaps one of the best in most all-time lists. But a little more validation doesn’t hurt anyone. Thus, Game of Thrones fans would be glad to hear that the fantasy show has secured the #1 position in a list of 100 Greatest TV Shows of the 21st Century featuring on Digital Spy’s debut magazine issue on Apple News+. Read on to find out more.


Digital Spy is a U.K.-based entertainment, film, and TV website. They have produced the final list based on a readers’ poll; where people were asked to vote for their favorite TV shows from a list of 150 shows that began airing from 2000 onwards. So, the shows that premiered in the 1990s or 1980s but still running in the 21st century could not find their way into the list. Thus, no Friends or The Sopranos.

Game of Thrones grabbed the top position by popular opinion, followed by Stranger Things and Doctor Who in the second and third spots respectively. The digital magazine also contains audio stories titled “An Oral History of the Greatest TV Show of Our Time”; which feature words from the cast and many other insider stories from the decade-long run of GoT.


The following shows made it to the top ten in the list of 100 Greatest TV Shows of the 21st Century –

1) Game of Thrones

2) Stranger Things

3) Doctor Who

4) Sherlock

5) Breaking Bad

6) The Great British Bake Off

7) Killing Eve

8) Gavin and Stacey

9) Line of Duty

10) Chernobyl

Laurence Mozafari, the editor of Digital Spy, shared his thoughts about the list, reports ET Canada. “Digital Spy readers are deeply passionate about their favorite TV shows and that’s shone through with the voting on this poll. Whist there’s been an array of amazing shows from the last 20 years, it’s not too hard to see why ‘Game of Thrones’ has resonated so strongly with the public. George R.R. Martin likes to tell a big story and it’s no easy thing to pull off a fantasy epic without looking silly; but with 269 awards worldwide and more plaudits coming its way, ‘Game of Thrones’ really has raised the bar for entertainment.”


Mozafari also discussed the strong British presence on the list. “It was also extremely interesting to see top 10 placings for U.K. shows like ‘Gavin and Stacey’ – which despite one Christmas special has not aired a new episode for 10 years – and ‘The Great British Bake Off’, which has generated entertainment around baking that no one could have predicted. They prove that British humour and genres really do strike a special chord with the public.”

The full list of the 100 greatest shows appears in the digital magazine issue of Digital Spy; available to be read on Apple News+ with a free one-month trial. So, if you have an Apple device, good for you.

What are your thoughts on this distinction for Game of Thrones? Talk to us in the comments section.


We have been locked in for a good part of this year. Although things are gradually opening up, it’s still the norm that you should only go out if and when it’s necessary. So, we can say that many activities which aren’t strictly need-based are still shut down. During this period of COVID-19 lockdowns, hopeful things have eluded us constantly. However, we have heard about a few exciting developments as well; prime among which was the news about the progress on The Winds of Winter.

George R.R. Martin had informed us that the lockdown had helped him to write and that he was writing every day. Now, the author of the ASOIAF (A Song of Ice and Fire) series has given another update on his journey of finishing the penultimate novel in the book series. He also shared the position of the prequel TV series, The House of the Dragon in response to pandemic problems. Read on to find out more.


Martin has been posting regularly on his Not a Blog throughout the period of the lockdown. In a recent post titled “Writing, Reading, Writing”, he talked about The Winds of Winter. “If nothing else, the enforced isolation has helped me write. I am spending long hours every day on THE WINDS OF WINTER, and making steady progress. I finished a new chapter yesterday, another one three days ago, another one the previous week,” he wrote.

Further, he cautioned us against assuming that the book is almost complete. “But no, this does not mean that the book will be finished tomorrow or published next week. It’s going to be a huge book, and I still have a long way to go. Please do not give any credence to any of the click-bait websites that like to parse every word of my posts as if they were papal encyclicals to divine hidden meanings.”

GRRM expressed his sadness over the fact that the Worldcon in New Zealand (CoNZealand) this year has had to go virtual. But he’s positive that now he doesn’t have to compromise with the rhythm he’s in lately. “The last thing I need right now is a long interruption that might cost me all the momentum I have built up. I can always visit Wellington (in New Zealand) next year, when I hope that both Covid-19 and THE WINDS OF WINTER will be done.” So, that’s the latest estimate Martin provided which suggests that we could expect TWOW somewhere in 2021.


He is still participating in the Worldcon through the virtual domain though. While he has been busy in pre-recording some of his parts for the event, he keeps attending to his writerly duties in Westeros. “In between tapings, I return to Westeros. Of late I have been visiting with Cersei, Asha, Tyrion, Ser Barristan, and Areo Hotah. I will be dropping back into Braavos next week. I have bad days, which get me down, and good days, which lift me up, but all in all I am pleased with the way things are doing.”

Industries and businesses have taken a serious hit when people had to go indoors due to coronavirus. But Martin reassured us about the confirmed Game of Thrones prequel. “Hollywood has slowed to a crawl thanks to the pandemic, but THE HOUSE OF THE DRAGON is still flying wonderfully, thanks to Ryan Condal and his writers, and the tireless Ti Mikkel.” Mikkel is one of the writers who are assisting the show creators with the scripts.


GRRM left us with a tempting taste of blood when he signed off. “Now you will have to excuse me. Arya is calling. I think she means to kill someone,” he wrote at the last. We know who comes to your mind by that. But the books do not deal with White Walkers the same way as the show did. So, Arya here could be just after anyone on her list.

What are your thoughts about this update? Talk to us in the comments below.


Raging protests took place in the United States along with the rest of the world after George Floyd, an African-American, was pinned to death by four policemen. The incident took place on May 25 in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and ever since then, the Black Lives Matter movement has caught fire across the globe; including all the fifty states of the USA. Although violent riots broke out in some places, most people raised their voices peacefully against racial injustice and police brutality. George R. R. Martin, the man whose words brought Game of Thrones to life, also voiced his opinion on his Not a Blog.


In a post titled “Words for our Times”, Martin posted a picture with two quotes by Frederick Douglass; a famous African-American social reformer who spoke and wrote against slavery. “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will,” read the first one. The American author wrote no words of his own yet clearly expressed his unease and anger towards the way people have segregated various sections of the society based on class, race, and gender. The ignorance of the society and of those in power regarding such issues has cost the safety of our freedom, life, and diversity. It has only spread hatred and brought ruin to the marginalized groups.

Many from the Game of Thrones cast had come out in the open to support the Black Lives Matter movement. Actors like Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Kerry Ingram (Shireen Baratheon), and Richard Madden (Robb Stark) took to streets and walked and chanted with the protesters. Other celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Brad Pitt, and Michael B. Jordan also spoke for equality and the stake of black voices in different aspects of the society. Slogans like “No justice No peace”, “White silence is violence”, “I can’t breathe” echoed through the streets.


The US President, Donald Trump’s recent statement calling “Black Lives Matter” a symbol of hate has raised questions about the role of the people in power. However, the office of the President has made it clear that it was meant for the organization of the same name that they claim is leading people to violence and extremism. Whatever the reasons, it’s not possible to rule out any government from the equations of injustice. It’s a burden shared by every citizen which is mirrored in the face of our leaders.

You can tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Founder at Wiki of Thrones and a full-time Game of Thrones fan who does other work when he has finished reading and writing about Game of Thrones and also dreams about playing a role in the show.