Interview: Game of Thrones star Alfie Allen talks Theon Greyjoy, redemption and season six

With season six of HBO’s Game of Thrones seemingly around the corner, The Iris’ Fergus Halliday sat down with star Alfie Allen to talk Theon Greyjoy, redemption, his favorite scenes, and more of what we can expect from season six.

Fergus: So, we’re here to talk about Game of Thrones season five (which releases on DVD and Blu-ray this week), what’s the first word that comes to mind?

Alfie Allen:  Dragons.

Good choice! So, after the interior-focused torture sequences of seasons three and four, Theon gets to spend a bit more time outdoors in season five. Was that a relief for you as an actor?

Yeah, I mean, it definitely is nice to be able to be on location a lot of the time and to just sort of… being in the one place for the whole of season three was definitely kind of difficult. Physically demanding as well.

Okay, so was that a relief [to be outside] or did it present new challenges?

No, it was kind of, I guess, a sort of transition. He’s one of the ever-changing characters in the show so, being outside was a relief but, in a way, he goes back to Winterfell – that’s kind of what happens in season five – and so, to be back there was kind of nice, and to have Sophie Turner brought into the storyline was great because they both set out from Winterfell with these sort of delusions of grandeur, thinking that it was all going to connect, and now it’s all just spiraled out of control, you know? Sansa thought she was going to be queen and I thought I was gonna be, like, sitting on the Salt Throne and it all went horribly wrong.

If you hadn’t been cast as Theon, were there any other roles that, looking back, you now wish you had tried or had the chance to play?

No, not really. I would have liked to have had a crack at playing Ramsey. I mean Iwan [Rheon] does it way better than I could have ever, ever done it but it’s a really dark, nasty role where you can have fun with it, and it’s comedic as well which is great, and he does it really, really well.

So, I read somewhere that the writers, sort of, played a trick on you, with the second season, and they let you think that your character was going to be killed off. Were there times filming three, four and five, and going through all the torment that Reek goes through, and you sort of think about what could have been or do you just always think about what that struggle built him towards?

They did. Yeah, I mean, in terms of content for an actor, I get to play three different people in one person. I’m just so lucky to be able to even attempt to try and play this role, and I just feel very, very flattered that I’m even in a HBO show to start off with. I mean, I was watching The Wire when I got the part so.

So, what was the most memorable scene in season five for you to film?

Well, memorable is a choice of word but, I guess, for all the wrong reasons, it was probably the rape scene with Sansa. That was pretty tough, pretty horrible to get through. You have to, kind of – which is what I was doing with season three stuff – you have to, sort of, keep it light in between to get through the day but, with that day, it was tough to get any light moments in between shooting the takes because it was just horrific.

Then, on the other side of it, watching back through it for yourself, what was the most entertaining for you to watch?

My favorite scene in season five was Jamie and Myrcella on the boat. I thought that was beautiful. I thought it was brilliant. It was the Kingslayer, the person who has never really had any real respect from anyone, it’s always just been about him being a Lannister, and he gets to get some real love, and he gets to be a father figure, and it gets taken away from him in the space of about ten seconds. I just thought it was beautifully done.

With Thrones’ obvious reputation for killing off lots of characters, were there any former cast members who you wish you had the chance to share a scene with before they were taken from the show?

Jason Momoa, I would have loved to have a scene with Jason Momoa, without a doubt that would have been fun.

Looking ahead, would you say thing are looking up for Theon? Do you think he’s in a place where redemption might be something that’s possible?

Yeah. I mean I kind of think redemption is possible with anyone, fact or fiction. I would say that, as a person, I would like to think that there would be some sort of light at the end of the tunnel but, as an actor, if they were going to make it any darker, I’d like to see how they would do it [laughs]. I would like to try and tackle that, excuse the pun. It would be interesting, to say the least.

Also, from what I’ve heard, Season six is spending a bit more time revisiting the dynamics and the culture of the Greyjoy family?

There’s definitely more Greyjoy action going on, without a doubt.

How do you feel your role as Theon sort of fits into that?

I can’t really say that much but what I can say is there’s going to be more Greyjoy action. We’ve got Gemma Whelan, back as Yara Greyjoy, and we’ve got Pilou Asbæk playing my uncle and he could actually be my uncle in real life, we kind of look quite alike.

Season five of Game of Thrones releases on DVD and Blu-ray this week. Season six premieres through Foxtel and HBO on April 24th 2016.