'Game of Thrones' Exclusive: English actor Jacob Anderson learned horseback riding for no reason and endured the pains of Grey Worm's sexy leather tunic — spoilers ahead
In the days leading up to the conclusion of the eighth and final season of HBO's Game of Thrones on 20 May, we will be taking a look back at the show's four most fascinating supporting characters. Along with brief highlights that include their backstory, an iconic mic-drop moment and speculations on where they might be headed (read: dead), we'll be reminiscing with the outstanding actors who play them, in a Singapore-exclusive interview courtesy of HBO. Up next: the stoic Grey Worm played by English actor Jacob Anderson.
We first met Grey Worm in episode five of season three, after Daenerys scammed the Good Masters of Astapor by faux-trading her biggest dragon, Drogon, for the entire Unsullied Army. Upon Daenerys' orders, the Unsullied elected Grey Worm to be their commander soon thereafter.
Little is revealed about Grey Worm's life before his enslavement. What we do know is that he was taken away by the slave traders when he was just a baby in the Summer Islands.
Grey Worm's plotline has been largely defined by his steadfast loyalty to Daenerys. After all, she was the one who set him free with a new lease of life. Yet, soon enough, he developed feelings for Daenerys' trusted advisor, Missandei who was an enslaved translator at Astapor. They exchanged flirty glances during working hours by Daenerys and continued their romance with adorable Westeros English tuition lessons by candelight at night.
In season seven's episode two, however, they consumated their love for each other. Grey Worm's stoic, smileless persona gave way to one that was filled with passion and tenderness. Being an eunuch (castrated to serve a function) didn't matter much after all.
Iconic mic-drop moment
Grey Worm doesn't say much. Well, at least to everyone else besides Missandei. He repeats orders that have been laid out to him, ad libs a sentence here and there and flings about his deadly spear.
There was, however, a little bit of levity in season six's episode eight when Tyrion offers up some wine to Missandei and the fighter. Tyrion calls for some jokes and Missandei throws in a translator one. Grey Worm, on the other hand, simply drops a one-liner that causes Missandei and Tyrion to crack up. It's his rare smile after that makes this scene one of his most underrated.
Hopefully, by now, you're all caught up with episode five's epic showdown at King's Landing. If you haven't, well now you know Daenerys burnt the city to the ground and Cersei's reign crumbled like a Oreo cookie in warm milk.
Grey Worm, similarly, went a little mad like his queen. It all began with King's Landing's bells, which when rung, indicated surrender. Yet, at that moment, Daenerys had her eye on the Red Keep and the war became personal all of a sudden. As his queen wrecked fiery havoc from the sky, Grey Worm took her lead with his ground forces below, initiating the reckless slaughter of innocents.
There is no going back from here. Daenerys' seat on the Iron Throne might just be short-lived in the final sixth episode and we're predicting that Grey Worm will be going down with her. His allegiance has been rock-solid so it isn't likely that he'll serve anyone else, even Jon Snow. In fact, fans have been speculating of a battle between the incumbent King and Grey Worm. If that happens, Grey Worm will meet the same unfortunate fate as his decapitated lover.
How did the final season of Game of Thrones begin for your character?
Grey Worm starts off on a horse. We never see him on a horse.
Has he ever ridden a horse?
Actually, my first season, season three, I did all these horse riding lessons and then got to Morocco and I was having dinner one night with DB Weiss and he's like, "How are you finding it and stuff?" I was like, "It's great, been loving the horse riding. It's really fun." He's like, "Why are you doing horse riding?" I was like, "I don't know, it's your show." He's like, "You will never be on a horse because you're a foot soldier." So after all these years, it's quite nice to finally put that to use.
You must both have become very good at keeping secrets these last few years?
Everyone's got a really good poker face. The closest that I've got to telling anybody anything is that there is a sense with this season that worlds are starting to collide a little bit. There have been the occasional times where I've got home from Belfast and said to my wife, so and so did this or said this or this happened on set the other day and then she can insinuate from that. Also, this is actually a relatively spoiler-free show. You can't really spoil the show unless you go into every single detail. You could get the big points and the big moments, but without all the context, they don't have the same impact.
Anything you won't miss about making the show?
My costume is really beautifully designed but it is also not practically designed. It's visually and aesthetically beautiful, but you can't move in it. Obviously, that's hard when you're fighting and stuff. This year, I made peace with never wearing my costume again. I mean I'll be honest — I cried when I took it off. I've got all kinds of ulcers, chaff marks, cuts and stuff from this year, but when I took off my tunic — the leather bit of my costume — for the last time, I just burst into tears.
What practical skills will you take away from Game of Thrones?
I can fling a spear around pretty well. If someone said, "Right. Here's a spear, you've got to have a fight." I could probably do some damage.
Stream the final sixth episode of the eighth season on HBO GO (available on the App Store, Google Play, SingTel, StarHub, and Toggle) or watch it on HBO (Starhub TV Ch 601/Singtel TV Ch 420) on 20 May at 9am, with a same-day encore at 10pm, or catch it on HBO On Demand.