Game of Thrones' Jack Gleeson Talks Purple Wedding Shockers, King Joffrey: Spoilers Ahead!

Entertainment Apr. 14, 2014 AT 8:30AM
Natalie Dormer and Jack Gleeson in Game of Thrones Natalie Dormer and Jack Gleeson in Game of Thrones' season 4 episode "The Purple Wedding" Credit: HBO

Yet another spoiler alert! Don't read on if you don’t want to know what went down on "The Lion and the Rose," the Sunday, April 13 episode of Game of Thrones. Avert your eyes!

See you in one of the Seven Hells, King Joffrey! Irish actor Jack Gleeson ended his Game of Thrones run in typically spectacular, grisly fashion on Sunday's GoT episode, with his nasty, sadistic boy-king choking to death (on poison wine, chunky pie, or something else) at his own decadent wedding feast while new bride Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), mother Cersei (Lena Headey) and hundreds of wedding guests looked on in horror (and/or delight, depending on who you ask).

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Gleeson, 21, spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the shocking twist (foretold, of course, in Storm of Swords, George R.R. Martin's third book in the Songs of Ice and Fire saga upon which GoT is based) and saying goodbye to the hateful King Joffrey.

"It's reliving, in a way," Gleeson says of shooting the death scene. "You want to do the scene and character justice. It's a complicated scene; I've never had a death on screen before. You want it to look believable — the choking and the coughing . . . It was fun in the end, but kind of stressful to be so focused, but acting like you’re completely unfocused. Difficult, but exciting."

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Unlike other castmates who've died untimely deaths, Gleeson "knew from Day 1" about Joffrey's demise: He read Martin's first book, the one actually entitled Game of Thrones, and "Googled the character summaries . . . I knew it was coming." The blonde, blue-eyed star similarly had a level-headed view of fan reaction to Joffrey's death. "There will be a delight that the person tormenting their favorite characters is gone, but I would like to think there’s a certain sadness at the loss of the delight people take in hating a character like Joffrey," he surmises.

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Next up for Gleeson: A brand-new career in . . . something else. As he has revealed in previous interviews, Gleeson has retired from acting after his GoT work wrapped up. "I've been acting since age 8. I just stopped enjoying it as much as I used to," explains Gleeson, who has "one year left in college," with potential post-graduate work ahead. "Up until now [acting] was always something I did for recreation with my friends, or in the summer for some fun. I enjoyed it. When you make a living from something, it changes your relationship with it. It's not like I hate it, it's just not what I want to do."

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