Game of Thrones' Rose Leslie, Ygritte, Was "Crying" After Filming Watchers on the Wall Episode

Entertainment Jun. 9, 2014 AT 12:00PM
Kit Harington as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones Credit: Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

Warning: If you haven't yet learned your lesson regarding Game of Thrones and spoilers pertaining to the most recently aired episodes, there's nothing we can do for you now. In any case, don't read below unless you're ready to discuss certain plot points from the Sunday, June 8 episode, "Watchers on the Wall."

Jon Snow really does know nothing. And now, following season four's penultimate installment, the late Ned Stark's (hunky!) bastard son and Night's Watch hero will battle on without his on-and-off wildling love, Ygritte. In a death that wasn't as shocking as it was heartbreaking, Jon's redheaded girlfriend-turned-enemy Ygritte (Rose Leslie) was fatally felled by an arrow during the epic battle at the Wall and inside Castle Black's courtyard. Jon (Kit Harrington) held Ygritte—who had been hell-bent on killing Jon after his double-agent betrayal had been revealed last season—as she gasped her final breath.

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Ygritte's death was a rare quiet, intimate moment (she took Jon's virginity in a cave, after all) in an episode defined by massive-scale battle scenes complete with giant, mammoths, a human-slicing scythe and a breathtakingly masterful continuous battle shot inside Castle Black. It marks the end of the GoT road for British actress Leslie, who also appeared on season one of Downton Abbey.

Credit: Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

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Leslie, 27, told Vulture that shooting her death scene was as emotional as one would imagine. "We did that last scene—where I die in Jon Snow's arms—on my last day, and I remember just crying profusely," Leslie said. "And going around to the crew at the end, and hugging everyone, and telling them I loved them. I feel incredibly privileged to be a part of the show, and eternally grateful for the platform that it's given me as an actor. It was a wonderful farewell."

The star was gifted with a sweet token from the show's crew: "Ygritte's bow, and they changed the left handle, with a strap with a sort of a plaque that said, 'Kissed by fire,'" the ginger-tressed star recalled.

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The HBO actress also touched upon that sex scene with Harrington from last season—which was explicit but, unlike many GoT sex scenes, tender. "I feel actually that it was a love scene, not a gratuitous sex scene, the norm you see within the series. I feel that it is a beautiful scene, because finally you see these two characters get together, and there is no infiltration from the outside world," she said. "That was very, very lovely, and also very tender, because there's no power play going on. There's no war going on between them, there's no more trying to antagonize. It was just two people who'd finally fallen in love."

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Of course, things went south for Jon and Ygritte after his betrayal—he was posing as a turncoat in order to spy on the Wildlings for the Night's Watch—and Ygritte became "a scorned woman" Leslie recalled. "I feel like she could have killed him—she could have shot Jon in the heart in one fell swoop. But when it finally came to that moment, she couldn't actually kill him. Even when she's expected to. Even when she wants to." See more pics of the Game of Thrones cast here.

Tell Us: What'd you think of Sunday's episode?

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