The “Game of Thrones” showrunners once forgot to tell a cast member they were being killed off
By now, it’s a known ritual on Game of Thrones: When a character is about to be killed off in the series, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss notify the actor first. It’s a famous conversation that many actors in the series have spoken about. But according to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister on the show, Benioff and Weiss once forgot to tell an actor that his major character was being killed off. Whoops.
The Kingslayer told The Frame that Stephen Dillane found out that Stannis Baratheon was being killed off reading the script in his trailer.
Coster-Waldau told the outlet that while the actors playing minor characters on the series might learn of their character’s death reading the script, most actors who have roles with major arcs or storylines will get that iconic phone call. According to the actor, Benioff and Weiss simply forgot to tell Dillane.
"The main characters will get a phone call, usually. [laughs] ... A lot of people also just find out when they read the script. I don't think anyone finds out at the actual table read," Coster-Waldau said." For some reason I think Stannis — Stephen Dillane — he found out in his trailer, reading the script, I think because they made a mistake, apparently. They forgot [and said], 'Are you going to call him? No I'm going to call him.' OK! So he was like, 'Are you... what?! I guess I'm not the chosen one, but the red priestess said it was me!' But ... other than that they're pretty good in telling people."
Seeing as how Stannis spent five seasons — four on-screen — trying to take the Iron Throne and believing himself to be The Prince That Was Promised, we can certainly see why Dillane was shocked about being killed off, especially without a fateful phone call.
Stannis met his end after a battle with the Boltons and at the hands of Brienne of Tarth, who was able to finally fulfill her promise to kill the man who murdered Renly Baratheon. With the exception of Stephen Dillane, Coster-Waldau told The Frame that the GoT showrunners are generally very good about making the death call.
We hope so, since we have a feeling a lot of actors will be on the receiving end as the series winds down.