Alfie Allen says Game of Thrones creators pranked him with a fake fate for Theon
In the wake of the final season of Game of Thrones (and until the greenlit prequel airs on HBO), fans are surviving off behind-the-scenes intel from our favorite actors on the show while they make press rounds for their record-breaking 32 Emmy nominations. One of them is Alfie Allen, nominated for his portrayal of Theon Greyjoy—a character infamous for his betrayal of the Starks of Winterfell. But Allen revealed he had been betrayed once, as well, by none other than the showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
Allen spoke out about the prank on his August 14th appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden.
Here’s how it went down: In Season 2, the producers gave Alfie a fake script, making him believe that after he pretends to kill Bran and Rickon Stark, the real Bran shows up and kills him instead—thus ending his tenure on the show.
To anyone but Lily Allen’s brother, this might have been a devastating blow, but Alfie said, “I just took it on the chin, and kind of…you know…got on with it.”
Soon enough though, his costars started to get nervous that Allen actually believed the fake death was real, and that he wasn’t coming back to the show. Allen said his costars started pressing the showrunners, saying, “Maybe you should tell him that it’s fake because he hasn’t called in yet…Maybe you should call him because he might be tearing his hair out.”
“But I wasn’t,” he said. “I was sunbathing.” Iconic.
“[The prank] kind of backfired,” Corden said, earning a vindictive giggle from Allen almost worthy of Theon’s main adversary, Ramsay Bolton.
According to Allen in the same interview, the showrunners have pulled these kinds of pranks before. They once told Kit Harington he was supposed to lose all of his signature hair to White Walker magic.
It’s a good thing the prank on Allen backfired, too. While the conclusion of the epic fantasy series has drawn criticism with regards to its storytelling (and a few production issues), fans are in agreement that Theon’s character arc—from ward to usurper, hostage to survivor, and ultimately, the hero who saves Sansa and sacrifices his life to protect Bran, the future King of Westeros—was a fitting end for the character.
Here’s hoping no one considers pranking the cast on Emmy night, where Alfie is nominated alongside costars Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Peter Dinklage, Gwendolyn Christie, and more.