The return of Gendry Baratheon to Game of Thrones was enough to make viewers shriek with delight. Handsome, witty, and a different brand of brooding from the type Jon Snow has on lock, the fierce welder was an endless source of joy for audiences that missed him. In a new Metro interview, Joe Dempsie discussed filming Game of Thrones Season 8, what it was like to return to the HBO series after a long absence — and how it felt knowing he was filming his final scenes ever.
Unsurprisingly, he was most taken aback by the increase in security, per GoT fan site Winter is Coming:
"There are some parts that do feel different. Funnily enough, the most palpable difference is just in terms of security. I mean security in terms of plot and scripts and any information pertaining to where we might be shooting at any given time."
Wait, fans knew about the protected scripts — but there was even security around locations? But how did he know when to show up for work? Dempsie elaborated:
"During the whole course of Season 7 and Season 8 I have never laid eyes on a shooting schedule. Your filming dates are on a need to know basis. You don’t get hard copies of scripts anymore. They are all on this special app. Which are triple locked. The level of security has upped massively."
Even so, there was only so much the crew could do to protect the Game of Thrones cast from enthusiastic fans. Nothing dangerous happened — but their intensity took Dempsie by surprise.
Before his surprise appearances in Season 7, the last time fans laid eyes on Gendry was way back in Season 3. For those who have since forgotten — and no judgment, it was so long ago! — Ser Davos Seaworth rescued Gendry by helping him escape the Red Woman and setting him out to sea. At the time, Stannis Baratheon wanted to sacrifice his nephew because he possessed the supposedly powerful blood of a king. Since those days, though, Gendry has stayed safe, bulked up, and uh, built up an interest in vengeance. So, he was hotter and angrier than ever when Ser Davos tracked him down in Flea Bottom early in Season 7. According to Dempsie, a lot changed for the show during his absence — and not only the circumference of his arms.
As he explained:
“[The cast] were staying in this beautiful hotel in the middle of [unspecified town]. Within two days of being there, obviously word had spread that we were there, and just arriving back from work in the car it was like a film premiere. Every night. Just a hoard of people trying to get a glimpse of some of the actors."
Was that really so different from how it used to be? You may be surprised, but the answer is yes. "We never had to contend with any of that before," the actor insisted. Not all of the filming locations were swarmed, though; Winter is Coming reports that Belfast was easier on Dempsie specifically. "There were parts that were different, but in general it felt like three years had just sped by and I was just picking up where I had left off," he reportedly commented.
If Dempsie had any doubts about Game of Thrones' legacy, they were assuaged by his final filming experiences. Seeing the increase in security, secrecy, and fan excitement was enough to make him rethink the show's role in history. "The lasting legacy of Game Of Thrones is a real blurring of the lines of traditional views of TV and cinema," said the actor to Metro. "I think that really suits actors... If your script is good enough, you can legitimately take it to George Clooney. And he might do it!"
Wait, is that a hint about Game of Thrones Season 8? Does George Clooney cameo in an unannounced role? No, Dempsie is probably just messing with fans on that one. Probably. However, they still haven't announced cast members for the upcoming GoT spinoffs.
Still, Dempsie has a unique perspective on the show thanks to his break, and it makes his thoughts on the legacy of the series all the more intriguing. Now, if only he had slipped a few Season 8 spoilers into the conversation, he may have delivered the best interview ever.