Death abounds on HBO's Game of Thrones — just ask Jack Gleeson (Joffrey), Rory McCann (The Hound), Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister), Sibel Kekilli (Shae), or Rose Leslie (Ygritte). But each of those actors knew their characters' fates upon landing their respective roles, since George R.R. Martin had previously killed them in the A Song of Ice and Fire novels upon which the show is based.
So what happens when Game of Thrones executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss decide the show no longer needs a character that still exists in Martin's books?
Turns out, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who played Jojen Reed (until he was killed in the Season 4 finale), was just as surprised as fans to learn about his character's fate.
"I found out on the plane flying over to film Season 4," the actor revealed to BuzzFeed during an interview for his new movie, The Maze Runner. "It happens in the last episode, so I was reading all the scripts and I got to the page where it says, 'Jojen gets stabbed repeatedly in the stomach.' I thought, That's OK. I'll be fine because no one's told me yet and I'm not dead in the books. I'll be fine.
"So I keep reading and see, 'Meera comes over and slits his throat.' Then I thought, Well, I'm amongst all these White Walkers. Maybe the plan is to turn me into a White Walker — that would be really, really cool. Then, that little girl comes out, throws a Molotov cocktail, and I burst into flames. That's when I knew I was definitely, definitely dead. Dead. Properly dead."
Brodie-Sangster never received a call from Benioff or Weiss — nor was he taken to one of the famed Thrones dinners the EPs have notoriously held to inform actors they'll be naked or killed off. But, despite the fact that "it was a bit out of nowhere," there are no hard feelings.
"I had a great time," he said of his two-season Game of Thrones stint. "I would have liked to have done one more season because three is just a nice number, but I really enjoyed my experience. It's also nice to come into a well-established show, do your bit, and die. Then you can go off and do other things. So you get a little sample, but don't get roped into only being that."
Plus, he exclaimed, "I did get a hoodie!"