When you play the “Game of Thrones,” you win or you get completely tricked by HBO, according to the former ruler of Dorne.
Actor Alexander Siddig played Prince Doran Martell in Seasons 5 and 6. In a recent interview with StarTrek.com, he opened up about the intense secrecy surrounding the show, suggesting the network actively sends out misinformation in order to misdirect fans. He threw out some shocking support for an HBO conspiracy:
Last season, I believe that the first few episodes were stolen and downloaded online, and everybody got to see them before the show actually aired, and everybody was furious at HBO and whatnot. I don’t know if you remember. I am almost positive that those four episodes were leaked by HBO themselves.
Whoa! Hold up.
If you remember, Season 5 of “Game of Thrones” was mired in controversy after the first four episodes “leaked” online, possibly by a journalist. That incident seemed to be one of the major reasons HBO stopped sending out “Game of Thrones” screeners (except for the POTUS, of course) to journalists and critics before they aired.
Could HBO have actually leaked the episodes by itself? “Game of Thrones” certainly doesn’t need episode-by-episode reviews from the media to build hype around the show, and the “leak” got a ton of free publicity. It might have been a clever PR move.
The only thing that doesn’t fit is why HBO was supposedly tracking down people who had watched the leaked material. That could simply be a cover up, though.
Siddig says there is “an enormous amount of spin going on” surrounding the show, but he adds that the conspiracy idea is just his own opinion.
It makes sense that the actor who plays Prince Doran would be into conspiracies. In the books, his character is busy scheming behind the scenes, which the show didn’t allow him time to do.
Siddig admits he’s “not really sure” why he was killed off so soon ― in the Season 6 premiere. Apparently, the actor was contracted to appear in four episodes of that season; however, during the phone call in which showrunners told him when his character would die, he learned they had originally planned to kill him off even earlier, at the end of Season 5.
“If they were going to kill me off at the end of the last season why would they contract me for those four episodes?” asked Siddig.
The actor speculates that he might’ve been killed off because he said the wrong thing to someone in charge. Sure, that’s possible. From the beginning, though, the Dorne storyline was criticized heavily by fans for less-than-spectacular characters and fight sequences:
Yeah, people weren’t happy with that.
Unlike the leaked episodes, there’s likely no conspiracy for Siddig’s early exit. All disappointing plot lines must die.