'Game Of Thrones' Actor Reveals What It Was Like To Stab Jon Snow

"It's not every day you're shooting a historic scene in probably the biggest TV show ever."

If you're anything like Barack Obama as a "Game of Thrones" fan -- or, really, any kind of "Game of Thrones" fan other than a true diehard -- you probably don't remember the name Othell Yarwyck. He's actually made appearances in four seasons of the show, but he hasn't had that many lines. (And, yes, it's hard to keep the names straight.) He's the First Builder in the Night's Watch, so he's right up there in leadership with Jon Snow. Here he is sitting in Castle Black next to Snow in Season 5, Episode 3:

Even if your recollection of the character remains dim, you surely remember something he did in the Season 5 finale. He was one of the Night's Watch brothers who betrayed and stabbed Snow, apparently killing him. He was actually the second person to plunge his knife into Snow's chest, so he was pretty integral to the plot. 

Brian Fortune, the Irish actor who plays Yarwyck, spoke with Ireland's Newstalk this week about the experience of filming that heart-wrenching scene. (Maybe he thought it was safe to emerge now that set leaks and the official poster for Season 6 have all but confirmed the theory that Snow will live to fight another day.) Fortune said that it felt "pretty good" to be one of Snow's killers. How macabre!

"It's not every day you're shooting a historic scene in probably the biggest TV show ever," he explained, "And of course the reaction to Jon Snow's death was phenomenal!"

As fun as it was for him, though, Fortune said he's gotten some negative reactions from fans since the momentous episode. 

"When the scene was fresh in people's minds a couple of guys gave me a bit of a hard time verbally and I was called a bastard among other things by some ladies," he said. "Pretty tame stuff."

Fortune, who admitted he's never read George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice And Fire books, also said that the big scene was the only plot point he's ever revealed to a civilian before the show aired. 

"I cracked and told my wife Polly ... and that was the worst thing I could have possibly done because I was afraid she might let it slip," Fortune said. "It was an absolute nightmare waiting for the episode to be screened."

Fortune seems to have learned this lesson well. Asked about the rumors that Jon Snow would return in the next season, he feigned total ignorance.

"What?" he responded. "Jon Snow is on the Season 6 poster? He's still alive? News to me!"

The Newstalk writer noted that Fortune laughed at this point. So, you know, interpret that as you will. 

For more with Fortune, including his favorite scene to film, read the whole interview.


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