‘Game of Thrones’ Star Kristofer Hivju Discusses Tormund’s “Frightening” Fate, See The Final Season Of Season 7

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The final scene of the episode, called “The Dragon and the Wolf,” featured Wildling turn Night Watchman  of Eastwatch By The Sea, Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) and Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) helplessly watching as the Night King, riding an undead Viserion, burning down the wall with a steady stream of ice-blue zombie-dragon fire. The Wall collapses shortly thereafter, but viewers never see what exactly befalls Tormund and Beric. Since we don’t see their bodies, should we assume the two are safe? After all, Tormund narrowly avoided what would have been an incredibly memorable death in “Beyond the Wall,” while Beric has been killed off and resurrected multiple times for some unknown predestined purpose. Was that purpose nothing more than being a witness to the greatest act of destruction Westeros has ever known, or is there more life in the man yet?

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Unfortunately, anyone searching for clarity shouldn’t look to Kristofer Hivju for comfort.  The actor tells THR, “I don’t know [if he’s dead] either! (Laughs.) Pretty scary, right?”

Have you been told whether or not you’re going to be in the final season?

I don’t know. I don’t know.

If Tormund and Beric survive this encounter, will they be best friends forever moving forward? Few quicker ways to bond two people together than surviving the fall of the Wall!

Realistically speaking, if you’re on top of an ice wall and it’s many hundreds of meters tall … I was a competitive climber when I was younger, and that fall, I must say, it doesn’t look good, man. (Laughs.) It really doesn’t look good. I saw an Instagram post somewhere of a guy shoveling through the snow and screaming, “Tormund! Tormund!” (Big laugh.)

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That’s because people will be very upset to lose these characters in this way, and not even get a chance to actually see them go out. If this is the way Tormund dies, are you satisfied with that?

If this is my way out … well, it’s the huge cliffhanger of the season. So, in that way, that people might have to wait two years to know whether he’s dead or alive? If I was [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss], and I wanted to kill Tormund and Beric off, I wouldn’t end the season with the death. I would end it with the cliffhanger. So, I understand that. But I wish he could have whispered something into one of those crows’ ears before it happened. But, you know, when the Wall is down, they won’t need the Night’s Watch or the Free Folk at the Wall anymore. It’s a hell of an ending.

What was it like to read the fall of the Wall for the first time, knowing Tormund was right in the thick of it?

The scene was very short. You came to the end of the script and it was like: “And then Tormund and Beric see the Army of the Dead. The dragon takes down the Wall.” And it was like, “What?” (Laughs.) Now, everything’s turned up. Now, it’s real. The fun of it is that the very first episode, the very first scene, you see wights. Now, after seven years, finally, they are coming through. And that’s scary, man.

Assuming Tormund survives, what do you think he’ll make of the news that Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is the heir to the Iron Throne?

When they called Mance Rayder the King Beyond the Wall, Tormund laughed about that. I think even Mance Rayder laughed about that. The thing with the Free Folk is that they don’t have kings. That’s the whole point of being free, that you don’t have a ruler. If they should meet again, I don’t think it would change Tormund’s view of Jon. I don’t think bloodlines giving you the right to the throne is a concept Tormund will embrace. But, that said, I think if Tormund has to choose a king, he would choose Jon. There was a line in [the penultimate episode] where Tormund asks, “How many people had to sacrifice their lives and die because Mance Rayder didn’t bend the knee? How many people died because of his pride?” I don’t think Tormund is a knee-bender, but if he had to bend the knee, he would bend it to Jon. But then Jon has bent the knee to Daenerys. So, who knows? I don’t think he believes in the concept. Tormund believes in a good handshake!icedragon-4

If this is the end for you on Game of Thrones, what has your time on this show meant to you?

It’s been life-changing in many ways. Of course, it has brought an extreme amount of attention. But for me personally, to have the possibility to play a character I love so much and have been able to explore and has gone in so many unexpected directions and has become a more and more three-dimensional figure, that has been a huge pleasure. To share so much fun with all of my colleagues has been a fantastic experience. I have so many new good friends and so many fantastic experiences. It’s been such a bond to do this with so many actors who just enjoy the work. My main priority has never been the fame. It’s been the craft of acting. Many of the actors on Thrones have theater backgrounds, so they are all so good. It’s been fantastic to be part of it.

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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: Helen Sloan/HBO
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