Game Of Thrones: James Cosmo Talks Lord Commander Mormont's Dramatic Scene At Craster's Keep (Spoiler Alert!)
James Cosmo at the Los Angeles 'Game of Thrones' premiere (left) and in 'GOT' Season 2 (right) -- HBO/Helen Sloan/Getty Images
"Game of Thrones" Season 3 heated up on Sunday night, not just with Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons, but in the frozen forests north of The Wall.
(SPOILER ALERT! Stop reading now and come back later unless you've already watched Episode 304, "And Now His Watch Is Ended.")
A freezing march back to The Wall, by way of Craster's Keep, turned into a bloody and fiery mutiny when several members of the Night's Watch attacked and killed not only Craster, but took down their own leader -- the noble, honorable and influential Lord Commander Mormont, played by actor James Cosmo.
The sad moment for the "Old Bear" in George R.R. Martin's book, "A Storm of Swords," was finally brought to life in the series in Sunday's episode as Rast (Luke Barnes) stabbed him in the back, and took the Lord Commander down for good.
In a new interview, James told AccessHollywood.com he was "flattered" the "GOT" team gave his character such a dramatic exit from the HBO series. He also shared his thoughts on why things got out of control at Craster's Keep and what the Lord Commander's lasting impact is on Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly.
AccessHollywood.com: In hindsight, maybe it wasn't the best idea to give some of these members of the Night's Watch swords and knives.
James Cosmo: (Laughs) A treacherous lot it turns out. I think Lord Mormont is the best of a very bad lot.
Access: What do you think led to him losing control of that situation and it spiraling out of control?
James: I think it was the trauma that they're going through beyond The Wall, with all these dreadful things depleting the army. And they're really just trying to get back to warn everyone. Like, 'Hey guys, it's pretty nasty out here.' So I think they're all in survival mode and the worst traits come out in some of them. And only in some of them.
Access: Did you know from the beginning that this was going to be his arc?
James: Yeah, I knew from friends of mine that had read the books that Lord Mormont expires at the beginning of the third book and they were following the books pretty closely... So yes, I knew that it would certainly only be three seasons, which, from my perspective, was absolutely terrific. You have all the fun of creating the character and playing it and... although it's lovely to be working on such a great show, you're not sort of [saying], 'Are we going for another season and another season?' You're in there and it's gonna finish at 3 and that's fine. Move on to something else.
Access: It was a big scene. You gasp when it happens, even if you know it's coming... Did you feel the emotions and the craziness of the moment when you read the script?
James: Yeah, it was a well-written exit and I know that David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] were very keen to make the most of Lord Mormont's death and make it as shocking as possible and it showed in the writing... It was very flattering that they thought Lord Mormont was important enough to have that -- to be regarded as such.
Access: He didn't go out with one blow.