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Game of Thrones' Tormund actor reveals why he felt like he was "betraying the fans"

Kristofer Hivju was determined to include one element from George RR Martin's books

Tormund - Game of Thrones
Published: Tuesday, 19th November 2019 at 4:55 pm

Game of Thrones drew to a close earlier this year, but star Kristofer Hivju has revealed that he felt like he was "betraying the fans" by not including one aspect of his character from the books.


(We bet you won't guess what it is.)

Speaking last night (18th November) at a BFI retrospective, Hivju said of his character Tormund's transformation from page to screen, "In the novels, he's older... and he says "HA!" all the time.

"I felt like I was betraying the fans, because I didn't say "HA!" – I always tried to put it in, and [was always] suggesting it, and they were like, 'We'll just keep that out...'."

On balance, we'll forgive you Kristofer – Tormund provided us with hours of entertainment, even sans catchphrase.

At the event – held to mark the release of season eight and the complete series boxset on Blu-Ray and DVD – Hivju also reflected on how Game of Thrones on television took Tormund in directions not hinted at in George RR Martin's original novels.

"He started off [on the show] as an antagonist, as a guy who was a threat, an enemy to the realm, and he became part of Team Jon Snow, and suddenly fell in love [with Brienne]... I don't think that was George RR Martin at all!" he laughed.

"That's the beauty of a TV show - that they [the writers] can use the best things they find and create something new."

Isaac Hempstead Wright, Gemma Whelan and Kristofer Hivju
David M. Benett / Getty Images

Hivju was part of a panel alongside fellow cast members Gemma Whelan (Yara Greyjoy) and Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark), with the latter praising the HBO fantasy epic for having his disabled character emerge as king.

"I think it’s so brilliant, to have a disabled character win the whole game of thrones," he said. "It was really special.”

Game of Thrones ended its run on HBO and Sky Atlantic in May of this year. A prequel spin-off charting the history of the Targaryen clan has been greenlit.


Game of Thrones: Season 8 is out on DVD and Blu-ray on 2nd December, along with the Complete Series boxset


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