Slight Spoilers ahead if you have not seen the trailer for ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8:
Entertainment Weekly has been fortunate of late to be able to interview many members of the cast of ‘Game of Thrones,’ the latest of which is their interview with Kristofer Hivju, the man who plays Tormund Giantsbane on the series, a fan-favorite character introduced in Season 3, a loyal friend and ally of Jon Snow, who fans feared may have been lost in the Season 7 finale when the White Walkers breached the Wall. Thanks to the recently revealed Season 8 trailer, we now know that Tormund has survived and will be in Season 8, though Hivju reveals that the man was not sure when that news would be coming out, and he was trying to milk it for all it was worth.
While speaking about the months where he was attempting to keep his presence on set under-wraps, Hivju said it was all about the mystery of Tormund’s survival at the end of last season, and trying to keep it a surprise for the fans:
“We didn’t see him die; Season 8 could have started Episode 1 with dead Tormund.”
He cited an experience he had watching the show with a group of fans as his inspiration for really wanting to make Tormund’s reappearance special, explaining:
“I sat in a bar when I was shooting ‘The Fate of the Furious’ and I watched an episode of ‘Thrones‘ with diehard fans, and it was like seeing a sporting event. I didn’t understand the impact of the show until watching it with other people. It was the episode where [the Hound, who was presumed dead for a time] came back, and there was this roar. I’m going for that.”
Hivju next went on to talk about Tormund’s mindset going into the season, where they will have to confront the White Walkers en masse:
“He wants closure. All the Free Folk grew up with the horror stories of the White Walkers, like that story Nan told Bran in season 1 with the ice spiders — except having seen them. This has been the terror of their worst nightmare as long as they’ve existed. Tormund has confronted them many times. This is the nightmare moment where you have to face centuries of bad dreams.”
When he was inevitably asked about his thoughts on the end of the series, Hivju had some rather, philosophical words he shared with EW about the conclusion of it all:
“Every seventh year there isn’t a cell in your body that hasn’t changed. Even your bones. Your new cells learned what your old cells knew. And you have your soul. This flesh is not the same as what was sitting here seven years ago. Everything has an end. Everybody is exhausted and nobody is tired. It’s a long, intense journey, and extremely satisfying; it’s so seldom to have this positive drive through every season, from your first day to your last day. Everybody wants to up their game and make it even better. We feel like we’re always competing with ourselves. So it’s satisfying to end it and we’re ending it when everybody still loves being here.”
Are you excited to see Tormund back for the final season? Did you know all along that he would survive the collapse of the wall and be there for the final showdown with the White Walkers? Do you think he and Brienne will have one final moment together before the end? Will Tormund survive to the end of the series? Feel free to share your thoughts and theories in the comments below!