TV Guide has interviewed Michelle Fairley about the shocking moment in the ninth episode.
Right. But did you know at the beginning that her death would come before the end of the season?
Because it was 12 episodes instead of 24, the producers had a basic guideline. They know the story arcs and how it’s going to work, but they hadn’t decided what episode it was going to be in. They are constantly tweaking, and it’s a very organic, high-stakes process that they go through. But you know contractually how many episodes you’re going to be in, but they didn’t say at that point, you’re going to go [out] in this episode. It was exciting every time to get a script because you didn’t know what way they were going to take her. It was always thrilling.
What did you like about this character? She’s obviously doing bad things, but she isn’t pure evil.
In her mind, she’s a very honorable woman. She’s very intelligent and she’s completely committed. It’s her purpose and her drive. She has taken something on, and she will see it through to the end. So, you play this woman’s passion, you play her commitment. In her mind, she isn’t evil. She’s achieving a goal that is pertinent to her. It involves a loss of love with her husband…. but she’s also trained her mind to not be emotional. Her emotions are very intact; they are not emotions that can send her out of control. They keep her focused, they keep her driven. She is cool under pressure.
I suppose she showed some honor when she kept her word about downing all the other drones.
I admired the writers for putting that in. It shows that when she made that deal with the president, they both were giving their word. It’s important … because she had achieved her goal. She wasn’t just going to annihilate the rest [of London]. She was prepared to draw the line once President Heller was dead. That was what she set out to do. And therefore, when she realized that [Heller] had lied, it makes the betrayal doubly hard for her. She kept her word, but she’s thinking, again, “Why did I believe them? I should have trusted my instincts.”
Check out the TV Guide interview below for more, but be warned that it contains Game of Thrones spoilers.