In a world drowning in Game of Thrones teasers, casting tidbits and viral mashup-abilia, a little controversy's fun. And Alexander Siddig, who played Prince Doran Martell, is here to stir it up. Since he played Dr. Julian Bashir on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, he did an interview with StarTrek.com; since he had some Thrones stuff to get off his chest, he did.
Light Game of Thrones Season 6/A Song of Ice and Fire spoilers ahead.
So, Doran is still alive and well in Dorne in the novels; on the show, he met a surprise demise in the Season 6 premiere. Which he thinks was a dumb move. See, the showrunners planned to kill him in the Season 5 finale before switching it up.
“But there was something wrong about that because I had been contracted for four episodes in the following season, so if they were going to kill me off at the end of the last season why would they contract me for those four episodes? Because it costs them money whether I do them or not, so it’s not great business sense to do it just in case."
You listening, HBO? Hire Alexander Siddig as a consultant! You need that money for the final seasons! Those dragons are getting fucking huge! Other helpful monetary remarks: "You don’t earn as much [as a supporting character] as you would if you were doing another show, because they’re Game of Thrones, and they don’t have to pay anyone." Huh. And, when it comes to press tours burning "so much publicity money," Siddig's like, "My goodness, you’re just throwing this dough around, this cash."
Siddig also isn't sure why he was killed when Doran didn't die in the books. (Answer: Because this season was full of surprising deaths, everything happening in Dorne on the show is pointless, the only way to make Dorne interesting was to have the Sand Snakes take over and then never go back to Dorne till the season finale.) He explained:
"There was an enormous amount of fan excitement when I got named to be on the show, and everyone was like, 'Oh my god, yes, Doran Martell. He’s going to be great as Doran Martell.' That might have been the kiss of death. Maybe they didn’t want quite that much attention on that character. Maybe they thought, 'Well, let’s prove that we’re going to stray from the books. We’re going to do something else, and he will be our first example of that.' Or maybe I just screwed up. Maybe I said the wrong thing to the wrong person."
Siddig's all G, though. "I don’t like walking around with secrets," he says of the life of a person constantly asked about Jon Snow's fate. "I can’t stand it. You just make a deal with the devil.” And he says he thinks HBO intentionally leaked those four episodes ahead of Season 5.
Hear Fuse's Back of the Class podcast break down the Game of Thrones Season 6 finale in the episode below: