What's Rising

Game of Thrones’ Joe Dempsie opens up about ‘discomfort’ during Gendryand Arya’s sex scene

Actor Joe Dempsie’s Game of Thrones character Gendry has gone through a major character transformation since the start of the series.

The 31-year-old waxed poetic about playing the blacksmith bastard of Robert Baratheon and his unexpected sex scene with Arya Stark in season eight in the latest issue of Esquire.

Dempsie also got emotional in the magazine about the end to the epic fantasy drama and moving on to new projects during his chat and tropical photo shoot.

Winter is here: Actor Joe Dempsie got candid about his character Gendry's sex scene with Arya Stark in season eight of Game of Thrones in the new issue of Esquire

Winter is here: Actor Joe Dempsie got candid about his character Gendry’s sex scene with Arya Stark in season eight of Game of Thrones in the new issue of Esquire

The muscled ginger haired actor originally auditioned for Jon Snow as well as two other ancillary characters but ultimately was cast as Gendry River.

His character’s arc began in season one and, despite disappearing for a few seasons, picked back up in a big way in the finale season of the show.

In season eight, episode two, Gendry and Arya Stark culminated a series long flirtation in a surprising sex scene which many, including Dempsie, were uncomfortable with at first.

‘It was strange for me having known [Maisie Williams] since she was 11 or 12 years old and being asked to play out a scene like that,’ he explained. ‘That discomfort I had initially seemed to have been shared by quite a lot of people who have watched that episode, too.’

A child of summer: 31-year-old Dempsie sat for an interview and a tropical themed photo shoot with the mens magazine

A child of summer: 31-year-old Dempsie sat for an interview and a tropical themed photo shoot with the mens magazine

'The most common thing Thrones fans have wanted to talk to me about over the years was this suggested relationship with Arya,' Dempsie said. 'I was always found that conversation quite uncomfortable at the time, particularly in the early years.

‘The most common thing Thrones fans have wanted to talk to me about over the years was this suggested relationship with Arya,’ Dempsie said. ‘I was always found that conversation quite uncomfortable at the time, particularly in the early years.

Since the pair met on screen, fans have ‘shipped’ them – meaning that they wanted the two characters to become romantically involved. Dempsie pointed out that despite it being a pretend world and a story, the real life actors had a large age difference. 

‘The most common thing Thrones fans have wanted to talk to me about over the years was this suggested relationship with Arya,’ Dempsie said. ‘I was always found that conversation quite uncomfortable at the time, particularly in the early years. 

‘I was a 25-year-old man being asked whether I would like my character to get together with an at-the-time 14-year-old actress.

'I was a 25-year-old man being asked whether I would like my character to get together with an at-the-time 14-year-old actress,' he said of the on-screen relationship with actress Maisie Williams

‘I was a 25-year-old man being asked whether I would like my character to get together with an at-the-time 14-year-old actress,’ he said of the on-screen relationship with actress Maisie Williams

‘It was always something I thought wasn’t fair to ask me personally … I felt there needed to be an understanding that even though what we’re making is fantasy, actual execution of that had to take place in reality. It was never really something I gave much thought to.’  

Social media was alight with comments and reaction after the scene aired, including Joe’s co-star, 22-year-old Maisie.

She took to Twitter writing: ‘if u feel uncomfortable just know that my mother and my step dad and my 2 sisters and my 4 brothers have all probably watched this too ahahakillmeehehe’

Wow! Social media was alight with comments and reaction after season eight episode two when Gendry and Arya had sex

Wow! Social media was alight with comments and reaction after season eight episode two when Gendry and Arya had sex

Maisie herself tweeted: 'if u feel uncomfortable just know that my mother and my step dad and my 2 sisters and my 4 brothers have all probably watched this too ahahakillmeehehe'

Maisie herself tweeted: ‘if u feel uncomfortable just know that my mother and my step dad and my 2 sisters and my 4 brothers have all probably watched this too ahahakillmeehehe’

Joe told Esquire that the ensuing chatter about the scene was a good way to spark a larger conversation. 

‘What that scene ended up doing was forcing people to confront their own hypocrisy in a way,’ he explained. ‘I think the root cause of that unease and discomfort in a lot of viewers is because they feel like they’ve seen her grow up on screen. 

‘That’s something that happens to us all—we all start off young and then the majority of us start having sex and we’re all perfectly capable to finding that journey out for ourselves. 

‘But we still find it difficult to watch someone else take that journey, say, on a TV screen.’ 

'That's something that happens to us all¿we all start off young and then the majority of us start having sex and we're all perfectly capable to finding that journey out for ourselves,' Joe said

‘That’s something that happens to us all—we all start off young and then the majority of us start having sex and we’re all perfectly capable to finding that journey out for ourselves,’ Joe said

Story arc! Joe's character Gendry was introduced in season one, fans have been fascinated to see what would come of the bastard son of King Robert Baratheon

Story arc! Joe’s character Gendry was introduced in season one, fans have been fascinated to see what would come of the bastard son of King Robert Baratheon 

As for what happened after the big Battle of Winterfell, Joe joked that his character was a bit over excited about being made a Lord, effectively erasing his shame of being a bastard.  

‘Gendry just got a bit excited, didn’t he?’ Dempsie laughed. ‘He’d just been made a lord—he’d known for awhile now where he’s come from but the recognition of that by someone in authority has given him an ability to find a place in the world that I think he’s been searching for his entire life. 

‘And he just got a bit gassed and asked someone to marry him. And she quite rightly told him where to go,’ he quipped regarding Gendry’s ill-fated marriage proposal.

Big change: After the Battle of Winterfell, Joe joked that his character was a bit over excited about being made a Lord

'And he just got a bit gassed and asked someone to marry him. And she quite rightly told him where to go,' he quipped regarding Gendry's ill-fated marriage proposal. 'What a stupid question!'

Big change: After the Battle of Winterfell, Joe joked that his character was a bit over excited about being made a Lord

‘What a stupid question! I think he knows deep down in his heart of hearts there is no way Arya will ever be anyone’s lady. ‘    

The relationship, or lack there of, could all be moot as the characters enter into the final two episodes of the season.

As Cersei Lannister told Ned Stark in season one, shortly before he lost his head, ‘when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.’

Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights on HBO. 

With two episodes left in the series, Cersei Lannister's warning from season one looms: 'When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.'

With two episodes left in the series, Cersei Lannister’s warning from season one looms: ‘When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.’

Daily Mail UK

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

To Top