Euron Greyjoy may have been one of the many controversial personalities throughout Game the Thrones" entire history. However, as it transforms out, the actor who played the function shaped the personality in a way most fans would never ever expect.

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In James Hibberd"s sprawling new background of Game of Thrones, Fire Cannot death a Dragon, the Entertainment Weekly editor at large details pretty lot every previously unknown detail of Thrones throughout its filming process. As Hibberd notes, Euron, who usurps the throne the the steel Islands and also wages war versus his niece Yara (Gemma Whelan) and also nephew Theon (Alfie Allen), almost fell under the radar within Game the Thrones" huge cast. However, in the end, Pilou Asbæk, that played Euron beginning in season six, adjusted the character"s trajectory in a substantial way. 

After some of his material ended up top top the cutting room floor, Asbæk presented a brand-new direction for Euron"s character, and showrunners David Benioff and also Dan Weiss ran v it. Here"s why Euron Greyjoy adjusted so dramatically on Game of Thrones between the show"s sixth and seventh seasons.

As Hibberd notes, Asbæk — who, strangely enough, once operated as a nanny because that Jaime Lannister himself, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau — "didn"t make lot of an initial impression, and also producers cut some of Euron"s at an early stage material. For a while, it seemed that Euron <...> was destined come become an additional latecomer struggling to stand the end amid a sprawling cast of fan favorites." together a result, Asbæk pushed tough for a vast character makeover.

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"When ns did season six, I had actually some good lines at the the they took away," Asbæk recalled. " was talking to Yara and had twenty more lines wherein he was being ruthless. He was doing a comedy display for the stole Islands. Dan and also David said, "this is too much.""

However, together Asbæk told Hibberd, he come up with a change for season seven: "I said, "What if we made the a bit much more like a rock star, wherein you don"t recognize if he"s walking to death you or f*** you?" The costume designer was completely into that and also made his outfit an ext rock star-ish."

Just like that, a new version that Euron was born. Together Hibberd put it, "And that"s how Euron Greyjoy went from looking like just another grumpy, scraggly ironborn brute come a darkly charming leather-and-guyliner-wearing buccaneer."

Euron"s character arc might not have actually translated through audiences, but on set, it was a substantial success. "Pilou had strong ideas about Euron being yes, really dangerous but additionally having this sort of sexy-funny veneer," said regular Thrones manager Jeremy Podeswa. "The script argued that, however Pilou brought a many more. It was a an excellent example the how personalities are never just one point on the show."

Fellow director mark Mylod agreed with Podeswa, speak Euron likewise filled a narrative empty spot for the show. "I to be worried about losing Ramsay because he to be such a an excellent baddie, as with people were worried around losing Joffrey in season four. Through Euron, we obtained a an excellent new baddie, yet in a completely different way. It was "big," however it worked. Pilou regulated to make it real, i m sorry is complicated to do."

According come Asbæk, that felt complimentary to really push borders during filming: "When ns was talk to Cersei in the throne room, ns said, "So here I am v a thousand ships and also two great hands." Dan and David come up and said, "Take away "two good hands," it"s as well much." since I had more confidence in season seven and felt favor I belonged more, i went, "Guys, don"t take it. Ns know specifically how to it is in this. He"s gotta it is in charming, he"s gotta be arrogant, he"s gotta watch Jaime right in the eye and say it v the best f***ing laugh — since he"s an idiot and a pr***, and that"s what i like about the character." lock said, "Let"s shot it out." us did it, and then castle said, "We"re so f***ing happy friend insisted on that.""

In the end, Weiss realized Asbæk"s instincts to be right. "We really haven"t had actually somebody in the present who has kind the a rock-star swagger, who just doesn"t offer sh*t," the showrunner said. "Everyone rather in this civilization cares really deeply, even if it is they"re awful, wonderful, or like most of them, somewhere in between. To have somebody traipse ~ above the stage with the swagger and attitude that Euron had was a many fun due to the fact that it lets air into the room. There aren"t the many civilization who can do that convincingly."

All the Game the Thrones, including Asbæk"s performance, is streaming top top HBO Max now.