Don’t do it, man.
Photo: Helen Sloan (HBO)

Game of Thrones has provided many examples of the “marriage of convenience.” Right now, certain characters are even trying to get Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen to tie the knot, even though Jon just found out they’re related and really doesn’t care for it. But the most recent episode included a proposal that was so baffling, even one of the actors thought it was a bad idea.

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In an interview with Esquire, actor Joe Dempsie chatted about Gendry’s ill-timed and ill-fated marriage proposal to Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) in “The Last of the Starks.” As Dempsie described it, Gendry had just been declared Robert Baratheon’s lawful heir and Lord of Storm’s End, so he was riding on a pretty good high. So much so, he apparently thought it was a good idea to confess his undying love to Arya, like, a week after the two of them had had sex for the first time and almost died in a battle against ice zombies. Arya ended up graciously turning him down, a choice even Dempsie agreed with.

“Gendry just got a bit excited, didn’t he?” Dempsie said. “He just got a bit gassed and asked someone to marry him. And she quite rightly told him where to go. 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. “

Dempsie also commented on the reactions to Gendry’s sex scene with Arya. He noted how he was also uncomfortable with the scene at first, given how Williams was 14 years old when Game of Thrones premiered back in 2011...and he was 23. He said it was weird performing an intimate scene like that, given how he’d known her since she was much younger. However, upon reflection, Dempsie found the “subsequent conversation...quite interesting,” as it played on our own fears of seeing children grow up into sexually active adults (something that tends to target women more than men).

“What that scene ended up doing was forcing people to confront their own hypocrisy in a way,” he said. “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.”

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Game of Thrones returns with episode five on Sunday. Jury’s out whether we’ll see Gendry in action again, or if he’s just going to return to Storm’s End to rule and chill in peace. But, at least he’s not rowing anymore.


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