Myrcella Baratheon wasn’t the first non-book death we got on Game of Thrones, but it was definitely one of the most surprising— mainly because it wasn’t as gruesome as we’ve come to expect on the show. Turns out, that was on purpose, as the actor has unveiled how much worse her demise was supposed to be.
Myrcella (Nell Tiger Free) was killed in the season 5 finale “Mother’s Mercy,” poisoned by Ellaria Sand’s kiss as revenge against Cersei Lannister for the death of her lover, Oberyn Martell. The death came after Jaime Lannister revealed that Myrcella was his daughter, along with her sharing that she always knew and was totally cool with it.
Watching Myrcella die, especially after such a poignant (albeit unsettling) father-daughter moment, was heartbreaking... but the death itself was kind of lackluster. Once the poison started to take effect, Myrcella bled through the nose a bit, then collapsed. It was way less graphic than Joffrey’s purple-faced poison death in season 4, which felt like it went on forever.
Speaking with MYM Buzz at MCM London late last month, Free shared how the original plan for her character’s demise was way worse than what they later went with. She doesn’t say exactly how badly the poison was going to affect her, but it sounds like it was going to involve some fairly explosive brains. Gross.
“I don’t know if I should say this, but originally what happened is they gave me those mashed up bananas with like blood fake blood, and my brains were supposed to be all over the ship and stuff,” Free said. “I was so excited. I don’t like gore but, like, I knew they were just like bananas, so I was okay with it.”
Free said they later decided to change the scene “because they wanted Myrcella’s death to reflect her life, and wanted it to be sweet— which is rare for [Game of] Thrones.” That still doesn’t explain why Shireen Baratheon, a far sweeter character who had survived one of Westeros’ worst diseases, wasn’t given the same treatment... but oh well.
Myrcella Baratheon hasn’t been killed in A Song of Ice and Fire... at least not yet. Last we saw her, she’s missing an ear following a failed attempt to take the Iron Throne from King Tommen. Given the fact that the Cersei Prophecy predicts all of her children will die, Myrcella’s death seems like a given... even if George RR Martin has promised that some of the characters killed on the show will be spared in his books. In any case, Free has an idea for how Myrcella could come back by the end of the show.
“I think Myrcella should come back as a White Walker and sit on the Iron Throne,” Free said.
Game of Thrones returns with season 7 on July 16.