Game Of Thrones, Season 06 – Alfie Allen shakes the Salt Throne

Q: Set the scene for Theon as we begin Season Six.

A: At the beginning of six, you find him running through snowy, freezing forests leading the way with Sansa. They’ve just jumped off the wall of Winterfell and now they’re on the run from Ramsay. It was incredible, we got there on the first day at Bambridge Studios and they’d blanketed this whole area with fake snow – everywhere, all the trees, it’s all done with this amazing snow. And we’re running through and we come to a river and Sansa is just too scared basically to get into the river. So I get in. Don’t believe the press shots! It looks like she’s trying to get me out of the river, when I’m actually trying to be the strong one and get her in the river. Makes me look weak. Haha! No, but really. We get into the river and we go across, and I guess it’s a good place for Theon because he’s being way more assertive than he’s ever been. He tells Sansa, “I know what the hounds will do to you, ’cause I’ve seen it.” And so that’s what gets her in – we both know that getting in the river will wash off our scent. We go in, we wade across and then we hide in this sort of uprooted tree.

Q: Is this all part of the rehabilitation of Theon?

A: Absolutely. I think that's precisely what it is. Especially with that first kill that he has. It's bringing him back to the strong warrior that he once was. Of course, he'll never be the Theon that he once was, but the Theon he is now is just more forgiving, perhaps a better man.

A: Absolutely. I think that’s precisely what it is. Especially with that first kill that he has. It’s bringing him back to the strong warrior that he once was. Of course, he’ll never be the Theon that he once was, but the Theon he is now is just more forgiving, perhaps a better man.

Q: What is Theon’s state of mind as he tries to leave the trauma of Reek behind?

A: He is just happy to exist. I think he just wants to right all the wrongs that he’s made in the world. And I think that’s a noble quest. I don’t think he quite knows how to do that yet. But the first thing to do is assist his sister in gaining control of the Iron Islands because our father has been a shit king and we should be able to make the Iron Kingdom a great place again. I think that’s his number one aim.

Q: And how deep do the scars of Ramsay and Reek run?

A: I don't think he's even comprehending that right now. I think if he were to comprehend that he wouldn't be able to continue on in the journey that he's on. But I think to a certain degree he knows it's oncoming. He's got a certain amount of respect for Ramsay, as well as bloody hating him. I also think there's that Stockholm Syndrome thing going on without a doubt. If they ever did come face to face, it would be an interesting one, let's just say that.

A: I don’t think he’s even comprehending that right now. I think if he were to comprehend that he wouldn’t be able to continue on in the journey that he’s on. But I think to a certain degree he knows it’s oncoming. He’s got a certain amount of respect for Ramsay, as well as bloody hating him. I also think there’s that Stockholm Syndrome thing going on without a doubt. If they ever did come face to face, it would be an interesting one, let’s just say that.

Q: Do you keep in touch with your former tormentor (on the show) Iwan Rheon?

A: We got to hang out a lot in LA, actually recently. He’s just a dude man. He’s such a proper actor as well and the way that he approached our storylines together I really respect – he never really wanted to show too much empathy because he didn’t want to let that creep in to the way that he was playing it. But he’s my mate. I love him.

Q: What’s this season been like to film?

A: Literally just to be moving around, saying stuff, has been great. When I was doing a lot of the season three, four, five stuff, even though it taught me a lot about acting with your eyes and your body language, you want to be able to say stuff as well. It feels nice to be able to play around with the voice again. I’m sure I’ve heard somewhere that when a person is being held captive or has been in some sort of extreme situation your voice can just change completely. So one thing I was trying to do for the whole series was bring the voice back and forth in terms of that bravado that he once had back in the previous seasons. I wanted to make the voice a bit more honest and a bit more genuine and maybe vulnerable. And the voice coach who was doing it with me actually came up to me and said I can see what you’re doing and I really, really like it. So that was great.

Q: Any highlights from filming this year?

A: For me, there was a scene I really liked doing although I was petrified. Theon's basically just drinking - and the alcohol is what gives him the power to really become the man that he needs to be. My sister is trying to say, 'if you're going to be this pretender for the rest of your life then just end it.' Slit your wrists and get it over with. Or have a drink and be a man again. I found that kind of an interesting way of looking at things! He just gets pissed basically. I thought it was beautiful but at the same time really strange.

A: For me, there was a scene I really liked doing although I was petrified. Theon’s basically just drinking – and the alcohol is what gives him the power to really become the man that he needs to be. My sister is trying to say, ‘if you’re going to be this pretender for the rest of your life then just end it.’ Slit your wrists and get it over with. Or have a drink and be a man again. I found that kind of an interesting way of looking at things! He just gets pissed basically. I thought it was beautiful but at the same time really strange.

Q: It must have been nice to be reunited with cast members you’ve worked with before but not seen for a few seasons?

A: I mean for me it’s just being able to get back to work with people like Gemma Whelan. I love Gemma. She’s such a great actress and an amazing person to be around.

Q: Now that the show is ‘off book‘ does that make it more exciting for the actors or more worrying, not knowing what’s coming next?

A: For me it makes it more exciting. Like I try and lie to myself that I’m not excited. But in the weeks and months leading up to broadcast I’m always thinking about it.

Q: If you could write a script for Theon yourself what would you have him do?

A: My imaginary scenario would be for him to meet the Dragon Queen. And then they create some sort of bond and we just look in to each other’s eyes and we have an understanding and then I get to ride a dragon. That’s what I want to happen.

Q: Each year the show seems to get bigger. Is that noticeable as a cast member?

A: Yeah, hugely. I mean I'm going to give you a really crappy answer but you just get recognised a hell of a lot more. It's opening doors for me in this industry that I haven't been able to go through before which is fantastic. I just get to learn more about acting every year.

A: Yeah, hugely. I mean I’m going to give you a really crappy answer but you just get recognised a hell of a lot more. It’s opening doors for me in this industry that I haven’t been able to go through before which is fantastic. I just get to learn more about acting every year.

Q: Have the public’s responses to Theon changed? Are people now rooting for him?

A: Oh, without a shadow of a doubt, yeah. People are definitely more empathetic now. There is a Team Theon whereas before there wasn’t. I’m so happy that people are now taking some sort of joy from that storyline, which is great.

Q: How do you think fans will respond to the new series?

A: They’re going to lose their minds! They are. I’m serious. You’re seeing characters that you really didn’t expect to cross paths crossing paths. The weirder, the better and the more unexpected. The writers seem to be able to join those threads so easily.

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