Why 'Game of Thrones' Star Aidan Gillen Says the Show Won't Have a 'Happy Ending' (Exclusive)


The show premieres its eighth and final season in April 2019.

If there's one thing we know about Game of Thrones, it's that the show isn't afraid of killing off a main character. And that trend is likely to continue with the drama's upcoming eighth and final season. 

"I always thought it'd be nice for it to have a happy ending," star Aidan Gillen told ET during a visit to the set of his new series, Project Blue Book. "But I can't imagine that would be appropriate." 

Gillen's character, Littlefinger, died on the season seven finale of the HBO hit, when Arya (Maisie Williams) savagely slit his throat. The actor thus wasn't there for the season eight table read with the rest of cast, and said he "honestly doesn't know" how the show will end. "It's a great thing. I'll be excited to watch it as an audience member," he insisted, joking that he'll sometimes slip into Littlefinger's costume for fun. "[Hopefully] it's something unexpected."

While the actor knew his character wouldn't make it to the end -- "If you couldn't see that coming...," he cracked -- he said the consensus on set among the cast, writers and showrunners was that "even they didn't know" how the show would conclude.

"There were stories about George R.R. Martin leaving secrets in vaults with combinations and all of that," Gillen shared. "I know it adds to the allure, but the fact that so many people have so many expectations hinging on it and so many people are interested, it's this huge global storytelling phenomenon."

"It's pretty fascinating. The fact that I was actually part of it for a number of years is kind of mind-blowing, as a big player in George Martin's fantastic world," he marveled. 

Now, however, the 50-year-old actor is looking forward to his next role, playing astrophysicist and ufologist Dr. J. Allen Hynek in History's Project Blue Book. "So many people saw Game of Thrones and a character that's cold and manipulative," he said. "It'd be nice to be known, hopefully, for not as a scheming evildoer."

Project Blue Book premieres Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on History. Game of Thrones returns for its eighth and final season in April 2019. See more on the series in the video below.