Halt! If you haven’t seen last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, “The Mountain and the Viper,” read no further.
Poor Theon Greyjoy. The lost soul got to be his former ironborn self again for a moment but, with his duplicitous delivery of Moat Cailin to the Boltons, his transformation into Reek seems complete. Honestly, we’re worried about the guy. Luckily, the actor Alfie Allen phoned Vulture up to calm us down, and also took the time to discuss on-set pranks, the cost of full-frontal nudity, and why we shouldn’t hate on Ramsay Bolton.
Where are you at the moment?
I’m just sitting in Glendale Mall at the moment with my friend who is buying some pillowcases. I’m staying in L.A. for a while — not this area — but I was just down here for a [redacted] for Game of Thrones, and — oh no! I might have just given a spoiler away! Take that out! [Laughs.]
You probably had to be more careful after season two when everyone assumed you’d died.
I think they did!
And there was even a moment where you thought Theon was dead?
Yeah! I got a prank played on me by the writers. They sent me a fake season finale script where Bran killed me at Winterfell, stabbing me in the heart, and it was hilarious. I mean, I didn’t even know, because I hadn’t read that far ahead in the books. And I thought it was a good way to go, and with respect to David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss], it’s their call — they do what they do. And I actually loved [that] ending. I thought it was a good death. And then about three weeks past, people were telling David and Dan, when I wasn’t there, “You should probably tell him, because he’s probably tearing his heart out about it.” So they called me and they told me that I wouldn’t be dying — that was a relief! But at the same time, I did think it was a good death. It was a good way to die. And before that, they were suggesting that maybe I could come back as a zombie, and I was open to that. Anything’s possible in the Game of Thrones world, for sure! But I love a good prank.
Is it complicated for you that you’re playing multiple characters, in a sense? There was Theon, then there was his transformation into Reek, and we’ve just seen Reek pretending to be Theon.
I’m totally excited by that idea. I think there are moments where he revisits the state of mind of Theon again but I think right now, he’s just totally Reek. He’s driven by fear and pain, and I don’t think there’s even any anger there. It’s just fear and pain, and maybe the only times he can come back as Theon is when he’s slightly angry. So he’d be two percent Theon now, when he’s angry at himself, angry at the world, you know? I don’t want to say it’s tough to play, but it can be hard to sort of jump in and out of these degrees of Theon, but it’s an opportunity that I’m relishing. I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to play a character like this again, but it’s a horrible state of mind to be in, without a doubt.
After Joffrey’s death, some folks were wondering who they should hate instead on the show …
[Laughs.] Who do they hate now? Who are they transferring their hate towards?
Ramsay is a top candidate, as is his father.
No way. Really? Like Jack [Gleeson], Iwan [Rheon, who plays Ramsay] is a lovely, lovely guy, which is a testament to how well he plays the character. We spend a lot of time together, so it’s not like we try to separate ourselves from what goes on. We’re really good friends, and Iwan is a massive, massive, massive help, and it’s just been great to have him there the whole time. He makes it easier for both of us. Although he is a Man United fan, and I’m an Arsenal fan — but they’ve been pretty crap this season, so I’ve got no bragging rights, to be honest. Sometimes we get to watch a bit of soccer together. We also play a lot of pool together. We have a running competition going, and I can’t remember who’s winning, which probably means he is. He does a great Ramsay, but don’t hate him too much! Some people hate my character as well, or maybe my friends just like to see me in pain. [Laughs/] They just laugh. But Littlefinger is the one that makes my skin crawl a little bit. Aidan Gillen does a fantastic job playing him. If Theon and Littlefinger were to meet … well, which Theon are we talking about here? Before or after?
Whichever one you want.
Well, the one before would have taken full advantage of his properties, so to speak! I think they’d have a merry old laugh. But the Theon now would just try to stay away from him.
Your sister Lily Allen recently said she had been asked to play the part of Yara. True?
I heard about this, yeah. The only thing I’m going to say on that is that it’s not true. And also that Gemma Whalen was always their first choice for the part. And she’s fantastic. And that’s the only thing I’m going to say about that.
That’s okay. We get a glimpse of poor Theon’s hand in this episode. It’s probably easier to show the loss of his finger than the loss of his …
Yeah. In the book, he loses lots of pieces of his body. And losing his penis… That was his most powerful weapon. All the decisions in his life were made by other people. He didn’t have control over his own destiny. So his only real point of authority was in the bedroom. I was really interested when I got to thinking about it, and it was a great addition for his character. Or a great subtraction! [Laughs.] It’d involve a lot of money for blue screen if I do nudity again. That’s why they didn’t do it. [Laughs.] CGI! There’s a lot of eunuchs on the show now. Varys, Grey Worm — we should all just have a party together. [Laughs.] That would be quite funny.