Theon Greyjoy wasn’t exactly the most likable character of the Seven Kingdoms, but that universe would have been undeniably different had he not been around. And, well, because Game of Thrones once pulled a fake script prank on Alfie Allen involving the fate of Theon, Allen was convinced early in the series that his character wouldn’t survive. Hilariously, though, the joke was on the tricksters at GoT, as Allen didn’t quite have the reaction they’d hoped for.
During Tuesday’s episode of The Late Show with James Corden, the late-night talk show host touched on how the show tried to trick Allen. The incident took place all the way back in season two, when the actor was handed a script supposedly foretelling what was to come for his character. The kicker? In it, Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) jumps out and stabs Theon in the chest, proclaiming, “This is my Winterfell!” How did Allen react to this revelation of his character’s demise? “I kind of just took it on the chin and got on with it,” he told Corden, noting that he went on vacation since he assumed the gig was up.
But three weeks later, Allen learned the truth. “People decided to tell them maybe you should call him because he might be tearing his hair out, but I wasn’t. I was sunbathing,” Allen comically revealed. Ha! File that under a swing-and-a-miss for GoT‘s resident pranksters.
This isn’t the first time Allen has alluded to the prank. During a 2015 appearance on Conan O’Brien’s talk show, the actor offered up a few more details about the flop. Admittedly, he said, he’d been bugging the writers the entire season about whether Theon was going to die, and they were “shrugging their shoulders.” When he got the fake script (which he thought was real at the time), he figured that’s why they’d been staying mum. Still, he felt it was a fitting death, saying, “So, I thought it was a great way to go. I thought it’d be memorable.”
To be clear, when GoT‘s creative team did finally call Allen on vacation, they didn’t immediately come clean. First, they asked how he liked Theon’s ending. “I said, ‘Yeah, it’s cool, thanks, guys.’ And they’re like, ‘OK, cool. How would you feel about [there] being a zombie next to you?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I can do that.’ Then they’re like, ‘How would you feel about being a zombie with absolutely no dialogue whatsoever?’ I was like, ‘Ugh, I don’t know.'”
Feigning mock frustration over how nonchalantly Allen responded, the writers basically threw their hands up and came clean about the entire prank. And, as fans know, Theon did ultimately go on to have a memorable death. We’d call that a double-dose of vindication!