'Game of Thrones' stars react to Joffrey's death -- EXCLUSIVE

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Though Westeros is surely a happier place without King Joffrey, the cast of HBO’s Game of Thrones is mourning the loss of actor Jack Gleeson. Below, a few of the 21-year-old actor’s closest castmates reveal how they feel about his departure from the series and also give hints about their character’s reaction to his violent death.

Lena Headey (Queen Regent Cersei): “I love him. It’s been four years and I’ve kind of seen Jack grow up — he’s very smart and he’s very funny and he’s very charming. And he’s great company! You form friendships and that’s been a really special one to me and I literally look into his eyes and I get very upset because I go, ‘No!’ But he’s going and I get it.”
Headey on Cersei’s wedding-day thoughts: “I think she’s enjoying this moment for as much as she can. Seeing Joffrey as genuinely happy and excited to marry Margaery — it kills her, and also she f—ing loves him. She holds that boy on a very wobbly pedestal, but she holds him up. And yeah, it’s the beginning of everything falling down for her.”
Then she blames Tyrion: “Of course — who else could she blame? … The last thing she sees while holding her son is Tyrion and that’s all she needs.”

Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell): “We’re all going to miss him — we’re all trying not to think about it that it’s his last day so everyone is a little morose at the idea of actually losing Jack. But once you’re part of the Thrones family, you’re always part of the Thrones family, you’re still part of the clan even after.”
Dormer teases Margaery’s reaction: “Well, politically, to lose one husband is bad, but to lose two husbands is careless! It’s really bad PR for Margaery. So regardless of what she thought of Joffrey as a human being, it’s not a good place for her to be in. So she’s like, you know, cursed or tainted goods.”

Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark): “It’s been the best time working with Jack. He is one of the most talented actors on the show — he’s the nicest person in real life and he’s become a really close friend. He’s the easiest guy to work with and it’s gonna be so sad to see him go. He’s not like one of those method actors that goes into a dark place to get it because if he was one of those guys, he’d be horrible to work with. Everyone who meets him is always totally surprised because he’s like the funniest person and him and Peter [Dinklage] are like a double act — it’s so weird! You can’t meet anyone nicer on the cast — everyone wants to hang out with Jack.”
Turner also gave some insight about Sansa’s reaction to watching Joffrey die: “It says in the script that obviously it’s horror, but she’s seen this kind of stuff before and it’s kind of more a sigh of relief than anything — finally it’s happened. Finally, after all these years. You don’t want to see anyone die, but it’s like this massive weight off her shoulders.”

While we didn’t get a chance to ask the next two actors about working with Gleeson, we did discuss other issues with them related to Joffrey’s death:

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) on what Jaime secretly felt (or didn’t) for his son: “I don’t think he has any love for Joffrey. He’s never been close to him. But he has huge love and affection for his mother, and he sees that effect.”

Charlies Dance (Tywin Lannister) on how Joffrey’s death impacts Tywin’s plans: “Well, it hasn’t come a moment too soon, really. It does help Tywin, because I’ve sorted out who I want to marry who. It’s all about maintaining the status quo really — making sure the Lannisters stay up there. Whether it’s getting help from the Dornish or the Tyrells, the most prominent house in the seven kingdoms is the house of Lannister, so I have to do whatever it takes to make sure that that situation stays. And way over in the east there’s these continuous rumors about this Targaryan girl with her dragons that I’m trying not to think about — let’s cross that bridge when we come to it. But now that we’ve got Joffrey out of the way, the young man that I want to put on the throne I can put on the throne … the death of Joffrey is fortuitous because he was kind of like a little mosquito anyway — annoying, that you’re swatting all the time.”

EW’s full coverage of the Game of Thrones royal wedding:
‘Game of Thrones': Behind the scenes of Joffrey’s wedding — EXCLUSIVE
‘Game of Thrones’ showrunners talk royal wedding twist
George R.R. Martin: Why Joffrey died THAT way — EXCLUSIVE
Jack Gleeson talks royal wedding shocker — EXCLUSIVE
‘Game of Thrones’ recap of ‘Lion and Rose’: Best Wedding Ever!

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