Well, consider this to be one of the bigger surprises to come out of Game of Thrones season 7 Sunday night. Indira Varma is done on the series. After playing Ellaria Sand for the past few seasons, tonight’s episode marked the end of the road for her character.
What may be a big surprise is the fact that she was not technically killed off — at least not onscreen. Ellaria was left down in the dungeon of King’s Landing to die thanks to Cersei locking her up there. She had to watch her daughter perish via poison, and one way or another, she is going to eventually go.
The decision for this to be the final scene for Varma on the series was an intentional one, given that this makes her departure different from other characters. The sad thing about it is that it means that no matter what happens from here, we aren’t going to have a chance to see someone else swoop in and save her from her fate.
Here is what Varma had to say on the subject to Entertainment Weekly:
“[Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] called me, but I kind of knew already. Obviously, there’s lots of trimming going on. It’s all coming to a head and you have to get rid of less important characters that the audience hasn’t had the chance to invest in as much. So I was expecting it. I wasn’t heartbroken. And I was like, “As long as I die on screen…” and they were like “Yeah!” But of course, I don’t die on screen. I stay alive, I’m just not going to reappear. I think it’s really clever.”
Alas, so goes some of our other hopes that Ellaria someone breaks free, sneaks out, and murders Cersei. The reality is as Varma describes it: She knows that there are some other characters who are even more significant to the story at this point, and she was likely going to be a casualty at some point. It’s just sad that it happens now and in a way where she wasn’t even the main death of the episode. (Most of that buzz is going instead in the direction of one Lady Olenna Tyrell.)
It’s also a shame that this happened right at the time when Ellaria’s story was arguably the most exciting, with her serving as a key ally to Daenerys in her conquest of the Iron Throne.
We do have one more question that remains in the forefront of our brain, and it’s pretty simple: What in the world is going to happen next with Yara Greyjoy? She was brought to King’s Landing as a prisoner, but we didn’t see what happened to her.
Are you surprised that this is the end for Varma and the Ellaria character? Share in the comments below! (Photo: HBO.)
Meanwhile, click here for some further news regarding tonight’s episode, including the most-recent episode review.