It's Tyrion Lannister's (Peter Dinklage) King's Landing—and we're all just living in it on Game of Thrones!
For Lancel Lannister (Eugene Simon), truer words have never been spoken as he has now become a very important pawn in the intense battle of wits and power between the fan favorite Lannister and his sister Cersei (Lena Headey). But the sibling's personal battle isn't the only battle Lancel will be taking part of this season.
We chatted with Eugene Simon about Lancel's role in the Lannister family feud, his relationship with Cersei (Lena Headey), his cousin/lover (ew!), and why fans shouldn't be worried about the epic battle scenes in the highly-anticipated episode "Blackwater"...
Note: Minor spoilers for the rest of season two and beyond are included in this interview. If you wish to remain completely spoiler-free, we suggest you proceed with caution.
Now that Lancel is working with Tyrion, what are we going to see from those two moving forward?
Obviously, Tyrion has Lancel courted, if you like, and I think that given the type of world that these two live in there is absolutely no hesitation in taking advantage of his weakness, of the position that Lancel has put himself in. Over the course of the series, you'll see how Lancel struggles to deal with what he has done. And even though he has a huge infatuation with Cersei, I always got the impression with Lancel that there is always this sense of anxiety, always this sense of nerves and even a touch of guilt to what he has done. You're not only going to see how Tyrion takes advantage of him, but you'll see how uncomfortable Lancel becomes with that. I think that is very important considering how Lancel progresses over the course of the next few seasons. His guilt is fundamental towards his transformation.
What can we expect to see from Cersei and Lancel's "relationship" moving forward?
Lancel and Cersei's relationship is they will obviously be lovers, but I think you'll start to see just how fundamentally flawed this relationship, if you can even call it that, is. And particularly toward the end of the series you'll come to see Lancel's understanding of just how unrequited his love for her is and all will be revealed, really. So it's not going to be a love affair or at least a fake love affair for the rest of the series. There is going to be a turning point, I'm not going to say what that is or how it occurs, but I think it's going to be very important to see Lancel's reaction to seeing the true Cersei as the season progresses.
We haven't seen much of Lancel, so how do you view him as a character?
Lancel is still very much a boy and the reason I say that is he always has these very emotional intentions. He's not going out really in the pursuit of wealth; he is in pursuit of following his family successfully, but I think that he is one of the few characters that I've encountered who is just completely taken advantage of. His intentions are emotionally motivated, and the moment that he is kind of seen as this impressionable young man it's only a matter of time really before the people who are closest to him start taking advantage of him. To me he's a very beautiful figure, but he's also a very tragic figure. I enjoy the story really because I can sort of relate to that young infatuation that I think a lot of people around his age can get sucked into, young love as they call it.
When we spoke with George R.R. Martin last year, he told us he was nervous about the funding for "Blackwater," the episode he wrote which features a highly-anticipated battle…
When you say that to me and you say that they were worried about the finance, and that it wouldn't be big enough, that kind of scares me because from what I saw I had never been on a set with such perfect attention to detail. The truth is that obviously I would have loved to have seen what they could have produced had they had every penny they required available to them, but from what I saw the castle walls were a good 30 feet high and we had men with fire, hurling rocks down at the enemy below. I actually caught a rock to the head as I was running out. So they really, really decided to use every bit of finance they had available to them. I think it would be wrong for the fans to assume that they are not going to get the battle scenes that they want because what they have done has been fantastically well organized and perfectly, perfectly put together. It would be wrong to dream of a bigger and better world than the one we already have.
Are you excited to see how that episode turns out?
Oh, of course! I'm kind of a bit worried though because I think I'm a bit more excited than the fans because being there you see it in the flesh, but you wonder what kind of magic the camera can do towards the scenes, so actually I am looking forward to it. It's going to be quite thrilling.
A lot of fans have said they want books three and four to be split into separate seasons. Is that something you'd like to see?
This is something that I've been wanting, but I think what fans would like and perhaps what might be an idea is to have book three and four written in a timeline next to each other in a storyline. I would be an idea for season three to account for both of those books, but in a way that allows us to have Daenerys, and have Tyrion and have Jon Snow and all of them at the same time because they're all so wonderful. I think our fanbase would sort of mourn the loss even for one season of their favorite characters and how fantastically unique and exciting and ambitious they are.
What has the reaction been like from your family and friends who watch the show?
Well, a lot of them have been congratulating me for having the guts to go onscreen, but given the fact that there are certain scenes that require a little bit more nudity I shouldn't really be given much credit! There are a lot more scenes in the show that are a lot more demanding, but they've been nothing but supportive and I'm very grateful to them for that.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.