Belfast Telegraph

Ciaran Hinds on his Game of Thrones death: Luscious Melisandre eased pain of being burnt alive at the stake

By Steven Alexander

Game of Thrones actor Ciaran Hinds has revealed how being burnt alive at the stake was made slightly easier as the witch who torched him was "luscious".

The demise of the north Belfast star's character - wildling leader Mance Rayder - was the first big death of the new series of the bloodthirsty fantasy drama filmed in Northern Ireland.

After his ragtag army's defeat in the last series, execution was virtually guaranteed - especially after Rayder's refusal to 'bend the knee' to the victor.

In an interview with Esquire magazine, Hinds was asked what was needed to film his gory ending as flames engulfed him.

"Well, a) don't panic, b) make sure they've doused you in nonflammable liquid, and c) make sure you're a good two feet from the first flame," he said.

"But when you have someone as elegant and luscious as Melisandre, sometimes you just surrender: 'Oh, go on.'"

After witch Melisandre - played by Carice van Houten - lit the pyre, Kit Harington's Jon Snow couldn't watch Rayder's suffering and put an arrow through his heart to put the wildling out of his misery.

Hinds said: "Jon wanted to leave him with his dignity.

"You can see it starting to crack. It's complicated.

"When someone says 'pretend you're on fire,' I certainly have a tendency to overact.

"And then you have to make it internal and pretend it's not hurting, but it is.

"You have to see what comes out on the camera. So you must trust the director."

The season debut attracted a record audience when the new series launched on Monday night - despite having been leaked online.

The show kicked off with 1.57 million viewers on Sky Atlantic, beating BBC2 and Channel 5.

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