Belfast Telegraph

Ian Beattie: Series is best thing to have ever happened to NI and has done my career wonders

 

Actor Ian Beattie at the exhibition
Actor Ian Beattie at the exhibition
Actor Ian Beattie as Ser Meryn
Mark Bain

By Mark Bain

It was back in season five when Belfast actor Ian Beattie said a gruesome farewell to his character.

Yet fans around the world still praise his portrayal of the intensely unlikeable Ser Meryn Trant.

As they prepare for the final battles to claim the Iron Throne, Ian has no doubt the legacy of Game of Thrones will continue long after the final curtain.

In a typically shocking death scene, Ser Meryn has his eyes gouged out by a young Arya Stark - and such was his impact on the series that Ian remains a man in demand.

"Game of Thrones has changed my life completely, and entirely for the better," he said as he helped launch the Touring Exhibition at the Titanic Exhibition Centre yesterday.

"Being part of it has put me on a different level and I will be forever grateful to it.

"It's the gift that keeps on giving and just about the best thing to ever happen to our province. I never get tired of saying that.

"It's been incredible for the tourist industry and for training our film crews. We now have a film industry here capable of stacking up against anybody in the world.

"I've travelled to comic cons all over the world. I've met the most incredible fans and we all share a common bond of loving this TV show, which in my opinion is the best ever made. Game of Thrones has a timeless quality as people will be discovering years into the future.

"I'm particularly proud that HBO has chosen Belfast to bring this stunning exhibition to. It gives the fans a real chance to get up close to the incredible amount of detail which has gone in to making this programme."

Stars of the show will be gathering in Belfast for the UK premiere of season eight tomorrow night.

Fans will get their first chance to return to Westeros when the first episode of the final series airs on Sunday night/Monday morning.

"I'm a fan of the show as much as anyone else and I can't wait to see how it's going to end," Ian said.

"I'm not even sure there's going to be a throne to claim. In this show some lines come back to haunt you. A line said by Ramsay Bolton struck me with a resonance: 'If you think this has a happy ending you haven't been paying attention'."

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