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Game of Thrones Actor Talks Being Killed Off the Show in Season 6

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Warning: This post contains spoilers for the sixth season of Game of Thrones.

Alexander Siddig played Doran Martell on Game of Thronesthe Prince of Dorne—who met his death during the premiere of the HBO drama’s sixth season when he was stabbed in the heart by Ellaria Sand, the former lover of his late brother Oberyn. However, according to the 50-year-old actor, he was originally supposed to stick around for at least three more episodes.

During a recent interview with StarTrek.com, Siddig revealed that he was contracted for four episodes of season six, but received a call from showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss informing him Doran wouldn’t be making it past the first week.

Anyway, they said, ‘You know what this phone call is about.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, well, I guess I do.’ ‘So we were going to kill you off at the end of last season, but we decided that we’re going to have to kill you off at the beginning of next season.’ I was like, ‘Okay, life goes on.’ But there was something wrong about that because I had been contracted for four episodes in the following season, so if they were going to kill me off at the end of the last season why would they contract me for those four episodes?

Siddig went on to explain that he thinks his early exit had something to do with his character being changed from the way he was written in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.

So something happened; I have no idea what. There was an enormous amount of fan excitement when I got named to be on the show, and everyone was like, ‘Oh my god, yes, Doran Martell. He’s going to be great as Doran Martell.’ That might have been the kiss of death. Maybe they didn’t want quite that much attention on that character. Maybe they thought, ‘Well, let’s prove that we’re going to stray from the books. We’re going to do something else, and he will be our first example of that.’ So maybe that could have been the case.

Read more at StarTrek.com.

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Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com