Kristofer Hivju: ‘Tormund has picked up something about this Jaime guy.’

Kris Jenner

Spoilers for Game of Thrones.

I’ve spent so much time preparing myself for all of the worst possible outcomes for the Battle of Winterfell as far as “death of beloved characters.” But I honestly have not thought too much of my beloved Tormund, played brilliantly by Kristofer Hivju. The giant ginger became a fan-favorite over time, and Kristofer’s hilarious and sweet performance was one of the big reasons – Kit Harington basically said that the writers kept Tormund around for so long because Kristofer is such a great guy and fun to work with. What happens if Tormund dies, people??? I WILL RIOT. I will not be able to contain myself whatsoever. Anyway, Kristofer gave a lovely interview to the Hollywood Reporter and now I’m even more worried that he won’t survive. Some highlights:

How that milk-chugging/Giantsbane scene played among the actors: “Well, as you know, you do it 40 times. I insisted on making it as “Tormundish” as possible, every time. (Laughs.) For me, it’s like … this Jaime guy. I don’t know. Tormund has picked up something about this Jaime guy. After Tormund comes to the castle, I think he’s been watching [Brienne] as much as he can. He’s picked up that this new guy, this “King Killer,” he’s competition. It’s all about Tormund trying to push him down in order to push me up. But it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work! (Laughs.) It never works in life to push someone down to get yourself up. But it was hilarious. I had a lot of fun with it. We laughed a lot.

How Tormund felt when Jaime knighted Brienne: “On behalf of Tormund, I chose to feel that the acknowledgment she gets is much, much more important than the rivalry. For me, in that moment, she blossoms. When he sees her smile for the first time and he sees how much this means to her? He really loves this woman. He starts the slow, American clap. (Claps and laughs.) I really think he was very touched. You see him smiling like a baby. I think he’s just so happy. It was very touching when we shot it. Everybody cried on every single take. That’s the beauty of the show. You have this arc of eight seasons. This woman has tried to find respect and a place in the world, and suddenly, she accomplishes her greatest dream. After nine years of following this woman and suddenly she’s there, fulfilling her deepest wish? I think it’s beautiful. She did it so fantastically. It was brilliantly played by Gwen. It was a very touching day.

He cried so many times during Ep. 8.2: “When you have a build-up of seven seasons with so much pain and suffering, suddenly people can be nice to each other. It goes straight to your heart. It’s as my mother says: “When do we cry when we watch TV and cinema? We cry when people are genuinely nice to each other, and do something nice for another person.” There has been so much cruelty and selfishness for people in this show. I cried so many times in this episode when Jaime and Brienne meet, and even earlier in the episode when Sansa and Theon reunite. There’s just so much history. Somebody said that good drama is when you place two people in the same room, and the drama is existing in the room. This was the same. It happened so many times in these first two episodes, where you have two people who hug and you can feel and see the history.

On the Battle of Winterfell: “I will say… I’ve worked a lot with [director Miguel Sapochnik], because we did “Hardhome” and “Battle of the Bastards” together. When you’ve starred in sequences like that, it’s like you’re climbing a mountain. Beforehand, we watch [pre-visualization] in a huge room. We watch a pretty good, animated version [of what we’re going to shoot], with lines and everything. Everybody was like, “Is this even humanly possible to pull off?” We knew we had 56 night shoots in front of us. We were going into two or three months of night shoots. That’s pretty intense, in terms of driving everybody crazy. (Laughs.) Miguel was the greatest commander in chief you could find. He literally had huge armies around him. He’s trying to make this all fit together. Some days, we were 900 people at lunch. It was just crazy. I haven’t seen the episode, so I really don’t know. But I think it will be pretty intense.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

I AM NOT READY. I am not ready if and when something happens to Tormund, or if he sees something happen to Brienne. In an ideal Game of Thrones world, Ser Brienne would finally see that Tormund adores her for who she is and they would fall in love and go make giant babies together. I know that won’t happen so AAHHHHHHH. As for what he says about crying and how emotional it was to film and watch episode 8.2 – I feel him. And I love him for talking about his tears and emotion.

'Game of Thrones' season 8 premiere

Photos courtesy of WENN and HBO.

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48 Responses to “Kristofer Hivju: ‘Tormund has picked up something about this Jaime guy.’”

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  1. gingersnaps says:

    I really hope Tormund survives!! Please tv gods!

    • AryasMum says:

      He’s the only named Wildling left, so I’m betting he lives.

      • Kdub says:

        Little Sam, Gilly’s son, is actually the son of the Wildling leader/king beyond the wall.

      • SK says:

        @KDUB no no no, you’ve got your beyond-the-Wall characters mixed up my lovely! He is the son and grandson of Gilly’s father Craster who was very much an outsider in Wldling society. The (nominated by the people) King of the wildlings was Mance Rayder.

        In the books, Jon forces Gilly to baby-swap and leave her (unnamed in the books) baby with him and sneak Mance Rayder’s baby out with her when she, Sam and Maester Aemon leave for Oldtown. He is afraid that Melisandre will try to burn the baby or Aemon for their King’s Blood. Her baby is cared for by wet nurses and Val. However these events don’t take place in the show.

    • Stubbylove says:

      He’s the best. When he tells the story of how he came to be known as “Giantsbane” – claiming he slew a giant at the age of ten and crept into his wife’s bed. As she woke, she suckled Tormund at her teat for three months, mistaking him for her baby; which is the reason why Tormund is so strong- was absolutely fabulous!

  2. Lucy says:

    God, he’s wonderful. If Tormund has to go, better not be in vain. He will always be The One Kissed By Fire <3

  3. GreenBunny says:

    I would watch an entire series of just Tormund trying to woo Brienne. I love him so much and he’s an amazing actor. If he dies, I’m going to be pissed. I’m both dreading and looking forward to Sunday, because it’s going to be so good, but so devastating. I’m not ready for this!

  4. styla says:

    He’s so attractive its ridiculous. If I had to pick someone from the show, dead or alive, it would be him.

    • Erinn says:

      Yes. I second it. He’s gorgeous in that rugged, burly kind of way.

      And kudos to any man who takes proper care of their beards. Even when his is at it’s bushiest, it still looks pretty healthy. Nothing worse than having a super dry beard that feels like a brillo pad rubbing against your face. The funny thing is, he says he doesn’t do much to it, other than using wax or minor styling/trimming. He might just be lucky.

      And don’t get me started on neck beards. 🤮

      • styla says:

        Hahaha! I agree! But only thing worse than neck beards are the ones who shave their neck right up to the jaw bone. You have to let it extend just a wee bit under!

  5. Myrtle says:

    I love that he just so naturally quotes his mother! (Was she a giant, too?) xx

  6. Millennial says:

    I’m loving the GoT posts every day! Honk!

    • Lexilla says:

      Agreed! I still have never watched a minute of this show but these are the first posts I click on. Somehow I’m in as much suspense as everyone else.

  7. Becks1 says:

    I love hearing him describe the scene where Brienne was knighted, because the emotion from all the characters definitely came across in the episode itself. That may end up being one of my favorite scenes from the entire series.

    I LOVE Tormund, but I’ve always felt that he was a goner, so the fact that he has been around this long has been nice. I feel like he dies in the next episode, either protecting Brienne or Jon.

    • Nona says:

      Becks, I agree—that scene may go down as one of my all-time favorites. When that smile breaks across Brienne’s face … I watched it for third time last night, and it still made me cry.
      You’re right about the actors, too. They were feeling it! No one had to fake emotion in that scene. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t beautifully acted. Gwen really was sublime.
      I hope, I really hope, you’re wrong about Tormund. He has just lit up the screen this season. All of his scenes had me laughing or crying. Shouting at Edd, “I’ve always had blue eyes!” Crashing into the scene to give Jon a (giant) hug. I will cry buckets if this guy dies.

    • Lightpurple says:

      That was one of the best scenes of the entire series. I have watched it about a dozen times now. They all know they’re facing death but they take the time to give that woman what she so rightly deserved but never had reason to hope for because “f*** tradition”. And she knew they weren’t teasing or trapping her, that every man in that room admired and respected her for her skills, her accomplishments, and her integrity. Her smile was so beautiful. The whole scene was glorious.

    • Nibbi says:

      these comments are making me think of how 8.2 was the nicest episode we’ve ever had in this series. like actually nice- we had some non-incestuous, age-appropriate, consensual sex that was sweet and adorable; we had Brienne’s first truly joyful smile; we had scenes and scenes of old enemies being human with each other and trying to come together.
      upon reflection, this kinda just makes me feel uneasy, tho. when has george rr martin (or the writers, for that matter) ever let us have nice things???! are they actually capable of letting us wonder for two years whether Tormund survived the wall coming down, only to bring him back & kill him off in two episodes?? that would suck so, so badly.
      — and that football-tackle of a bear-hug – loved that. one of the best characters in a show full of great characters

  8. Stacy Dresden says:

    He’s charming and handsome

  9. broodytrudy says:

    Ripperoni, buddy, we’ve enjoyed watching you on screen.

    Btw, the thing he’s got about my boy Jaime is that he’s coming for that girl. 😂

  10. FHMom says:

    God, I love him, and I’m pretty sure he’s going to die. I want a prequel to his story with some love scenes.

  11. Darkladi says:

    He better NOT die!!! I will throw the Joffrey-est tantrum known to man

    • Isabelle says:

      Truth is I like most of them and it is going to be awful to see a lot of them die after Sunday. Jamie, Tormund, Pod, Brienne and The Hound would be the big heartbreakers for my GOT heart.

    • Lucy says:

      LOL. I know we (yes, we) are all in the face of death and destruction and bloodbaths but this made me laugh. May the tantrums not be necessary..

    • Eleonor says:

      The Jeoffrey-est tantrum!!! LOL

  12. Isabelle says:

    GOT has a way of letting those so called minor characters live over the majors ones. Edd, Sam as examples. Think Tormund will live but Jamie (who is my favorite) will be the one to go.

  13. Lindy says:

    This guy is so damn charming. I love how open and thoughtful and articulate he is. I love his recognition that kindness can sometimes be the most intimate and emotional thing there is. I’m dreading Sunday!

  14. elimaeby says:

    1. Tormund is my favorite character, hands down. I’ve been preparing for his death for seasons now because I don’t want to be caught off guard.

    2. I love Kristofer for talking about his tears, too. I love a man who is manly enough to cry/admit to crying/let people see him cry. The guy I’m seeing just suffered a kind of rough curveball in his life. He was crying with me, and I realized that I had never seen any other man I’ve dated cry. It was really sweet and a serious bonding moment. Yay for men admitting they have feelings!

    Long live Tormund!

    • Eleonor says:

      We all whould raise our beers for Tormund!
      The actor is brillant seriously: the man can steal a scene with his eyes, that’s talent.

      • Nibbi says:

        whoa you put it so aptly there- he does steal more than one scene with just his eyes. maybe the cock of an eyebrow, too 😉

      • Eleonor says:

        I really appreciate him as an actor, Tormund was a minor character, and I believe he is a really nice person, but that it’s not enough to keep him around, he stole the scenes with his face. Does the giant milk do that too??

  15. koko says:

    I had huge tears falling down my cheeks during the knighting ceremony, and it wasn’t the first time during the show. His mom explained it beautifully.

  16. Lucia says:

    Won’t lie I didn’t read the article. I want Sunday to be a surprise.

    I just wanted to say that while I love my husband, nothing would thrill me more than a 3 way with Tormund and Oberyn. Kristofer Hivju is pretty hot and I adore Pedro Pascal but also worry if there is any possibility we’re related since both our fathers were raised in Santiago.

  17. Jen says:

    Nah, I love Tormund and I appreciate his enthusiasm for Brienne, but he’s not it. Jaime is the one who truly knows Brienne and loves her for who she is. There is so much unspoken longing between them, and their relationship is rooted in mutual trust and respect. I hope we get some kind of love confession before it’s all over.

    • JanetDR says:

      I adore him, but he is too uncouth for Brienne. I expect that he will die protecting her so she can get some with Jaime!
      #there are no emojis to express all of my feelings about that.

  18. Pineapple says:

    Oh my gosh, Sunday is going to be so wonderful and so horrible. Argh.

    You know, I love the seven day wait. Can I get an amen for the seven day wait? So sad that this is going away. So sad. It is excruciatingly fantastic.

    • Nibbi says:

      it’s excruciatingly slow- but also going too fast. three days from now this season will be half over — aghhhhh torture

  19. msd says:

    I glad he mentioned Sansa and Theon. That brief scene packed a huge emotional punch and as he said, it was the shared history.

    Sadly I think he may die. Theon and Jorah are who everyone thinks will die too. I made a list of people I thought could die in the next ep and man, it was long. Too long, I realised. If too many faves die at once it won’t have as much impact.

  20. bobafelty says:

    He’s definitely going to die, probably protecting “the big lady”

    • Giddy says:

      I think you are probably right. *sob* I think that if he dies it will definitely be in a scene where he was protecting another character. I adore Tormund. I love his size, his love of life, and his unrequited love for Ser Brienne. Even in scenes where he didn’t have a line, the reaction shots of his face are the best. Please don’t die!

      I have the feeling that a lot of us are going to have swollen eyes Monday morning.😢

  21. Cay says:

    Those Scandinavian guys in GOT are so hot. (I’m really only posting because Tormund should have more comments that Lori Loughlin.)

  22. SpilldatT says:

    I love Tormund, too. And he clearly has a lot of fun playing the character.

    But I have to be honest, Brienne has repeatedly looked uncomfortable with Tormund’s flirting. I know there’s her insecurities because no one values her as a woman, but she doesn’t look at all receptive to him. And despite how it’s played for laughs, I hate that there’s yet another woman who is clearly not feeling this persistent man who doesn’t take the hint that she is not interested, no matter what her reasons may be.

    I know, I know, it’s GoT, there’s a lot of sexist stuff, but it just bothers me that a lot of people ship them when Brienne has shown zero interest in Tormund’s passes.

  23. Katebush says:

    Love Tormund please don’t let him die but if he does have to go I agrrr it will be defending Brienne

  24. Doublesteff says:

    @Kaiser: So we never got Lady Stoneheart (zombie-ish Catlyn Stark) and many people were upset at that. Her throat was slit and she was dumped in the river in the books. Did she ever make it back to be buried in the Crypt at Winterfell? If she did, will we finally see Lady Stoneheart after all? Could She be the one Arya is running from in such terror?