Game of Thrones: Kerry Ingram Discusses Her Grueling Death Scene
During a Game of Thrones convention in Dallas this past weekend, Kerry Ingram, who played Shireen Baratheon, took the stage with her fellow co-stars Aimee Richardson (Myrcella Baratheon) and Sam Colemon (Young Hodor). During the “dead children of Game of Thrones” panel, Ingram recalled her experience filming the death of her character, which was one of the more brutal deaths on the show. Manipulated by the Red Witch Melisandre, Stannis believes that the key to victory is to sacrifice his daughter. Shireen is burned at the stake. Ingram remembers the days leading up to the scene.
“It was really hard to prepare for, because it’s not something you can just go, ‘Oh, I’ll take that from my life and then make it this.’ I’ve never been burned. So I was like, ‘How do I get into this mindset?’ I spent a lot of time being like, ‘What do I do? How do I approach this?’ And I think everyone on the set knew kind of what a big scene it was and how big it was for me personally.”
To prepare, Ingram was taken to an abandoned parking lot where she would just scream. It gave her time to warm up and also made it so that she wouldn’t get up there and not know what to do. When it came time to shoot, there were giant fans making a lot of noise, which Ingram said was helpful as it made her feel like she wasn’t “screaming just to make sound.” They started with close-up shots of Ingram, and as time passed, the scene got easier for her. There were about 200 extras present, but Ingram made sure not to look any of them in the face because that would’ve made her even more nervous. “They’re all adults,” she said, “and I’m this child who’s been given the responsibility of this scene.”
The whole sequence was supposed to take three days to film, but on the final day, Ingram wasn’t needed anymore. Luckily, she had one more scene to film, or she would’ve had her last day on Game of Thrones and not realized it. Despite the scene being incredibly taxing, Ingram was grateful for the experience.
“It was amazing. It was such a different experience, nothing I’ve ever done before. And yeah, I was really sad when the scene finished filming… The whole scene was just amazing, and if I could do it again, I would do it in a heartbeat.”
Later, Ingram was asked how things would’ve turned out if Shireen hadn’t of died, to which Ingram responded that Stannis would probably still be alive. If he were, then the fight for the throne would still be going on. The show could’ve been very different.
In addition to recounting her death scene, Ingram talked in depth about co-star Liam Cunningham, who plays Davos Seawoth. In the show, Davos is the father Shireen never really had, and according to Ingram, their relationship was much the same off-screen.
“[Liam] was always like a dad. He would make sure that I was like, having fun and enjoying myself. And if I couldn’t say my line, he was always like, ‘It’s okay, don’t worry. Just relax.’ And he made the entire experience so much better. It was just amazing to have that person that was there to help me get into this industry that is so mental.”
When Ingram completed filming, she and Liam both received one of the stags made by Davos in the show, but “we had to take the broken ones.” Ingram added that her sister also took home a Game of Thrones prop when she came to visit the set.
“Production would make a fresh scar every day. My sister, being the weirdo that she is, took one of them when she came to visit. She was like, ‘I want it. I want to play with it.’ And I was like, ‘Rachel, it’s a scab that’s come off my face.’ This is the same sister who didn’t care if I died. On the show, not in real life.”
Game of Thrones returns for its final season in 2019.