Liam Cunningham talks Melisandre, season 7, and the end of 'Game of Thrones'

Spoiler warning: If you don't want to know what happens in "Game of Thrones" seasn 6, read no further!

MANILA, Philippines – Game of Thrones season 7 is coming up and fans are already gearing up for an exciting – if shorter – set of new episodes.

Season 7 will air on HBO on Monday, July 17 at 9 am Philippine time, picking up where we left our cast of characters last – Kings Landing in flames, Jon Snow named King of the North, and Daenerys headed to the West with Yara Greyjoy in tow.

KHALEESI. Emilia Clarke plays Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons, in 'Game of Thrones. Left to right: Nathalie Emmanuel, Peter Dinklage, Conleth Hill, Emilia Clarke, and Jacob Anderson. Photo by Macall B. Polay/HBO

KHALEESI. Emilia Clarke plays Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons, in 'Game of Thrones. Left to right: Nathalie Emmanuel, Peter Dinklage, Conleth Hill, Emilia Clarke, and Jacob Anderson. Photo by Macall B.

Polay/HBO

For Liam Cunningham's character Davos Seaworth, season 6 ended in grief. Upon knowing the fate of Stannis Baratheon's daughter Shireen, Davos attempts to have the Melisandre (aka the Red Woman) executed. Instead, Jon banishes her from the North on pain of death.

 

In an interview with the press in Bangkok in April, Liam said that season 7 would be a "culmination," with the Night King in the picture, Bran becoming the Three-Eyed Raven, and Sansa finally saying, "Winter is coming."

'WINTER IS COMING.' Photo shows Aidan Gillen as Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish and Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark. Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO

'WINTER IS COMING.' Photo shows Aidan Gillen as Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish and Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark.

Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO

"So with winter being here, the Night King is here, so we have to think logically about what has to be done to defend Westeros against this threat. I will leave the rest to your minds," he said, wary of giving out spoilers at the interview.

Still, Liam weighed in on Melisandre's character, given the tense scene between her and Davos at the season 6 finale. "I can't imagine that that would be the last time that we would see Melissandre," said Liam. "I think she's too important a character. Whether we will see her at all in season 7, I don't know. We shall have to wait and see."

Photo courtesy of HBO Asia

Does he think Davos and Melisandre will develop a romantic relationship in the end? Not quite. "You know what, on this show, that wouldn't surprise me. With [show creators] David [Beioff] and Dan [Weiss], anything could happen on this show. It's yeah, maybe that's what'll happen, maybe the two of them will be walking into the sunset arm in arm, holding a small child," said Liam, before adding, "I don't think so. Somehow, I don't think that's gonna happen."

A shorter, more cinematic season

Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO

Season 7 is set to be shorter, with 7 episodes instead of the usual 10. The change allowed them to spend more time shooting, Liam said, and the cast and crew worked on each episode more than in previous seasons.

"The reason we spent longer is because I think this season is more cinematic, it's more – it's less television, it's more cinema," he said. "In other words, it's bigger, the scale is bigger. You're going to see some extraordinary sets, amazing locations, and of course, more wonderful surprises this year, amazing surprises."

Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO

Liam later added that regardless of the number of episodes in the season, fans will never be satisfied, because of the nature of Game of Thrones: "There's an old saying in showbusiness – always leave them wanting more! And I think this show does, it leaves you wanting more."

He continued: "I mean, people are already on the internet saying, 'What are we going to do when Game of Thrones ends?' I mean, people are already thinking there's gonna be a hole in their life. Imagine what it is for us! We're in the show! Its a very big hole that it's gonna leave in – professionally, and personally – in my life."

Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO

But instead of stretching the show out to earn more with additional seasons, Liam assured fans that HBO will let Game of Thrones run its course.

"But it has an end, the story has an end, and it's coming. Not only is winter coming, the end of the show is coming," said Liam. – Rappler.com