Game of Thrones isn’t exactly known for being a hilarious, laugh-a-minute show, and so it’s good to know that the cast members don’t spend their downtime having ominous conversations in darkened castle rooms.
In fact, it would appear the banter of IRL Jaime Lannister – Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – is as golden as his hand.
And Nikolaj’s cheeky antics almost landed him in serious trouble with HBO bosses. Trouble which could have cost him a fair few pennies from the Lannister fortune…
You can imagine on the set of a show that took 55 nights to film a single battle, that left a cast member ‘mentally and physically broken’, and another saying it will leave audiences needing to go to therapy, the talent are going to want to let off some steam.
Speaking with Digital Spy and other members of the press, Nikolaj admitted a joke about shaving off Jaime’s famed crowning glory did not go down too well.
There’d been a lot of talk about Jaime’s hair in the early seasons – his long golden locks.
Once he lost his hand, I thought he should maybe have a haircut. And then I thought, ‘Why don’t I just pretend?’
Why has Jaime Lannister’s hair gone from the golden locks to a light brown? Is that how Lannisters age? They hair gets darker?
— Quip (@Fatal_Romantic) April 15, 2019
— Sash Shakes (@lady_left_brain) April 15, 2019
The Lannister prankster continued:
This is five, six seasons ago – I sent them an old picture where I had a buzz cut. I sent a long letter where I explained I’d taken control of my character and I want to be respected. I said that my integrity as an artist was at stake!
Nikolaj’s jest was initially greeted with stunned silence. But when he arrived in Belfast to resume filming, he received a frantic and not at all amused phone call from the show’s first assistant director.
Nikolaj explained how HBO had even begun thinking about suing him for the loss of his flowing blonde tresses:
I was in the car from the airport. The first AD said, ‘Do you have any hair?’ Then he explained how poor Kevin – who is the head of hair – had been frantically trying to build a wig with what he had, which wasn’t a lot.
I said, ‘It’s just a joke! Did you really believe?’ They all believed it. They’d also called my manager. HBO had started to talk about suing me and it had gotten out of control.
With the partially redeemed villain Jaime having survived into season eight, his hair no longer has the lustrous golden sheen of the first season.
Indeed, repentant post-Cersei Jaime now sports shorter, darker hair and a coarse beard flecked with grey.
He no longer looks like the typical Lannister and actually looks more than just a little bit Stark-ish, perhaps signalling his new allegiance…
You can now – finally – watch the new season of Game of Thrones on HBO or Sky Atlantic.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.