Are you ready for this? No, you’re not. You’re not ready for this.
Tormund is lowkey one of our favourite characters on Game of Thrones, and this season has only cemented him more into our hearts. His scenes with The Hound in ‘Beyond the Wall’ were absolute gold (I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it yet, but also, if you haven’t seen it yet, then what are you doing with your life? Actually living it? Rubbish).
He’s a proud ginger, “kissed by fire”, and has – it’s fair to say – the most magnificent beard in the Seven Kingdoms.
Tormund just wouldn’t be the same without that majestic blaze of orange glory sitting proudly on his chin, which is why this picture you’re about to see is extremely disturbing, and you’re going to hate it.
No, seriously, are you really ready?
OK, here it is...
WHAT IS THIS. HE LOOKS LIKE A FAILED EUROVISION CONTESTANT. IT’S AWFUL AND I HATE IT.
Here he is again, side-by-side with the beard, this time...
They honestly look like totally different people. The guy on the left is the fighting and fucking-obsessed Wildling joker we all know and love, the guy on the right is the barefoot dude throwing a diablo about on a university campus, breaking only to get involved with a little bit of slacklining.
Thankfully, there’s not going to be a time when actor Kristofer Hivju doesn’t have to sport the beard to play Tormund – we can’t see a ‘Tormund goes to the barbers’ storyline coming up – but still, if he wouldn’t mind never shaving again, purely for my personal benefit, that’d be great, thanks.
Norwegian actor Hivju spoke to HBO’s makinggameofthrones.com about the recent episode – look away now if you want to avoid spoliers.
On the frozen lake sequence, he said: “It was a huge sequence. It took at least a month to shoot. There were so many kills we didn’t have the time or capacity to choreograph every single move. So the fantastic thing we did was an alphabet of choreographed movements; every one of us had an alphabet of seven kills; seven movements. So they could just throw wights at us, and because they [the stuntmen] knew the language too, we could just improvise with that alphabet. So after a couple of days it became very organic, and extremely real because people were coming from everywhere.”
And on Tormund’s ‘love affair’ with Brienne (can it be a love affair if it’s totally one-sided?) he added: “It’s very unexpected; nobody saw that coming. When Brienne came into Castle Black on that horse, the arrow of love just penetrated Tormund’s heart. I think it’s really funny. It’s like throwing a bit of sugar into all that dark salt when you bring some light and love into this dark universe. Watching somebody falling totally in love is always pleasant to watch; especially since Brienne doesn’t really enjoy it. Although...I think she does a bit. Tormund might have a plan. It could be fantastic.”
(Main image: HBO)