Game of Thrones is known for its brutal violence, but Season 3 has taken HBO's "it's not TV" mantra to a whole new level with Theon's season-long torture at the hands of an as yet unnamed assailant (though we think we know who he is). Alfie Allen has done a spectacular job with the difficult material. But what's it like for him to film?
"The first torture scene was tough, trying to reach that level of emotion, because I didn’t have any real life experiences to draw on," Alfie explained at a recent press junket in Miami. He also noted that Theon's near rape in Episode 3: "Walk of Punishment" was a particularly hard scene.
That said, he also emphasized that this season isn't just about gratuitous torture for Theon. There's also an arc in there.
"Theon’s biggest challenge is realizing he has nothing to prove to anyone, that he just needs to get on with his life and be Theon, and not be a Greyjoy and not be a Stark, but just be his own person," Alfie explained. You know, if he manages to live long enough to be anything other than a sadistic man's plaything. "And he kinda does [realize] that in [Episode 4]; he’s on the path to realizing it and gets severely punished for it."
For much more from Alfie, check out the whole interview.
What do you think of the torture scenes. Are they necessary, or too much? Sound off in the comments!
Get more Game of Thrones spoilers here.
Catch the next episode of Game of Thrones on Sunday, May 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaDMartin.