In May 2019, Game of Thrones came to an end after eight seasons and 10 years on television. Although the show’s final season meant series stars Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington had to say goodbye to Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow, some Thrones actors said goodbye to their characters long before the final episode. And it’s a known fact that the series made a habit of killing off characters in often gruesome ways.
One of them was Natalie Dormer, the British-born beauty who played the scheming and intelligent Margaery of House Tyrell from season two until her character met an untimely end during season six. After a literally short-lived marriage to Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony), Margaery set her sights even higher: Renly’s nephew and King of the Seven Kingdoms, Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson). However, she gets more than she bargained for with Joffrey, a sadistic product of Lannister bloodline.
But when she too meets an untimely death at her wedding, Margaery ends up married to Joffrey’s younger brother and the next king, Tommen (Dean Charles Chapman). The baddie of the Lannister family, Cersei (Lena Headey) isn’t exactly thrilled with Margaery’s calculations, so she concocts a plan to get rid of Tyrell’s heirs once and for all.
While Margaery’s abrupt ending may have surprised fans, Dormer was in on the secret for quite some time, as she was the one who originally requested to be released from her responsibilities in Game of Thrones.
In an interview after the season 6 finale, the actress revealed the story behind her exit. When asked about her reasons, Natalie Dormer detailed that she had asked showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss to let her leave the series “earlier than usual” so she could pursue another project.
“I got ahead of the phone call because, in true Natalie Dormer fashion, I was trying to fit a million projects into a single year. So I kind of requested to be let out.”
Even during her Game of Thrones contract, the actress kept busy. She played Irene Adler on CBS’s Elementary, a role she originated during the first season and reprized during the second, and she also appeared in the final two Hunger Games films as Cressida. Thanks to the talent and incredible screen presence of Natalie Dormer, no one doubted that she would return to work after the HBO series, and it is clear that the sky is the limit for this indomitable star.