A lot has changed since Game of Thrones season 5 ended. Aside from the new season featuring the best versions yet of characters like Sansa Stark and Bran Stark, Thrones writer-producer Bryan Cogman also described season 6 as being less dark than the previous season. Even Cersei Lannister will be revealing a different side of her character in the series.
Other cast interviews have also revealed characters in the hit HBO series showing completely different sides of their characters. One of these characters is Aidan Gillen's Littlefinger/ Lord Baelish, who appears to be returning as somewhat remorseful in the current season.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gillen reveals how his character has become unusually remorseful after he left Sansa (Sophie Turner) with he sadistic Ramsay Snow (Iwan Rheon).
Asked what he's particularly excited about in season 6, the 48-year-old Irish actor said:
For me, this time out, there's a level of atonement in relation to Sansa and my misjudgment of Ramsay Bolton. A lot of what I'm up to is atonement and really trying to align myself the right people – though, I guess, I'm always doing that! I left Sansa married to a psychopath. It's probably the one time we've seen Littlefinger slip up. He really didn't know about him. He should have.
To his character's defense, Gillen says that in the world of Game of Thrones, nobody really knows the true intentions of each character, unlike the audience's perspective. This means Littlefinger didn't know he was leaving Sansa with a murderous psychopath.
To the viewers who have seen so much of Ramsay Snow, they've seen him do all these cruel acts. And you feel like the world knows his reputation. But in the world of our story everyone does not know. A lot happens behind closed doors, or closed gates. So I know it seems unlikely Petyr Baelish, who knows everything, would be unaware of his reputation and the depths of his cruelty.
In a way, this shows a new side of him, a faltering, and I do want to make amends. I like Sansa, you know? So I'm trying to find something humane and gentle and maybe even warm in the midst of my treachery and calculation – which is pathological. That stuff is so much part of Littlefinger I barely notice it. I'm always talking to people about his "paternal warmth" and they're like, "What are you talking about?" But you can only do what's on the page.
The Irish actor was also asked what his favorite scene was shooting. Apparently, it also involves Sansa and a part of Littlefinger that shows he can be gentle yet threatening all at once. Gillen revealed:
I quite liked the scene with Sansa from in the garden where she's building the snow castle. It precedes Lysa falling throughout the Moon Door. I liked that for many reasons. Visually, I liked it. It was also one of the moments we see Littlefinger act impulsively and maybe he took himself a bit by surprise. Maybe. I loved that scene.
Also, the scenes way back with Varys. It seems like so long ago. There there was one in particular, the ladder speech. I quite liked that. And the scene with Ros early on in season 2 where she was upset about her work and I had to explain to her – in a very gentle way – what happened to the last person. I thought that was a good character illuminator of Littlefinger; quite gentle and threatening at same time.
At least we know that he will always be looking out for Sansa. It would be interesting to see how his character would react after finding out what Ramsay did to Turner's character.
You can read the full interview with Aidan Gillen here.
Game of Thrones returns to HBO on Sunday.