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Game Of Thrones' Natalie Dormer Insists That Margaery Tyrell Didn't Have 'A Dark Spirit'

In a "Game of Thrones" universe full of complex characters, Margaery Tyrell was right up there. Fundamentally kind but politically savvy, she often leveraged personal relationships or Westerosi goodwill to perfect her image and achieve her own goals. She always ensured that the work she did — to help the people of her kingdom — was done openly in public so that her reputation as a "good queen" would remain untarnished.

Of course, all of it came back to haunt her. In the end, despite all of her maneuvering, Margaery couldn't dodge the more sinister — if patently dishonest — scheming of one Cersei Lannister. First, Margaery was embroiled in a perjury scandal and then thrown in jail. And though she was later freed, she didn't live long — hopelessly incinerated in the Season 6 finale. Even before the wildfire had cleared, it was clear that Cersei had won.

While Margaery might have lost the game of thrones, Natalie Dormer — the actress who brought Margaery to life — believes her character was a good human being and has spoken about how playing such a "finely nuanced" person was more challenging than a "straight psychopath."

Margaery's heart is true, Dormer believes

"[I was] trying to play a character so finely nuanced that people believe you can be a good person who is also politically savvy," Natalie Dormer said in a 2016 interview with HBO, describing the difficulties she faced bringing Margaery Tyrell's inner conflicts to life. "It's easier to play a nihilistic person or a baddie; ... it's a simpler task to play a straight psychopath. [...] I've tried to make her a plausibly real, sensitive, good human being with the skills of a good leader."

While she could have played Margaery as one note, Dormer instead decided to portray her empathy, kindness, and leadership skills while not ignoring her political motivations. Most "Game of Thrones" fans will agree Dormer was quite successful in this.

And even though Margaery once told her (third) husband Tommen Baratheon she was good at "seeming good," Dormer noted this was meant to influence Tommen rather than reveal some dark secret about herself. "I've always held firm that Margaery's heart is true –- I don't think she has a dark spirit," she added. "She's giving a narrative to Tommen that helps convert him at that moment. Maybe she was able to mix a bit of the truth in there –- that's the most effective kind of lying, isn't it?"