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Game Of Thrones' Rose Leslie Describes The Pain Of Her Final Ygritte Scene

"Game of Thrones" is well-known for its subversion of typical fantasy tropes, its more realistic take on the genre, and of course, its shocking character deaths. "A Song of Ice and Fire," the books written by author George R.R. Martin that the show is based on, are very much the same way, and death can come for anyone at any time in the world of Westeros. The biggest and earliest example of this is when Ned Stark (Sean Bean) of House Stark, who many likely assumed would be the protagonist of the entire series, is executed in the finale of Season 1.

From there, the deaths only pile up, but perhaps another sad example of this is Ygritte's (Rose Leslie) death at the conclusion of Season 4. Part of the Wildlings, she eventually comes into contact with Jon Snow (Kit Harington), a vital character and a member of the Night's Watch. The Wildlings are the sworn enemies of the Night's Watch, but the two fall in love, and the story is set up as something akin to star-crossed lovers. As many of those stories usually do, it ends in tragedy when Ygritte is killed during a battle between the Night's Watch and the Wildlings. For Leslie, however, the death scene itself was painful in more ways than one.

Leslie felt the love and pain of Ygritte's love for Jon Snow

During an interview with New York Post in 2017, Rose Leslie reflected on her time playing Ygritte on "Game of Thrones." She still found herself emotional over the character's death. While admitting that her character was angry with Jon Snow, her romantic feelings toward him superseded that anger, and Leslie could feel those emotions through the character. She also believed that Ygritte was okay with dying because she was dying while loved and held by Jon.

"It was very emotional," Leslie said. "The love that she felt for Snow overrode any frustration she felt. It was very painful. Ygritte was happy to be dying in the arms of the man she loved. It was a very lovely storyline to be a part of."

It was undoubtedly one of the more emotional parts of the series, and it marked a character shift for Jon. After the battle, he became more outwardly sympathetic to the plight of the Wildlings and even became friends with many of them. Ygritte's love and death changed him, arguably forever. So while it was a sad ending for the character, it was at least a death that meant something for Jon's development. Besides, Harington and Leslie got married in 2018, so at least their real-world story had a happy ending (per Variety).