It’s amazing that Davos Seaworth made it to the end of Game of Thrones.
There were so many points in the series when the Onion Knight, untrained in any real military combat and yet always on the frontlines, looked done for.
He may have had to retreat into a corner while the ice zombie hordes descended during the Battle of Winterfell, but that decision saved his life.
Because there he is at the end, sitting around the grown-ups table as part of Bran’s small council of advisers as the Master of Ships. He may be one of the most deserving people there – as deserving as Brienne, definitely more deserving than Bronn.
Perhaps Game of Thrones creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff became soft and sentimental towards the end, unable to part with certain fan favourites who would surely have been doomed in the internal logic of what was once a brutal show with a merciless kill count.
Certainly, when news.com.au spoke with Liam Cunningham before the premiere of the final season, available on DVD and Blu-ray this week, he hinted at a more gruesome end for his character precisely because Davos is someone fans root for.
“If you put your Game of Thrones thinking cap on, what you’ve said (about Davos being a fan favourite) is a really good reason to kill him,” Cunningham said. “Mr Benioff and Mr Weiss tend to do bad things to good people.”
Of course in the final season, bad things happened to some good people, but most of them got their kumbaya ending, Davos among them.
Davos and Brienne are the two truly good, uncompromised characters of Game of Thrones, and despite that, they’re both incredibly compelling and complex.
Even now, nine months after the series ended, fans are still miffed at whose butt was perched in the metaphorical power seat (you know, given that the actual throne was melted down for scrap). And who better than Davos to sit in it, a man with no noble origin but whose integrity outclassed all the high-borns?
After playing the character for so many years, it’s Cunningham who has the best handle on Davos, and the role he plays in the series. The Irish actor likens him to another iconic character in pop culture history: Tom Hagen from The Godfather. Also, Jiminy Cricket.
“He’s like the conscience,” Cunningham said. “I remember referring to him once as Jiminy Cricket. I also thought he was like The Godfather’s Tom Hagen, the character that Robert Duvall plays.
“He’s like a consigliore and a straight shooter, telling difficult truths, as Stannis has said.
“Somebody described him as the moral compass of the piece, when you’ve got Cersei and Daenerys or whoever it may be, all vying for power. Davos has been a real straight-laced guy, someone who doesn’t change even though he is where he is, and I think that’s the reason the audience liked him. I always found he was the voice of the audience in a certain way.”
“Davos – and I wish I was him – is a remarkable man who doesn’t dwell in the past. He’s about doing the right thing. To him, there’s no point in having the throne and power if you have destroyed lives to get it. You’ve got to do it with honour or you shouldn’t do it at all.”
That sounds like someone who would’ve been the perfect candidate to rule the Six Kingdoms.
Game of Thrones season eight and the complete collection is now available to own on DVD and Bluray
The writer travelled to London as a guest of Roadshow
Originally published as The character who should’ve won GoT