Ciarán Hinds: ‘I was put off by the amount of sexuality that was going on in Game of Thrones’

Ciarán Hinds has admitted that he had reservations about appearing in Game of Thrones due to the amount of sex scenes.

The Irish actor starred in HBO’s fantasy epic as Mance Rayder, a former member of the Knight’s Watch later known as the “King Beyond the Wall”.

In a new interview with The Independent, Hinds opened up about his time on the show, in which he appeared across three seasons from 2013 to 2015.

Hinds said that, despite the series being a huge hit, he was in two minds about taking on the role due to its excessive explicit content.

“I was rather put off by the amount of sexuality that was going on in it because it was taking away from the actual political storytelling,” he told The Independent.

“But that’s business, I guess, from their perspective.”

Game of Thrones was notorious for its countless sex scenes, with Yara Greyjoy actor Gemma Whelan saying in 2021 that the cast were often “left to get on with” filming intimate scenes, which she described as a “frenzied mess”.

Elsewhere in the interview with The Independent, Hinds spoke about working with an intimacy coordinator for a sex scene in Irish drama The Dry, in which he co-stars with his wife Hélène Patarot.

Hinds as Mance Rayder in ‘Game of Thrones' (HBO)
Hinds as Mance Rayder in ‘Game of Thrones' (HBO)

The intimacy coordinator turned out to be the same one used by his daughter Aoife when she appeared as Connell’s (Paul Mescal) girlfriend in the BBC Three adaptation of Sally Rooney’s hit novel Normal People.

“I was asking her because it seems to me strange,” Hinds said. “I didn’t come from that generation. Anything [me and my co-stars] had to create together in scenes of a sexual nature we just talked about it.

“It’s about how we tell the story together, so I didn’t understand why intimacy coordinators were suddenly everywhere. As actors you let your own spirits inform what you’re doing.”

He continued: “Aoife said, ‘No, it was fantastic because your own emotional context was put on hold and it became not quite balletic, but not [just following] your libido.’”

Read Hinds’ full interview with The Independent here.

The Dry is on ITVX now.