In the midst of so many Game of Thrones spoilers coming with the release of the new trailer, one of the biggest issues that is not being talked about is in statements made by actor, Jack Gleeson, who plays King Joffrey on the show. As reported by Clare Morris in The Christian Post, Gleeson may be choosing to leave the show, possibly requiring that HBO hire a new actor to fill the role. While by no means certain, the indications are that the young Irish actor is considering leaving television and screen acting altogether.
If Season 4 completes the story line from A Storm of Swords, as expected, it may become a moot point. There would be no point to finding a new actor to play a character that will not be in the next season, anyway. It seems likely that Gleeson would wait until, and this may be a spoiler, King Joffrey’s run on Game of Thrones comes to an end. He has not indicated motivation beyond his own changing priorities for leaving, so there is not necessarily an urgency for his retirement from the small screen, but anything is possible. Gleeson cited an incompatibility with the lifestyle of a television actor as his primary reason for wanting out.
In an interview with The Independent, Gleeson discussed this change of direction. The 21-year-old star has been attending Trinity, and studying theology and philosophy. After taking a trip to Haiti with a Dublin-based humanitarian organization named GOAL, Gleeson felt the need to re-evaluate his priorities, and his direction. GOAL is an organization which is dedicated to providing humanitarian relief, most recently to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Gleeson’s uncle worked with the organization in years past, and provided Jack with the introduction to their work.
He has not indicated any rift, or difficulties on set, with anyone related to the Game of Thrones production. He genuinely seems determined to follow a less public path, dedicating himself to supporting the efforts of GOAL using his celebrity, to his studies, and to his theater company. Based on what was said in the interview, the Game of Thrones star has found the realities of his instant celebrity have changed his opinion of the allure of fame and fortune. With his heart for service, he views his status as an international star less in terms of its value to him as to the platform it provides for his humanitarian work. His perspective is rare among actors that have reached his level of popularity, and provides little for critics of his decision to question.
Game of Thrones is at the height of its popularity, and the King Joffrey character, in all of his sinister glory, has been unalterably associated with Gleeson’s characteristic toe-headed sneering. Trying to find another actor to step into the role, especially for a relatively short run, would be a prospect of diminishing returns. Outside of some major problem arising, Gleeson does not appear to be the type of personality that would sabotage the show which brought him his success in that manner. As spoilers go, however, his public statements have brought the impending end to the King Joffrey character into the public eye long before it happens on the show; his interview leaving a sliver of doubt that production may have to adjust to an untimely early exit by the young actor.
By Jim Malone