Watch: Natalie Dormer on secrets of playing ‘Game of Thrones’

Game of Thrones” ingenue Natalie Dormer reveals to Gold Derby the secret to playing her character Margaery Tyrell is: “the more ambiguity that is there, the better, even for me. If I just play what the text gives me and at any given time almost just play it straight with the least decoration in what I do with it, it comes across the strongest.”

That dichotomy is demonstrated in her fierce political ambition. In season two, she declared: “I don’t want to be a queen, I want to be THE queen.” However, she seemed to show compassion for the poor in season three when visiting an orphanage, declaring, “the lowest among us are no different from the highest if you give them a chance, and approach them with an open heart.”

Just what are the true motivations of Margaery? As Dormer explains in the video chat below, “it’s a very modern take on power play, which adds an even greater dimension, yet another layer to the game of thrones. This concept of PR, of winning over … the general populous by winning their hearts and minds, you know that’s a very modern concept of kissing babies and charity work. For me, my secret for success in discovering Margaery, hopefully, is that they don’t have to be mutually exclusive: a savvy politician can also be sincere… So I just play her sincere… she genuinely believes she can make Westeros a better place by having some power.”

In season three, Margaery got engaged to the villainous Joffrey, king of the iron throne. That move places her in one of the most powerful positions in the game. At one point, her fiance threatens to kill her with a cross bow but she is able to manipulate him into falling for her. For the actress, “playing that scene was not an absence of fear for Margaery, it was her overcoming her fear… she’s trying to work out how to control him… She’s quickly trying to work out how to change tack and she thinks very fast. So it’s not that she isn’t scared in that scene, it’s that she’s trying to work out psychologically what makes him work. She’s a great observer of people.”

As good as she was at manipulating Joffrey, her family was eventually outplayed by the Lannisters when they could not secure the hand of Sansa Stark in marriage. On this failed move, Dormer admits the Tyrells “got a very rude awakening in season three and … got a taste that maybe they had bitten off more than they can chew … I don’t think they necessarily were prepared for the darkness that’s in the hearts and the machinations of the Lannisters. So they’re on a very steep learning curve which is why I think it is going to be very interesting going into season four, cause it’s going to get dangerous very quickly.”

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