"The last couple seasons weren't my favorite."
He met a brutal -- and as it turns out, completely unjustified -- ending on Sunday night's episode.
And it seems the actor who plays Varys isn't overly delighted with how "Game of Thrones" as a whole is ending, either.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Conleth Hill admitted his character slumped as soon as the show overtook the source novels — a criticism many fans level at the series as a whole.
Asked about his favorite scene, he recalled season 5 where he and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) debated en route to meeting Daenerys for the first time: "I think the stuff that was said in there understood the nature of freaks and outsiders so precisely," he said. "In a way, that was lost when we got past [the narrative in George R.R. Martin's] books. That special niche interest in weirdos wasn't as effective as it had been."
He lamented how in recent seasons, his character was reduced to arriving at the end of scenes just to deliver "weather reports".
"So I thought he was losing his knowledge. If he was such an intelligent man and he had such resources, how come he didn't know about things?" he wondered. "That added to my dismay. It's now being rectified with getting a great and noble ending. But that was frustrating for a couple seasons."
Again, when asked about his biggest disappointment — not having a final scene with his "rival" Littlefinger — he also bemoaned how his character had been sidelined.
"I was very bummed to not have a final scene with him. I was bummed not to have any reaction to him dying, if he was my nemesis." he said. "That's been my feeling the last couple seasons, that my character became more peripheral, that they concentrated on others more. That's fine. It's the nature of a multi-character show. It was kind of frustrating."
"As a whole it's been overwhelmingly positive and brilliant but I suppose the last couple seasons weren't my favorite," he added.
"It just felt like after season 6, I kind of dropped off the edge. I can't complain because it's six great seasons and I had some great scenes these last two seasons. But that's when It changed for me a little."
In the penultimate episode, Varys was executed by Daenerys for plotting against her, by trying to gather support for Jon Snow's superior claim to the Iron Throne.
While "The Spider" has always maintained his sneaky ways were employed for the good of the realm above everything else, his legacy as a martyr was cemented when the following day Danerys went full "Mad Queen" and indiscriminately burned King's Landing to the ground from atop her dragon.
Despite his noble death, and despite managing to survive right up to the penultimate in what is a very kill-happy show, Hill admitted he couldn't help but take his on-screen death very personally.
"Part of you didn't want it to finish. Part of you is, 'Oh, that's very good'. And part of you is, 'Oh, that sucks'," he said of reading the final scripts. "Very, very mixed. Bittersweet. I think it's really good in retrospect now that I've had the time for it to sink in."
"I took it very personally. I took it as a person, not as an actor or an artist," he continued. "I understood the reactions of previous actors who had been in same position a lot more than I did at the time. You can't help feeling that you failed in some way, that you haven't lived up to some expectation that you didn't know about."
"The only thing that consoles you is people who worked a lot harder than you are in the same boat. So that helps. I don't think anybody who hasn't been through it can identify with it. They think, 'What's all the fuss about? You're all finishing anyway.' But you take it personally, you can’t help it."
"At the time, nothing could console me. I kept thinking: 'What did I do wrong?' There wasn't any pre-warning."
He said that unlike previous killed-off stars, who were told over dinner or even over the phone, he discovered his fate "reading cold hard copy". He did admit that was the same for all season 8 victims however, as there was simply too many of them.
Hill agreed with the writers' decision to have him betray Daenerys; in the show she had questioned his flip-flopping loyalty when he first signed on as her Master of Whispers.
"He was absolutely true to his word the whole way through," he said. "All he wanted was the right person on the throne and a fair person on the throne. He said it so many times in the scripts. I don't have the distraction of love or desire or any of those things."
There is only one episode left in the HBO fantasy epic — with the Night King and Cersei Lannister (apparently) dead, it all comes down to how Jon Snow will react to Daenerys' murderous rampage.
While some fans have expressed displeasure at how Dany's arc is concluding, Hill insisted fans will not feel cheated.
"I have no idea. I don't know how I feel. I can't anticipate it until it happens," he replied when asked to predict reaction to the finale. "I don't think they'll feel cheated. The fan favorites are all there."
You can read his full interview with EW here.