In the first real bit of truly sad news related to our soon-to-be beloved television show, we receive word that Margaret John, our Old Nan, has died at the age of 84.
According to BBC News, Margaret passed away after battling a short illness in a Swansea hospital in Wales. Margaret was perhaps best known for her role as Doris on the BBC television show Gavin and Stacy.
Margaret was a much-loved and respected actress, known to give her time and efforts to charities, especially where the plights of the elderly were concerned. Director Peter Watkins-Hughes (who directed her in A Bit of Tom Jones) said of Margaret, “She was the grandmother everyone wanted and a friend to everyone.”
To us, she will always be Old Nan. A favorite video that shows off Margaret’s love of the culinary arts was posted up on WiC back in July of last year: Quick hits: The buzz builds, Westeros fashion, learn Dothraki … and bake a cake with Old Nan! She taught us to make Welsh cakes, and we delighted in her playful Welsh purr.
Fire And Blood: For me, her voice was the first sound, in any of the previews we were shown, that actually made me shiver.
What do you know about fear? Fear is for the winter, when the snows fall a hundred feet deep. Fear is for the Long Night, when the White Walkers move through the woods. When the sun hides for years, and children are born and live and die all in darkness. That is the time for fear, my lord.”
Our hearts are heavy with this news. My grandmother (of Welsh descent and still kicking at the age of 99) likes to warn, “A family great in size is blessed and cursed with an equally great number of joys and sorrows,” basically equating the number of funerals one must attend with the size of one’s family’s population. (Though she often adds, in her usual wry manner, “Better to just go first if you have no taste for funerals.”)
If our series runs as many years as we wish it will, this probably will not be the only loss the Game of Thrones family suffers. We will know joys (weddings and babies!) as well as sorrows. I smile with the knowledge that the joys will be much greater in number. And I will raise my glass for Margaret tonight.
Margaret John lived a life full and well. May she rest just as well now.
UPDATE: David Benioff and Dan Weiss have issued a statement on the passing of Margaret John.
We were deeply saddened to hear about Margaret’s passing. She was a warm and wonderful person, and she was completely fantastic in her scenes with Isaac. We wish she could see them… but many people will, and they will love her. We will miss her terribly.