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Out of all of the characters on Game of Thrones, Ser Pounce—a nonmagical and perfectly ordinary cat owned by King Tommen Baratheon, First of His Name, in King’s Landing—may have made the biggest impact with the least amount of screentime. Ser Pounce jumped onto Tommen’s bed during a secret nighttime meeting between Tommen and his betrothed Margaery Tyrell in season 4’s “Oathkeeper.” After about 30 seconds max of screentime, Ser Pounce is off the bed, never to be seen again in Red Keep. Naturally, fans loved him.
But that love was not meant to last. Ser Pounce never made another appearance on-screen because, according to the cast and crew, the cast who played him was a “bit of a diva” and a “nightmare” to film with. His owner is dead. And then Ser Pounce had to suffer an even bigger indignity: an off-screen death.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss addressed the fate of Ser Pounce, a character that hasn’t been referenced in the show at all since his first (and only) appearance in season 4.
“Cersei hated the name ‘Ser Pounce’ so much she could not allow him to survive,” Benioff said. “So she came up with her most diabolical [execution]. Ser Pounce’s death was so horrible we couldn’t even put it on the air.”
More diabolical than what Joffrey Baratheon, who Tommen said “threatened to skin [Ser Pounce] alive and mix his innards up in my food so I wouldn’t know I was eating him,” had in store? Apparently!
Were fans clamoring to wonder if Ser Pounce was to make a grand, 12th-hour appearance in Game of Thrones’ final season? Will they even take what the showrunners said seriously or even regard it as canon? Just the idea of killing off a fictional cat is enough to spark outrage.
But ultimately, it doesn’t matter. Even if the showrunners had never said another word about Ser Pounce, we still would’ve never seen that cat again; Benioff reiterated that the cat who played Ser Pounce was something of a menace. It doesn’t take much to imagine him plotting off-screen or rising from the dead to take Cersei out if the Night King reaches King’s Landing.
Plus, Ser Pounce is very much alive in A Song of Ice and Fire. So at least in George R.R. Martin’s Westeros, all of those delightful tinfoil theories about Ser Pounce being poisoned and driven mad enough to bite and infect Tommen or becoming Azor Ahai are all still on the table.
Michelle Jaworski is a staff writer and the resident Game of Thrones expert at the Daily Dot. She covers entertainment, geek culture, and pop culture and has brought her knowledge to conventions like Con of Thrones. She is based in New Jersey.