Sunday night will mark the beginning of the end for Game of Thrones, the hit series that left a major mark on pop culture and introduced us to some of television’s most virtuous and villainous characters.
One character we’ll miss dearly is Grey Worm, commander of the Unsullied and one of the main advisors to Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) played by actor Jacob Anderson.
“It’s pretty weird,” Anderson tells ESSENCE. “It’s not really until recently that I’ve thought about what it’s like to come off the show. It was kind of weird, that thing of being really happy to go home, but not fully taking in the weight of leaving—of it being over. It’s been such a huge part of my life for the last six, seven years.”
“Since we’ve finished shooting I’ve had withdrawals from it. Ultimately, it was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life—particularly this final season. There are times that I just had to dig deep physically.”
I was surprised by the journey that the character goes on.Jacob Anderson
We’d be fools not to ask about his character’s ending. We’ve seen Grey Worm rise from the Unsullied to become a man of his own and fall in love with Daenerys’ right-hand woman Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel), but Anderson isn’t giving up much.
“Ultimately, I was really happy with the unexpected journey that my character goes on in the last season,” he says. “I’m pleased, but it was surprising as well. I was surprised by the journey that the character goes on.”
Still, fans won’t have to say goodbye to Anderson for too long. Now that the show has wrapped, he’s focusing his attention on music and will release an album this spring under his moniker, Raleigh Ritchie.
The project reflects a “significant period of change and, hopefully, of growth,” he says. “It’s just stuff that I’ve needed to unpack about myself and about being the age I am and the color I am. There are things that I’ve needed to address with myself for a long time, and I feel like they’re finally coming out in a way that’s surprising to me.”
It’s not hard to imagine just how personal his new music will be.
His debut, You’re a Man Now, Boy, was a genre-blending album full of confessional tracks that juggle issues like mental health, loneliness, the invincible feeling that comes with youth and the nostalgia that comes with growing up.
Touring and video releases are next up on his plate, but Anderson is keeping those details close to his chest as he figures it all out.
He admits that after he’s done with this project,
“It’d probably be a short,” he adds, “and then I’d like to do a feature at some point.”
But Anderson isn’t too worried about the details since he isn’t feeling rushed. He’s taking his time and enjoying things as they come.
“I don’t know what I’m gonna do next. I don’t like to plan too far ahead. I’m choosing to not plan too far ahead because I think I do that too much,” he admits. “It’s good to just see.”