By Katie M. Lucas
Last week, the "secret hero of the story" made his "triumphant return." Arya's former traveling companion Hot Pie popped up at the Inn at the Crossroads. HBO.com spoke to actor Ben Hawkey to get the dish on Hot Pie's new gig, why he needed a wet suit on set and – of course – the gravy.
1. When did you learn that you would be return in Season 4?
I was told that I was going to be back at the premiere of Season 3 in L.A. I managed to keep it a secret until the episode came out.
2. What was different for you during this reprise?
Hot Pie has changed a bit as a character. I think he's obviously done quite well for himself, considering. He was a bit of a bully and evidently not sure of himself in Season 1, but in Season 4 he's working and doing what he loves. I think he's really come a long way.
3. Is there a secret to Hot Pie's appeal?
He's got that sort of human quality that I think people identify and empathize with. He's fallible and faulted.
4. What did you think of his latest attempt at wolf bread?
It looks so much better, doesn't it? I thought it was really cool. There wasn't just one bit of bread – there were like 70 identical breads on set. The person who kneaded them probably had a hard, early morning that day.
5. What's the strangest interaction you've had with a fan?
This girl came up to me asking, "Are you Hot Pie?" and I went, "Yes I am." I was quite shocked because it was the first time I had anybody coming up to me. She kept asking me, "Can you sign my face?" and she didn't have a pen. It was a very odd experience.
6. Does anyone offer you baked goods?
No. That's the only downfall. If they offered me that, I'd be well happy.
7. Which of your scenes was the most fun to shoot?
The scene where Hot Pie wets himself was quite fun but also frustrating. I had to put a wet suit on in the morning. The crew asked, "Do you need to go to the toilet before you put it on?" and I said, "No, not really." Like five minutes after I put it on, I really had to go to the toilet. I couldn't take off the wet suit until we were finished filming seven hours later. I could have literally wet myself on my own without the water feature put in.
8. If Hot Pie could be personal chef to any GOT character, who would he choose?
I reckon he'd choose Tyrion. He's got all those girls up there with him, and he'd like to look at them. He'd have an easy day's work, wouldn’t he?
9. Which GOT character would Hot Pie want as his sous chef?
I think he'd like to see Arya again, so he'd probably pick Arya.
10. What would he say to Arya if they were reunited?
I think he'd be lost for words, I don't really know what he'd say… probably for the third time say "Winterfell" as "Winterhell."
11. Does Hot Pie subconsciously hate Winterfell?
I don't think he has a subconscious hatred of anything. He's just playing simple or he actually is just a very simple, dumb character who doesn't know or care much about anything.
12. Given their reputations, would he ever cater a GOT wedding?
He'd probably get all stressed out if he had to do a whole wedding. I don't think he's quite there yet. If the only thing on the menu was wolf bread, he'd do it – only to show off how good he's got.
13. How would Hot Pie have reacted to the ultimate "hot pie" – the pigeon pie at Joffrey's wedding?
He would have probably been very jealous.
14. Hot Pie on the Iron Throne: Yay or nay?
You don't want him ruling! It would just be carnage… although it is now anyways. He's probably do some sort of call to arms where all baked goods are free. Don't rule him out… Actually, do rule him out.
15. What do you imagine a Hot Pie spin-off would look like?
I imagine it's a sort of Chef Ramsay sort of thing. I would love to do 'Kitchen Nightmares With Hot Pie' – just swearing, shouting and making wolf bread. It'd be brilliant.
16. If Hot Pie wasn't cooking, what would he be doing?
Rule out doctor straight away, and anything that takes sort of any academic or intellectual skill. He'd probably be a laborer or something like that. Just carrying heavy objects.
17. What's Hot Pie's dream job?
His dream job is what he's doing right now. I don't even think he wants to be in charge of his own bakery or anything like that. He wouldn't like the responsibility of being in charge. I don't think he's clued up with money.
18. What would Hot Pie name his sword?
What's a really flimsy metal? 'Lead' or 'Copper.'
19. Any final words about gravy?
It is all about the gravy, I'll just leave it at that.