James Norton gives verdict on the ending for his character Tommy Lee Royce in Happy Valley
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WARNING: Spoilers for the Happy Valley finale ahead
As Happy Valley fans are still recovering from that explosive finale, James Norton has already given his verdict on the ending for his character Tommy Lee Royce.
GQ caught up with the 37-year-old star before the third and final season's finisher hit our screens to get his thoughts on the shocking turn of events, with the outlet publishing the interview today (6 February).
Before we get into it, we should say that creator Sally Wainwright did an absolutely incredible job of wrapping up the show - fans are describing it as 'one of the greatest television finales of all'.
One of the key plot points was the arc of Norton's character Tommy following the criminal's dramatic escape from custody and attempts to contact son Ryan (Rhys Connah).
Despite being the show's villain, with many branding him a 'psychopath', he showed a completely different side in the latest episodes - and, without giving too much away, let's not forget his final big act.
Speaking to GQ, Norton gives his take on the matter, saying: "There is this constant question 'is Tommy a psychopath?' and I have talked about this with people in the production and Sally [Wainwright] and Sarah [Lancashire].
"The hints were almost laid in the very first series, in episode five, when he’s just been stabbed and he’s facing his own mortality, his own death. And he’s sitting in that high rise and he bursts into tears.
"He thinks, ‘s***, I’ve wasted my life and if I had a different childhood maybe I could have been something in me'.
"And if you think back to there, that was where Sally was already planning and carving out this ending I think, because there is humanity there."
The actor continued: "My final conclusion on Tommy is that I don’t think he is a psychopath, he's just incredibly damaged.
"The fact that he can find this incredible love for Ryan. Over the last seven years, that is what drives him, and all of this plan to go get to Marbella.
"He could have gone on his own, but he wanted to take his son with him and build a life. He has a fairytale dream of having a house, a job, and living together as father and son.
"The more we went through the series I felt that I was able to tap into [his] humanity. I read episode six before shooting the beginning of this series, so I was trying to find that love for Ryan all the way through.
"A person who is void of feeling and empathy, if anything I was playing someone completely opposite.
"Tommy was so charged up and full of love and full of hope."
As such, Norton said the grand finale was 'heartbreaking' for him, explaining that while he recognises Tommy committed 'despicable acts', he also feels for him.
He said: "I feel immense pity and empathy and I sort of really love him."
If you haven't had a chance to catch up with the Happy Valley ending, you'd better get in there quick before the full details reach your screen – every episode is available to watch on BBC iPlayer now.
Featured Image Credit: BBC
Topics: BBC, TV and Film