Men's Health

THE MAN WHO WON’T BE KING

NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU spent about a decade of his life playing Jaime Lannister, easily one of the 20 or 30 most central characters on the sprawling, money-minting HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones, and as of this past June, that is no longer his job. You’d assume somebody in that position would have some thoughts about what it means to go through that ex perience and have it end, and he does, in his own pragmatic, evenkeeled, presumably classically Danish way. But right now he needs to make a decision about whether to accept the mushroom coffee.

“Is it going to get me high?” he asks.

“No,” says the dude doing the coffee-proffering, sort of apologetically. He’s management tier at a competitive ax-throwing range in North Hollywood; Coster-Waldau and I have just thrown hammersized single-blade axes at a wooden target for about as long as it’s possible to do that for fun. There’s a pending liquor-license application on the door—tell your god to ready for blood—but at the moment all Coster-Waldau wants is a hot drink, and all they have is an adaptogen-rich brew of ground-up Cordyceps mushrooms in water.

“It’s wild,” the dude says. “Caffeine usually has, like, a spike”—with his arm, he mimes energy going through the roof—“but this just feels like I’m in a good mood.”

“Oh, perfect. That would be amazing,” Coster-Waldau says. The guy goes off to make the coffee, which, when it arrives, is surprisingly drinkable despite existing in the uncanny valley between beverage

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