Of all the parts in game of Thrones I think the role of Tyrion Lannister is both the most important and the most difficult.
The most important as he is the most popular character, in my opinion the best written character in ‘A Game of Thrones’ and probably the character who I think sets the tone of the books.
The most difficult as I am not aware of an other mainstream film or TV shows which centers around has heroic or anti heroic character which is played by someone who is ……. How do you say this nicely? A little on the short side, ….. oh stuff it a dwarf.
Now I am not saying it is correct, nice, justified or in any way fair, but the fact of the matter is characters Peter Dinklage’s size have usually been kept as comedy relief in ensemble pieces of work, out and out comedy characters in comedy films or weird freaks placed on screen to make us feel discomfort, and disoriented in horror.
In Tyrion Lannister we have a real three dimensional character, not a caricature. He is the closest thing Game of Thrones has to a central anti hero character, he is the classic ‘good bad guy’, or is that the ‘bad good guy’. We are expected to deal with his sexuality without laughs, guwaffs or titters at the mention of the words ‘dwarf ‘and ‘sex’ in the same sentence. Let’s face in being a dwarf Tyrion Lannister becomes a genre breaking character.
Historically Bigotry has been broken down by bold and brave individuals who have performed, and succeeded in there chosen field. One thinks of Jesse Owens in Munich, demolishing the myth of the master race, not by politics, or politically statements, just by running faster than anyone else. He could run, he ran, he demolished an evil lie and embarrassed the liar.
No I would not assume that the treatment short people get is the equivalent of Nazi Germany, but im sure it’s uncomfortable. I would also assume as a dwarf actor you get sick of the slightly insulting cliché roles you are offered. Peter has a chance in this role to truly humanise dwarf characters, to have them seen as competent and capable people, to have a dwarf as an a hero(anti hero), not a comedy side kick.
Is it a big ask for a big man? Not really Peter is an actor all he has to do is act. If he is good, the role has been written in such a way that it could redefine the way short guys are seen in cinema and TV. If he is bad the role is so genre breaking it could make the whole show tank if done badly.