Peter Dinklage is currently promoting Cyrano, where he plays Cyrano De Bergerac in yet another adaptation of the famous play. His Cyrano doesn’t have a big nose and this adaptation was written by Peter’s wife Erica Schmidt. Dinklage gave a lengthy interview to the NY Times before Christmas about the movie, but most people are only talking about the part where Dinklage discusses Game of Thrones and the “controversial” last season. Some highlights from this NYT piece:
His life was Game of Thrones for years: “‘Game of Thrones’ wasn’t really a TV show — it was like my life. My family was there in Ireland six months out of every year, for almost 10 years. You dig roots down there, my daughter was going to school there. She developed an Irish accent because she was with little Irish kids all day long.”
Love in his 20s: “I think there’s a “Wuthering Heights” quality to all love when you’re younger, you know? “Romeo and Juliet” wasn’t written for 40-year-olds. I was guilty of always falling for someone where it wasn’t reciprocated, because keeping it at a distance is more romantic than bringing it up close. You fall for people you know aren’t going to return that, so it’s even more tormented, and you’re not interested in the people interested in you. That’s how my brain worked because I was a self-saboteur when I was young.
Whether Game of Thrones should have gone on for another season: “It was the right time [to end it]. No less, no more. You don’t want to wear out your welcome, although I’m not sure that show could have. But I think the reason there was some backlash about the ending is because they were angry at us for breaking up with them. We were going off the air and they didn’t know what to do with their Sunday nights anymore. They wanted more, so they backlashed about that.
In the end: “We had to end when we did, because what the show was really good at was breaking preconceived notions: Villains became heroes, and heroes became villains. If you know your history, when you track the progress of tyrants, they don’t start off as tyrants. I’m talking about, spoiler alert, what happened at the end of “Game of Thrones” with that character change. It’s gradual, and I loved how power corrupted these people. What happens to your moral compass when you get a taste of power? Human beings are complicated characters, you know?
Whether viewers wanted a happier ending: “They wanted the pretty white people to ride off into the sunset together. By the way, it’s fiction. There’s dragons in it. Move on. [Laughs] No, but the show subverts what you think, and that’s what I love about it. Yeah, it was called “Game of Thrones,” but at the end, the whole dialogue when people would approach me on the street was, “Who’s going to be on the throne?” I don’t know why that was their takeaway because the show really was more than that.
His favorite GoT moment: “One of my favorite moments was when the dragon burned the throne because it sort of just killed that whole conversation, which is really irreverent and kind of brilliant on behalf of the show’s creators: “Shut up, it’s not about that.” They constantly did that, where you thought one thing and they delivered another. Everybody had their own stories going on while watching that show, but nobody’s was as good as what the show delivered, I think.”
People are very mad at what he said about “There’s dragons in it. Move on.” But now that we’re a few years removed from GoT-mania, I’m sort of generally ambivalent. Sure, my blood pressure still ticks up whenever I think about what they did to Dany, but none of that is Peter Dinklage’s fault. The messiness of the last season was entirely the fault of Dan Weiss and David Benioff. They failed to sufficiently set up several of the major plot points. It was a failure of storytelling. Peter and the other actors did what they could, but let’s face it, most of them were f–king bored with the series too. Peter has every right to move on. Is he sort of spitting in the face of the GoT fandom? Or is he really just telling them to chill out a little bit?
Photos courtesy of Instar, Avalon Red.