Why Peter Dinklage Almost Turned Down the Role of Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones


Watching Game of Thrones for seven seasons has been an emotional experience for viewers—and one of the show's stars has already warned that we're all going to need therapy once the series concludes later this year. While the brutal death of Ned Stark taught us pretty early on that no one is safe is Westeros, one commonly held belief among fans of the show is that Tyrion Lannister cannot die. Not because of any special powers or skills, but because he's essentially everyone's favorite character.

While Peter Dinklage has hinted that Tyrion may not survive Game of Thrones's final season, fans of the show seem even more upset to learn that the actor almost turned down the role in the first place. In a Reddit AMA, Dinklage shared the reason why he wasn't immediately sold on Game of Thrones.

"I had one hesitation, because of the fantasy genre, I told [showrunner David Benioff] I didn't want a really long beard and pointy shoes," Dinklage said. "[Benioff and D.B. Weiss] assured me this character and this world wasn't that. They told me about his complexity, the fact that he wasn't a hero or a villain, that he was a womanizer and a drinker, and they painted a flawed and beautiful portrait of him, so I signed on."

At 4-foot-5-inches, Dinklage told The New York Times that he has been eyed for a few stereotypical roles. "Dwarves in these genres always have this look. My guard was up," Dinklage said of his immediate response to entering the world of Game of Thrones. "Not even my guard—my metal fence, my barbed wire was up. Even The Lord of the Rings had dwarf-tossing jokes in it."

In 2012, Dinklage earned a Golden Globe for his performance as Tyrion, and he has been nominated for an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Emmy for each of the show's seven aired seasons (he has won three times).