Miltos Yerolemou only played Arya Stark’s water-dancing teacher Syrio Forel for one season on Game of Thrones, but his influence went far beyond that. After all, Syrio coined one of the most iconic phrases to come out of the series—“Not today”—and continues to give water-dancing lessons to fans even all these years later. During a recent interview with Game of Laughs on Instagram, Yerolemou reflected on the show's success, noting that the series wasn't even a big hit right away.
“Remember, it was a slow burner. I remember the reviews in England when the first season came out,” Yerolemou recalled. “They weren’t that good. They were quite mediocre. A lot of them said they were a bunch of RSC [Royal Shakespeare Company] actors hamming it up. I remember because I read those. So it was a slow burn.” But the actor can still remember the moment when the series became an out-and-out phenomenon.
“[It] was only by the time we got to season 3 that everything started kicking off,” he said. “Once people watched the Red Wedding, they were like, 'Oh my god. We have no idea what is going on in this show.' From that moment on, that’s when I had felt it changed ... Everyone started writing about it. It became bigger than just a TV show: [Politicians] were quoting it. It was a slow burner, but yeah, by the point of season 3, the whole world was on board.”
We’ll see if HBO can make lightning strike twice when the prequel show House of the Dragon premieres next year.