Blog · June 13, 2016

Thank You George R. R. Martin!

It isn’t every day that a TV show surprises me, in a good way, nonetheless.

I am a late arrival at the “Game of Thrones” obsession, and the one thing that I cringed about prior to watching the first episode was how they were going to portray their “little” character, Tyrion Lannister. Normally anyone that is different that is cast in a show is there as a “token”, so-to-speak. Having a “different” child has made me very sensitive to this subject so when I sat down to watch the premiere I was impressed immediately when I saw the scene of Tyrion talking with Jon Snow:

Tyrion: Let me give you some advice bastard. Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.
Jon: What the hell do you know about being a bastard?
Tyrion: All dwarfs are bastards in their father’s eyes.

WOW! This show was totally going to be as badass as my friends had promised. After watching this particular scene I knew I was going to like this character (and show) a LOT and I must admit Tyrion’s wit is most delicious, despite being put through hell over and over again because of his stature.

Truthfully, I am not sure why I didn’t watch this show from the get-go. It’s totally up my alley as I am a total devotee of anything “medieval” having grown up in Italy among castles and history. Of course I can’t watch them all, I have to pick and choose which TV show is worth my time and looks most interesting and I guess somehow I decided to forgo this one. However, after many of my friends constantly told me how this show is jaw drop after jaw drop, I had to give it a try. Just before season 6 started I noticed HBO had all previous 5 seasons on demand so I started downloading and watching. At first I watched maybe a couple of episodes a week, but now I am so obsessed that at times I watch 2 in a single day. In less than two months (6 weeks, really) I watched almost 4 seasons-granted, they are only 10 episodes per season, but that’s still nearly 40 episodes. That’s my new record, LOL. I am hoping to be all caught up by the time the finale of season 6 airs.

So, Tyrion is my favorite character by far. I am so impressed how the author (George R. R. Martin) created such a complex and interesting character, at times being the only seemingly sane person in a room. Tyrion is played brilliantly by Peter Dinklage, who is, himself, a dwarf, and won an Emmy and a Golden Globe award for this role.

But Tyrion is not the only disabled character in the show given such juicy storylines and much respect. There are others. In the first season, Bran Stark is pushed from a tower, which results in permanent spinal cord damage, which renders him unable to walk. He has visions and has unique capabilities. Hodor, Bran’s aide, is intellectually disabled. Also, in the third season, Jaime Lannister, a skilled swordsman and Tyrion’s brother, has his right hand amputated by his captors. Jaime was cold, brutal, impossible to like before this incident, but his amputation and imprisonment changed him. It humbled him. Unable to be the amazing swordsman he was, sporting a fake gold hand, he became a more sympathetic character, one we could actually like.

In 2013, most deservingly, George R.R. Martin won accolades from the “Media Access Awards” for his inclusion of characters with disabilities. He not only includes them, he writes them in such a way where their disability becomes something you don’t even notice. And that takes skill… something we truly need in a nation of such diversity.

Thank you George!!