THE PERFORMER | Peter Dinklage
THE SHOW | Game of Thrones
THE EPISODE | “The Iron Throne” (May 19, 2019)
THE PERFORMANCE | No matter how you felt about Thrones‘ series finale — yeah, we were mixed on it, too — we can all agree on one thing: Dinklage was simply terrific in it, putting the perfect bow on eight seasons’ worth of Emmy-caliber work as Tyrion Lannister with a virtuoso turn that was equal parts cerebral and emotional.
The emotional stuff came early, with Tyrion digging through the rubble of King’s Landing and finding the dead bodies of Cersei and Jaime; as he collapsed in tears, Dinklage revealed that maybe Tyrion cared about his siblings more than he could admit. Then the actor tapped into Tyrion’s prodigious gift of gab for a pair of showcase scenes: First, the imp shared his grave concerns about Dany with Jon Snow, and his philosophical musings were convincing enough to compel Jon to stab Dany and end her reign before it started. Then, while still in chains, Tyrion was brought before a panel of lords and ladies, and Dinklage had such a way with words that Tyrion not only talks them into naming Bran the new king… but gets elevated to become Bran’s Hand! We’re still not sure how that happened, but we can totally understand people being mesmerized by Dinklage’s deft wordplay.
Yes, Game of Thrones was about dragons and swordplay and armies of the undead. But at its core, it was about power and love and honor and family — the stuff that makes us human. Tyrion was always one of Thrones‘ most relatable characters, and Dinklage highlighted that by lending a divisive series finale some of its finest moments.
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