***Spoiler Warning: This post contains spoilers through Game of Thrones season 5; if you’re not caught up, back out.***
If there’s one Game of Thrones we’re-not-quite-sure-is-dead character I’d love to see return, it is Miltos Yerolemou’s Syrio Forel. Arya’s instructor and savior was last seen fighting off Ser Meryn Trant (with only a wooden practice sword), and in last season’s “Mother’s Mercy,” a girl finally got her revenge. But, though presumed dead, we never saw what actually happened to Syrio, and a new interview, Yerolemou made a few interesting reveals. The actor, who’ll next appear in an unknown role (“My confidentiality agreement is longer than my contract.”) in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, likens Syrio to his own character, and says Forel is even more noble than Ned Stark.
“He’s the archetypal unconventional teacher, like Mr Miyake or Obi Wan. The noble hermit — even more noble than Ned Stark - there I’ve said it! Let HBO sue me…who’s the trigger for the protagonist’s story. I mean, Arya would basically be dead if it weren’t for Syrio.”
True, that. And we’re ever so grateful. Interestingly though, Yerolemou nearly played someone of completely opposite character — Master of Whispers, Lord Varys (played by Conleth Hill).
“And they liked it, but they didn’t think I was right. So they gave me Syrio to read instead.
[By the fifth reading] I was told ‘The Americans are coming; they want to meet you in person’. And that’s when I basically lost it! It was probably between me and someone else, and I was just hoping that if I lost out it was to someone like Ben Kingsley, who would have made a brilliant Syrio. Though, maybe he was just too expensive…”
I love Sir Kingsley, but given a choice, I’d prefer the understated.
During the interview, the actor may have revealed his inside knowledge about something we already know — Jon Snow lives. Yerolemou says he’d love to see Gary Oldman on Game of Thrones, possibly playing “…a Night’s Watchman who’s been trapped north of the Wall and hasn’t spoken to anyone for 25 years. Or maybe he’s Jon Snow when he’s resurrected: older, dirtier, gruffer, less ripped…”
If you didn’t already realize, Yerolemou is actually an accomplished swordsman — he teaches the art in real life — and is already in the planning stages of writing a book.
“I’m constantly reading about swordsmanship, and every time I do these lessons I learn something new, and they evolve. I’m even in the process of planning on writing a book with a friend of mine in America about sword fighting; but in a much more contextualised way. It’s kind of crazy, because duelling and so forth is illegal, there’s no call for it, and nobody’s allowed to carry a sword unless you live in - I don’t know - Mongolia or somewhere… But loads of people are setting up schools for this sort of thing, and historical recreations are becoming very popular, so I think there’s a market for a sort of handbook. Similar to Bruce Lee’s philosophy of kung fu, that sort of thing.”
Asked which Game of Thrones’ character he was most surprised to see killed off, Yerolemou mentioned a certain self-proclaimed king, and terrible father.
“Stannis. I felt there was still a lot more of his story to be played out, and I really did want to see him kill Ramsey Bolton!”
At this point, we’ll pretty much settle for anyone killing Ramsay, and continue to wait with bated breath for Syrio Forel’s long anticipated return.
(via/read the full interview at Cyprus Mail)