He is Peter Dinklage, the actor who portrays Tyrion Lannister in the wildly popular Game of Thrones. He also stands only a little more than four feet tall, which makes him a highly unconventional hero who is making teenaged girls rapid heart palpitations all across the country.
The Game of Thrones is an epic fantasy in which several noble houses are battling for control of the Iron Throne, and Tyrion Lannister is the dwarf son of one of these noble houses. As a dwarf, he is not in contention for the throne, and is constantly underestimated.
The Game of Thrones is too gritty for me, and I haven’t been able to watch much of it, but the rest of my family is addicted. Whenever Tyrion Lannister is on the screen I am compelled to stop what I’m doing to watch. As someone who does her best to understand the appeal of romantic heroes, I have been trying to figure out the wild popularity of this character. The actor is not conventionally handsome, and in real life he would probably come up to my elbow. And yet….
Tyrion Lannister is an underdog, and yet he is not bitter. He uses his wit, intelligence, and basic human decency to overcome the odds that are stacked against him every hour of every day. In a brutal, turbulent world he is brave and heroic despite his physical limitations. He quietly runs rings around his enemies by outwitting them. His strength is in his mind, not his body. Tyrion Lannister simply has this amazing sense of valor and spirit that powers him through the calamities in his world. He is mesmerizing.
At this point in my writing career I don’t think I’m brave enough to create a hero with such a stark physical limitation, but he gives me lots of inspiration.