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George R.R. Martin wished he hadn’t killed Syrio Forel after watching Miltos Yerolemou’s performance




Many of the characters on Game of Thrones became fan-favourites, a lot of them didn’t make it to the final season. Arya Stark’s water dancing teacher Syrio Forel was one of them, who rose to immense popularity even though he had a significantly less screentime. Miltos Yerolemou left such a great impact with his character on the show, not just the fans but even George R. R. Martin wished he had stayed a bit longer. The author hadn’t written much about him, but he did confirm that the Braavosi sword-dancing teacher did die while protecting Arya in King’s Landing.

In a recent live Instagram session with Game of Laughs, Miltos talked about his time on the show. He recalled:

“George R.R. Martin said to me, “I really wished I didn’t kill Syrio Forel off now. He said that after he watched my performance. I really shouldn’t have done that. Now that I’ve seen what we could’ve done.”

He further confirmed Syrio’s death, “I know for sure he’s dead. I’ll tell you a very interesting theory about this. So Arya Stark has to have some severe trauma. I mean as if her father being killed in front of her own eyes isn’t bad enough. She had to have everything taken away from her. For her story to begin in a way. And so the people that she loves are taken away from her. The reason why I liken him to characters in these kind of stories like Star Wars, wherever you have a very unconventional teacher, that teaches you something and then leaves your life.”

“If Arya Stark had seen Syrio Forel killed, it would’ve caused a different kind of trauma in her head. Because she never sees it, he stays alive in her head. And of course, in the books she never stops repeating his mantra that he teaches her, like stuff like still as water, you know, all that kind of stuff. He is alive in her head, and it’s very important that he’s alive.”

“Same way that Obi-Wan Kenobi is alive in Luke Skywalker’s head. He’s still there telling him what to do. Whether it’s the force, whether it’s just the memories, the reason why he wrote it and shot it the way he did is because he wanted it to be ambiguous, he wanted it to be that you know. Because you want the idea to stay alive, even if the human being isn’t. In a way doesn’t that always happens to us? You know, the transience of life, is that what is it you leave behind. This seems to be the most important thing, very pertinent. It is kinda a real thing as well.”

When asked if he had received any souvenirs from the set, he replied, Honestly, I wish. I tried. The set was a lockdown. Even my broken sword that Meryn Trant snaps in half, we had to do that many times, so there were lots of pieces of the sword. I wanted to keep that – half of my broken sword. I didn’t even manage to do that. But since then, I have to say that I’ve been given many, many gifts.”


“George R.R. Martin gave me a gift. When I saw him about a year later, he gave me a gift of a Braavosi coin, his original one. And I still have that. It makes me very happy. It’s very small but it’s very precious to me.”

Miltos also answered some fan theories in the AMA. He talked about what Syrio would be doing if he was still alive, “I think he would be in Braavos, undercover. Keeping it low-key and probably working for some underground organization. Trying to overthrow the Lannisters. I think that’s what he would be doing.”

He also revealed his preferred way of death for Syrio Forel, “This is not a very nice question, I don’t like this question! It’s a horrible question (laughs). I have to say I was a bit disappointed. Because George R.R. Martin wrote the episode where we have that last fight with the Lannisters, and I said to him why don’t you just write a cool death for me? Why does it get cut away? “Because that’s exactly the reason I wanted that. I wanted that, it’s deliberate, that’s the way I wanted it to be ambiguous,” he said.”


“I was a bit disappointed with that, I’m a big fan of special effects make-up, right? When I was a kid, before I even became an actor, I used to spend all my pocket money on buying special effects make-up like blood, and latex, and all sorts of stuff, I was obsessed with horror films. And all I did is try to replicate it, I used to do it all the time, practice with my friends. And I used to get into so much trouble because I’d go home with gashes, cuts and blows, I was really good at it. I used to always make my parents really upset.”

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“But one of the things I’ll always hope one day is that I get to do, and I haven’t done it yet, is to do a character that gets shocked, because they put little explosives in your clothes controlled by a remote that go (imitates sparks). That’s on my bucket list. I want that to happen, and so far I haven’t had the opportunity. And to be completely covered in blood, I’ve been killed by a prehistoric woolly rhinoceros, in Walking with the Beasts, a documentary about cavemen. So that was thrilling. I think that goes down as a very original death. He skewers me with his horn and sends me flying in the air.”

“I’d have to say they don’t have bullets on Game of Thrones (chuckles). There are certain scenes I can’t watch on Game of Thrones, particularly the one where Pedro Pascal gets his head squished by the Mountain. I honestly can’t watch that. I’ve seen it once, and it was so traumatic I can’t literally, I’ve nightmares to this day. I can’t believe they did that to that pretty face (laughs).”

How would you have wanted to end Syrio Forel’s story? Talk to us in the comments below!


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Sayantan is a keen follower of everything pop culture; from films, shows, anime to video games and latest memes. He started writing professionally for Wiki of Thrones during the 2021 lockdown, and has been developing his writing and editing skills ever since. With a growing repertoire amassing renowned websites, Sayantan is your go to guy for all things Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon.

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