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Syrio Forel actor Miltos Yerolemou originally auditioned for Lord Varys on Game of Thrones

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Destiny often plays funny tricks on people. It has a strange way of manifesting itself. For example, Joe Dempsie, who played Gendry on Game of Thrones, was originally up for Jon Snow. And we’re thankful he didn’t, because he was great as Gendry, and Kit Harington was perfect as Snow. Miltos Yerolemou, famous for his role Syrio Forel, almost didn’t play his much-beloved character. Talking to Collider in an interview, the actor revealed he was originally in talks for playing Lord Varys.

He revealed, “Yeah. Varys, that was my first read. That was the first thing I read for. It was a great scene. It’s the scene where Ned is imprisoned after being injured by Jaime Lannister. And he is in prison and he goes to him and he says, “Look, just renounce what you said about Cersei and just basically take the black. Your family will be safe. And that’s the way to deal with the situation.” It’s almost like a confessional. And it’s such a brilliant scene.”

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“I had no idea what I was reading — I hadn’t read the books, and it literally was just that scene. But it was so brilliantly written… I don’t think I’m being too disrespectful to other jobs that I’ve been for. But, it’s not often you get really good scenes to read in your castings. And when you get a really good scene like that, that is so well-written, you go, wow. You really want to do this job, because if this is the standard of the scripts…”

“So it was really good, and they really liked my reading, but they just didn’t think I was right. But they saw something in me. I was lucky [casting director] Nina Gold and me go back a long way, so she knew who I was when she gave me that thing to read. But I think once she saw it, or once the producers saw my casting for Lord Varys, they were like, “Oh, hang on a minute. Maybe we should get that foreign dude…””

What do you think about Yerolemou playing Lord Varys? Tell us in the comments below!

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The entertainment universe is filled with heroes who saved the world in their respective shows/movies time after time. Game of Thrones has Arya Stark, Star Wars had Luke Skywalker, and so on. However, the path that these heroes would take would never have been possible without the guidance of their respective teachers. Miltos Yerolemou, who rose to fame after playing Arya’s sword instructor Syrio Forel on Game of Thrones, recently talked to Collider in an interview. He believes Syrio is Arya’s Obi-Wan Kenobi, in more ways than one.

Miltos talked about the ultimate fate of his character, “So, there was ambiguity there. But ultimately, each time I answered that question, I would formulate a clearer idea of really what happened. And to me, it makes a lot of sense because I remember asking George, who wrote the episode — Episode 8 in the first season — I remember asking him, “Why don’t you answer the question that everyone has asked since you wrote that chapter in the book? Why don’t you do that?” And he said, “That isn’t what I want to do. That doesn’t serve my narrative purpose.” And that’s all he would say. I understood it.”

“And yet, now I really understand it because to me, it makes a lot of sense that you don’t get the traumatic ending of Syrio, because in the books Arya remembers his words. It’s like the training is kept alive, in the same way … I keep going back to Star Wars. The presence of Obi-Wan Kenobi is still there because he’s kind of still there. No one really ever dies. That kind of thing.”

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“It’s not mystical in the same way as Star Wars. But the resonance and the echo of the words, the mantra, the training is alive in her head. And I think the ambiguity allows that to exist. And if she’d seen him cut down, I think it wouldn’t have the same effect on her, or it would be too traumatic for it to live on in her head in the same way. So, as a narrative device, I think it’s brilliant. And I think that is the reason why George did it. I think that is the reason why, ultimately, Syrio Forel sacrifices himself to save this girl he barely knows. And that’s also very poetic. And also, there aren’t that many good guys in Game of Thrones, so you got to have at least a couple.”

For many Game of Thrones fans worldwide, Syrio was in a class of his own. He became a fan-favourite, even though he did not have much screen presence. What do you think of Miltos Yerolemou’s Syrio Forel? Tell us in the comments below!

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Some characters begin as a side role but become massively popular amongst fans when done right. They completely steal the show. Miltos Yerolemou knew Game of Thrones was special, but he never knew his character Syrio Forel would gain such humongous fan-following. In an interview with Collider, he expressed how he felt when he checked out Game of Thrones forums on the internet.

I never expected it in my wildest dreams, especially after only being in three episodes of Season 1,” he said. “I honestly did not expect that my gravestone will say, ‘Not today,’ but with the not crossed out. Now, you can hold me to that. But I really did not expect that to be my reality, but it is. And like I said, I’m thrilled, embarrassed, and humbled by it every single day.”

“I made the terrible mistake after I got cast to go and have a look at some of the Game of Thrones forums and realize just how excited the fans were that they were turning it into a TV show,” he said. “[T]he ingredients for a good TV show were there. But, I mean, it’s one thing having a successful and well-watched TV show. It’s another thing to do what Game of Thrones did, which changed all of our viewing habits overnight, really.”

Do you agree with Arya Stark’s sword instructor? Tell us in the comments below!

Game of Thrones was one of the biggest TV shows of the past decade. The fantastical epic set the bar for quality TV shows really high. It was hailed as the greatest TV show of the 21st century. Game of Thrones actor Miltos Yerolemou, who played Syrio Forel on the show, recently talked to Collider about the fantasy epic’s popularity.

He said, “[I]t became a show that you had to watch when it aired because of the nature of it. The fact that there were so many twists in it. If you didn’t watch it when it aired, you were very likely to get spoiled.”

He continued, “I had the fantastic experience of being able to watch the show aired live in big viewing parties in Greece, in Texas, in London. I kind of had that amazing experience, and I’d never had that experience before. Especially at the time when things were moving from the terrestrial… That whole way of watching TV was already shifting. I mean, now we’re all into the streaming medium and binge-watching. But Game of Thrones kind of straddled that transition, and really took us back to a place where it was exciting to watch that show altogether and at the same time. I thought that was pretty, really important as far as for the television industry. That’s for sure.”

Why do you think Game of Thrones became so popular? Tell us in the comments below!