The visit between Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Oberyn (Pedro Pascal) in his cell, Oberyn told the only Lannister he can stand a gut-wrenching story about visiting Casterly Rock as a youngster. His story, detailing the hatred Cersei (Lena Headey) had for her baby brother when she was just a young girl, cut Tyrion to the bone. But before he left the cell, Oberyn had a character-defining moment when he told Tyrion, “I will be your champion,” for Tyrion’s trial by combat.
And with his character about to finally get into the arena opposite Cersei’s champion, Ser Gregor Clegane/The Mountain, hoping to avenge his own sister’s death. This is going to be one of the most powerful scenes in TV history.
So, when speaking about getting his scene with Emmy Award-winning actor Peter Dinklage perfect, the star said, “It was really emotional for me, watching the episode, because the memories started flooding back. That was my first day on set. It was my first day in full costume and it was my first sort of, well not sort of — it was basically my first day of shooting and I was fairly intimidated to put it lightly because obviously, it was clear to me that it was a very important scene, not only for the arc of my character, but even more so, I think, for Tyrion, because I think David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] have adapted something so beautifully from the books that is just this incredible layer offered to fans about Tyrion and how he’s been sort of at odds with his circumstance since his birth. And to be able to be a character that sheds light on that, or really finds a way to put words to it, and to sort of align himself with Tyrion through something that is quite vulnerable, really, was really exciting. … I think it’s such a beautifully written scene and Alik Sakharov, the director, was just my champion (laughs) as was Peter.”
One of the many reasons why “Game of Thrones” is so authentic, is because of the casting, and in this case, Pedro went through extensive training to prepare for the BIG FIGHT! “I was flown to Belfast to meet David and Dan and I was sent into costume fittings and very early into a fight rehearsal and then flown back to Los Angeles and there, I was, very gratefully, signed up to train with Master Hu, who is a Wushu martial arts instructor – and Master, actually,” said Pedro. “This guy was the real deal. He showed me the movies that he was in with Jet-Li, the Shaolin films and it was incredible. He had a couple of weeks to basically show me the basics and to give me a head start to what was ultimately going to be very extensive fight rehearsals with the incredible fight team [and sword master] C.C. Smiff on set. And when I had sort of down time, it was really kind of occupied by rehearsals for the fight.”
Setting up the epic event, HIS WORDS, not mine, well, mine too, for fans. “It’s in an arena. It is just a gorgeously decorated set in an incredible location. I’ve not seen anything like it in life or on the show and it’s me, you know, Pedro Pascal playing Oberyn Martell. Pedro Pascal who is 5’11” and 165 lbs. up against the man who holds the official title of the World’s Third Strongest Man. He literally came back from a competition in China, where he won the title of the World’s Third Strongest Man. He’s 6’9”, 420 lbs. And so, you said the two of us at the center of this incredible set and it has a lot of the main characters there as well. You have the entire Lannister family, you have Ellaria Sand, my paramour, played by Indira Varma, Tyrion’s life is on the line, we’ve got a few hundred extras. It’s pretty epic!”
Here’s the pivotal scene between Peter and Pascal, that has Emmy-voters buzzing! Peter Dinklage steals the scene with his final “reaction” alone!
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