While people are still buzzing about the finale of Game of Thrones (with many people, including me, disappointed at the final episode), you may not know that the character who orchestrated the end game is played by an actor who is from New Jersey. Peter Dinklage, who played Tyrion Lannister, was born June 11th, 1969 in Morristown.

He was born with achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism. He grew up in Mendham and went to school at Delbarton before attending college at Bennington College in Vermont, where he studied drama. He moved to New York to pursue a career in acting but struggled to find roles. He has told interviewers that a big reason he didn’t get cast is because he refused to take stereotypical dwarf roles. His big commercial breakthrough was in the film The Station Agent where he played a reclusive train enthusiast. He also had a memorable role in Elf with Will Ferrell where be beats up Ferrell’s character, Buddy the Elf.

In 2011 he landed his signature role in Game of Thrones for HBO playing the black sheep of the powerful Lannister family. His character was a sarcastic hedonist at the beginning of the show’s run but over the years evolved into a savvy political operative who rose to the highest levels of power. The Hollywood Reporter reports that due to the popularity of his character, Dinklage earned about $500,000 per episode. He has won 3 Primetime Emmys and a Golden Globe for the role of Tyrion. Since the debut of the series he has also had prominent roles in blockbuster films including Avengers: Infinity War and X-Men: Days of Future Past.

He was nominated for the New Jersey Hall of Fame, but was not selected this year (George R.R. Martin, the author of the book series on which Game of Thrones was based, was elected).

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