Game of Thrones is arguably the greatest television show currently running and tonight it returns to our screens for its fifth series, but who knew the Lord of Casterly Rock and Hand of the King to Joffrey Baratheon once studied at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
Charles Dance OBE, who plays Lord Tywin Lannister in the hit series, was once all set for a career as a graphic designer, graduating in Graphic Design and Photography when DMU was known as Leicester College of Arts, before his attentions turned to acting.
In 1999, in an interview with the Daily Mail, Dance said it was during his time in Leicester that he began to think of an acting career.
He said: "I got involved in art school theatre groups. And then I met two wonderful old men, retired actors named Leonard and Martin. Suddenly I found kindred spirits."
The two men had coached friends of Charles for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and agreed to teach him too.
Dance’s on-screen debut came in 1974 when he featured in Father Brown, a BBC mystery series, but his big break came a decade later when he played the lead role of Guy Perron in ITV’s The Jewel in the Crown.
Dance has also appeared in the iconic James Bond series when he had a part in For Your Eyes Only alongside Roger Moore, and has had roles in many big name films including Alien 3, Ali G Indahouse and Gosford Park.
Dance also received an Honorary Doctor of Arts from DMU in the summer of 2006 in recognition of his international success and achievements in the theatrical profession.
However, to many of us, Dance is best known as the family legacy-obsessed Tywin Lannister, eager to remind us at every turn of the Lannister family's vow to always pay their debts and fully committed to giving his son Tyrion a life of turmoil.
This led to his undoing in the finale of series four when Tyrion executed him at point-blank range with a crossbow as he sat upon his own throne.
Tywin’s death, however, has not left him out the series; he is still set to appear in the fifth series of the adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels, A Song of Ice and Fire.
Dance and the rest of the cast return in Game of Thrones tonight at 9pm on Sky Atlantic.
Posted on Monday 13th April 2015