RAR: How difficult has it been for you to reconcile the visual constraints of the television medium and the descriptive book elements? For instance how hideous Tyrion is supposed to be doesn’t really come across in the show and (not to spoil, but) what we’re expecting from other characters and what happens to them…?
GRRM: You know, I worked in Hollywood for 10 years; I was there from basically the mid-’80s to the mid-’90s working on a variety of television shows. So, I saw the process from the other side, which has given me enough perspective. I mean, you can describe a character in the book, but you’re never gonna get an actor who exactly meets the physical dimensions of the character. I know some of the fans go crazy about this. “Ooooh that character had red hair in the book and they cast someone with blond hair.” But, for the most part, that stuff is trivial.
In the case of Tyrion, yeah Tyrion in the books is shorter than Peter Dinklage is and he’s considerably less attractive. Peter is actually quite a good looking guy. But Peter Dinklage is a sensational actor and brought Tyrion to life vividly. That’s what you want. You’re not trying to match an author’s imaginary description of a person who never existed; you’re trying to bring a character to life by casting the best possible actor you can in the role.