‘Game of Thrones’ Actor Comes Out as a Socialist: ‘Syrio Forel Is a Comrade’

“Either you believe in democracy and grass roots based equality or you are a fascist.”

British actor Miltos Yerolemou, who played Syrio Forel on HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” came out as a proud socialist last week.

Yerolemou, whose character served as Arya Stark’s “dance instructor” in “Game of Thrones'” first season, made the revelation Thursday in response to a meme from conservative news site the Daily Wire.

The meme features Forel’s death scene from the first season. However, his character’s memorable last words to Arya (“What do we say to the god of death?”) are replaced by a dig at socialism.

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“What do we say to Socialism?” reads the caption in the Daily Wire version.

“Not today,” Arya replies.

The actor objected to the joke, averring: “I do not condone this.” In subsequent tweets, the actor expressed his solidarity with socialist ideology. “You either fight for the people or for your own interests,” he wrote. “Either you believe in democracy and grass roots based equality or you are a fascist. It really is that simple. I will always stand for people over self-interest.” In one exchange, he endorsed the message of a journalist who called his character a comrade with a “raised fist” emoji.

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Yerolemou concurred with the sentiments of one commenter who tweeted that conservatives, “see things the left like and then try to ruin it for them by trying to get it associated with fascism or white supremacy.”

“#truth,” he wrote in reply.

“Now that’s more like it! Let’s at least have a well regulated free market and state owned utilities!” Yerolemou said in reply to one user who took a dig at capitalism.

But the British thespian of Greek heritage took issue with one commenter who tweeted that Greece was a “failed socialist state.” In response, Yerolemou called the Twitter user an “idiot.”

Yerolemou’s remarks come following a week of political upheaval in Venezuela, which has faced a popular uprising precipitated by a humanitarian and economic crisis in the socialist nation. The conversation surrounding Yerolemou’s politics is yet another example of how “Game of Thrones'” status as a cultural touchstone has led to controversies over ideology.

Whether it be commentary on “Game of Thrones'” depiction of feminism, immigration or gender – the show and its cast seem unable to escape the broader culture’s penchant for injecting all facets of society, no matter how frivolous or seemingly apolitical, with political or ideological significance.

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