This post will be about a rather minor character on Game of Thrones, Hizdahr zo Loraq. I won’t be holding back any details on his story arc, so if you’re not caught up (and are really invested in this character) I’ll be spoiling details about him (and other stuff as well, I guess.)
Okay, lets talk about Hizdahr.
He’s dead. Hey, I did say I would spoil things.
Book readers who are not watching the show might be surprised by that fact, since Hizdahr is alive in the books, although I assume Dany’s Meereenese husband won’t long survive.
The book version of Hizdahr is presented as a more devious and ambitious character. In contrast, HBO’s Hizdahr almost seems like he’s out of his depth the entire time.
People often remark on what a tough time the Stark family has on Game of Thrones, and those remarks are not wrong. The Starks take a beating, particularly in the third season.
Hizdahr zo Loraq has a similar journey, I almost think he’s related to the Starks.
- Like the Starks he had a pretty sweet deal, until a Targaryen executed his dad. (Like Ned Stark lost his father Lord Rickard and older brother Brandon to satisfy Mad King Aerys’ paranoia.)
- He ended up forced into a political marriage. (Like Sansa, being forced to marry Tyrion Lannister without her clear consent. I’ll be the first to admit that Hizdahr was probably not too unhappy with marrying the beautiful Daenerys Targaryen, but lets all admit that he had no choice in the matter.)
- He was pretty comfortable with his entitlement, until Tyrion Lannister called him on his crap. (Much like when Tyrion had to school Jon Snow to check his privilege while at the Wall.)
- Because of his marriage to a foreign beauty, he was targeted for assassination during a large social gathering.
(Robb Stark knows EXACTLY how Hizdahr feels.)
Now, obviously Hizdahr zo Loraq is not related to the Starks.
Unless… imagine the possibility if Rickard Stark, Ned’s dad, years and years previously had traveled to, oh, Myr on business. (Winterfell was famous for a large greenhouse constructed from costly panes of Myrish glass, so Myr is not an unreasonable Essosi destination for a Stark.)
Let’s further imagine that a young Meereenese married couple were also in Myr: Bob and Beatrice zo Loraq. Off on a vacation or whatever.
Since they’re all from out of town, they make introductions at a swanky hotel that only foreign noble visitors hang out in. The equivalent of a Trump property.
They spend their days sightseeing, they enjoy drinking some excellent wine for once (everyone knows that Meereenese wines are crap.) One thing leads to another…
Bob zo Loraq: I’m exhausted! Rick, I’m just going to go pass out. Make sure no one flirts with Bea.
Rickard: You have my worrrrd on it, as a Starrrrk.
Bea zo Loraq: Bob’s such a lightweight.
Rickard: Once you two start a family, he’ll be drrrinking non-stop. He’ll need to cope with all the diaperrr changing.
Bea: I don’t know. We’ve been trying to start a family for awhile. I’m afraid Bob is shooting blunted arrows.
Rickard: That’s terrrrible. A family is so imporrrtant! Och! I have severrral rrrugrrats of me own. It’s too bad I can’t lend you one.
Bea: Maybe there is a way you can help… *bats eyes*
Rickard: Tis not honorrrable, but I suppose I can just blame the wine…
Until I’m proven wrong (and no one will ever bother to do so, because it’s a ridiculous premise to start with) I’m asserting that Jon Snow is not only Dany’s nephew, but Hizdahr zo Loraq’s as well.
If you know what I mean.
Okay, enough speculation about Hizdahr’s parentage. Why do I like this guy?
Sympathy for the Devil
Up front: Hizdahr comes from a well-established wealthy Meereenese family, and therefore he has benefited greatly from the institution of slavery. That’s not cool.
But I am bummed that he’s dead on the show. I think he might have been a good addition to the relatively shallow Tyrion-Missandei-Grey Worm dynamic in season six. That trio needed a little something.
Tyrion: Morale in the city is depressingly low. Perhaps a brainstorming session is in order.
Hizdahr: I think…
Tyrion: Horrible idea.
Hizdahr: But I didn’t say anything yet!
Tyrion: I wanted to save time.
It would benefit Tyrion to have someone to bust on, and it might have benefited Hizdahr to have Tyrion around to challenge him. I enjoyed the brief philosophical debate between the Westerosi and Meereenese noblemen at the start of the games.
Since Hizdahr apparently was not in league with the Sons of the Harpy (the jury is still out on Hizdahr in the books) it might have been interesting to see if exposure to Tyrion wouldn’t have elevated Hizdahr’s perspective.
Unfortunately, we had to bid farewell to the unlucky and unmourned Hizdahr.
I mean, super-unmourned. No one ever mentioned him again. Unless all of the Hizdahr mentions in the script were cut for time. Stuff like this:
Scene: the Throne Room after the ambush at the Games.
Daario: I’m actually surprised that Hizdahr wasn’t the Harpy.
Melisandre: Are you talking about one of your prostitutes? I’m telling her grace when she returns!
Daario: You know, I’m not even sure who I was talking about.
Jorah: I’ll just stand over here, smoldering intently.
Scene: Vaes Dothrak
Dany: Thanks boys, for helping out. Hey, did Hizdahr make it out alive from the games?
Jorah: His “dar”? Whose dar?
Daario: Yeah, I’m not even sure who she’s talking about. Some guy maybe?
Scene: Meereen under siege
Dany: I’m back! What did I miss?
Tyrion: Nice Hamilton reference, your grace. We’re fine. It’s just a siege. I’m 100% with those.
Dany: Daario told me Hizdahr didn’t survive.
Tyrion: I know! That rat. I could have blamed so much on him.
Scene: After the Battle
Daario: I can’t wait for us to get to Westeros. So many castles that we can have sex in.
Dany: Dude, I’m ordering you to stay here and run things.
Dany: But the Meereenese will probably respond better if they think you’re one of them. I want you to change your name to Hizdaahrio and make yourself look like my former betrothed.
Dany: Oh please, you totally changed your appearance between Seasons 3 and 4. It can’t be that hard.
Alright, that closes my brief examination on the character of Hizdahr zo Loraq. We will not see his like again.
Hizdahr: I’M STILL ALIVE IN THE BOOKS!
Ser Barristan: So am I. Deal with it, crybaby.
(Comments are always welcome. Super welcome! But if you want to talk spoilery Game of Thrones talk with me (also welcome) I’d invite you to visit my Safe Spoilers page on my backup blog. That way my non-book-reading friends won’t be shocked with foreknowledge.)
Images from HBO’s Game of Thrones (obviously.)
I make no claim to the images, but some claims to the text. So there.
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