Newsflash: Groping someone is sexual assault. It’s mind-boggling that this has to be stressed so much, but there you have it.
Daniel Portman, better known as Game of Thrones‘ Podrick Payne (who might or might not die on this weekend’s episode once the Night King razes all of Winterfell) said in an interview with Esquire that many of his female fans have groped him in public without his consent.
“I’ve been grabbed by so many … like the amount of like older, older women who are very…” Portman said, using a groping gesture to make his point.
Podrick, the ever-loyal squire, seems a rather unassuming character… that is until that famous scene in Season 3 of HBO’s television juggernaut, in which Podrick has sex with three prostitutes who reveal he was so good in bed that they actually refuse payment.
Portman, who has spent the majority of his 20s playing Podrick on Game of Thrones, says he never answers his fans when they ask about that brothel scene:
“A magician never reveals his secrets. If I f*cking knew my life would be very different. I was 20 when that happened, so it was kind of like a kid in a candy shop.”
“When you tell a 20-year-old actor, who’s sort of stumbled onto this big TV show, that all of a sudden you’re meant to be Casanova, people all over the world wonder whether or not it’s true. I would be lying if I said that that hadn’t been fun.”
He says there’s not much he can do when fans cross the line, though.
“What can you do? You know? Obviously tell them not to do it. It hasn’t happened for a while.”
“In this day and age you’d think that people would be able to separate reality from fiction. I don’t want to say it comes with the territory, but, you know, people are crazy about it. It’s certainly not cool.”
Many of Portman’s fans rallied to support him.
There are a lot of people who don't realize just how entitled others can be to bodies not their own.— Narrative Matters (@itsnarrative) April 24, 2019
this idea too many people have, that men are just supposed to be okay with anything, needs to be talked about more— for ice cream (@knotchoes) April 24, 2019
If you, at any point, have used #MeToo or have expressed that men just don't know how to accept no or how not to be dicks, then engage in this behaviour, you are 100% included in the problem. You’re not “problematic”, you’re a perpetrator of sexual assault https://t.co/f26Cl5p4yu— AntipodesAnnie (and Hugo Award Nominee) 🐏🇳🇿 (@lacuchinaNZ) April 24, 2019
That’s messed up. DONT TOUCH PEOPLE! I don’t care who they are. You don’t touch celebs! If you want a hug or to even put a hand on their back... ASK! Jesus.— The Queen of Sheba👑 (@SabaSmw) April 24, 2019
👏Do 👏not👏touch👏anyone👏without👏their👏permission 👏https://t.co/VJRo3nASp6— JOH-ee 😭 Saw Endgame 😭 (@JustJoeyJoeyJo) April 25, 2019
1. This SUCKS.— chimera (@kymera11) April 24, 2019
2. “When you tell a 20-year-old actor...that all of a sudden you're meant to be Casanova, people all over the world wonder whether or not it's true. I would be lying if I said that that hadn't been fun” - male privilege.
3. I’m still glad he’s not more traumatized.
Despite that discomfort, Portman says he’s loved his time on the show and believes Podrick is one of its most relatable characters.
“I think everybody’s been in that situation, where they feel like the useless guy, or maybe they don’t quite fit in. Maybe I don’t deserve to be here. He kind of sanctifies that. I think that’s why people connect with him.”
“Everybody’s been that awkward, uncomfortable person before, and he makes the best of it. He doesn’t have all the tools and he doesn’t have all the experience, but he’s willing. That’s all you can really do, isn’t it?”
Indeed, Pod, indeed.
We’ll find out what happens to Podrick in just a couple of days, and we’re not emotionally prepared. Thanks for your splendid work, Mr. Portman.