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Only spoilers from the current season will be hidden, so beware spoilers if you're not up to date on the episodes.
Izembaro's Theatre Troupe
A theater troupe who performs The Bloody Hand, a play loosely-based on recent Westerosi events.
- Adaptational Modesty: The unnamed actress playing Margery Tyrell is wearing a very conservative dress, unlike what the real one usually wears.
- Adapted Out: Several characters are omitted in their play due to it being a Compressed Adaptation of the show's first four seasons.
- Aerith and Bob: Only the female actors don't have fantastic sounding names.
- Antagonist Title: In-Universe. The play's titular hand refers to both Ned and Tyrion, the Hands of The King who conspired to take the kingdom for themselves. Overlaps with Job Title below.
- Black Comedy: Their play is filled with Flanderization and Toilet Humor despite retaining the (supposedly) seriousness of the situations presented.
- Compressed Adaptation: The play squeezes in its plot about four seasons worth of stories.
- Demoted to Extra: The play reduces several characters' importance. Notably, "Margery" only appeared in the Purple Wedding, "Sansa" is reduced to a Ms. Fanservice Living Prop following Ned's execution, and Tywin only turns up for his death scene.
- Disowned Adaptation: In-Universe. Arya did not like her family's portrayal in the play.
- Dude, Not Funny!: Zig-Zagged regarding Arya. She's not fond of how her family is depicted but is visibly amused at the depiction of other characters.
- Ham and Cheese: In-Universe. The actors, excluding the play's Descended Creator and Lady Crane, thinks their play is shit but does it anyway.
- Hostility on the Set: In-Universe. Bianca is secretly plotting to have Lady Crane killed so she could take the lead actress spot. Izembaro is also a very Prima Donna Director.
- Job Title: In-Universe. The Hand in their play's title refers to the Hand of the King, the title held by the King of Westeros' Number Two. Overlaps with Antagonist Title above.
- Put on a Bus: Last heard going off to Pentos.
- Rhymes on a Dime: All the lines of The Bloody Hand are written in rhyme, much like the in-universe play in Hamlet.
- Self-Parody: Of Game Of Thrones.
- Shameless Fanservice Girl: There are no dressing rooms backstage and everybody freely walks about naked.
- Take That, Audience! / Take That, Us: When they appeared in Season 6, fans and critics heavily debated which of these two tropes they were supposed to be, fundamentally (though they are based on a similar play in the novels). Some thought it was the writers having a "Take That!" moment against criticisms of their adaptation, mocking those who complain about the violence and random nudity in it. Others thought it was a surprisingly frank self-criticism and acknowledgment about times they made mistakes or got adaptation details wrong. The Season 6 Blu-ray commentary reveals that, rather awkwardly, this debate occurred on the production end as well. Apparently, the writers actually considered it to be a "Take That Audience!" by mockingly exaggerating details about the TV show which they felt reviewers were being unjustifiably negative about. When the episode director and his team got the script and filmed it, however, he grew increasingly uncomfortable, because many of these criticisms were very on-the-nose and, in his mind, uncomfortably accurate - i.e. putting too much fart humor in, pointing out that Sansa has few speaking lines (even within Season 6). To everyone in the filming crew, it seemed to rather obviously be a "Take That, Us!" trope. The director grew so uncomfortable with this that he outright went to the writers and told them that the whole thing as written came off as a scathing self-criticism of genuine failings in the TV series, not making fun of "groundless" negative comments about the TV series by its detractors. As he says in the commentary, they didn't really believe him and instead told him to push the parody to even further extremes. Unfortunately, this response is understandable: if the TV writers weren't oblivious to genuine problems in their writing (sex, violence, lowbrow humor), they wouldn't have done them in the first place.
- Toilet Humor: Most of the "humor" in their play revolves around obnoxious farting.
- Troubled Production: Izembaro is a Control Freak who Can't Take Criticism while Bianca secretly hates Lady Crane out of envy. And the last time they're shown, they lost two main cast members in two different (but related) violent instances.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: In-Universe, their play took several liberties of what really happened on the first four seasons and depicted them as Denser and Wackier.
Played By: Richard E. Grant
The master of a troupe of Braavosi actors, and writer of The Bloody Hand, a play loosely-based on recent Westerosi events.
- Acting for Two: In-Universe. He plays both Robert Baratheon and Tywin Lannister.
- Actor-Shared Background: In-Universe. He, like both Tywin and Robert, is a leader. Likely also a case of Cast the Expert.
- Adaptational Comic Relief: He portrays Tywin and Robert's death with Black Comedy.
- Adaptational Heroism: He portrays Tywin as wise and noble.
- Adaptational Wimp: He downplays Robert's prowess when portraying him.
- Artistic License History: In-Universe, he took several liberties of what really happened on the first four seasons when writing The Bloody Hand.
- Can't Take Criticism: He goes off on Lady Crane the instant she suggests the play may not be perfect.
- Chronically Killed Actor: For playing both Robert and Tywin.
- Death by Adaptation: His In-Universe portrayal of Robert Baratheon dies only minutes after his fateful encounter with the wild boar. The real Robert was able to hang on for at least a day before passing.
- Descended Creator: In-Universe. In addition to being the producer, director and writer of his play, he also acts in it.
- Dodgy Toupee: His Tywin wig (pictured here) is the most conspicuous and least accurate of the wigs used in the play, and looks nothing like the real Tywin's thinning, receding hair.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: He's almost like an exaggerated, negative parody of William Shakespeare—only without the eye for great characterization.
- Giftedly Bad: His plays are... not good, but the audience seems to love them anyway.
- In the books, they sort of straddle the line that Shakespeare must have had in his day: they're lowbrow entertainment which is really popular with the commoners, but not with the educated upper-crust aristocrats who have higher standards.
- Hates the Job, Loves the Limelight: Complains endlessly backstage of how the crowd doesn't appreciate his art.
- Jerkass: He's a huge jerk to Lady Crane offstage.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: His Tywin."Beast! You beast! You killed my wife and now you've taken your father's life. No worse child has stained this land. Curse the day I named you..." (dies before saying Hand)
- Large Ham: In-Universe. His portrayals of Robert Baratheon and Tywin Lannister are ridiculously over-the-top.
- Odd Name Out: If the "Lady" in Lady Crane's name doesn't count, then all his (named) actors' names start with either "B" or "C".
- Pet the Dog: He is disgusted that the audience cheered during Ned's execution on his play, suggesting that he at least has some respect for the real Ned Stark. Apparently, Izembaro wanted his "Ned Stark" to be a Tragic Villain in the style of Macbeth, a good man destroyed by ambition - and there are many Shakespearean directors who insist that you're not supposed to be cheering when Macbeth dies.
- Prima Donna Director: He is very overbearing, hard to please and has high standards over his work.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Has an inordinately high opinion of himself considering the quality of his work.
Played By: Essie Davis
An elegant, fun, charismatic, rum-drinking actress in Izembaro's traveling theater company. She portrays Cersei Lannister in a play named "The Bloody Hand".
- Abled in the Adaptation: Her portrayal of Cersei lacks any form of mental illness and disorder.
- The Ace: Clearly the troupe's best performer.
- Actor-Shared Background: In-Universe. Both she and Cersei are Lady Drunks.
- Adaptation Name Change: Known as Lady Stork in the books.
- Adaptational Curves: Downplayed, but she's slightly more well-endowed than the real Cersei.
- Adaptational Heroism: Her version of Cersei is depicted as a noble and fair queen.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: She mentions that she keeps falling for terrible men.
- Always Someone Better: Arya suspects that Crane was marked for death by her co-worker Bianca for being a better actress than she is.
- Author Existence Failure: In-Universe. The Waif kills her just before the troupe is set for Pentos.
- Badasses Wear Bandanas: She wears a red bandana and is both her troupe's best actress and a person who will kick anyone who kicks her harder.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Though she is nice to Arya, she has a really nasty side: she used to stab several of her past lovers for infidelity. And after its revealed Bianca tried to have her killed, Crane does something to her face assuring she will have a hard time finding work as an actress, implying that disfigured her.
- Cast Incest: In-Universe. She portrays Cersei, but is implied to be married to the actor playing Tyrion. Doubles as Reality Subtext since the real Cersei is infamous for her Twincest. Additionally, the actor playing her son visibly Squees on-stage when she cradles him.
- Creator-Preferred Adaptation: In-Universe. Arya definitely likes her version of Cersei far more than the real one. She even suggested to Lady Crane to show more vulnerability.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: She somehow gets stabbed into a stool in a particularly grisly (and anatomically inaccurate) death.
- Death by Irony: She was killed by an infamous Murder, Inc. for nursing its former member who was supposed to kill her, and the reason said former member did not do it in the first place is because she saw her in a play and takes a liking on her despite the fact that she's playing one of the supposed killer's most hated person.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: In-Universe, she is the most loved of the Troupe for being the only one to give a legitimate performance. This is Lampshaded, much to the scorn of her co-stars.Izembaro: Except her. They all love her!
- Happily Married: To Bobono, if their toast to their future children is anything to go by.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: She likes to take a nip of wine before and after each play, and the only member of the troupe to drink rum.
- Irony: Arya takes a liking on her despite her playing one of the person she hates in her life.
- Irony as She Is Cast: In-Universe. She portrays Cersei, who has a long time affair with her twin brother. She is implied to be married to the actor playing Tyrion, the brother whom Cersei hates.
- Jumped at the Call: She became an actress after seeing only one performance.
- Just Here for Godzilla: In-Universe. She's literally the only reason Arya watches her plays. At first it's because to kill her. She did not do it.
- Lethal Chef: She has many talents, but cooking is not one of them.
- The Medic: She is a pretty good healer, being able to tend Arya after she was stabbed by the Waif. She got pretty good at it by tending several of her lovers after stabbing them herself over arguments.
- Mythology Gag
- In the books, a dwarf named Penny recalls having a normal mother, but a dwarf father, both going around performing shows. In the show Lady Crane and Bobono talk about being intimate and having children.
- There is a House Crane from the Reach.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: She tends to Arya after she is wounded by the Waif and tries to offer her a place in the troupe. When the Waif finally finds her, she has Crane horribly butchered for giving aid to Arya and fulfill the original contract that she failed to uphold.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: She got her revenge on Bianca for putting a hit on her, though it's not shown onscreen.
- Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: She is portrayed a lot more positively compared the younger Bianca in their one-sided (on the latter's part, at least) professional rivalry, being the veteran actress just doing her job compared to the latter's Green-Eyed Monster.
- Real-Life Relative: In-Universe. She is implied to be married to Bobono, who plays her on-stage brother.
- Reality Subtext: In-Universe. Since she portrays Cersei, who has a long time affair with her twin brother Jamie, it really doesn't seem weird that she's Happily Married to the actor playing Tyrion.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: The Waif drapes her disturbingly twisted corpse over a chair and makes sure Arya gets to see her like that.
- Took the Bad Film Seriously: In-universe. While the rest of the play and the actors in it seem to rely on Toilet Humor and bad jokes, Lady Crane actually tries to pull off a good dramatic performance as Cersei. This makes Arya respect her and her fellow actors look down on her as snooty. Inverted in that her performances squarely place her as an exemplar of the Rule of Sean Connery.
- Unintentionally Sympathetic: Invoked towards Arya. Supposedly, it'll be easier for Arya to kill her despite not being an Asshole Victim since she's playing one of her most hated person in the world. However, her strong acting and decency grows on her. Arya even suggested to show more vulnerability in her next performance, stating that the real Cersei would probably react that way too.
- Woman Scorned: She mentions that she has stabbed a few unfaithful lovers in the past.
Played By: Leigh Chill
A dwarf mummer from Izembaro's theater troupe. He plays Tyrion Lannister in "The Bloody Hand".
- Actor-Shared Background: In-Universe. Both he and Tyrion have Dwarfism.
- Adaptational Ugliness: His portrayal of Tyrion is already scarred during the events of Season 1.
- Adaptational Villainy: To Tyrion Lannister. His depiction is that of a manipulative schemer who forces himself on Sansa Stark, unlike the real one, who was protective of her and tried everything in his power to keep Cersei and Joffrey's cruelty in check.
- The Bad Guy Wins: The play ends with "Tyrion" escaping Westeros after killing Tywin.
- Big Bad: His version of Tyrion serves as this in The Bloody Hand.
- Cast Incest: In-Universe. He is implied to married to the actress playing his on-stage sister.
- Chivalrous Pervert: His real self is just as perverted as his character, though a good deal more friendly and playful.
- Composite Character: In-Universe, his role as Tyrion combines Littlefinger's role in the betrayal of Ned Stark. He also acts as Robert's cupbearer instead of Lancel.
- Critical Research Failure: Either doesn't know or doesn't care that Tyrion only got his disfiguring facial scar in a battle after Ned Stark was beheaded.
- Dastardly Whiplash: His version of Tyrion has shades of this as a stereotypical pantomime villain, with a generally hammy and over-the-top nasally delivery and Obviously Evil hooked (prosthetic) nose.
- Depraved Dwarf: Lady Crane toasts Bobono's 'dirty mind'. He plays the trope straight on stage, forcibly stripping Play Sansa, then dragging her off to his bedchamber before they're even married.
- Happily Married: To Lady Crane, if their toast to their future children is anything to go by.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: In-Universe, the Show Within a Show he stars in is obvious Pro-Lannister propaganda where Tyrion is portrayed as a cackling, depraved sex-crazed Card-Carrying Villain with odious designs on Sansa Stark.
- Irony as She Is Cast: In-Universe. His implied wife portrays a woman infamous for her incestuous affair with her twin brother. He plays the other brother, the one whom her character hates.
- Large Ham: His portrayal of Tyrion is something of a Westerosi Dastardly Whiplash.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: In-Universe - The "Tyrion" character he performs is the titular villain of the play, but backstage he's a nice guy chumming around with the other actors including Lady Crane.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: In his final villain monologue, Play Tyrion declares he will cross the Narrow Sea to do more treachery, this time to the audience. "Fear me!" (exit with Evil Laugh)
- Real-Life Relative: In-Universe. He is implied to be married to Lady Crane, who plays his on-stage sister.
- Regent for Life: Play Tyrion uses his father's wealth to appoint himself Hand For Life.
- Villain Protagonist: His portrayal of "Tyrion" evokes Richard III, the Shakespeare play. One of George R.R. Martin's inspirations for developing Tyrion was wondering if all the Yorkist criticisms about the play are correct, and its portrayal of Richard as a villain really was just a lot of Lancaster/Tudor propaganda because history was Written by the Winners. We see this actually unfolding for Tyrion now: the historical narrative is getting distorted and he's being thought of as some sort of villain. For added bonus, Peter Dinklage has portrayed Richard III on stage.
- Vocal Dissonance: Rather than the real Tyrion's smooth baritone, Bobono has a high-pitched voice like some people with dwarfism in Real Life.
Played By: Eline Powell
An actress who portrays Sansa Stark in The Bloody Hand. She's also been sleeping with Izembaro.
- Adaptational Curves: In-Universe. Eline Powell is notably more stacked than Sophie Turner.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted Trope. While the effects are not seen, its implied Bianca was disfigured by Lady Crane after trying to have her killed.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She acts friendly behind the stage towards Lady Crane, but in reality, Bianca hired the Faceless Men to kill her so she can take Crane's place.
- Career-Ending Injury: As punishment for putting a hit on her, Lady Crane does "something" to her face that will hinder her from getting any acting gigs in the future.
- Casting Couch: Implied. When Izembaro is complaining about her performance, she gripes that he wasn't complaining the previous night.
- Composite Character: Her In-Universe role as Sansa is combined with that of Shae, represented as a poor maiden molested by Tyrion in The Bloody Hand.
- Decomposite Character: To Arya Stark; her book counterpart is Mercy, one of the many identities Arya assumes in Braavos, specifically when she has to portray Sansa in the play. In the show, Bianca is a separate character in her own right.
- Facial Horror: Lady Crane says that she did something to her face that will make her unable to work as an actress.
- Green-Eyed Monster: She is jealous of Lady Crane for being a far better actress than she is. Arya figures out that she was the one who hired the Faceless Men to assassinate her. It becomes more apparent in the Purple Wedding's reenactment where Arya spots Bianca glaring with envy towards Crane and attempting to emulate her acting.
- Hotter and Sexier: Her In-Universe portrayal of Sansa is heavily sexualized.
- Klingon Promotion: What she was probably trying to achieve. During one of the troupe's performances, Arya takes particular notice of how Bianca mimics Lady Crane's lines backstage, likely in case the role of Cersei might become vacant in the near future.
- Meaningless Villain Victory: The Waif kills Lady Crane but only after Bianca's been outed as a schemer and had her career ruined via disfigurement.
- Ms. Fanservice: In-Universe, her role in the play involves her breasts being exposed for the audience's lewd appreciation. Her following scene has her wandering around topless in the backstage. Deconstructed since Bianca resents the only purpose of her role to provide Fanservice, so she arranges the Faceless Men to get rid of Lady Crane so she could take her place. When Lady Crane finds that out, she apparently disfigured Bianca's face so badly she probably won't even be able to go back to her old role, let alone have any advanced acting prospects.
- Nice Character, Mean Actor: She plays the Damsel in Distress Sansa in the In-Universe play. In reality, she is the one who hired the Faceless Men to kill Lady Crane out of envy.
- Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: She is portrayed more negatively compared to the older Ms. Crane in their one-sided (on her part, at least) professional rivalry, being the Green-Eyed Monster towards her much more experienced colleague.
- Unknown Rival: She is jealous of Lady Crane. Lady Crane is oblivious about it until Arya tells her.
Played By: Rob Callender
An actor from Izembaro's theater troupe who portrays Joffrey Baratheon in The Bloody Hand.
- Abled in the Adaptation: His portrayal of Joffrey lacks any form of mental illness and disorder.
- Adaptational Badass: His Joffrey slapped away Ned Stark from his throne.
- Adaptational Comic Relief: His version of Joffrey is depicted as a noble but incompetent king. The real one was an infamous tyrant, though at least he got the incompetence right.
- Adaptational Heroism: He portrayed Joffrey as a benevolent person.
- Butt-Monkey: Aside from portraying The Chew Toy for his group's play, his penis has several warts.
- Catharsis Factor: In-Universe. Since Arya missed out on killing the real Joffrey, seeing an adaptation of him die gave a huge smile on her face. The Adaptational Comic Relief probably also helped.
- The Chew Toy: His In-Universe portrayal of Joffrey depicts him as getting slapped in every given chance.
- Composite Character: In-Universe, his Joffrey seems to be portrayed as kind-hearted but not a really good ruler—which is more like his brother Tommen, the one seeing over the further disintegration of King's Landing during the time of the play.
- Groin Attack: He laments over his penis having two warts.
- Large Ham: He really goes all out in portraying Joffrey as The Chew Toy.
- Likes Older Women: Implied. He Squees when he's being cradled by Lady Crane but a much younger Bianca wandering topless backstage doesn't seem to catch his attention (then again, he's busy with the two warts on his penis during that time).
- Male Frontal Nudity: Him checking the warts on his penis is shown in specific detail.
- Named by the Adaptation: The actor playing Joffrey is not named in the books.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion"Good people you can all relax. My father's friend shall be spared the..." (ax)
- Thanks for the Mammaries: When Lady Crane hugs him on stage, he gives her a Male Gaze and then subtly Squees.
Played By: Kevin Eldon
An actor from Izembaro's theater troupe who portrays Eddard Stark in The Bloody Hand.
- Abled in the Adaptation: His portrayal of Ned lacks the real one's leg injury during his final days, likely due to the skirmish with Jaime Lannister and his Mooks being Adapted Out in the play.
- Adaptational Comic Relief: He portrays Ned Stark as a Laughably Evil Big Bad Wannabe.
- Adaptational Ugliness: The real Ned Stark is conventionally more good looking than his portrayal.
- Adaptational Villainy: In-Universe to Ned Stark. His depiction is that of a False Friend and The Starscream to Robert Baratheon, whereas the real Ned was a very loyal friend and a dutiful Hand of the King (Honor Before Reason aside).
- Adaptational Wimp: His portrayal of Ned Stark is void of the real one's prowess.
- Disc-One Final Boss: While his portrayal of Ned and the play's version of Tyrion started as a Big Bad Duumvirate, his Ned ultimately becomes an Unwitting Pawn and is killed early, allowing "Tyrion" to be the play's true Big Bad.
- Large Ham: He really goes all out in portraying Ned as a moronic pawn of Tyrion.
- Really Gets Around: Plays up Ned's infidelity by scratching his crotch in his first appearance. Of course, the real Ned was never unfaithful.
- Running Gag: Throwing his costume to Arya, the daughter of the man he's playing.
- Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The play's Descended Creator admits his disgust at the audience for cheering on Ned's execution, suggesting that he intended for Ned to be portrayed as a "foolish Tragic Villain corrupted by greed". Never mind the fact the Ned is depicted being a Laughably Evil Big Bad Wannabe.
- Vocal Dissonance: Rather than the real Ned's Badass Baritone, Camello has a more high-pitched voice.