So I avoided doing a curtain call post for Ami last week, partly because we wanted to allow Ron Donachie a week of character mourning, and partly because there was that 0.01% chance Irri really was not dead and everyone was just screwing with me.
Well now we truly know, and I can let my disappointment take wing and fly.
Some people think my nerd rage stems from the fact that Irri lived (still lives, in fact) a full and functional life in the books, and that assumption would be wrong. Many of you know I am probably the furthest thing from a book purist. My request has been a simple one thus far:
“Just make the best television series ever.” Easy, right?
Of course they had a great head start going for them. George R.R. Martin’s source material is gold. And I have to say—the show has been fantastic. Brilliant at times… and, quite often, better than the source material. That’s not easy to do. For every misstep there have been a hundred pieces of awesome.
So I’m not saying Irri should not have died. I’m going to assume it serves a purpose, some purpose, to have the last reliable vestige of Dothraki culture taken from Daenerys. That’s not my bitch. What I don’t like was how it was done; seen through Dany’s frantic eyes, stuffed into the tail end of an episode, carelessly killed and decorating Dany’s chamber like an Irri rug.
Irri was a character we cared about. She had her own story, as much as any character on the show. Doreah was supposed to be the pretty one, but many eyes were drawn to her. One tiny little glance, given to Rakharo, launched a thousand ‘ships.
Maybe the writers didn’t expect Amrita to inspire so many people with so minor a character. Perhaps they just didn’t know what a good thing they had. Perhaps it would have behooved them to have cast a lesser actress in the role. They should understand, now, that even the smallest thing will be judged by the fandom. When they get it right, we celebrate it, loudly (and usually on Tumblr). If something is found lacking, well, we let them know that too.
Honestly, I don’t think they expect anything less of us. David Benioff and Dan Weiss do not make a habit of talking down to the fans.
If they thought Irri was a small, inconsequential thing, they were wrong. Amrita embodied her heart and soul, making us care for Irri far, far more than we ever cared for her in the books. Irri was already steadfast, but Amrita made her stubborn, reactive, three-dimensional. She was strong yet sensitive, knowing yet innocent. Amrita played these balances with intuitive grace. She became Irri and made her real. That’s why we freaking care. It feels like so much of her was left on the cutting room floor.
I haven’t completely given up hope, even though Game of Thrones has thus far carved a reputation that eschews flashbacks. I’m still hopeful we will see how Irri met her end. We know they filmed the scene; Amrita said she had bruises around her neck days after filming it.
And all sorts of things can happen in the House of the Undying.
So I hold out hope we’ll still get to see her death scene, somehow, some way. That’s all most of us need: closure.
Some of you said your thank-yous and your good-byes last week in my interview with Amrita, but here is the official one. Amrita was nice enough to not only give us a one-on-one interview, but to come out and meet some of the fans during her recent trip to L.A. I have no idea how she kept her character’s death a secret from us during all that. Perhaps the secret amused her; she smiled patiently at me as I nattered on about all the cool things Irri was going to see.
Clearly, HBO has been airtight with spoilers. You can’t say she didn’t do her job as an actress. She always did, and did it with emotive yet controlled power.
Fire And Blood: It’s been said before, and I’ll say it again: Thanks, Ami! You’ve only begun this crazy trip, and I have a feeling the long road ahead is gonna be really cool. Keep on keepin’ on, come back L.A., and keep making magic. We will line up to see it.
Oh, and may Irri’s journey into the Night Lands be on one helluva bitchin’ ride.