Figure skating has long been a highlight of the Winter Olympics, and the 2018 PyeongChang Games are no exception. From Adam Rippon's hilarious tweets to this Olympic figure skating routine set to Game of Thrones music, the competition has been amazing. Yes, Paul Fentz of Germany literally skated to music from the Game of Thrones soundtrack. When was the last time your favorite show was incorporated into the Olympics?
This isn't the first time Fentz has skated to notable music, though. Earlier in competition, the German skater performed to a Paul Anka cover of Oasis' "Wonderwall," which was just unusual enough to be noticeable. (This is the first year officials have allowed music with lyrics in competition in the Olympics, and singles and pairs skaters alike are loving it.)
Setting an Olympic figure skating routine to music from HBO series Game of Thrones is a delightful twist on skating conventions. For decades, classical, baroque compositions were pretty much all fans would hear during figure skating competitions. Occasionally, an athlete would throw in something fun — Tara Lipinski's gold medal-winning routine to music from Anastasia, for example — but with strictly enforced rules, it seemed difficult for skaters to display too much originality. That's just part of why Fentz's Game of Thrones-inspired routine is so entertaining to watch; it's a nod to existing traditions with a dash of pop culture inspiration. Even though all eyes are on American competitors Rippon and Nathan Chen, Fentz's performance is making fans of Westeros proud.
So, for the record, Fentz didn't just skate to Game of Thrones: He went all in. He basically cosplayed. For his free skate, the Olympian incorporated elements of armor into his outfit, and had a tribute to GoT character Jaime Lannister on his sleeve. For those not in the know, Lannister is a main character on Game of Thrones, and one marked by conflict. On the show, he's painfully in love with his twin sister, who happens to be consumed by power and rage. He's also extremely rich and was an unbeatable swordsman until a jerk literally cuts off his right hand. Lannister is handsome and noble and a little tragic; his trajectory isn't quite what you'd expect an Olympic-level athlete like Fentz to align himself with. But hey, if you can, then why not, right?
Fentz must really love the show, too, since his added red flair at the end of his right sleeve signified Jaime Lannister losing his hand. Why would you want to honor that during your competition? Why not a character like Jon Snow, who literally comes back from the dead, or Arya Stark, who transforms herself into a magical assassin? Why not Khaleesi, the Mother of Dragons?
Fentz's reason for performing in the key of Ser Jaime Lannister is known only to him. Either way, it's still great to watch. "A Lannister always pays his debts," announcer Lipinski observed after his routine. It's true — that's the family's whole thing in Game of Thrones. Plus, if Russia's Evgenia Medvedeva can bust out props to perform as Sailor Moon, why shouldn't Fentz be able to work in his own fandom to his routines?
For fans of the Olympics who might not be that into the HBO fantasy series, Fentz's performance likely looked like any other competitor's, albeit with a touch more flourish. For real GoT devotees, though, his performance was a treat. After all, the final season of Game of Thrones could be at least a year away, and the next book in the George R. R. Martin series might be pushed into 2019 as well.
Until there's actual, new Game of Thrones-centric information to soak in, fans can enjoy a rewatch of Germany's Fentz as Jaime Lannister on ice. Let's hope actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who has played the character since 2011, is a fan too.