Irish police revealed this week that officers helped actor Peter Dinklage avert a life-threatening situation during a summer 2018 Game of Thrones wrap party in Belfast when the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) arrested three separate midget poachers near the gathering.
“Knowing that a star of Dinklage’s stature was going to be present ahead of time, we were able to dispatch enough intel to net three of these dwarf-trafficking bastards,” said PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton. “It won’t solve all of our problems, but long story short, today we made it a little bit safer for little people.”
According to Halmilton, midgets are a protected species in Ireland, with severe penalty for hunting them or trying to remove them from their natural habitats. Hamilton reports that all three suspects were found in possession of weapons, restraint devices, and state-of-the-art midget-tracking equipment. Nearly a year past the incident, all three remain in police custody.
Since the global success of the HBO series, the demand for dwarves on the European black market has spiked, and Interpol believes that midget trafficking is at an all-time high throughout Northern Europe. In most cases, people with dwarfism or other forms of skeletal dysplasia are sold off as high-priced home companions to wealthy families, but in a few known cases, midgets have been preserved through taxidermy to serve as mantle ornaments.
The PSNI have not reported on the intent of the midget poachers who sought out Dinklage last summer. Irish police had managed to keep the story under wraps for several months, but felt like it was important to bring light to the incident as reports of midget-related disappearances continue to surge.
“Seems like everyone wants one these days,” said Inspector Dylan MacDugal. “Like anything else, people see something on TV they like and suddenly everyone wants one of their own and a black market grows up around it.”
Irish pet activist Simon McFleck, who firmly opposed keeping midgets as pets or in other domestic situations, says that concerns about midgets mirror those of other exotic pets, like rabbits or houseyaks. “Does anyone think pet midgets through?” McFleck asks. “Are these people responsible enough to feed one three times a day? Get it all of its shots? Train and educate it? Clean up after it? Give it the amount of attention you would give to an average-height human being? Increasingly, and unsurprisingly, that answer is no, and many of these dwarves live under terrible conditions with families that don’t even have the capacity to love them.”
“We’ve gone into homes where they don’t have so much as a dish of clean water and an old tattered pillow in the corner to sleep on,” stated Inspector Conor O’Connor who heads the Ireland Dwarf Trafficking Unit for the PSNI.
The PSNI say that Dinklage was often kept safe while filming in Europe because rapidly changing filming locations helped the star keep a half-step ahead of the poachers. For the past three years, the star has been accompanied by increasing levels of plain-clothes security detail while filming there.
“Despite his fame, he was surprisingly good at keeping a low profile,” a security staffer maintained.
Officials from Interpol believe that a captive Dinklage might have fared better than some black market dwarves. Because of his fame, Dinklage would have been seen as a Holy Grail that assured a buying group limited to only the most affluent collectors, some of whom have been reported to have a full service staff on hand to care for their midget collections.
“But you can never be too sure, or too careful,” O’Connor reports. “They could just as well have stuffed him as a high-priced tchotchke.”
“I am now, as I was last summer, deeply appreciative for the assistance of Irish police and intelligence in protecting me in this circumstance,” Dinklage told reporters in New York as news of the incident made it across the Atlantic. “While a full service staff to attend to me does sound really — really nice, in fact — freedom is what this is really about: the freedom to just go about your day as carefree as everyone else, and to be treated like every other person, without some asshole going out of his way to fuck up your day in particular.”