The word “geek” has different meanings, depending on who you ask. Previously, the word was mainly used as an insult towards people who loved things that were deemed “uncool” or “cringy.” However, in recent years more and more people are embracing their inner geeks and nerds as they join various fandoms and let themselves fall in love with a multitude of books, characters, shows, movies, music, anime, video games, etc. Today, many individuals proudly call themselves “geeks” when discussing how much they love a particular interest or hobby.
As someone with a connection to one of the biggest pop culture phenomena and fandoms from the twenty-first century, Jacob Anderson (who also goes by Raleigh Ritchie) is a proud geek. The actor and musician portrayed the intelligent, competent, and humble Unsullied leader Grey Worm in HBO’s fantasy drama Game of Thrones. According to Winter is Coming, in a recent podcast with John Bishop, Anderson discussed what being a geek means to him and what makes being a geek so special.
Anderson said that he used to feel “embarrassed” about being a geek when he was younger, due to the many negative connotations surrounding the word. He said “Like, I love comic books. I always have loved comic books. I love music. I love films. I think the things that I love, it doesn’t end with the thing. There’s always more, I always want to read more.”
In the podcast, Anderson stated, “There’s nothing more endearing in a human being than having a passion for something.” He took his first real job at a shop called Virgin Megastore just so he could be surrounded by music and films. He’d loved reading the inlays that came with CDs to learn more about the production of the music he listened to, calling this habit an “obsessive quality.” When Anderson becomes interested in something new, he stated he “will take it as far as I can take it” about collecting new information about said interest.
Obviously, Anderson can relate to the fans who are passionate about Game of Thrones. He appreciates the times when he does get to meet and speak with lovers of the show and books, ensuring he does not “break the relationships” he establishes with these adoring and dedicated fans.
Ultimately for Anderson, being a geek and being interested in a variety of different topics allows him to “build a dome of things [he] loves around [himself]…like a protection.”