Game of Thrones changed the television landscape when it first aired on April 17, 2011, and reached incalculable success until its conclusion on May 19, 2019. Viewers were immediately hooked to the American fantasy drama TV series, an adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s novels. Its plot was unpredictable and petrifying, and blending different elements that no other previous shows have genuinely done.
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“January” – film by Andrey Paounov. Photo credit @buria_pandova , produced by @portokal_films
The characters and their personalities were as enticing and intriguing, adding colors to the hit series. One of which was Loboda, an elder of Thenn, a fierce warrior, wielding a giant axe, who showed no fear even against a White Walker, engaging the creature in one-on-one combat.
But, who is the actor in real life? How did he end up in the popular series? Read more about Zahari Baharov, the man behind Loboda of Game of Thrones.
Zahari Baharov, popularly known as Zachary, was born on August 12, 1980, in Sofia, Bulgaria, and grew in the district of Ovcha Kupel.
He and his brother Yavor were not mischievous children, but somehow stirred a couple of trouble. In their puberty, they loved to smoke cigarettes, nearby a high-fenced garden with a huge pile of fluff. He placed his cigarette too close to the dried fluff in one incident, litting up the entire fence in seconds. It wasn’t the first time they caused a fire, as he and his brother almost set their house in fire after playing with a toilet paper roll.
Baharov studied acting at the Krastyo Sarafov National Academy for Theater and Film Arts. There’s no doubt with his talent, as his acting prowess radiates on three different forms of entertainment, from theater, cinema, to television.
He began appearing on stage in 2003, as part of the National Theater Ivan Vazov Company. Some of his famous performances were for “King Lear” in 2006, “Don Juan” a year after, and “The Cherry Orchard” after another two years. He was a multi-awarded Askeer winner, coveting Best Supporting Actor awards for “King Lear,” “Don Juan,” and “Icarus.”
In 2012, Baharov and his friends put up their own production company, “Three Bears Entertainment,” which has released three theater plays, “Spinach with Potatoes,” “Art,” and “Dakota.”
Baharov’s first major role in the silver screen was for the movie “Zift,” a black-and-white film, which perfectly blended black comedy, the neo-noir genre, and socialist ideals. The well-acclaimed flick catapulted Baharov into stardom, earning him Best Actors Awards in the Bulgarian Cinema Year Awards and the Chungmuro International Film Festival in 2009.
This was followed by other films, such as “Universal Soldier Regeneration,” “Command Performance,” and “The Way Back,” and even appeared in “The Monuments Men,” starring George Clooney.
Baharov’s most iconic role in Bulgarian television is Ivo Andonov, a ruthless gangster in the series “Undercover.” Andonov was once a right-hand man of a Mafia boss but was betrayed by his master, forcing him to become his mortal enemy.
Game of Thrones
Baharov’s journey to the Game of Thrones was peculiar. To participate in the renowned TV series, he had to send videos of him, along with three of his doubles or stuntmen. Fortunately, he was chosen to be a part of the show as Loboda, the fierce elder of Thenn. Keith Harrington, the actor playing Jon Snow, acknowledged Baharov as a great actor, citing that it’s fantastic and that viewers will love Baharov in the season.
Zahari Baharov’s innate skill in acting traverses in different mediums and pillars of entertainment. His role in the Game of Thrones was undoubtedly fierce, yet he is as feisty in real life, oozing with self-confidence and sheer talent.