Game of Thrones star joins fellow UEA graduates

Roger Ashton-Griffiths.

Roger Ashton-Griffiths. - Credit: Archant

As the head of one of the most powerful houses in the cut-throat, albeit fictional, world of Game of Thrones, Roger Ashton-Griffiths is used to fighting his way to the top.

Roger Ashton Griffiths as Mace Tyrell in Game of Thrones.

Roger Ashton Griffiths as Mace Tyrell in Game of Thrones. - Credit: Archant

And yesterday, the actor relished the results of another hard-fought battle as he graduated from the University of East Anglia with a Creative Writing PhD, marking the end of six years of study.

Despite various performances on television, film and stage, it is the role of Mace Tyrell, head of House Tyrell, in the smash-hit HBO series that has made the 59-year-old a familiar face.

His filming over the past three series has been juggled around his PhD, for which he has been studying part-time since 2010.

He said: 'UEA was the obvious choice for doing a PhD in Creative Writing – it's generally considered to be the number one. My subject area is South Asia and I've been able to work with Amit Chaudhuri and Giles Foden, both of whom are interested in the post-colonial, so it was a good fit.'

Yesterday, the actor, who lives in Suffolk, joined fellow degree, masters and PhD graduates on the first day of the university's summer graduation week.

He said: 'It was important for my development to keep pushing and stretching myself and looking for new creative outlets.

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'And the timing worked as the kids had left home and I could fit it round working – the great gift of being an actor.'

Among others donning graduation robes this week will be Bianca Neumann-May, who has secured her Masters of Research in Social Science Research Methods, despite coping with family bereavement and health problems while studying.

This week's ceremonies will see more than 4,000 students graduate, with 19 honorary degrees given to people who have made an impact in fields such as the arts.

The honorary degree recipients will include Brenda Arthur, Lord Mayor of Norwich, and Roger Wright CBE, who has enjoyed a lengthy career in music and broadcasting and was appointed chief executive of Aldeburgh Music in 2014.

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