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Like a glorious mirage in the vast wasteland of fandom, the Peter Dinklage–Grumpy Cat photo is a sham.
The Internet exploded this morning when a photo surfaced on Imgur purporting to show Peter Dinklage taking a selfie with Grumpy Cat. Who wouldn’t want to see Tyrion Lannister snap an epic selfie doing his best impression of his net-appointed doppelgänger?
The news spread to No. 1 on Facebook’s trending topics.
But like a glorious mirage in the vast wasteland of fandom, the Peter Dinklage–Grumpy Cat photo is a Photoshopped fake.
Here’s today’s submission to Reddit’s r/funny:
“Wasn’t the selfie a post on here a couple weeks ago?” wrote user I_Harp_The_Darp. I know it didn’t have grumpy cat in it.”
Correct, it did not! Here it is a month ago, without Grumpy Cat:
The Grumpy Cat remix also showed up on Reddit a month ago. It wasn’t until Friday that it was reposted—in a much lower resolution—and was voted to the top of Reddit.
The original photo comes from a music blogger named Will Oliver, a.k.a. redditor weallwantsomeone.
Here’s Will Oliver’s Twitter profile. His photo is the same shot of Dinklage, sans Grumpy Cat.
The Grumpy Cat version popped up on Reddit a month ago
Like many things on the Internet, this was just too good to be true. But perhaps a silver lining will surface from the debacle. Maybe the fan’s cries of sorrow over the fake will convince Dinklage to seek out his long lost doppelgänger, Tardar Sauce, and serve up some Photoshop-free selfie justice.
Update: Oliver tells us that the original selfie was snapped by Dinklage himself at a fan event for X-Men: Days of Future Past in New York. He confirms: Grumpy Cat was not in attendance.
Recognizing the viral potential he had on his hands, he posted the image to Reddit, where it made it to the front page; the Grumpy Cat remix emerged shortly after. Friends had been sending him the Grumpy Cat version for weeks.
“I’m still kind of just taking it all in, I’m very shocked,” Oliver said. “I had no idea that the photo would find it’s own life a month later.” Surprisingly enough, he’s fine splitting his 15 minutes of Internet fame. “Grumpy Cat’s the real star here. He’s stolen my spotlight, but that’s OK.”
Photo via Reddit
Greg Seals is a former social media producer and contributing writer for the Daily Dot. He specializes in creating and covering viral content on platforms that include Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.