Game of Thrones is one show which has garnered a mixed reputation as time went on. It certainly hasn’t had a steady run as time went on, and so many different character arcs were either compromised of butchered during the later seasons of the show, especially the season 8. But that doesn’t stop us from relishing the show for what it used to be and the characters which created Game of Thrones in the first place.
One such character was Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion Lannister. Tyrion Lannister is one of the smartest characters in the show, until he became really dumb in the seventh and eighth season for some mysterious reason. His character arc on the show has produced some of the finest and the spine-chilling moments in the show’s history. He was an amalgam of wit and charm, and he sure had a way with people.
Tyrion Lannister’s Character Arc
In a show where anyone can die from any circumstance imaginable, Tyrion chose to love his life and protect himself at any cost. His strongest and his weakest characteristic was that he was a Lannister. Strongest because he was able to buy and get his way out of any situation, but weakest because of being discriminated for his height by everyone including his dad. We see this character coming to terms with him being the Imp, getting out of severe, life threatening situations and getting his vengeance on the one person who despised him the most.
Season 1: Tyrion The Imp
Season 1 was the beginning of the prime of Tyrion. He lies in a bed with 4 prostitutes as Jaime, his brother, comes inside. Tyrion is the epitome of wiseness and kindness in the Lannister family. His status as the imp is widely famous, which we get to know when Arya curiously asks about the whereabouts of the Imp as Robert arrives in Winterfell. His arc in this season is filled with wild adventures and getaways, and he finds and drops a lot of companions along his way. “A Lannister Always Pays His Debts”, he says as he tries to buy his way out of anything and everything. He has a loveable cockiness inside him which is hard to miss. Yet his kind-hearted person makes a lot of appearances as he saves Catelyn, gives Bran a Saddle map and becomes pals with Jon in brief encounters. He has a one-on-one scene with almost every Stark in Winterfell but the one I loved the most was his interaction with Jon. They share their plights about being a ba*** and being a Dwarf and each of them has a genuine respect and pity for the other. By the end of the season, he gets involved in the battle against Robb Stark, and as expected, he gets knocked out before the fight even begins.
Season 2: The Rightful Hand of The King
The hand of the king, Tyrion Lannister, rules this season with his battle planning against Stannis, which finally combusts in the most colossal manner in the Battle of Blackwater. This entire season, Tyrion is involved in activities like embarrassing Joffrey, planning for a way to attack Stannis where he is the most defenseless and saving Sansa from humiliation. His relationship with Shae also moves forward and they secretly meet each other to make love. The Tyrion in this season exposed his diplomatic side a lot more than he ever did before. As the hand of the king, he is never afraid of educating and thrashing him whenever he goes over the line, which happens very often. One of the best moments during this season and in the show was when he motivates his discouraged army into fighting back against Stannis. He gives the best Battle speech in the show, wherein he states things the way they are. No less no more. He doesn’t ever indulge in romanticism and neither does he ever give false hopes. He respects his opponents and urges of his army but to kill the brave men standing at their doors.
Season 3: Two Masterminds of the Lannister Family
Now that Tywin has returned, his title of the Hand of the King is stripped away and handed over to Tywin. We finally see more of Tyrion’s relationship with his father and it’s uncanny how similar their characters are in terms of wit and strategies. Tywin hasn’t been the best dad for Tyrion to say the least. He has always been embarrassed by Tyrion’s height and even though he respects his intellect, he doesn’t seem to get around the fact that one of his two sons is a dwarf. In a scene he even says that he wanted to kill Tyrion as he was born, completely shattering him and making him break. Tyrion and Tywin share a lot of scenes in this season but my favorite one with them was when they talked about the death of Robb Stark. Tyrion, who is obviously opposed to the entire scheme, voices his opinion and the lack of Honor in an act like this. Tywin, however, disagrees and raises a good point about how honorable it is to kill thousand men in a battle than a few in a wedding. The body count is low and there is minimal damage on both the sides. This argument is never really brought to a conclusive end and Tyrion along with the audience is expected to think about and base their opinions around it.
Season 4: Guilty of a Crime He Never Committed
Tyrion’s arc takes a tragic turn this season as Joffrey mysteriously dies at his own wedding. And Tyrion becomes the most obvious and prime suspect of the crime. He holds the glass of wine as Joffrey dies with blood leaking down his nose. His death immediately became one of the most satisfying and tragic moments in the entire show. Tragic because, his death leads to Tyrion going down in a spiral of meaningless accusations all designed to bring him down. Without even knowing the real culprit, everyone including Cersei marks Tyrion as the one who killed Joffrey and no words of logic and clarity can penetrate her mindset. Tyrion has become a branded criminal and due to this, he is forced to stand in a trial. This trial will decide his fate and Tywin is one man who would be very happy to see him succumb to his death or sent to the night’s watch. But during this trial, Tyrion snaps as he sees Shae testifying against him. He gives a brutal, gut punch of speech to the audience of the trial and knows very well that the trial is rigged and he shall get no justice over there. But his Trial by Combat hopes are crushed as Oberyn gets literally crushed to his own death and finally Jaime is the one who truly saves him. But Tyrion had some unfinished business with Tywin and he enters his room to see Shae sleeping in the bed. A woman who he truly loved with all his heart, now lied with his father. Heartbroken and filled with rage, he strangles the love of his life and with a crossbow in his hand, moves towards Tywin and kills him in two shots. I always considered this to be the peak of his character in the entire show.
Season 5 and Season 6: A Drunken Man with Morals
Tyrion is a broken, drunk man floating in a barrel through the seas, with Varys as his companion. And off they go to meet the Targaryen queen Daenerys. Tyrion loves his drinks more than he ever did and his sexual desires have lowered, ever since he killed his love. He fears that if he ever sleeps with another woman, he might just fall in love with her, only to be heart-broken again. On his way to the Queen, he is captured by Jorah, who is also heading that way in order to gain Daenerys’s trust again. This is also the season where Tyrion sees a dragon for the first time. His eyes widen and he is left in complete shock and awe as he sees the dragon fly over the ruins of Valyria. They reach the queen and he discusses terms with her. He assesses Daenerys and decides to side with her, which takes a lot of convincing but he gets around it. Then in season 6 the arc is mostly limited to advising Daenerys and his motivations are pretty nominal. The season sort of diverts towards the more mystical elements and hence his character doesn’t necessarily shine as much as it did in the earlier seasons.
Season 7 and Season 8: A Character Wit Reduced to Plot Allowance
Game of Thrones writing went severely downhill in these seasons and it is particularly visible when we look at Tyrion’s moments in the show. His intellect and his mental awareness about war and diplomacy is severely watered down in these seasons and he somehow becomes a very dumb character who can’t seem to make intelligent decisions just because the plot doesn’t allow him to. It was particularly saddening watching a character who has been an absolute fan favourite, brought down to a few jokes and comic relief at best. Don’t get me wrong, he still has his moments, like with Jaime and Cersei and even Sansa, but none of those moments ever bring his character further. The battle of the Long Night follows some very strange and dumb logistics all thanks to Tyrion and the other characters who are only as smart as the plot allows them to be. The disappointment I had during these seasons was vast, especially with the ending and how the whole appeal of the show was just taken for granted. It’s as if the Writers themselves gave up and got lazy with the characters and the show in general. I like to think Game of Thrones ended after Season 6 and for that moment, I am at peace. In the end, his arc ends as he becomes the hand of the king again, this time to Bran. A journey which more or less began from that position, ends on it but the payoff wasn’t satisfactory enough to grip me or anyone for that matter.
Tyrion Lannister: A Song of Ice and Fire Mention
His history is also not mentioned in the book of A song of Ice and Fire, which begs the question, why wasn’t he worthy enough to be mentioned in the book? Well, Varys once mentioned that no-one will know what he did in the Blackwater and how he singlehandedly won the war. He won’t be honored by the king or mentioned in the history, but by the few people who were involved, he will be remembered for life. That seems like a good place to end his arc.
Tyrion Lannister’s Top 3 Relationships
Game of thrones characters weren’t always kind on Tyrion, mostly because of his height. May it be with Tywin or Cersei, he had his share of humiliation. But some people like Jaime and Varys were a lot kinder and affectionate towards him too.
Tyrion and Tywin Lannister
This might just be the best dynamic I ever saw on the show because everything about it was filled with clever dialogue and highlighted the show in its prime. Two intelligent people who hate each other but have a strange respect for each other too. They recognize each other’s abilities but if only Tywin was able to accept Tyrion for who he is, if only that would have happened then Lannister could truly have been a sane house.
Tyrion and Jaime Lannister
The most adorable and wholesome relationship in GoT wherein not only Tyrion’s but Jaime’s humane side was brought into the picture. Jaime is the supportive big brother to Tyrion, in a family where everyone else hates Tyrion to the absolute core. The quirks and jokes they share and the deeply emotional moments between them always made me emotional and rooting for the both of them. If there were any two people who Jaime would never betray, they were Tyrion and Cersei.
Tyrion and Shae
The tragic tale of love between a Lannister and a Prostitute. Compared to the other horrific events in the show, this was much more subtle and hence, I feel, even more impactful and shattering. Tyrion banishes Shae to get her somewhere safe but Shae recognizes this as a betrayal rather than an act of safety and hence when she shows up on the trial testifying against him, Tyrion loses all semblance of hope and love that he ever felt and is reduced to the same man he was when his first love was took from him long ago.
Top 3 Moments of Tyrion Lannister from Game Of Thrones
Tyrion Lannister had some of the most Iconic moments in Game of Thrones, here are the top 3 we liked the most.
Tyrion on Trial in King’s Landing
This was easily one of the best writing the show ever produced combined with the best performance of Peter Dinklage. The raging anger in his eyes when he says that he should have let Stannis kill them all, it was mesmerizing and brutally painful at the same time. He unleashes his years’ worth of curbed anger with his father, while he stands inside the cage of Trial. He has always been guilty of crimes he didn’t commit, whether it was the death of Joffrey or his dwarfism.
Tyrion’s speech in the Battle of the Blackwater Bay
When nothing else works, Tyrion takes it upon himself to save Kings Landing from the menacing attack of Stannis and his colossal army. He is no king, but he stands as high as one, when he proclaims the words of inspiration which are unfiltered and devoid of any kind of romanticism. He speaks to the men with honesty and realism. He was the half man, yet he stood twice as tall as any one present.
Tyrion kills Tywin
His final escape from Kings Landing was drawn with blood as he shot his father Tywin, for not only hating him for his height, but for betraying him by sleeping with the love of his life. Tyrion fires the crossbow which pierces through the life of Tywin and marks the ending of one of the most ruthless characters on the show.
The Movie Culture Synopsis
This was the entire arc of Tyrion Lannister summarized in an article. Reach out to us and let us know your thoughts on this. We sure had a lot of fun going back to one of the wittiest characters ever brought to life on television.
Also don’t forget our Character Sketch of Michael Scott from The Office.