Tyrion Lannister is one of the most compelling characters of Game of Thrones. Unlike Jaime, you can like Tyrion without feeling guilty as on the moral spectrum, he is firmly on the side of good.
On top of that, he has the finest lines of any Game of Thrones character, which is saying something as this show’s dialogue game is top notch. A misshapen dwarf who is hated by none other than his father who ridiculously blames him for killing his mother (Tyrion’s mother Joanna died during childbirth).
His father is not the only one. Everybody, including his elder brother Jaime, who might be the one person who genuinely cares for him, underestimates him due to his… stature. He, then, finds solace in his books and wine.
We were introduced to Tyrion as the only “good” Lannister, the one who cares for Bran Stark after he is crippled and slaps Joffrey for his disrespect towards the Starks. On the way to Casterly Rock, he is kidnapped by Lady Catelyn who takes him to the Vale.
Using his wits (and Lannister gold), he manages to wiggle out of the difficult situation by bribing Bronn to fight a knight of the Vale in his trial by combat. He then teams up with unruly tribal clans of Mountains of the Moon and leads them to the ongoing War of the Five Kings.
The Lannister forces win (Tyrion barely gets to fight), only to discover that a bigger Stark host has defeated a Jaime Lannister-led army. Tyrion and his new friends then go to King’s Landing where Tyrion is being tasked by Tywin to rule in his stead as Hand of the King.
In the capital, Tyrion weeds out the people who could be disloyal, and who were disloyal to Eddard Stark. This includes Janos Slynt, who is sent to the Wall, Littlefinger, who is sent to Harrenhal, and Grand Maester Pycelle, who is locked in a prison.
Cersei tolerates Janos and Littlefinger, but bristles at Pycelle’s imprisonment.
Tyrion also protects Sansa from Joffrey’s torments. Then, the Battle of Blackwater happens, and even before it can start, the wildfire commissioned by Tyrion burns the entire fleet of Stannis Baratheon.
When the pyrophobic Hound runs away, it falls on Tyrion to lead the Lannister assault against invading Baratheon army. Tyrion holds them off until Tywin destroys the invaders from the rear. Tyrion, however, is grievously injured.
Tyrion learns that the wound across the face that he got in the battle has made him even uglier. He also learns that Bronn, eternally money-hungry, no longer works for him, and is now a knight.
Sansa and Joffrey’s betrothal is broken, and Joffrey is betrothed to Margaery Tyrell. At the wedding, Joffrey is poisoned and dies while clutching his throat. Fingers point towards Tyrion and Sansa, who escape thanks to Littlefinger, which increases the suspicion towards Tyrion all the more.
Tyrion testifies by saying that he wishes he had killed Joffrey. But before Tywin sentences him to death, he demands a trial by combat. Bronn refuses to fight. Jaime cannot fight due to the loss of his right hand.
Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne then comes to his rescue. He is, however, killed brutally. Tyrion is sentenced to death, but is smuggled by Varys to Essos (on Jaime’s behest). Tyrion meets Illyrio Mopatis, Daenerys Targaryen’s advisor who kept the brother-sister duo in his home.
Tyrion eventually meets Daenerys, and he becomes her advisor. His role in the show, however, is now limited and he does not hold the centre stage like he used to. He accompanies Dany to Westeros and meets his old friend Jon Snow at Dragonstone. He was with Jon, Dany and others when they take the undead Wight to King’s Landing. And it was he who suggested the idea of bringing evidence of the Night King to Cersei.
And that is all. Tyrion has almost no agency now, sadly, and he is now compelling only through the sheer force of Peter Dinklage’s acting skills and still-strong dialogue. Let’s hope there is something good in store in the final season for us Tyrion fans.
Game of Thrones season 8 premieres on April 15 in India. It will be broadcast on Star World.