What Makes Tyrion Lannister Such a Compelling Character?

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April 11 2013 1:10 PM

What Makes Tyrion Lannister Such a Compelling Character?

"Game of Thrones"
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones.

Photo by Paul Schiraldi/HBO

This question originally appeared on Quora.

Answer by Ankush Saxena, technophile, adventure nut, bibliophile


Warning: Some spoilers below.

Why is Tyrion Lannister so compelling? A number of reasons:

1. He's the ultimate survivor: This guy is a dwarf in a time and place where size and skill at arms are hugely respected, but he does not let it become a weakness and uses his wits to far greater effect than a warrior uses his sword.

2. He had a terrible childhood: He suffered humiliation, ridicule, and disdain at the hands of his father, Tywin Lannister, due to his deformities and the death of his mother when he was born, when all he wanted was a bit of love and respect. He was also abused by his sister in his childhood and his brother Jaime is the only person with whom he has had any sort of a close relationship.

3. He's cunning but kind: He is capable of extreme cunning and takes calculated measures against his enemies, but is also capable of sympathy and genuine kindness toward those whom he perceives as helpless or outcasts like himself.

4. He's heartbroken, but not hopeless: He has suffered heartbreak of the most terrible form possible, when his father had his wife raped by his entire guard and made them pay her, calling her a prostitute. However,Tyrion doesn't lose his capacity for love as he again falls in love. This affair too, however, leads to heartbreak.

5. He's an experienced, undaunted, witty dude: This is one person who has been through all kinds of highs and lows in his life, but his spirit remains undaunted, unbroken, and fearless. He has known immense power in his homeland and has also been a bound and chained prisoner in a foreign land. He is regularly taunted and ridiculed due to his size and deformities. He is threatened and beaten up for his sharp, acerbic tongue. However, none of that ever tames his spirit (or tongue) and he retains a sense of humor throughout, which is pretty darn impressive.

"The Lord of Light wants his enemies burnt. The Drowned God wants his enemies drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious c*nts? Where is the god of t*ts and wine?"


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