In A Clash of Kings, the second book of A Song of Fire and Ice, Tyrion Lannister is described through Sansa’s eyes.
He had let his beard grow to cover his pushed-in face, until it was a bristly tangle of yellow and black hair, coarse as wire. Down his back flowed a shadowskin cloak, black fur striped with white. He held the reins in his left hand and carried his right arm in a white silk sling, but otherwise looked as grotesque as Sansa remembered from when he had visited Winterfell. With his bulging brow and mismatched eyes, he was still the ugliest man she had ever chanced to look upon.
Now imagine the sexually insatiable, smokey eyed Tyrion played by Peter Dinklage, it hardly seems to be describing the same character! No matter how much you love the “grotesque” Tyrion from reading the books, I think we can all agree that this abundantly charismatic, good looking Tyrion Peter Dinklage has developed is one of the most entertaining characters to appear on television, comparable to Omar from The Wire.
I have gone back through the first season and picked out my favorite lines from Tyrion Lannister. I have divided them by episode for the sake of simplicity. In case it is not obvious, SPOILERS lie ahead.
Episode 1 – Winter Is Coming
“Should I explain to you the meaning of a closed door in a whorehouse?”
Of course we meet Tyrion whoring! He is practically whoring in every other scene. Here we see him caught with his pants down but still shameless and flippant. This is a man who is at peace with his sexual proclivities.
“All dwarves are bastards in their father’s eyes.”
To Jon Snow, upon Jon’s insistence that Tyrion does not understand the pain of being a bastard.
Of all the lines about dwarves, cripples and bastards from Tyrion in Game of Thrones, I think this first quip is probably the most telling. Tyrion has daddy issues and his mistreatment at the hands of his father has given him a sense of empathy for others, even his enemies. It’s the reason he designs a saddle for Bran Stark, teaches the boys of the Night’s Watch to get along and it makes him one of most sympathetic characters in the show.
Episode 2 – The Kingsroad
“Ah! Time for breakfast!”
After smacking around Joffrey.
Such satisfaction from a job well done! Dinklage really does a lot with what could have been a throwaway line.
“I must do my part for the honor of my house, wouldn’t you agree? But how? Well, my brother has his sword and I have my mind. And a mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone.”
When asked by Jon Snow why he reads so much.
Authors take note: If you want your readers to instantly identify with a character, give that character a deep love of reading. It is probably safe to say that this trick translates to anyone watching a fantasy epic as well. Geeks love to read.