“When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.” —Tyrion Lannister, A Clash of Kings
In both A Song of Ice and Fire and the Game of Thrones TV series, Tyrion Lannister has some of the greatest lines and offers up some of Westeros’ best wisdom. Here are some facts about everyone’s favorite Little Lion.
19. Imps Anonymous
Tyrion’s drinking habits might be his Achille’s heel. We frequently find him looking for something to drink to help him drown his misery.
Tyrion considers knowledge his best weapon. “A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone.”
17. It’s Called Game of Thrones
With the deaths of both Tywin and Littlefinger, Tyrion is now one of the craftiest and most experienced players left in the game.
In A Song of Ice and Fire, Tyrion is actually a skilled acrobat: when he first meets Jon Snow, he does a back flip off a roof and lands in front of him. We’re still waiting for him to reveal this unique skill in the TV series.
At the Wall, Tyrion befriends Jon Snow, helping him accept his fate as a bastard and drafting a special saddle for the paralyzed Bran.
14. His Scar
Tyrion received his distinctive facial scar at the hands of Ser Mandon Moore during the Battle of the Blackwater. Peter Dinklage, the actor who plays Tyrion, also has a smaller but similar scar: while playing in a band at the famous CBGB, he was involved in an accident and now sports a scar from his neck to his eyebrow.
13. I Wanna be Popular
Tyrion has appeared in more episodes than any other character. He’s appeared in 58 episodes so far and counting. There are only 6 episodes he has not appeared in.
Tyrion is sometimes referred to by the more derogatory names of the “Imp” and the “Halfman.” Despite their insulting nature, Tyrion wears these monikers like armor and with defiance.
Tyrion’s birth was viewed by many as an omen of famine and war, and Aerys II Tarygaryen told Tywin Lannister that Tyrion’s birth was a punishment for his arrogance.
Tyrion has served as Hand of the ruler twice: first for Joffrey Lannister and then for Daenerys Targaryen.
9. What’s That Tune?
Throughout the Game of Thrones TV series, Tyrion can be heard whistling the same tune. The song is “The Rains of Castamere,” a famous song in Westeros that tells of Tywin Lannister’s destruction of House Reyne.
House Reyne of Castamere was once a noble house in the westerlands who bore the red lion as their sigil. During the reign of Tytos Lannister, the Reynes extracted large amounts of gold from the Lannisters. When Tywin Lannister demanded repayment, Lord Roger Reyne laughed and refused. After also refusing to come the the Rock to answer for these crimes, Tywin led Lannister forces into battle, smashing through the Reynes lines.
An injured Lord Roger too refuge in the mines beneath Castamere. He sought out terms with Tywain, but Tywin instead ordered the mines sealed. He then diverted a nearby river into the mine, causing the “rains of Castamere” to drown everyone inside the mine.
8. Nine Lives
Tyrion has escaped the clutches of death many times. To mention a few, he is almost murdered by Catelyn Stark, faces a death sentence at Eyrie, is attacked by wild tribesman, is attacked during the Battle of Blackwater, and is tried and condemned to death for the murder of Joffrey.
Tyrion is actually in his twenties when A Song of Ice and Fire takes place, whereas characters such as Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen are mere teenagers (at most) when the series begins.
6. Only One
The showrunners and George R.R. Martin considered only Peter Dinklage for the role of Tyrion; Dinklage didn’t even have to audition.
5. Get Thee to a Nunnery
Believing his stature would prevent him from being a knight, Tyrion considered becoming High Septon (High Priest) and actually studied hard for the role. Then, at age 13, he met and fell in love with a woman named Tysha and gave up any thought of entering the priesthood.
As a child, Tyrion wanted to own a dragon and even asked one of his uncles for one as a birthday present. When that didn’t happen, he would often start fires in Casterly Rock and stare at them for hours, pretending they were dragonfire. How ironic that his fortunes are now tied up with those of the Dragon Queen.
Perhaps because he has been persecuted his entire life due to his size, Tyrion seems to have a real affinity for people who are outcasts. Jon Snow is a perfect example, as are Bronn and Varys.
2. Cosmetic Enhancements
The Tyrion from A Song of Ice and Fire is far more deformed than Peter Dinklage’s portrayal of the Lannister. In the books, Tyrion has mismatched eyes, a large forehead, and a patchy beard. Due to his inflamed joints, he also waddles when he walks. Even furthering the book/TV disparity, in A Clash of Kings, Tyrion has half his nose chopped off in the Battle of the Blackwater.
As a child, Cersei heard a prophecy that she would be killed by the “valoqar,” which is High Valyrian for “little brother.” As a result, she believes Tyrion Lannister is her greatest threat, and has since both despised and feared Tyrion. But she doesn’t realize there’s another younger brother she might need to worry about; Jamie was born just moments after her.