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A Game of Thrones Character Profile: Tyrion Lannister

February 26th, 2013 2:30pm EST

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'A Game of Thrones' Season Three is little more than a month away now. We thought it was time to get re-acquainted with the people and places of Westeros and Essos, so you'll feel refreshed and up-to-date by the time of the premier. So, every couple days for the next month or so, we're bringing you people and places from the world of Game of Thrones, complete with informative tidbits from both the show and the books.

Hopefully, this well help everyone segue from our long aGoT hiatus, into our HBO issued bliss once more as a Game of Thrones occupies our Sunday evenings again.

Next: Eddard Stark


Character Profile: Tyrion Lannister (Also Known as 'The Imp' popularly.)

Culture: Southerner

Titles: Former Hand of the King

House: Lannister

Siblings: Cersei, Jaime

Spouse: N/A

Children: N/A

Status: Alive; Residing in Kings Landing (End of Season 2)

Portrayed by: Peter Dinklage


Tyrion Lannister, son of Tywin Lannister and brother to Cersei and Jaime Lannister, had the misfortune of being born as a dwarf. His birth resulted in the death of his mother, Joanna, an event which his sister Cersei holds him responsible for. Despite being the cause of his mother's death, Jaime still protects and enjoys the company of his younger brother, and their relationship continues to be one not of rivalry, but of friendship. Tyrion Lannister

As a baby, Cersei tormented Tyrion, and his father never forgave him for the death of Joanna. As a result, Tyrion grew up as the black sheep of the family, as a third son who would probably never inherit any land. Because he was a dwarf and a hopeless warrior Tyrion instead, engaged himself in books and reading. When questioned why he read so much by Jon Snow, Tyrion replied that books were like the whetstone for the mind - to keep a mind keen, it needed only to be sharpened.

The Lannister family is not small, and Tyrion managed to have an amicable relationship with all of his relatives, save his father and Cersei. His uncle Gerion was the first man to grant him a book, and his uncle Tygett had been the first to tell him about Dragons.

Tyrion's history of relationships is a troubling one. We know that Tyrion was once 'married' to a woman named Tysha, who had really been a whore paid for by his brother so that Tyrion could feel the touch of a woman. After she serviced every guard in the Lannister barracks on Tywin's orders, she was paid a silver coin for each soldier, and sent on her way. Tyrion's marriage to her was annulled and he never saw her again.

Since then, Tyrion has taken many, many women to bed for coin, but never gotten close to them, save for a foreign camp-follower named Shae. After his elevation to 'Acting Hand of the King' in his father's stead, Tyrion brings Shae to King's Landing with him. Out of fear for her safety, he hides her from view, first locking her in his tower, and then disguising her as Sansa Stark's handmaiden. He's very aware that his feelings for Shae and his concern for her well-being could be used against him if his sister were to find out about her.

As with all Lannisters, Tyrion is fabulously wealthy, a trait which he never, ever forgets. He effectively leverages his family's slogan "A Lannister always pays his debts," in many compromising situations and to great effect. His family's wealth and his willingness to use it has saved Tyrion's skin in a number of instances, and will presumably continue to in the episodes to come.

Tyrion is perhaps one of the most effective players in the game of thrones, because he is both deceitful and honest; two things that seem paradoxical, but work well in unison. Every lie Tyrion tells is born from a seed of truth, as he says himself, making him a difficult man to predict. To say that he is regularly underestimated would be a brutal understatement, and he makes a name for himself among viewers as a veritable 'tricksy hobbit' by the end of season one.

What makes the Imp such a beloved character is that he embodies all of the things that make us human. He isn't honorable, but he is not dishonorable. He lies, but he also tells the truth. He can be hard, but also compassionate. He seems brave, but only when he is scared. He's a small man, with a big personality. Really, every underdog in the world looks to Tyrion Lannister as a hero, and he never fails to deliver.

Interesting Facts:

♦  In the books, Tyrion is described as having two different colored eyes.

♦  Because of his stunted growth, Tyrion requires a special saddle to ride in. This is where he procured the design for a saddle that helped Bran stark be able to ride a horse once more.

♦  In the book 'A Storm of Swords' Tyrion's nose is almost completely chopped off during the battle of Blackwater Bay, as opposed to the severe wound he suffers from Meryn Trant in the HBO series.

♦  Tyrion Lannister is well versed in languages as well, and can speak or understand several of the tongues of Essos, including Old High Valyrian.

Next: Eddard Stark

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Photo Credits: HBO