Tyrion Lannister: what can we expect for the Game of Thrones character in season 8

Lela London
Tyrion Lannister in the act of committing fratricide
Tyrion Lannister in the act of committing fratricide

For an irreverent antagonist with a penchant for prostitutes, Tyrion Lannister really stole our hearts.

Tarred by his stature (to Westerosi) and surname (to Lannister-loathing viewers), it was easy to mark Tyrion as one of many 'noble' Casterley Rock sociopaths.

Nonetheless, the discerning dwarf took no time at all to become many viewers' favourite character - even series author George RR Martin says Tyrion is his favorite character.

With Game of Thronesseason 8 finally back on our screens, here's your need-to-know guide to Tyrion Lannister - the Machiavellian Imp who always seems to be at the centre of the action:

Who is Tyrion Lannister?

Tyrion Lannister is the youngest child of Lord Tywin Lannister and younger brother of twins/lovers Cersei and Jaime Lannister. His mother. Joanna Lannister, died giving birth to him - a tragedy for which both his father and sister hold him in contempt.

As a largely outcast dwarf, Tyrion built an armour of wit and intellect to overcome daily prejudice and abuse. That, alongside a decent helping of booze and cynicism. 

Later, his abduction by Catelyn Stark - for a crime he did not commit - served as a catalyst for the War of the Five Kings.

Unfortunately, things don't get much better for the scorned political genius. After escaping he returns to King's Landing, is appointed Hand of the King (to his terrifying nephew, Joffrey),  and is quickly demoted (to Master of Coin) after defending his family from the warmongering of Stannis Baratheon.

Later framed for Joffrey's murder, he 'wins' trial by killing Oberyn Martell and responds by murdering his father and fleeing to Essos.

Who is Peter Dinklage, who plays him?

The New Jersey-raised actor was born on June 11, 1969 and made his film debut alongside Steve Buscemi in low-budget indie Living in Oblivion (1995). The following year he appeared as a building manager in the crime drama Bullet, which starred rapper TupacShakur.

Peter Dinklage - Credit: Getty Images
Peter Dinklage Credit: Getty Images

Born to average-sized parents, Dinklage has achondroplasia - a genetic condition that affects bone growth. A person with this form of dwarfism usually has a normal-sized head and torso but short limbs. He is 4ft 5".

“As an adolescent, I was bitter and angry, and I definitely put up these walls," he told MSNBC. "But the older you get, you realize you just have to have a sense of humour. You just know that it’s not your problem. It’s theirs."

In October 2017 Dinklage purchased the rights to the film adaptation of Joe R. Lansdale's novel, The Thicket.

Dinklage is married to theatre director Erica Schmidt. The couple have a daughter together.

What's happened to Tyrion so far in Game of Thrones?

Season 1

Journeying in the North, Tyrion was framed for the attempted murder of Bran Stark. Facing trial by combat, he was defended by the sellsword Bronn, who became his companion and bodyguard. Tyrion rejoined his father Tywin’s forces and impressed with his tactical acumen. His father sent him on to Kings Landing, to keep an eye on King Joffrey.

Season 2

As Hand of the King, Tyrion was in his element among the intrigues of the capital. Nonetheless he clashed with his sister, Cersei, and struggled to reign in Joffrey’s viciousness. Although he defended the city successfully against an attack by Stannis Baratheon, he was betrayed by his kinsmen and relieved of his command.

Season 3

Tyrion was married to Sansa Stark in a political match. He continued to clash with Joffrey and with Tywin.

Season 4

Joffrey was poisoned at his wedding feast and the blame fell on Tyrion. He was defended in a trial by combat by Oberyn Martell, but the over-confident Martell was killed by The Mountain. Facing death, Tyrion was surprised to be rescued by his brother Jaime. However, on the way out he could not resist confronting his father for betraying him, finally murdering him with a crossbow. He quickly stowed away on a ship away from Westeros.

Season 5

Depressed, Tyrion intended to drink himself to death. However, his companion Varys persuaded him to seek out Daenerys Targaryen. Kidnapped along the way by Jorah Mormont, then captured by slavers, Tyrion met Daenerys sooner than expected as a slave in the arena. Daenerys appointed him her adviser.

Conleth Hill as Varys, Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister - Credit:  HBO
Conleth Hill as Varys, Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister Credit: HBO

Season 6

With Daenerys missing, Tyrion and Varys used their cunning to root out her enemies in the city of Meereen. With the Dragon Queen’s return, they decisively crushed the slave-masters’ assault.

Season 7

Tyrion hits Dragonstone with Daenerys, Missandei, Varys and Grey Worm to start planning the Mother of Dragons' conquest of Westeros. When Mlisandre visits to tell them of Jon Snow's coronation, he encourages Daenerys to make an alliance. When reunited with the "bastard of Winterfell", Tyrion encourages Jon to bend the knee and barters with Daenerys to let Jon mine the dragonglass under Dragonstone. When his military plan to seize Casterley Rock goes array and results in the loss of another ally, tensions with Daenerys heighten and - after nearly watching his brother burn alive in the Battle of the Goldroad - urges Daenerys to help Jon capture a wight to prove their threat to Cersei.

Tyrion eventually sneaks into King's Landing and encourages Jaime to convince Cersei to parley with Daenerys and Jon. Once the wight is captured, the collective meet at Dragonstone and - after many tense conversations - Cersei eventually agrees to ally in the fight against the undead.

Season 8

Though intended as a tender moment, Tyrion reuniting with sort-of-wife Sansa came with a call into his character and intelligence for trusting Cersei to help their united cause. At the same time, his sister has sent Bronn to kill both her brothers.

Will Tyrion die in Season 8?

Peter Dinklage certainly seems to thinks so. The award-winning actor told Vulture: "I think he was given a very good conclusion. No matter what that is—death can be a great way out."

In a separate interview with Entertainment Tonight, he also suggested things would end "beautifully for my character whether it be tragic or not."

To add fuel to a very unwanted fire, Game of Thrones producer Steve Kullback was  caught saying he couldn't tell the media "what episode Tyrion dies…or doesn’t" while backstage at this year's Creative Arts Emmys.

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