Tyrion Lannister is possibly the most beloved Game of Thrones character. If not the choice favorite, he’s in everyone’s top three. He is incredibly intelligent, and able to work his way out of most conundrums. And when he doesn’t win, he still always has the last laugh with his cutting wit. Full of joie-de-vivre, he lives life to the fullest, and tries to be good despite his unredeemable family. However, his terrible family does make it almost impossible for him to be wholly good, and he does have moments where he dips into the dark side. But this season, it looks like good old Tyrion is back with a vengeance, and a vengeful goal.
1. On accepting oneself
“Never forget what you are, the rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor and it can never be used to hurt you.”
When Tyrion meets Jon Snow in the series premiere, Jon Snow is extra pouty for not being invited to the feast. Tyrion meets the fellow outcast, and asks him if he’s Eddard Stark’s bastard. When Jon Snow tries to skirt the issue, Tyrion gives him great advice on owning what others would mock you for.
2. On death versus a weakened life
“I have to disagree. Death is so final, yet life is full of possibilities.”
After Jamie throws Bran out of the window and puts him in a coma, Cersei tries to hide her annoyance by saying that it would be more of a mercy for the child to die. With his response, Tyrion both manages to annoy Cersei and impart his deep wisdom.
3. On literature
“A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone.”
On the way to the wall, Jon Snow furrows his brow, confused as to why Tyrion is always reading. He basically gives him the best justification of ‘brains over brawn.’
4. On going out of his way to help Bran
“I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples and bastards and broken things.”
Tyrion gets a bad rap because his father, sister, brother, nephew, cousin (need I continue?) are so monstrous. But he’s actually a pretty thoughtful guy, as he demonstrates to the Starks when he brings Bran a blueprint for a saddle that will allow him to ride again.
5. On schooling Joffrey
“We’ve had vicious kings and we’ve had idiot kings, but I don’t know if we’ve ever been cursed with a vicious idiot boy king!”
In Season Two, after Myrcella is sent off to Dorne from King’s Landing, the citizens express their just hatred of Joffrey, by throwing dung at him. He, of course, responds by ordering to have them killed, escalating the situation beyond control. Tyrion captures just how
unworthy of the throne Joffrey is.
6. Delicately describing Joffrey’s bad behavior to Cersei.
“It’s hard to put a leash on a dog once you’ve put a crown on its head.”
Cersei loves her bad boy, Joff, but she isn’t blind to his flaws. In a rare moment where these two siblings put their hate aside, Tyrion tries to give her some parental advice—it doesn’t help.
7. On his friendship with Bronn
“Of course we are. Just because I pay you for your services doesn’t diminish our friendship.”
Before the Battle of the Blackwater, Tyrion hopes Bronn will make it out alive, and Bronn is moved. Their bromance is one of the best parts of the show.
8. The perfect justification for knowing yet another prostitute.
“I try to know as many people as I can. You never know which one you’ll need.”
Shae asks Tyrion how he knows Ros, and Tyrion gives her an answer that is both true, and at the same time displays his Macchiavellian mind.
9. Assuring his dear old dad that he is ready to perform his duty.
“Drinking and lust. No man can match me in these things. I am the god of tits and wine… I shall build a shrine to myself at the next brothel I visit.”
After marrying Sansa, and taking his advice from episode one, Tyrion does not hide who he is.
10. Putting Joffrey in his place, once again.
“Oh, “monster.” Perhaps you should speak to me more softly then. Monsters are dangerous and, just now, kings are dying like flies.”
After Robb Stark is murdered and Tywin Lannister announces it to the small council, Joffrey gloats, while Tyrion is more subdued. The two get into an altercation, and Joffrey calls him a monster. True to the insult, Tyrion is able to terrify him with words alone.
11. Teaching Pod a life lesson.
“It’s not easy being drunk all the time. If it were easy, everyone would do it.”
Tyrion tries to get Pod to drink as much as he does, but poor Pod just doesn’t have the stamina.
12. On war crimes.
“Every time we deal with an enemy, we create two more.”
At the end of Season Three, Tyrion is once again trying to find common ground with Cersei. He tries to reason with her (which he should know is pointless), and she simply replies that the war will go on for a very long time.
13. After his trial, on the prospect of death.
“Of course it’s a joke, just not a very funny one.”
Tyrion stands wrongly accused of murdering Joff—even though no one could really blame him if he had—and still finds time for humor when death is in sight.
14. Throwing some sly shade at Daario.
“In my experience eloquent men are right every bit as often as imbeciles.”
In Season Five, Tyrion watches the brutality of the fighting pits in Mereen. Hizdahr eloquently and even somewhat rationally justifies the entertaining violence, and Tyrion delivers this biting remark.
15. On one’s perspective in life.
“It’s easy to confuse ‘what is’ with ‘what ought to be,’ especially when ‘what is’ has worked out in your favor.”
In that same conversation with Daario, he impresses Daenerys with his wisdom.
Madina Papadopoulos is a New York-based freelance writer, author and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.