A Game of Thrones

by: George R.R. Martin

Tyrion Lannister

Characters Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion is perhaps most notable for being a little person, but though his height does not give him the best physical vantage point, Tyrion’s mismatched black and green eyes do not miss much. He is, perhaps, the smartest character in the novel (and is certainly at least the wittiest). He devises a way to escape the Eyrie, for instance, though it seemed impossible to do so. Tyrion also sees hard truths, and he is bluntly honest with himself, acknowledging how others see him because of his physical appearance, and with others as well, whether he is confessing his petty crimes before Lysa or giving Joff, Jon, or Tywin his advice. He has a gift for determining other people’s motives, and he may have more in common with the legendary Lannister family progenitor, Lann the Clever, than any of the rest of his family. Tyrion knows when someone can be bought, as with the mountain clans, and when someone cannot be bargained with, as with the Starks after Joff kills Ned. Moreover, Tyrion’s dual-colored eyes are something of a metaphor for the book’s multiple perspectives, since Tyrion can see things both ways. As such, he is somewhat morally ambiguous to the reader, and though Tyrion always proclaims his love for his family, he doesn’t forgive their flaws either. Consequently, even Jaime wonders whose side Tyrion is on.