“As a clever man once told me, “We make peace with our enemies, not our friends.”
Created by author George R.R Martin for his epic fantasy book series “A Song of Fire and Ice”, which originally was planned as a trilogy and later went on to be expanded into seven volumes (two of which are still on their way), the character of Tyrion Lannister is an unambiguous favorite among critics, readers and viewers of the TV series Game of Thrones.
For all those who have come to revere “The Halfman” or see how his dwarf status (literally and figuratively) in a power-driven family has not made him shine any less or marvelled at the juxtaposition of paradoxes that Tyrion carries with him with a flair.
Here’s an article to go deeper into the mind of a character in literature who’s nothing short of brilliant.
13 Badass Tyrion Lannister Quotes That Make Him The Most Loved Character of GOT
1. “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.”
– S01E01, “Winter is Coming”
That’s what Tyrion Lannister tells Jon Snow when they meet. One needn’t make a wild guess to figure why something said so simply actually rings with a personal truth.
As Ned Stark’s bastard child, Jon Snow has more in common than he thinks with Tyrion Lannister, who isn’t a bastard in the real sense of the term, but is nevertheless treated as one by most members of his family.
When Jon Snow does not take to this suggestion very Kindly, Tyrion also goes on to say, “All dwarfs are bastards in their fathers’ eyes”, revealing the inner workings of a person who can never quite feel like he belongs, and yet is capable of using this to their advantage.
2. “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.”
This quote is so powerful in its own right, that it makes sense to just sit with it. Such is Tyrion Lannister’s command over complex undertones as they play out in the book and TV series.
This Lannister’s wine is known to turn him into a philosopher who knows himself well and also swears to know the world around him.
3. “The powerful have always preyed on the powerless, that’s how they became powerful in the first place”
As someone born into a family that has consistently questioned his worth, Tyrion Lannister is no stranger to power games. Across the book and TV series, this Lannister is seen saving his skin and maneuvering with ease, only because he’s so adept at detecting subtexts and the way they influence the bigger picture.
He manages his position through an intellectual distancing, which then allows him to see through plots and schemes, perhaps faster than anybody else.
This quote, which is a deep peek into Tyrion Lannister’s own psyche and how it is able to discern difficult truths, is one of his best.
4. “I’m not questioning your honor, Lord Janos. I’m denying its existence”
Would Season 2 of Game of Thrones be as memorable as it was, without this gem by Tyrion Lannister?
As they wine and dine together, Tyrion Lannister in his incomparable way, throws a question at Janos Slynt’s honor and loyalty. The latter is obviously outraged, but that doesn’t shake Tyrion’s intent at speaking exactly what he believes in.
When considered through the psychological lens, the quote reminds us of a man who’s seen much and been through as much, that he couldn’t speak his authenticity more clearly than this.
5. “I will hurt you for this. A day will come when you think you’re safe and happy, and your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you’ll know the debt is paid”
As sinister as this sounds, if you’ve watched Game of Thrones you’ll know this is from a scene that features Tyrion Lannister and his elder sister, Cersei (from Season 2, Episode 8).
Cersei, who is twin to Jaime, detests her younger brother Tyrion for various political reasons. But the one thing that is undoubtable is the blame she puts on Tyrion for their mother’s death (Joanna does while giving birth to Tyrion).
It is also believed that what Maggy, the fortune-teller, tells her, when Cersei is still a young girl, forecasting her death at the hands of “the valonqar” (valonqar in Valyrian means “little brother”), predisposes Cersei to feel a certain underlying wrath towards Tyrion.
In this scene, Cersei reveals she has in her custody a woman she thinks is Tyrion’s whore and will punish her if her son Joffery suffers on the battlefield. After Tyrion assures the woman (who is revealed to be Ros, “the red-headed whore”), he will free her, he says this to Cersei. as his own rage which he keeps tightly bound within his intellect, springs forth.
6. “Just because I pay you for your services doesn’t diminish our friendship.”
This quote proves that in Tyrion Lannister there lives a man who isn’t just about his veneer of intellectual prowess. That he also comes with a heart, which he extends to those he feels share his fate and to those that can be trusted (and don’t come with inherent malintent).
This is a memorable one that’s the result of a conversation Tyrion Lannister shares with sellsword Bronn, hailing from the kingdom of Westeros. While the two’s relationship passes through difficulty and turmoil, Bronn does realise later that standing by Tyrion would benefit everyone involved.
This quote reveals the respect Tyrion Lannister is capable of towards those who may not even match his social status.
7. “You’re in the great game now, and the great game is terrifying”
By the time Season 6 reached its finale, one thing became clear – Daenerys’s taking over the Iron Throne would be the pivot around which everything else in the Game of Thrones narrative would swivel.
This is something Tyrion says directly to Daenerys, who is anticipating her journey with her fleet to Westeros. This isn’t exactly advice, but is a forecast of things to come for Daenerys, who must then prepare herself to face all those who are clamoring for the Iron Throne.
What makes this quote so psychologically powerful is that it can be transposed on any challenging situation in life and it’ll still hold true. That’s Tyrion Lannister’s impeccable wisdom for you!
8. “Why is it that when one man builds a wall, the next man immediately needs to know what’s on the other side?”
9. “My brother has his sword, King Robert has his Warhammer and I have my mind…and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge. That’s why I read so much Jon Snow.”
10. “It’s not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy.”
– S03E10, “Mhysa”
11. “It’s hard to put a leash on a dog once you’ve put a crown on its head.”
– S02E07, “A Man Without Honor”
12. “That’s what I do: I drink and I know things.”
– S06E02, “Home”
And as we wind up, here’s one full with hope
13. Death is so final, yet life is full of possibilities.