tyrion is like that one “nice guy” who pretends to be your friend so he can sleep with you and who is big into men’s rights
yup A+ character analysis right there, thanks
Oh god it begins.
It’s best to get an early start.
|GOT MEME| Eight Friendships [6/8] - Tyrion Lannister and Bronn
“Don’t get killed.”
“Nor you my friend.”
I think I’ve addressed it a couple times, but R’hllor alone knows where those posts are now, so I should probably do a proper response and actually keep track of where it is. :)
[Note: the quote in question is that “never forget what you are, armor yourself in it, then no one can hurt you blah blah blah” line that comprises 70% of the Tyrion Lannister tag. The remaining 30% consists of ableist grossness and Mumford & Sons lyrics.]
The reason I hate it is that it’s simply not true, and I’m sick of seeing it bandied around like it’s some kind of accurate assessment of his character.
Not the fact that he says it; that’s completely in character, because it’s what he wants to believe. But the only armor that Tyrion Lannister has is the delusion that he has armor—which is, frankly, an utterly Lannister trait (“the lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep,” says the man who is literally afraid of being laughed at more than anything else on the goddamn planet. Tywin Lannister probably wouldn’t blink in the face of a white walker holding a machine gun, but if the white walker made fun of his dad or something he would lose his shit. Like, his wife’s ghost shows up to say, “seriously, he could not handle that mess”).
Yes, one of the first things Tyrion says in ASOIAF is “don’t let it get to you! Words have no power! Ha ha!” But one of the first things Tyrion thinks about himself, in his first POV chapter, is: thank fuck I’m not a twin, because it’s bad enough seeing this in the mirror every day. (This is something GRRM does a lot—you usually see characters from someone else’s perspective at least once before they get their own POV, so he can dismantle your assumptions.) That is not the internal monologue of a man who’s not bothered by what other people say about him, although it’s been part of his life for so long that he probably doesn’t even realize how poisonous his own self-regard is. He criticizes his own appearance constantly, especially when he knows other people are looking at him. Have you ever noticed the number of times Tyrion says or thinks the word “dwarf”? Have you noticed how he tends to say it especially when he’s castigating himself, when he’s afraid he’s flown too high, hoped for too much, loved too hard?
One of the things that makes GRRM’s writing masterful is that he shows rather than tells. Tyrion’s never going to admit he’s insecure, because Lannisters always have to act like they’re better than everyone else, and because Lord Tywin does not tolerate self-pity. (I.e. after Blackwater when Tyrion’s like “I kind of helped out there you know” and Tywin’s like “what, you want a pat on the head for doing your fucking job?”) But because Tyrion’s too proud to think, never mind say, “I AM MISERABLE BECAUSE NOBODY LOVES ME,” some readers/viewers don’t seem to have gotten the memo—and so you see all this “Tyrion’s so cool because he doesn’t let things get to him!” nonsense, with a liberal sprinkling of the word “pimp.”
(And that’s why I think so many readers can’t handle ADWD shitshow-Tyrion, because they don’t realize that that shit’s been a long time coming.)
Then why does he say it to Jon, if it’s not true? Because he’s a Lannister and he can’t exit a conversation without a witty quip. Because fooling himself into believing it is his only defense, and because he recognizes himself in Jon—cripples, bastards, broken things—he wants to give him the only protection he can. Also, because he’s really fucking drunk when he says it, and probably thinks that it sounds really deep—even though it’s basically the Westerosi equivalent of “I’m rubber and you’re glue!”
The quote itself isn’t worthless—but I think it has to be taken as part of a rather complicated context for it to help us understand Tyrion’s character.
I am generous. Loyal to those who are loyal to me. I’ve proven I’m no craven. And I am cleverer than most, surely wits count for something. I can even be kind. Kindness is not a habit with us Lannisters, I fear, but I know I have some somewhere.