For the last 8 years, Game of Thrones has been at the forefront of popular culture. It's what families discuss at the dinner table. It's what brings friend groups together every Sunday night. It's what makes lunch not quite as awkward with those colleagues you have nothing else in common with. But come May, we're going to have to find something else to talk about with our peers, because the final season of Game of Thrones is just around the corner.
Between his quick wit, his caring nature and his vast experience in the upper echelons of Westerosi politics, there are plenty of reasons Tyrion Lannister deserves the Iron Throne. However, given that George R. R. Martin tends to shun happy endings like he shuns deadlines for his books, it’s unlikely anyone who’s been a strong contender for the throne thus far will actually end up ruling Westeros. But the final season is still weeks away, so we may as well hold on to our pipe dreams for a happy ending as long as we can. Here are eight Tyrion Lannister quotes proving he deserves the Iron Throne:
8 "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."
We've all got our sore spots. The trick is to own them, to turn them into a source of pride. Who cares if you're on the shorter side? Embrace it and stretch out into all that legroom you have on long bus rides. So what if you're a bit of a nerd? Write pop culture articles about Game of Thrones and make use of all that useless knowledge (trust us, it's fun).
Born a dwarf and shunned by his own relatives, Tyrion Lannister was forced to learn this lesson from a young age. He was attacked for his outward appearance not just by his peers, but by the very family who should have been there to support him through his hardships. As a result, he has one of the thickest skins in Westeros, which will come in handy if he ever has to sit on the cutting swords of the Iron Throne.
7 "A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone."
Just as we must exercise to preserve physical fitness, we must also keep our minds active if we want to maintain mental acuity. Although honing a blade may be more exciting to watch, sitting by the fire with a treatise on government gives your mind an edge, and in war, it's more often the sharpest mind that wins than the most cutting sword.
Fully aware of the importance of learning, Tyrion Lannister is as ceaseless in his hunt for knowledge as he is in his pursuit of drinks and women (so, very ceaseless). For once, it would be nice if the leader of Westeros had actually done their homework.
6 "I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples, bastards, and broken things."
Often, the people who rise to power are those who align themselves with the upper echelons of society. Unfortunately, these types of leaders are not the ones who will look out for everyday citizens— they remain loyal to the people who helped them win power in the first place, or they risk losing their position.
But Tyrion Lannister is not the type to hand over the reigns to the rich and powerful. After all, it was the ruling class that pushed Tyrion to the sidelines his entire life. As someone who's lived life on the outskirts of society, he knows what it's like to be different, and if he were to ascend the Iron Throne, we have little doubt that he'd look out for the cripples, bastards and broken things of Westeros.
5 "Every time we deal with an enemy, we create two more."
"A Lannister always pays his debts." Where most people would make Sunday dinner their family tradition, the Lannisters have made a familial custom out of brutal vengeance. They never let a slight slide, with every enemy of the family repaid in spades for their opposition to the Lions of Casterly Rock.
But Tyrion is one of the few Lannisters who seems to be aware of the detriments of this harsh method of dealing with rivals. After all, you catch more flies with honey than by violently dispatching anyone who's ever wronged your family (that's how the saying goes, right?).
4 "In my experience, eloquent men are right every bit as often as imbeciles."
Even if you tie ribbons around your dog's excrement, this doesn't change the fact that it's a turd. The same goes for the words of rulers. Knowing how to craft pretty sentences doesn't mean you're any more likely to be right; no amount of fancy rhetoric can transform bad ideas into good ones.
The best leaders are the ones who know how to differentiate between eloquence and acumen because too often, people mistake a silver tongue for a sharp mind.
3 "When you tear out a man's tongue, you're not proving him a liar."
"You're only telling the world that you fear what he might say."
Just leaders devote themselves in service to the law of the land. The recent rulers of Westeros, on the other hand, used the law of the land to serve their own selfish interests, utilizing capital punishment to scare citizens into compliance.
Aware of his family's violent tendencies, Tyrion Lannister is one of the few characters in Game of Thrones who doesn't resort to barbarism to resolve problems (well, other than the whole "shooting his dad on the toilet with a crossbow" thing). He knows that forcefully silencing dissenters betrays a fear that mere words could sever your tenuous ties to power.
2 "The powerful have always preyed on the powerless."
"That's how they became powerful in the first place."
Having been stepped on all his life by the ruthless ruling elite surrounding him, Tyrion has grown to become a champion of the downtrodden, giving a voice to the voiceless and eschewing leaders who clutch at power for its own sake.
Given Daenerys's passion for freeing slaves and helping those less fortunate than herself, Tyrion saw the potential for a just ruler in the Mother of Dragons and devoted himself to her service. But it's hard to deny that Khaleesi has been drinking a little too deeply from the cup of power in recent seasons (and burning just a few too many people alive). More and more, she's been emulating the slogan of House Targaryen, and "Fire And Blood" doesn't exactly scream "I'll Look Out For The Little Guy."
1 "They say I’m half a man, well what does that make the lot of you?"
Even the smallest of people can have an enormous impact on the world. Almost every great fantasy tale of the last century echoes this message in some form or another. In The Lord of the Rings, it was no battle-wearied soldier who tossed the One Ring into Mount Doom, but rather, two little hobbits a world way from home. In Harry Potter, it was the orphan who came from a cupboard under the stairs that rose up and took down the villainous Lord Voldemort.
And in Game of Thrones, it's the outcast Tyrion Lannister who becomes one of the most powerful political advisors in the land. Come May, we just hope Tyrion will be casting that impressive shadow of his from the seat of the Iron Throne.