Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis: Tyrion VI

“I’m no man’s toady.”

“Nor any man’s friend.”

Synopsis: Tyrion and Bronn, on their way on the High Road, encounter Shagga son of Dolf of the Stone Crows. Despite initial hostilities, Tyrion manages to convince the mountain clansmen to fight for him in exchange for superior arms and armor.

SPOILER WARNING: This chapter analysis, and all following, will contain spoilers for all Song of Ice and Fire novels and Game of Thrones episodes. Caveat lector.

Political Analysis:

Tyrion VI is a brief chapter, largely centered around Tyrion Lannister’s deft handling of the threat of the Mountain Clans, but it’s an interesting chapter because it gives us a sense of Tyrion’s style as a political actor as opposed to a political observer or analyst.

Tyrion’s Alliance With Bronn

The first example of Tyrion’s style comes as Tyrion cements a lasting alliance with Bronn the sellsword. This moment is far less comedic than in the show (here’s your Book vs. Show difference): Bronn is suspicious, casually insults the other party with the dismissive label “dwarf,” Tyrion is superior and insulting right back calling Bronn “scum,”and the two fundamentally disagree over how to deal with the mountain clans. So instead of trying to charm Bronn, Tyrion approaches him on pragmatic grounds: “it was your blade I needed…not your love,” he says, and quickly pivots to what he knows Bronn is interested in:

“Duty, honor, friendship, what’s that to you?…Lady Stark had no more need for you…but I did, and the one thing the Lannisters have never lacked for is gold. When the moment came to toss the dice, I was counting on your being smart enough to know where your best interest lay. Happily for me, you did.”

The result is a literal spark being struck between the two men and the beginning of a relationship that will last for about two books’ length. And yet it’s a relationship that, like Tyrion’s relationship with Shae, is founded on a presupposition of betrayal: “I’ve no doubt you’d betray me as quick as you did Lady Stark, if you saw a profit in it. If the day ever comes when you’re tempted to sell me out, remember this Bronn–I’ll match their price, whatever it is. I like living.”  It speaks to the particular scars on Tyrion’s psyche that the relationships he sets out to create are build with this same expectation.

Tyrion and Tysha

Which brings us to the story of Tyrion and Tysha, which he brings up at the first opportunity, a strange choice for someone who otherwise is quite cautious in his dealings with strangers. It speaks to his feelings of desolation and tiredness that Tyrion immediately tells this story to this man he knows virtually nothing about (maybe because he knows nothing about him?). The way that Tyrion tells the story is also rather interesting – he spends very little time talking about himself, and focuses a lot on Jaime (who clearly plays the role of the hero here, and Tyrion noticeably thinks that the septon narced on him before Jaime) and Tysha herself – who occupies an ambiguous position here. On the one hand, her face “breaks his heart,” and he can’t forget her singing, but on the other hand he believes that “the girl was a whore.” But the central figure more than anyone else is Tywin:

“…to drive home the lesson, Lord Tywin brought my wife in and gave her to his guards…a silver for each man, how many whores command that high a price? He sat me down in the corner of the barracks and bade me watch, and at the end she had so many silvers the coins were slipping through her fingers…Lord Tywin made me go last…and he gave me a gold coin to pay her, because I was a Lannister, and worth more.”

The blocking of the scene isn’t incidental – it’s not just that Tyrion is watching this scene that at the time he doesn’t think of as a rape, but Tywin is watching too. He doesn’t give orders from afar, he’s on hand to stage manage the whole affair and he physically prompts Tyrion. There’s something about that last part, that not just does Tywin create this gang-rape but that he makes his son be complicit in it and watches his son as he does it, that unsettles in the way that the tragedies of the Houses of Atreus, Cadmus, Minos, and Erechtheus do, that dark nexus of violence, family, and sex that echoes through generations. And it speaks to the rottenness in the House of Lannister. Presentism often leads us to believe that Lannister victory in the War of Five Kings was pre-ordained, but the truth is that history is always contingent. House Lannister got very lucky – we’ll see how specifically as these recaps continue – but one major way is that the rampant dysfunction didn’t spill out into public view until after the main battles were won.

Tyrion’s telling also speaks to the fact that revenge is a key theme of Tyrion’s character from the start. When Bron says that “I would have killed the man who did that to me,” Tyrion responds by saying “you may get that chance one day. Remember what I told you. A Lannister always pays his debts.” He immediately begins to dream of murdering his father, and doing so by putting Tywin in Tyrion’s place – just as will happen two books later. That’s some impressive foreshadowing on GRRM’s part.

Finally, there’s an important political significance of Tyrion’s wedding to Tysha – if Tysha is alive, or she had children (which the Dwarf’s Penny theory suggests), Tyrion wasn’t free to marry Sansa Stark and that marriage was invalid. This likewise invalidates any Lannister claim to the North (although realistically, that claim was lost when Tyrion was attainted by his conviction as a regicide).

Tyrion’s Plan for Revenge  

While Tyrion’s appeal to Bronn was precisely pitched at the sellsword’s pragmatism, Tyrion switches to a very different register when he encounters Shagga son of Dolf and the rest of the mountain men. Tyrion carefully alternates between appeals to greed – throwing around promises of silver and gold – to humor, to carefully pitched insult when he brings up the “Stone Crows…shiver[ing] with fear as the knight’s of the Vale ride by.” And it works, even though the mountain men cleary should laugh off this outlander who promises something so ludicrous as the Vale, because Tyrion has hit them deep in their fear and insecurity and sense of grievance.

It’s also significant that Tyrion’s first political action upon being freed from captivity is revenge on a huge scale; Tyrion really is Tywin’s son in that regard. His hope is that by arming the mountain clans and removing the edge that superior equipment gives the knights of the Vale, he may bring down the Arryns (or at the very least seriously inconvenience them). Whether this will have the long-term effect on the Vale that he promises is less clear – while we learn later that the mountain clans return to the Vale (sans Shagga son of Dolf’s Stone Crows, who prefer to stay in the Kingswood) with arms and military training and become increasingly dangerous, whether that’s going to be enough to unseat the noble Houses of the Vale is less clear. The mountain clans have low numbers (since mountains can’t support as many people as the valleys), they don’t have equipment or training in siege warfare and the knights of the Vale are all about castles, and they have very little cavalry.

But if they can’t take the castles themselves, they probably can cut off the mountain roads between the Bloody Gate and the Eyrie, or between the Eyrie and Strongsong, increase the cost of punitive expeditions to the forces of House Arryn, and probably seize control of the mountainous areas where large cavalry armies are constrained by the terrain.

However, if Littlefinger succeeds in rallying the knights of the Vale around a campaign to retake the North in the name of Sansa Stark, he may find his plans to rise to the very heights of power undone by his old nemesis, albeit completely by accident. If the knights of the Vale leave, the mountain clans will definitely pour into the power gap in the same way that the Ironborn took advantage of Robb Stark’s absence from the North.

One thing that I do find irritating in the extreme is that while Tyrion plans to “ask some questions about that dagger,” he completely drops the ball on this when he gets to King’s Landing. Now on one level, I understand that Tyrion has more pressing concerns like preventing Stannis from sacking the city and prevent his sister and double-nephew from burning it down beforehand, it really annoys me that not only does Tyrion not act against Littlefinger, but he doesn’t even bother with accumulating evidence that Littlefinger basically set the Starks against the Lannisters (an act of treason/disloyalty that you’d think even Tywin would be interested in).

Historical Analysis:

As I’ve said before, I’m a huge partisan of peasant rebellions against the medieval nobility, in no small part because one of my ancestors, one Adam Attewell a butcher of London, was a member of John Ball’s “Great Society” and took to the high roads of Essex when the Great Peasant’s Revolt of 1381 began, calling on the peasants to rise up against their masters because London was with them. However, the sad truth of history is that most peasant rebellions ended in defeat – and for the sake of the mountian clans dreaming of retaking their lands from the knights of the Vale, we should ask why this was the case.

The Franco-Flemish war is probably the best case for the peasants: initially, the French were able to seize control over Flanders by defeating the Count of Flanders’ traditional armies and exploiting the political divisions between the Counts and the cities, who remained neutral during the initial invasion due to ongoing conflicts over taxation. When the new French governors disappointed hopes for better government, political division was replaced by ethnic unity as the urban guilds allied with anti-French noblemen and massacred the French garrisons and population of Bruges. As I’ve mentioned before, bad terrain and disciplined infantry allowed the Flemish to defeat French knights at the Golden Spurs in 1302 and then to hold them off at Arques the following year, when the French failed to break the disciplined ranks of Flemish infantry. In the end, the French had to ally with the Dutch to gain naval superiority and get the Flemish to sign the Treaty of Athis-sur-Orge, where the French were able to take Lille, Douai, and Bethune, and force the Flemish to pay huge penalties to the King of France, while still maintaining their independence.

If a bloody stalemate is the best case, how else could a peasant rebellion end up? In the case of the French Jacquerie, where the peasants of northern France rose up in opposition to the imposition of a military draft, high taxes, and the inability of the nobility to stop the English burning large parts of France, the lack of organization of the peasants, combined with the capture and brutal execution of their leader Guillaume Cale when he went to the King’s tent to negotiate, destroyed peasant morale and allowed the French knights to punch through their center at the Battle of Mello, leading to the deaths of some 20,000 peasants both on the battlefield and in a reign of terror that swept through northern France.

The English Peasant’s Revolt of 1381 followed a similar trajectory, where after the rebels under the command of  radical preacher John Ball and former soldier Wat Tyler seized London, the King invited Wat Tyler to negotiate with him at Smithfield, only for a royal soldier to murder him when Wat Tyler rode over from his army to negotiate with the King. Following the death of Wat Tyler, royal armies were mobilized to hack down the disorganized rebels, with more than 2,000 losing their lives. 

Finally, in the case of the German Bauernkrieg of 1524-5, the peasants were able to use defensive fortifications to their advantage, but lacked any cavalry or artillery, and thus weren’t able to effectively fight the disciplined formations of Landsknecht mercenaries, and were extremely vulnerable to cavalry charges when not behind fortifications. The scale of casualties are quite astonishing, with over 300,000 peasants fighting against their feudal overlords, and fully 100,000 perishing in the fighting.

So while arms and armor might help the mountain clans in the short term, the odds are not good on them actually succeeding in their rebellion. But good luck, Team Smallfolk!

What If?

I feel we’ve covered the main hypotheticals of Tyrion either dying or being captive such that he’s not present in King’s Landing for the siege, so I won’t waste time repeating them, but there is one interesting change to the “Tyrion is held captive” hypoethetical, which is that if Tyrion is present in the Vale when Petyr leaves King’s Landing, he might have a chance to wreak some revenge on Littlefinger.

Book vs. Show

The show doesn’t really change the text very much, besides splitting Tyrion’s story about Tysha from the scene with the tribesmen in Episode 8 and moving it to Episode 9, which potentially changes the Tyrion/Shae relationship quite dramatically in that Shae walks into the relationship knowing Tyrion’s past precisely.

The main thing that changes is the tone of the relationship between Tyrion and Bronn, which initially is quite prickly and standoffish at the beginning, into something more recognizable as an odd couple-style buddy comedy:

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41 thoughts on “Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis: Tyrion VI

  1. peash says:

    Firstly, if I’m reading the Dwarf’s Penny theory right the theory is that Penny is not Tyrion’s daughter, but Tysha’s step-child. Even so, the thought that all this time a link to his first wife has been right under his nose (sorry, scar) isn’t going to be a pleasant one for Tyrion. Though it does lead to the possibility of redemption and new beginnings, with Tyrion being able to let go of the past while still not getting everything he wants, which I kind of think is GRRM’s style, him being a cynical romantic and all.

    Secondly and speaking of the far future, isn’t there one day going to be a certain red headed girl with a penchant for winning people over, a claim to a sizable quantity of arable land, and a need for soldiers, located in the general vicinity of the Mountain Road. And the Northmen have proven themselves willing to tolerate rough, stinking barbarians, subject to suitable guarantees. It would solve several problems, while also creating new ones.

    • stevenattewell says:

      No, the theory is that Penny is Tysha’s daughter but raised by a dwarf stepfather. It’s especially not going to be pleasant for Tyrion that he almost made out with his own daughter.

      Possible, but I’m more of the opinion that Sansa turns the knights of the Vale against LF.

      • Son of fire says:

        tyrion thinks penny to be 19 which makes her 3yrs old when tyrion met tysha.
        The sailors wife in bravoos has a daughter with blond curly hair aged 14 named lanna!
        The sailors wife only beds men who marry her,while not named her daughter in the story,the index names lanna as the sailors wife’s daughter.
        Penny is just a way for tyrion to stop hating himself post ASOS.

  2. peash says:

    Third I think this chapter is an initial indication that while Tyrion inclines towards good, its a slight inclination. He hires the mountain men with the intent that they will later cause havoc in The Vale, satisfying his revenge. While the fact that he still inclines towards good given everything that’s happened to him speaks to his strength of character and gives me hope that he’ll come out of his ADWD difficulties with his soul intact and makes him better than either of his siblings, its important to remember that he is still a lot more willing to do bad than a lot of other characters.

    • stevenattewell says:

      Sure. He’s not a perfect person, but Tyrion at least doesn’t seek to hurt people who haven’t come after him first.

      • peash says:

        Yeah, this and his occasional pet the dog moments with Bran, Jon, Myrcella etc. are why I say he inclines towards good, but he is also perfectly willing to set in motion events that would probably lead to a lot of innocent people being killed by the mountain men. He’s no saint but no devil either, which is what makes him such an awesome character.

  3. Miang says:

    As regards to the dwarf’s penny theory….I’m not sure I follow it. I thought Penny’s brother….Groat(?) was the elder. He was killed by men who thought he was Tyrion and hoped to collect on Cersei’s reward. If Tysha did have a child by Tyrion wouldn’t it have to be the oldest? Or is the theory that she married a dwarf who reminded her of Tyrion, who also had a child already (Groat) and then she had her child by Tyrion? I suppose that is possible; there is no reason a man and a woman can’t come into a marriage both having children by other people, but it seems clunky in some way to me. On the other hand if the boy were Tyrion’s son I think I’d be horrified. Tyrion’s had enough tragedy in his life. He may not be a perfect person but let us not forget that Tywin forced him to rape Tysha. That makes it a rape of Tyrion as well. For a man to be complicit in the rape of his wife, be raped himself, be tormented by his family for years, be falsely imprisoned, then falsely accused of regicide, then actually commit two murders (one justifiable and one not), become a slave…..do we need to add the tragedy of discovering that his son was killed by mistake for him?

    Moreover what narrative purpose does it serve? Alternatively if Groat was a step-brother to Penny and she IS his daughter….I still find it clunky. Plus Tyrion will still have the tragedy of knowing his daughter’s beloved foster-brother died by mistake for him. So I ask again; what narrative purpose does it serve? I suppose it is an ironic reunion for Tyrion with his past but I’m not certain it will actually accomplish more than has already been accomplished by Tyrion’s desire to protect Penny anyways. I always thought Tyrion’s arc was leading towards understanding that he needed to let his past go and grow as a person; to overcome his tragedies instead of drowning in them. I don’t know that I think really meeting Tysha or her offspring would do that. In part I thought his arc was meant to show him that revenge ultimately becomes hollow and can destroy the person seeking it.

    As usual, though, I could be terrible wrong both in what I think Tyrion’s arc will turn out to be at the end and what this theory would mean for the narrative.

    • stevenattewell says:

      They could be twins, one older one younger. Twins do run in the Lannister family.

      As to the purpose, ask nobodysuspectsthebutterfly. It’s not my theory.

      • Miang says:

        I hadn’t thought about them being twins. It’s possible, I don’t know why I had the impression Groat was older. Sorry about the whole theory think – I wasn’t trying to heckle you. I was honestly just typing as I thought, trying to reason it out.

        Your site is great, btw. I love your historical analysis.

      • stevenattewell says:

        Thanks!

  4. Yannai says:

    There’s a whole issue with bigamy and whether or not it actually invalidates marriages in the Seven Kingdoms. Your remark about how Tysha’s marriage still stands if she is alive invalidates Sansa’s and therefore Tyrion’s claim to the North is based on European law, but there’s actually nothing in the books to lend it credence. In fact, there is evidence against it: Aegon’s bigamy was accepted and institutionalized and he had sons from both wives who were both legitimate and became kings (the Faith’s uprising upon his death against his successors wasn’t aimed at the bigamous aspect of their birth, but at the incestuous one). Assuming R + L = J and that Rhaegar planned for Jon to be the final part of the new Three-Headed Dragon (because Elia could not bear more children), then he would have had to have married Lyanna in order for her child not to be a royal bastard – and that marriage would have had to be legal and legitimate.

    (is the “they” that Ned thinks of when he’s recalls Lyanna’s death mean Wylla and the septon who married Rhaeghar and Lyanna? Because in order to keep their wedding a secret he would probably have been kept in the Tower of Joy until the war was over).

    Even Tyrion himself half-jokingly says “I already have two wives, what’s one more?” in ADWD. That may be a throwaway line, but it actually holds a lot of potential meaning which he does not address, because – it seems to me – he’s not really ever expecting to find Tysha again after all this time, at least not for the foreseeable future, and instead focuses on achieving vengeance through Faegon and Dany.

    • stevenattewell says:

      Aegon’s bigamy was accepted at dragonpoint, but there was a religious revolution immediately after his death.

      The only other known bigamist Targaryen was Maegor the Cruel, and he was absolutely despised.

      If bigamy didn’t bar marriage, why wouldn’t Robb have married both Jeyne and the Frey?

      • Miang says:

        I think a lot of things were accepted for the Targaryens that were not accepted for the populace at large, i.e. bigamy and incest. If I remember correctly they eventually compromised with the Faith in that they agreed to only practice one of these two practices. However, I believe Tyrion states or alludes to his marriage being annulled. I don’t know what grounds were used – perhaps Tywin managed to get the Septon to invalidate the rights because he was drunk? *shrug* If Westerosi society mirrors European history then the validity of the reasoning for annulment was not nearly as important as Tywin Lannister’s clout when asking for it. Either way if the Faith invalidate Tyrion’s marriage it in no way could legally impact his marriage to Sansa Stark. It is also possible that if someone revealed that his marriage to Tysha was still valid at the time and Tyrion was unaware of it then his marriage to Sansa would be invalidated although any children he had by her (yes I know they haven’t consummated the marriage, I’m stating it for thorough clarity of facts) would be considered legitimate since they were sired in what both parties believed was a legal union.

      • Yannai says:

        My theory is that while polygamy is frowned upon, but isn’t actually illegal in Westeros. For the noble House, especially the Great Houses, many of them relatively recently royal lines themselves, to have a female of your family taken for a second wife – or set aside for another one whose children may have a claim of their own – would be an mortal insult (I can only imagine what Oberyn Martell would have done if he’d heard Rhaegar took another wife – he may well have managed to do what Brandon Stark failed and killed the crown prince himself). Frey couldn’t have offered his daughter to the King in the North as some beggar after he had already married a betterborn girl of an ancient House (as Catelyn correctly remarks). To do that would be to top humiliation over insult AND Frey would probably still wouldn’t have gotten a part-Frey king – Jeyne’s children would come first (as Aenys came before Maegor). Besides, by the time Robb approaches Frey again he had already lost the North, about to leave the riverlands to the Lannisters, and it was clear which was the winning side. Frey, as ever, chose it. The Red Wedding was as much as motivated by a desire to show Tywin he’d left the Tully-Stark side forever as by personal vendetta, much as Tywin himself had Rhaegar’s family killed both to show Robert he was loyal to the new regime as well as a personal accounting for the treatment he’d suffered from Aerys II.

        And obviously polygamy is neither encouraged nor really practiced south of the Wall, but there’s no actual evidence of it being sacrilegious or illegitimate in the novels. My guess is that’s because of inheritance issues and family honor rather than cultural or religious taboos.

      • stevenattewell says:

        I missed the annulment, so I will keep reading and post a correction when I get to it.

        But there’s no evidence for bigamy being legal at all – no one mentions “first” or “second” wives, there’s no discussion of what that does for succession and inheritance, etc.

    • Yannai says:

      Side note: according to A Wiki of Ice and Fire, Maegor himself also had multiple wives at the same time, though I can’t recall that ever being explicitly mentioned in the books – just that he had many wives (but then, so did Walder Frey) and that one was called Jeyne Westerling.

      • stevenattewell says:

        Yes. But no king thereafter is described as bigamous and Maegor was hated, so I doubt that became a precedent.

  5. Sean C. says:

    I don’t think the mountain tribes’ situation is particularly comparable to a peasant rebellion. The tribes aren’t really peasants; they’re separate entities who sit outside the whole feudal structure, more like First Nations tribes in 19th century North America.

    • stevenattewell says:

      They’re untrained and unequipped non-nobles.

      Close enough.

    • John says:

      I suppose the Swiss actually mostly live in the valleys of the mountains, but if you’re looking for successful non-noble rebellion against the aristocracy in the Middle Ages, while located in high mountains, I’d think they’d be the go-to example.

      • stevenattewell says:

        Yeah, that’s a good example.

      • hertolo says:

        No, not really. These stories such as Willhelm Tell, Winkelried and co. are mostly a hype oth 19th century nationalism and romanticism. Sure, these mountain valleys were unruly rebels and to a degree successfull, but they never threatened the Habsburgs really. In the end, it was the support of the cities of Lucerne, Zurich and Berne that was important in guaranteeing somewhat of an autonomy in the Swabian/Swiss Wars (name depends on from where you look), and later achieving independence ‘by accident’ (was not intended) at Westphalia 1648. The main point of the alliance btw. was to secure the alpine trade route over the Gotthard from Basel to Milan. The biggest mountain valley that ‘always had a mind of its own’ – the Wallis – was ruled by the bishopry more or less btw.

        All in all, I’d say the mountain clans of ASOIAF have more in common with a fantasy trope than there are parallels which can be drawn to real history. The success of the Swiss was due to the cities, not the mountains, simply.

        This talk reminded me of an old swiss joke, Arnold von Winkelrieds, who “won the battle at Sempach all by himself by throwing himself into the Habsburg Pikes to open a gap for the Swiss army”, his last words supposedly were: “Which idiot pushed me?”.

  6. axrendale says:

    Regarding the possibility that Tyrion’s marriage to Tysha might invalidate his marriage to Sansa – I’m pretty sure that, although the story is not exactly what you’d call common knowledge, the fact that Tywin Lannister’s younger son was married to a ‘whore’ is not exactly a secret either. It’s hard to see how it could have been – the entire garrison of the barracks at Casterly Rock was in on what happened for one, and the story could only have been expected to spread from there. As well as members of the Lannister household, I’m fairly certain (though I can’t recall the exact quote) that Littlefinger makes reference to Sansa about Tyrion’s “first wife” at some point during their stay in the Eyrie, and if the story could be used as justification to invalidate her marriage to the Imp, then you would expect Baelish of all men to take advantage of that. Instead, Littlefinger says fairly explicitly that Sansa’s future marriage(s) will proceed from her being made a widow. For the moment at least, I’d say this is fairly conclusive proof that the annulment Tywin obtained was legitimate in the eyes of Westerosi laws and customs, however cynical it may have been, and the possibility that Tysha may have had children would not change that.

    • stevenattewell says:

      Here’s the thing, there’s no mention of Tywin getting an annulment. The wedding happened and was consummated, and both parties were unwed.

      And given that no one from outside the Lannister family ever speaks about the story, I think Tywin just hushed it up.

      • Ah, actually there was an annulment. It’s mentioned in ACOK, I think (possibly ASOS), in a scene when Tyrion is talking to Shae in her manse. He tells her he’s worried about her because of Tysha, explains (briefly) what happened to her, and then says that Tywin made it so that the marriage had never happened. Thus if there were children, they would presumably be bastards. (Like, um, Elizabeth I? I’m sure there’s other historical examples.)

        I should note that my “Dwarf’s Penny” theory does not have a purpose to free up Sansa (although that would be a useful byproduct). It was merely an explanation of something I’d figured out while reading ADWD — extrapolation from the text and speculation regarding *Penny’s* purpose within the story.

        And it could be wrong. I don’t *think* it’s wrong — besides the post you linked, I have another that gives the textual evidence for the theory (http://nobodysuspectsthebutterfly.tumblr.com/post/18626024653/the-dwarfs-penny-part-2) — but it might all be red herrings, GRRM’s perfectly capable of fooling us on a lot of things. 🙂

      • stevenattewell says:

        I will check that out.

  7. Andrew says:

    I don’t know if I would call the mountain clans descendants of peasants but possibly more like the mountain clans in the North.

    I thought that Tysha undoubtedly became impregnated from the experience after being gang raped by an entire garrison unless she was impregnated by Tyrion before the gang rape.

    • stevenattewell says:

      They are analogous to peasants in terms of their level of military expertise and equipment.

      If we credit the dwarf’s penny theory, having twin dwarfs would suggest that Tyrion impregnated her.

  8. Brett says:

    It speaks to the particular scars on Tyrion’s psyche that the relationships he sets out to create are build with this same expectation.

    It’s one thing I regret losing a lot of in the translation of Shae from book to screen. The relationship was always a messed-up one, in that Tyrion hired her for more than just sex – he hired her to be a fantasy girlfriend. She appropriately stokes his fantasies, and while Tyrion tells himself that she just “loves him for his gold”, his emotional baggage is such that he can’t help but fall in love with her.

    Maybe it’s a set-up to make him more tolerable if or when he kills her, by turning her “betrayal” into more of a shocking-and-tragic betrayal because show-Shae actually does love Tyrion.

    • stevenattewell says:

      Well, it was there in Season 2, Episode 10 a bit.

      It’s actually done more in reverse, that Shae believes Tyrion will betray her.

  9. hertolo says:

    First let me say, I’m annoyed as well by how much Littlefinger gets away with, but we will get to that later 😉

    As for the marriage. Don’t you set the legality of such an era/location to high when you expect that a marriage made by a drunk septon to a peasant girl would have any value? They can just look over it, no? Who would enforce it, btw.? The Middle Septon (?) in Lannisport? Is there a hierarchy of the Church besides the High Septon btw.? The nobility? Not the one of the Westerlands for sure after Castamere. Other high nobles may want to bring it up to say why they can’t let their daughters marry Tyrion, but that’s more to get around having to say ‘because he’s a dwarf’. For comparison, would a ‘drunken teenage marriage between a noble and a peasant in the European middle ages have persisted? I kinda doubt it (but don’t know).

    I just feel you put too much on Legality here (similar with Lyanna and Rhaegar: does it matter for the prophecy if they are married? (and how do the ‘supernaturals’ judge over that) Does it really matter for the throne sequence? (or isn’t the charismatics much more important here and who wants to govern in the end).

    I also don’t see the literary value in putting so much emphasis on the legalities of marriage. In the end, it’s one more of those “growing up with Tywin” horror stories and another tale in the tome of “never trust a highborn” as Gendry puts it in the show. Because those always end horrible for the smallfolk…

    Lastly, I must agree with SeanC that the peasant revolts might not be the best analogy for the mountain clans as it’s less of a revolt and more of a “on the edge of the empire” thing. Maybe a better one would be the local tribes of the Balkan (and Caucasus) mountains brewing trouble for the Ottoman and later Austrian-Hungarian Empires in the 19th century. I’m not sure on the historicity of these things though as I mostly remember them from reading Karl May books in my early teenage years. Hmm, should probably pick those up again, though I fear they will be as silly and ‘straight-forward hero travelogues’ as they look to be. They were glorious then of course, but now one prefers the intricacies, plots and grey characters of GRRM. 😉

  10. Abbey Battle says:

    Maester Steven, I respect your commitment to Team Smallfolk, but I’m not sure how good the Mountain Tribe’s claim to membership of that august revolutionary movement – they make their living by brigandage (possibly with a certain amount of hunter-gathering thrown in) and get their jollies through mutilation, rape, torture and theft.

    In my opinion Team Smallfolk are the people the Mountain-Men prey on (Knights of the Vale = Hard Target Smallholders of the Vale = soft target), not The Clans themselves.

    Admittedly clansman and peasant are arguably similarly-equpped and vulnerable to armoured enforcers, but my sympathy for the former is more limited since they most likely want to impose their own protection racket rather than put an end to that sort of thing (which is I believe a pillar of every Team Smallfolk campaign speech – along with trial by jury, acknowledgement of the merchant classes as more than another piggy bank to raid and an end to Medieval Stasis).

    • They make their living by brigandage because their land was stolen and they were chased up into the mountains.

      Team Smallfolk is in the right, but nothing said it had to be pretty.

  11. Kevin Moore says:

    >”prevent his sister and double-nephew from burning it down beforehand”

    great line – I love these – write faster – I’m switching back and forth between you and Roy Dotrice

  12. […] of Westeros – again, in order to achieve an immediate aim (and because he doesn’t see smallfolk as people). And the logic by which he justifies his actions is reminiscent of many different […]

  13. Joseph says:

    On the question of whether Tywin had the marriage annulled, I don’t think it matters. I seriously doubt there’s any church record of the marriage or the anullment, Tywin is dead, and if Jaime knows and is able to testify, I suspect he would back any story Tyrion wants to tell. (Possibly excepting a direct conflict with his kingsguard vows.)

    So at the end of the day, it probably comes down to Tyrion. If he denies the marriage, the only people who would care would do so for Sansa’s sake, so they wouldn’t believe an annulment anyway. If he doesn’t deny it, there will be no way to prove the anullment.

  14. […] – the dense forest of the kingswood as a force multiplier for his mobile guerrilla-style mountain men – to try to slow down Stannis and buy more time, while demoralizing Stannis’ forces. […]

  15. […] that same willingness to commit atrocity that made and sustained his father’s public and private reputation against his family. At the same time, in both Tywin’s actions in his youth and […]

  16. […] already knew the details of his relationship with Tysha, but what this dream gives us in far more detail is the emotional […]

  17. […] historical agency of the smallfolk. The obvious inspiration for the Revolt of the Faithful is the Great Peasants Revolt of 1381, in which the common people of England rose up against their feudal overlords. Inspired by the […]

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