Monday, October 12, 2015

Tyrion Targaryen

Spoiler Alert: This piece may contain spoilers from any material of A Song of Ice and Fire.

Tyrion Lannister by winthersanna
   Face it; it's practically a fact.

   Aerys's infatuation with Joanna is well documented:

   The scurrilous rumor that Joanna Lannister gave up her maidenhead to Prince Aerys the night of his fathers coronation and enjoyed a brief reign after he ascended the Iron Throne as his paramour can  safely be discounted.
   It has been reliably reported, however, that King Aerys took unwonted liberties with Lady Joanna's person during her bedding ceremony, to Tywin's displeasure. Not long thereafter, Queen Rhaella dismissed Joanna Lannister from her service. No reason for this was ever given, but Lady Joanna departed at once for Casterly Rock and seldom visited King's Landing thereafter.
   - The World of Ice and Fire

   "Prince Aerys... as a youth, he was taken with a certain lady of Casterly Rock, a cousin of Tywin Lannister. When she and Tywin wed, your father drank too much wine at the wedding feast and was heard to say that it was a great pity that the lord's right to the first night had been abolished. A drunken jape, no more, but Tywin Lannister was not a man to forget such words, or the ... liberties your father took during the bedding."
   - Ser Barristan to Daenerys

   At the great Anniversary Tourney of 272 AC, held to commemorate Aerys's tenth year upon the Iron Throne, Joanna Lannister brought her six-year-old twins Jaime and Cersei from Casterly Rock to present before the court.  The king (very much in his cups) asked her if giving suck to them had "ruined your breasts, which were so high and proud."  The question greatly amused Lord Tywin's rivals, who were always pleased to see the Hand slighted or made mock of, but Lady Joanna was humiliated.  Tywin Lannister attempted to return his chain of office the next morning, but the king refused to accept his resignation.
   - The World of Ice and Fire

   Tyrion was born in the next year, so this tourney is when he was most likely conceived.  The only other time Tywin attempted to resign as Hand was when Tyrion was made his heir.  You see, this makes Aerys's appointment of Jaime to the Kingsguard especially cruel - it made his own bastard the heir to Casterly Rock.

   "Men’s laws give you the right to bear my name and display my colors, since I cannot prove that you are not mine."

   After Aerys's death, Tywin's hatred for the man would rest solely on Tyrion.  Tywin's "payment" to Tyrion's "whore" wife was revenge for what Aerys did to Tywin's own wife.

   "You are on son of mine." - Tywin's last words to Tyrion

   When Tyrion had the last laugh, he didn't actually kill his own father.  He avenged his true father, in a manner of speaking.  Jaime is mad at Tyrion for killing his dad?  Perhaps someone should inform him that it was merely payback for slaying Tyrion's father.  Ouch.

   That Night Tyrion Lannister dreamed of a battle that turned the hills of Westeros as read as blood. He was in the midst of it, dealing death with an axe as big as he was, fighting side by side with Barristan the Bold and Bittersteel as dragons wheeled across the sky above them. In the dream he had two heads, both noseless. His father led the enemy, so he slew him once again. Then he killed his brother, Jamie, hacking at his face until it was a red ruin, laughing every time he struck a blow. Only when the fight was finished did he realize that his second head was weeping.

   One of Tyrion's halves is Targaryen, the other is Lannister.  It's right there in the text.  I'm not sure Martin can make it any more clear without literally drawing us a picture.  The two halves are also represented by his mismatched eyes, reminding us of the half-Targaryen Shiera Seastar.

   Tywin would go to great lengths to make Tyrion behave like a Lannister, because he certainly wouldn't be allowed to behave like a Targaryen.  Yet he did behave quite like a Targaryen, specifically Rhaegar.  Tyrion is bookish and excels at everything he sets out to do, even when cleaning the toilets of Casterly Rock.

   "Dragons," Moqorro said in the Common Tongue of Westeros... "Dragons old and young, true and false, bright and dark. And you. A small man with a big shadow, snarling in the midst of all."

   Tyrion also felt a connection to Jon Snow.  If R + L = J, it's not just because they're both rejects.

   "What the hell do you know about being a bastard?"
   "All dwarfs are bastards in their father's eyes."
   (Especially when they are, you know, actual bastards.)

   Tyrion may not have Rhaegar's skill in arms, but a dragon would be a great equalizer, wouldn't it?

   "Even a stunted, twisted, ugly little boy can look down over the world when he's seated on a dragon's back. I used to start fires in the bowels of Casterly Rock and stare at the flames for hours, pretending they were dragonfire. Sometimes I'd imagine my father burning. At other times, my sister. Don't look at me that way, bastard. I know your secret. You've dreamt the same kind of dreams."

   Moving forward, this will make Tyrion the perfect advisor for Daenerys.  He has extensively studied dragon lore, and he even has practice making unconventional saddles.  Just what she needs!  Maester Aemon thinks so, too:

   "Daenerys is the one, born amidst salt and smoke. The dragons prove it." Just talking of her seemed to make him stronger. "I must go to her. I must."
"Daenerys is our hope. Tell them that, at the Citadel. Make them listen. They must send her a maester. Daenerys must be counseled, taught, protected."

   Since the death of the dragons, much dragon lore has been lost to the Targaryen family.  Tyrion could not be in a better position to restore it now that the dragons have returned.


Jeremy Johnson said...

"Jaime, sweetling, I have known you since you were a babe at Joanna's breast. You smile like Gerion and fight like Tyg and there's some of Kevan in you, else you would not wear that cloak...but Tyrion is Tywin's son, not you. I said so once to your father's face, and he would not speak to me for half a year."

Some have cited this quote as evidence for Tyrion being Tywin's son. In truth, this quote is evidence against it. Allow me to explain.

There are some very mislead and confused characters in the story whose words should not be trusted. Some of them understand things so thoroughly incorrectly that it would be wise to assume the opposites of their opinions. Melisandre and Ser Barristan Selmy are two examples. Genna Lannister is another. Consider some of the items she got very wrong:

"You must be especially beautiful," Lady Genna told her, fussing with her dress, "for at the final feast it shall be announced that you and Prince Rhaegar are betrothed."
Never happened.

"Your father will find another man for you, a better man than Rhaegar."
Cersei rightly admits that her aunt lied.

"Aye, and Aunt Genna always said I had a brick for a chin."
He's actually weak chinned, as he will "wed and bed his stoat" out of fear.

"Kevan will be wroth, I fear. As wroth as Tywin was when you got it in your head to take the white."
Kevan was disappointed, but he quickly forgave Cersei for starting Lancel down that path. He demonstrates nothing close to Tywin's wrath.

As you can see, if Genna Lannister states an opinion, it is wise to assume the exact opposite of that opinion until proven otherwise.

"A woman hardly knows what to believe." - Genna Lannister

Jeremy Johnson said...

The day after I made this blog post, someone else brought up a few objections to the Tyrion Targaryen idea. I'll summarize and answer some of them.

1) It's unlikely that Joanna would be willing to sleep with a man who spoke about her breasts that way.

I advise readers to not make this objection too loudly. It merely demonstrates one's unfamiliarity with women. "It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it."

2) How could Aerys get away with it at such a crowded event?

If she went willingly, easily. Suspicions were aroused at some point, so it's not like they need have been perfectly secretive. At the very least, Tywin apparently found out, as he attempted to resign.

3) Wouldn't Tywin's guards protect her?

If she was willing, why would they? Especially on the turf of their lord's master? Did they protect her from the "liberties" taken at her wedding? What kind of message would it send to all present to have guards breathing down her neck? Tywin could certainly have tried to set up deterrents, but even a man of his resources had limited options in that scenario.

4) There are too many secret Targaryen babies.

George has made it clear that open royalty tends to die, especially after the house or branch is removed from power. It's a survival thing. Besides, from the very beginning of the series we are shown that Tyrion and Jon find an unusual kinship with each other. The "Jon has already been there and done that" claim only supports Tyrion's dragon side.

5) It hurts the story because Tyrion's relationship with his father is super cool.

It is cool, and it has entertained us well while we believed he was a Lannister. That entertainment won't magically be wiped from our memories when his dragon side is revealed. That's absurd.

Now that Tywin is no longer here to entertain us, I suspect the relationship will take on a new, refreshing dymanic, focusing on Jaime. We already see how Tyrion's relationship with Jaime has shifted after Tywin's death. How appropriate for it to mirror the early friendship their respective fathers had that later turned to enmity, especially now that they've killed each other's fathers.

The "it ruins the story" objection eventually surfaces with just about any Ice and Fire conspiracy theory, which is rather silly for this unfinished, mystery-riddled monstrosity. Before the end of Game of Thrones, many would have said that killing the perceived hero, Ned Stark, would ruin the story. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.