Monday 22 January 2018

Garreth Murphy: Game of Thrones needs Tyrion Lannister to make it work

The Imp, Tyrion Lannister
The Imp, Tyrion Lannister
Garreth Murphy

Garreth Murphy

Short men, according to a recent survey, live longer.

All bets are off if your name is Tyrion Lannister, though.

If you haven’t seen last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, you’d be best advised to stop reading now, but it looks like it could be curtains for the diminutive rabble-rouser and former hand of the king.

The Laws of Gods and Men saw Tyrion go a bit mad after he was offered an escape route from certain death. On trial for the murder of his nephew, the nefarious King Joffrey (fool by name, etc), he refused to take the easy route and plead out on a guilty charge.

Instead Tyrion demanded a trial by combat. And it probably won’t end well for him.

All things considered, Tyrion has long been the best thing about Game of Thrones.

He’s furiously witty, likes a drink and is very fond of the ladies.

In short (if you’ll pardon the pun for a man who is afflicted by dwarfism), he likes the finer things in life.

He’s also not shy about displaying his intelligence on a regular basis – taking everything with more salt than you’d find in the  Dead Sea. Sample quote? “I didn’t know your brother. He seemed like a good man, but I didn’t know him. Your mother on the other hand, I admired her. She wanted to have me executed, but I admired her greatly.”

He’s about the only Game of Thrones character you could imagine going for a few pints with. (Although in his case, you’d probably arrive home several days later, clad in your underwear without any recollection of what country you’d actually been in – never mind the pub.)

So if he’s given the heave-ho, the reasons for watching the show pretty much evaporate with him. 

Game of Thrones takes itself ridiculously seriously –  which for a series which features several fire-breathing dragons – is not something to recommend it.

Over the past couple of outings, as the show’s popularity has grown, it has grown a lot more serious. And boring.

There’s been endless talk of 'advancing armies' across 'narrow seas' and characters throwing intense stares at each other.

But at this stage, there are so many narrative threads, it’s difficult to follow them, never mind really care.

Who cares who is on the Iron Throne? I can’t even keep up with who is related to who. And what's happening half the time.

So just when you’re about to give up on it, up hops Tyrion Lannister delivering his own witty antidote to the stifling boredom unfolding on screen. 

So if he pops his clogs, it’s a pretty good bet a good chunk of the audience will depart with him.

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