Tyrion never had it easy. Tyrion is the third child of Joanna and Tywin Lannister and even if he’d been born “normal” I think he would have still had a hard life. Cersei and Jaime were nine by the time Tyrion came around and has been established that they already had a physical relationship by this point. I feel that any new sibling no matter how perfect would have been seen as an interloper. Cersei and Jaime always were their own thing. Cersei sees Jaime as her’s and no one else can have him. A bratty younger brother definitely wouldn’t have been welcome, but a deformed “monster” that killed their mother in childbirth? Yeah, he was screwed from the get go.
Tyrion was constantly belittled and berated by his father and openly mocked and hated by his sister. The only love he found was from his brother Jaime and the only respect was from people that were paid to do his bidding. This loneliness shapes who he will become. He sympathizes with others that have similarly been treated unfairly or are being used because of their weaknesses (Jon Snow, the Night’s Watch, various whores, Tommen, Sansa Stark, etc.).
There are a few events that I feel really shaped Tyrion’s life and the biggest one of those being his very short marriage at the age of 13. He and Jaime saved a girl named Tysha from men out on the open road and that began a relationship between that two that culminated in a secret marriage. Once Tywin found out about the marriage he exposed the girl as a whore that had been hired by Jaime and then proceeded to have her passed around by his guards paying her a silver coin for each and then having Tyrion do the same, but pay her in a gold coin since he was a Lannister.
I think this episode in his life showed him that happiness isn’t real and that he could never trust anyone, but Jaime when it came to love and loyalty. It also showed him, once again, that his father harbored no love for him.
He sees Jaime as his only true friend and protector (from the few back-stories they tell about Tyrion as a child Jaime repeatedly stood up for him against his sister) and I think that that made Jaime’s lack of support during his trial that much harder to process for Tyrion. Jaime had never been pushed so hard to choose between Cersei and Tyrion, much less Cersei and Tywin vs Tyrion and Tyrion sees Jaime’s actions as choosing Tywin and Cersei over him.
Before Tyrion’s scheduled execution Jaime forces Varys to assist in freeing him. During his escape Jaime admits to Tyrion that the woman he met at 13 and that he married wasn’t really a whore, but may have possibly really loved him. This revelation shakes him to the core and I feel that it pushed him over the edge where his father was concerned. Now here we begin to step into theory land. There is a line of thought that Oberyn Martell poisoned Tywin Lannister before his death and that was the reason that he was on the toilet when Tyrion went to kill him. The poison that it is thought he used was one that traps all toxins in the body until the person dies. There is also a theory that Tyrion had guessed The Viper’s actions and that’s why he wasn’t surprised that Tywin was in the privy. OK to continue. . .
Tyrion then goes and finds his father’s chambers only to find Shea naked in Tywin’s bed– yet another betrayal by someone he thought loved him. He quickly strangles her and then goes to find his father. After asking his father about where his first wife went after Tywin threw her away Tywin replied with, “Wherever whores go.” This phrase continues to haunt Tyrion during his exile.
Catch phrase: Wherever whores go.
There are quite a few theories about Tyrion and I can’t say that I’ve decided whether I buy them or not. I’ll cover the one that I buy somewhat and you’re more than welcome of fall down the rabbit hole that is the Internet if you want to see some of the others.
Tyrion is a secret Targaryen. So the theory is that Aerys attacked/seduced Joanna Lannister and got her pregnant with Tyrion. The groundwork for this is that Semly told Daenerys that Aerys offended Tywin during the bedding portion of the reception by taking certain liberties while disrobing Joanna. Semly also stated that he didn’t necessarily love Joanna Lannister more than he loved his wife, but wanted her. We then know that there was a desire for her, we know that he was crazy, and we know that he felt entitled to what he wanted.
Why would Tywin have continued as Aerys’ Hand? Why would Tywin not have acknowledged Tyrion as a bastard especially since he was a source of embarrassment? If Joanna was attacked why didn’t she go immediately to Tywin for protection? Why wouldn’t Tywin have used Tyrion for his own gains if he truly is have Targaryen?
OK so my thought is that Tywin is not afraid of playing the long game. So maybe he didn’t know for sure, but only suspected that Tyrion wasn’t his. Or perhaps he knew if he left the service of the king he would never be able to exact revenge (NOTE: he did leave Aerys after Jaime was chosen to be a member of the Kingsguard, but maybe he thought that he would lose all if he remained with Aerys). — I don’t like any of this much at all.
Perhaps instead this scenario:
Aerys attacked/seduced/demanded sex from Joanna once or numerous times. She was afraid to ask for help from Tywin because she knew what his reaction would be and she knew that Aerys wouldn’t hesitate to kill Tywin. I can think of all kinds of things that could have been held over her, threats against her twins, threats against Tywin, knowledge that if Tywin was killed that Aerys would have had even more control over her. Once she was finally able to get away and back to Casterly Rock she discovered that she was pregnant. Perhaps a failed abortion attempt resulted in Tyrion’s deformity? We do not know where Joanna was during conception, but we do know that she was at Casterly Rock with the twins while pregnant. After abortion didn’t work the knowledge of the true father was kept a secret to protect her husband and her children.
The most interesting part of this theory to me is the fact that Joanna died after childbirth. This is similar to Lyanna (if you buy the R+L=J theory which is widely accepted) as well and Rhella (Daenerys’ mother). It is known that a dragon must be made with a death (it is known) so if Tyrion, Daenerys, and Jon are the three heads of the dragon, their lives were bought with their mother’s deaths.
There are other small things thrown it, he dreamed of dragons, always wanted a dragon, learned as much as he could about dragons, from what we’ve learned about Rhaegar I feel like they have similar core values, and he has mismatched eyes. There are other Targaryen bastards that had this trait so possibly it is just a trait of his dwarfism, but also maybe it’s a trait of his heritage. Tywin also repeatedly says that Tyrion is not his son and when Tyrion asked for Casterly Rock he states that he can’t prove that Tyrion isn’t his and that’s why he is allowed to wear his colors, but he will never have the Rock.
Part of me wishes this theory is true– I’d love to see Tyrion become a head of the dragon and be appreciated by more that just the readers. I also feel like all this might be a red herring thrown out by GRRM.
What are your thoughts? Do you think this theory is a bunch of crap or do you buy it?
I believe we can all agree that Tyrion has had a rough life and it appears that it’s just going to get rougher.