Every Game of Thrones fan loves Tyrion Lannister for good reason: He’s smart, self-aware, and brimming with sass. His quips add levity to otherwise dark scenes, and whenever you watch someone unpleasant and think, “I wish someone would take them guy down a peg,” Tyrion is there to help. Since mathematicians have recently singled him out as the main character, we thought we’d revisit some of his best lines before Season 6 undoubtedly brings more.
1. “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.”
Way back in Season 1, we’re first introduced to Tyrion when he’s in the middle of a brothel. Paired with his brotherly affection for Jaime — who we only knew as a child-murdering sister-fucking douchebag at that point — it doesn’t initially cast him in the best light. But when Tyrion later offers some heartfelt wisdom to Jon, we begin to see a different side of him. It’s this line that sets him up as the unexpectedly wise smartass we love.
2. “You love your children. It’s your one redeeming quality. That, and your cheekbones.”
When Tyrion has his delightful reign as Hand of The King in Season 2, he enlivens the Small Council meetings and puts Cersei in her place. This line is prime Tyrion sass, and nobody deserves it more than Cersei.
3. “Don’t fight for a king. Don’t fight for his kingdoms. Don’t fight for honor. Don’t fight for glory. Don’t fight for riches, because you won’t get any. This is your city Stannis means to sack. That’s your gate he’s ramming.”
Tyrion might not be a fighter and he might bring his cavalier attitude to inappropriate situations, but when he puts effort into it, he’s a hell of a leader. We see it firsthand when he riles the troops at the Battle of Blackwater. It remains one of the best pre-battle speeches on television. If this doesn’t inspire you to defend King’s Landing against Stannis, your heart is made of as much stone as Stannis’ is at the end of Season 5. RIP Shireen.
4. “It’s not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy.”
This line is pure Tyrion not only from his delivery, but also because, in his own warped way, he’s using it a lesson to teach perpetually wide-eyed young Podrick. Of course, he later learns that Podrick could stand to teach him a few things with the ladies, but for now, drunk Tyrion is the most fun Tyrion.
5. “Then you’ll be fucking your own bride with a wooden cock”
When Joffrey is being a giant dick as usual and cruelly taunting Sansa — who has unwillingly married Tyrion in Season 3 — Tyrion puts his foot (and knife) down, stands up for his new bride, and puts Joffrey in his place all at once. It’s a glorious moment, and it’s no wonder the room falls speechless.
6. “Would it be excessive of me to ask you to save my life twice in a week?”
They say the true measure of a man is how he treats his lessers, and this quip — which Tyrion says to his squire Podrick — encapsulates Tyrion’s attitude towards “the help” in a nutshell.
7. “I wish I was the monster you think I am! I wish I had enough poison for the whole pack of you! I would gladly give my life to watch you all swallow it!”
Tyrion’s speech during the Season 4 trial is not only his best character moment, it’s a stunning feat of acting. Not that Peter Dinklage didn’t deserve Emmys in 2012 and in 2015, but the fact that his best moment is the one he didn’t win an Emmy for (in 2014) goes to show how silly and arbitrary awards can be.
8. “I will hurt you for this. I don’t know how yet, but give me time. A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you’ll know the debt is paid.”
Tyrion is a comic relief character most of the time, but when he’s serious, he can be just as sinister and cutting as Cersei. In true Tyrion fashion, he’s eloquent even when he’s threatening, but it’s still chilling.
9. “Killing and politics aren’t always the same thing.”
Tyrion and Daenery’s meeting was a highlight of Season 5, partly because it was a welcome relief from the Dorne and Winterfell plotlines and partly because Game of Thrones likes nothing more than making us wait years to see two characters finally interact. Daenerys has been isolated in her own storyline since the very beginning, and to finally see her speak with someone from King’s Landing reassured us that this narrative is actually going to connect. And though she doesn’t know it yet, Daenery’s couldn’t have encountered a better character. Tyrion dispatches some much needed guidance to a young queen who desperately needs it.
We can only hope Season 6 will bring more Tyrion quips, along with his intriguing new plotline possibilities. Winter is coming on the 24th.