Last night's Game of Thrones season finale, "The Dragon and the Wolf," delivered on the much awaited Jon and Daenerys sex scene. Obviously, there is a lot to unpack about that particular event, the minor point of incest being just one element, but I want to talk about a less obvious aspect. Namely, what the hell was going on with Tyrion? How long was he standing outside that bedroom? And why?
According to Joanna Robinson over at Vanity Fair, there could be a valid reason for Tyrion's reaction to Jon and Daenerys' tryst. It stems from the 1993 letter George R.R. Martin sent to his publisher, outlining the original plot of the A Song Of Ice and Fire series that the show is based on. We already wrote about the weird Jon Snow/Arya romance that thankfully doesn't seem to be panning out, but it turns out there was another twist.
The letter reads: "Exiled, Tyrion will change sides, making common cause with the surviving Starks to bring his brother down, and falling helplessly in love with Arya Stark while he’s at it. His passion is, alas, unreciprocated, but no less intense for that, and it will lead to a deadly rivalry between Tyrion and Jon Snow."
Since we haven't seen much evidence that Tyrion even remembers what Arya looks like, let alone any signs of his undying love for her, it seems far more likely that his reaction is one of jealousy over Daenerys — and that is supremely disappointing.
Up until now, Tyrion (and maybe Varys) was the only man in Daenerys' life following her out of true belief, rather than love. In fact, he even points that fact out to her earlier in the season, when they're discussing Jon Snow. "It's interesting, the heroes you name," he says. "Drogo, Jorah, Daario, even this Jon Snow. They all fell in love with you."
Tyrion is a different story — at least, so we thought. As he tells Cersei during their one-on-one Dragonpit meeting, he wants everyone, including his own family, to submit to her because he truly believes she will build a better world. He respects her as a ruler, woman or not. If it turns out he's been in love with her this whole time, the sentiment is cheapened — do we really need another Jorah?
Actually, if you think about it, most of the men in Daenerys' entourage are there out of romantic love. Daario? Check. Jorah? Triple check. Jon? Check. It's a tiresome trope that the only way women can win men over to their cause is with their looks, and one that Game of Thrones had managed to avoid thus far. Take Cersei, for example. She controls her followers with fear. Jaime, the only one to follow her out of love, is now out of the picture. Same goes for Sansa, who inspires loyalty through her careful, and meticulous planning. Littlefinger tried to interfere, and look where that got him. All the progress made towards promoting female power this season makes Tyrion's reaction all the more tiresome.
Of course, it's possible that Tyrion's disturbed facial expression was the result of indigestion. Or seasickness. Maybe he's thinking about how to turn this alliance to his advantage. I certainly hope it's down to one of these options. The youngest Lannister's allegiance to Daenerys was all the more impressive because it went against all family ties. If she has managed to convince him that she's the most worthy ruler, than she can convince anyone. But if his loyalty stems from the fact that he thinks she's hot, then Daenerys has already lost the fight. In fact, if that's the case, we all have.
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