I can remember when the first book in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series first came out. I remember, not because I read it, but because a favorite web-comic writer of mine did, and he subsequently ranted to the world about how George R.R. Martin is an evil creature who spends hundreds of pages building up a character, making you love them with all your heart and soul, before mercilessly murdering them as though they were the absolute least important of characters. These days, what with the hit HBO show, the fact that Mr. Martin is a vicious heart-breaker who likes to torture his readers unrelentingly is pretty common knowledge. But, at the time I remember thinking, “Well then…I guess I’ll stay away from those books because it sounds like the author is a bit of an arse.”
And I did – stay away from the books that is – for well over a decade. The first book came out in 1996 and I didn’t go anywhere near the series until somewhere in the area of 2010. I’d watched, every so often, as my web-comic writer fav cried over the books, praising them in one sentence and damning them in another, but I never jumped on the books myself until the HBO show was announced. Even then it wasn’t of my own will; my husband had read about the upcoming show and thought the books sounded like something I might enjoy, and so he gifted me the set of four novels that were available at the time.
Of the five books that I’ve now read, I’ve loved four (I’m sorry, Mr. Martin, but I had to really force myself through “A Feast for Crows”), and of the three seasons of the HBO show that have aired thus far I’ve loved every second, but if I’m totally honest neither the books nor the show would be even half as great if it weren’t for the character they call “the Imp”, Tyrion Lannister. His quick wit, cunning, and flair for being a mouthy little creature make him an absolute joy to read about or watch (and come on, does Peter Dinklage not portray the character flawlessly?), and he’s the excellent sort of character that pulls you back and forth and in a dozen different directions. Throughout the story you can never quite decide if he’s a good guy or a bad guy, or a good guy who does bad things, or a bad guy who happens to have a few morals. All you know is that while there are characters you love and characters you hate, in the entire world that George R.R. Martin has created, this is the character who you are constantly rooting for. Trust me on this one.
9 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge Day 20: Tyrion Lannister (the Exceptionally Clever Imp)”
I’ve only read the first book in the series (Game of Thrones) and didn’t quite know what to make of Tyrion! I hated his callousness, but loved how well he adapted to his plight.
He’s great in the HBO show! I’m on the fence whether to continue reading the series for a number of reasons, one being that I’m pretty sure it’s not finished and perhaps never will be.
But there’s no doubt I’ll be catching up on all the HBO shows. 🙂
I don’t know whether it will affect your decision, but if it were me and I could go back, I would probably not have read the books before watching the show. I’ve enjoyed the books immensely, but there are things that happened in the show that would have been so much more intense had I not known they were coming, you know? lol
I think you’re right, especially since I know how close the first season stayed to the first book. Then, when I eventually read the books, I will have an even better mental image of how things are.
Although I’m a fantasy fan, I just couldn’t bring myself to read or watch Game of Thrones, there’s just too much character death for me, I like to be able to trust an author with my favourite characters, not spend every page wondering if I’m in for heartbreak again and again and again (however well the books are written).
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I can’t even blame you there. I remember when the first book came out, a webcomic writer that I liked was talking about having read the book and how the author was an evil sadist. At the time I though, “Well, frig that. I definitely don’t want to read THAT.” Years later, when the books were becoming a show, my husband looked into them and thought that they sounded like something I’d enjoy, so he bought me the boxed set of what was available at the time for Christmas. lol I did wind up enjoying them – and I LOVE the show – but I definitely don’t blame anyone who avoids them because of the constant heartbreak. ._.
I gotta admire Martin his fearlessness in killing off characters. I wrote my V post on GoT (Valar Morghulis) but I too considered Tyrion because he is such a great character. And Peter Dinklage has really made that character. I didn’t even know the books until the series because I haven’t read a lot of fantasy. I just saw another blogger talking about the importance of reading outside of our genre and this is a great example, for me at least.
Have a great rest of the month! We’re almost done! 🙂
I don’t think the television version of the character would have been even half as good without Peter Dinklage. He really made the character his own while still sticking very well to the books. He is absolutely my favorite actor in the show. 🙂
I remember being told often as a child that I should read more different genres (I mostly only read supernatural-type stuff as a kid), but I didn’t listen, and to be honest I still don’t. lol I definitely read more different genres than I once did, but I’m still stuck pretty firmly in fantasy, supernatural, and horror. 😉
I totally agree, Dinklage just really owns that role – so so good
But I did enjoy him in the books as well.
I don’t branch out too much. Hubby reads a lot of non fiction but I am a total fiction girl. Mostly romance or YA
[…] Jedi Knight) Day 18: Ryuk (the Shinigami) Day 19: Sherlock Holmes (the High-Functioning Sociopath) Day 20: Tyrion Lannister (the Exceptionally Clever Imp) Day 21: Usagi Tsukino (the Sailor Senshi) Day 22: Victoria MacKinnon (the Lost Princess) Day 23: […]