Tyrion and Dany’s relationship remains one of the most compelling aspects of Game of Thrones, especially considering how likely Tyrion is to betray his queen in season 8. While still united on the surface, cracks in the foundation of their relationship appeared to get more and more prominent as Game of Thrones season 7 wore on. Given the way things look going into season 8, it’s possible things will get worse before they get better – perhaps fatally so for those involved.
Most of Game of Thrones’ final season will presumably be spent resolving the series many remaining storylines. The war with the Night King needs to be addressed and ended with finality (gods be good), as does Cersei’s reign of terror. There’s also the question of the two massive foreign armies that will remain in Westeros after the wars are over (assuming they aren’t cut to ribbons at some point, which is definitely possible). The Unsullied could probably be trusted to remain well-behaved, but regardless of how many inspiring speeches Dany gives on the back of Drogon, it’s hard to believe the Dothraki would truly be capable of abandoning their previous lifestyle, especially living amidst a Westerosi populous that will probably be incredibly mistrustful of them.
However, despite the long list of macro-issues Game of Thrones season 8 has to address, the prospect of Tyrion and Dany imploding and how is just as compelling as the Battle for the Dawn 2.0 or Cersei’s probable comeuppance. The Queen and her hand might have ended season 7 on a peaceful note, but there’s no reason to think things will stay that way – quite the opposite, in fact. Here’s the mounting evidence that Tyrion is on his way to an irreparable divergence with Dany’s team, and the potential fallout their quarrel could cause in Game of Thrones season 8.
- This Page: The Issues With Tyrion & Dany’s Relationship
- Page 2: How Jon & Jaime Make Things More Complicated
- Page 3: Why Tyrion Will Likely Betray Dany In Game of Thrones Season 8
Tyrion & Dany’s Relationship Is Strained (& Clouded)
Game of Thrones season 6 saw Tyrion prove his worth to Dany in more ways than one, effectively running Meereen (mostly) and skillfully steering Dany to a shrewd, almost bloodless solution when the slave masters revolted against her rule. Season 7 was a far different story. His counsel proved valuable enough to induce her to trust it when it came to the invasion of Westeros, but, in what was a shock to many, Jaime anticipated Tyrion’s attack of Casterly Rock and used that knowledge to safely skirt whatever troops, gold and food he could carry back to King’s Landing, leaving Tyrion’s army split with no prize.
That confrontation plus Euron’s attack on the Greyjoy and Dornish fleets cost Dany two major allies in addition to spreading out her forces. Tyrion has a nasty habit of not only being the smartest person in the room, but also believing he’s the smartest person in the room. That makes him vulnerable to his own pride. He grossly underestimated his brother’s prowess and in doing so, oversold his expertise and assurances to Dany. He hasn’t delivered on his promises and has far less influence on her behavior than he did previously, if their quarrel over the line of succession in “Beyond the Wall” was any indication. Given her new romance with Jon Snow, how much credit and attention she’ll give to Tyrion’s counsel in the future remains in question.
Speaking of Jon Snow, the fact that Daenerys is even thinking about a romantic connection with a new ally she’s known less than a year would give any advisor pause. Even Jon Snow thought paying attention to his attraction to Daenerys in the midst of their current predicament was a silly move, and he said as much to Davos when the former smuggler teased him about it in “The Spoils of War.” Tyrion’s concerned look at the end of “The Dragon and the Wolf” as Jon disappears into his Queen’s bedchamber makes a lot of sense from a strategic and political standpoint, but there’s a lot more to it than that. You can’t discuss Tyrion’s relationship with his queen without addressing the fact that he has strong personal feelings toward her as well.
The Game of Thrones season 7 scripts revealed that, yes, Tyrion really is in love with Dany; that admiration and respect is just a public cover. And that’s risky. While the love Tyrion bears Dany is certainly vexed, and it seems unlikely he would be motivated to act based solely on said love, his unrequited feelings must be taken into account when taking inventory on his relationship with Dany. As Dinklage said, “it’s professional and personal,” which means that if Dany continues to push him aside, Tyrion’s wounds will run deep. And hurt people hurt people, just ask Shae. Tyrion might find himself edged to the fringes of Dany’s attention and in need of his own allies before long…
Page 2 of 3: How Jon & Jaime Make Things More Complicated
How Jaime’s Arrival Could Complicate Tyrion & Dany’s Relationship
If Jaime ends up in the North after his journey out of King’s Landing in Game of Thrones season 8, things are going to get very awkward very quickly if and when Bran reveals that Jaime was the one who pushed him out a window a few years back. He also attempted to take Dany’s life very, very recently on the Field of Fire, which is something she’s not likely to forget despite his subsequent break from Cersei (he also murdered her dad). Even if Jaime even does get as far as Winterfell, he’ll be lucky to make it off his horse before someone in the castle murders him for one of his many previous crimes.
If Tyrion’s beloved older brother is as poorly-received by Team Dany as it looks like he’s going to be, the Hand of the Queen is going to be caught in the middle between his very real devotion to Dany and his remaining love for his brother and the Lannister legacy. And as if Dany’s faith in Tyrion weren’t already in a rocky enough place, she has yet to find out that Cersei double-crossed everyone and has no plans to send helpful troops north to aid in the fight against the Night King. Jaime’s arrival and Cersei’s betrayal has the potential to remind Dany about the doubts she had about Tyrion’s remaining attachment to his family – doubts that aren’t unfounded.
During their argument about succession in “Beyond the Wall,” Dany openly accused Tyrion of remaining loyal to the Lannisters, and she wasn’t totally wrong. Watching his people get slaughtered on the Field of Fire – the very fate his brother tried to save the people of Kings Landing from when he stabbed the Mad King in the back – Tyrion was visibly upset and perhaps a little regretful. He might have been cursed by his immediate family, but Tyrion was always outspoken in his pride at being a Lannister, that much we can take to the Iron Bank. If his brother shows up at Winterfell, it’s hard to imagine Tyrion not rising to the former Kingsguard’s defense, and it’s even harder to imagine Dany not flying into a characteristic rage about it, despite how valuable an asset Jaime would be. Dany’s frustrations with Tyrion and her potential dislike of Jaime could drive the two brothers to unite fully for the first time in years.
Dany’s Relationship With Jon Snow Changes Everything
When it comes to Dany’s relationship with Jon Snow, the poor timing of their romance is the least of their problems. The fact that Dany’s Jon’s aunt is pretty low on the list, too, considering incest is a low-key Targaryen birthright and the real problem is that Jon’s parentage nullifies her claim to the Iron Throne. There is no way the Dragon Queen receives this information without feeling extremely threatened, and even if Jon spins her promise after promise of his disinterest in the job, like Catelyn Tully before her, Dany would be stupid not to see Jon as a potential threat to her future. Even if Jon convinces her he doesn’t want the crown, if word gets out about his parentage, she won’t be able to stop the Westerosi from rallying around a king who was raised on the continent and hasn’t used dragons to usurp the current regime.
The only thing Dany had going for her when it came to winning the hearts of the people without the use of dragons and/or armies was the legitimacy of her claim. The people of Westeros are fickle, as Olenna Tyrell pointed out to Dany when she described how much they loved Margaery and how much good that did the Tyrell queen. Without a valid claim to the Iron Throne – or with one as contested as hers will be if and when the truth about Jon comes out – Dany is literally no different than her conquering ancestor Aegon. While the first Targaryen ruler of Westeros founded the greatest dynasty their world had ever known, Dany’s pointed out several times before she’s not interested in a bloody conflict that would ultimately turn the people against her. The fact that she had a right to reclaim her family’s legacy worked in her favor when it came to optics, but with Jon’s parentage eliminating her rights in that arena, she doesn’t look much different than the men who came before her.
Tyrion knows this, and while it’s doubtful Jon’s background would dissuade him from Dany’s side, it’s up in the air how he would decide to handle it. While the Imp is no stranger to subterfuge, he would no doubt see how complicated Jon’s birthright makes their entire mission. He would also no doubt take it upon himself to make sure Dany didn’t act rashly if and when she learns of her lover’s heritage.
Theory: Why Tyrion Will Betray Daenerys
Given the vexed nature of Tyrion and Dany’s relationship going into Game of Thrones season 8, not to mention the challenges on the horizon for their partnership in Jaime’s arrival, Cersei’s double-cross and the looming knowledge of Jon’s parentage, it’s more than likely Tyrion will be so torn between his loyalty to Daenerys and his concern regarding her decision-making that he might choose to act behind her back if he felt it necessary. Part of what makes Tyrion such a compelling character as well as a natural survivor is his ability to live in shades of grey. He’s intelligent enough to know what needs to be done and to accomplish it, but he’s not above sacrificing some integrity to do it. He’s not a hero, something Dany even pointed out that she liked about him before their conversation in “Beyond the Wall” moved to darker territory.
Tyrion’s done heroic things, to be sure, but he’s never been so naïve as to affect the purity of heart exhibited by someone like Jon Snow. In that context, he’s actually pretty well-suited to someone like Sansa, and it’ll be interesting to see how the former husband and wife get along if they reunite. His concern for Dany’s occasionally rash behavior coupled with her waning trust in him could result in a situation in which the Queen insists upon doing something Tyrion knows will hurt their cause (like flying off north to save Jon Snow and losing a dragon in the process). It’s not hard to see how Tyrion could be motivated to act behind Dany’s back, especially if his protests and advice continue to fall on deaf ears. Like Varys, Tyrion fancies himself a fighter for the realm, and like Varys, Tyrion is not afraid to take out anyone who threatens the realm, royal or no.
What This Means For Game Of Thrones Season 8
If Tyrion and Dany are headed for a major conflict in Game of Thrones season 8, there are several different ways that could play out. If Jaime winds up at Winterfell and it becomes clear he’s not safe, Tyrion could return the favor his brother paid him back in season 5 and protect the Kingslayer at the expense of his relationship with Dany. If Dany’s relationship with Jon progresses to the point where she’s listening to the King in the North more than she’s listening to Tyrion, he might feel forced to push his own agenda if he truly believes she’s making catastrophic decisions. Though, considering Dany has yet to let a relationship egregiously affect her ability to rule (see: Daario), it seems unlikely that her relationship with Jon Snow on its own is a problem. The real potential for problems arises if and when the two lovers hit a major conflict that could affect their very important alliance (see: R+L=J).
If Tyrion’s the first person to find out about Jon’s parentage, it doesn’t seem entirely unlikely that he would keep it from his queen. There’s no way Jon being the true heir to the Iron Throne doesn’t throw a massive wrench both in their relationship and the Northern/Targaryen united front. While it seems a little odd that Tyrion would be privy to this information before Dany, it seems more than likely he would consider keeping it under wraps until the dust settled. It could even be that he induces Jon to lie to Dany about citing the latter’s inability to lie in front of Cersei and problems that presented at their summit during “The Dragon and the Wolf“. If and when Dany finds out, she’ll either thank them for that or she’ll feed them to her dragons. Time will tell. Either way, the divide between Tyrion and Dany is going to get worse before it gets better, and it has the potential to shape the entirety of Game of Thrones season 8.