As an ardent fan of Game of Thrones, last night’s episode pretty much went as we all expected without too many surprises. [SPOILERS ahead if you didn’t catch last night’s season finale.] But the show did manage to slip in a few things this fan didn’t see coming.
Image credit: HBO
For one, I read a few reviews that suggested Tyrion might be in love with Dany, hence his look of pure despair when Jon knocks on Dany’s cabin door on the ship and she lets him in. Jon’s not there to discuss war strategy, but to spend the night. Some see that as Tyrion’s heart simply breaking at the thought of Jon and Dany finally getting together. But I see something way different.
That wasn’t love I saw last night in Tyrion’s eyes. It was deep, gut-wrenching sadness. He’d just left King’s Landing after the big powwow with his sister Cersei. The writers want you to believe that Tyrion pulled off a miracle and somehow convinced the self-absorbed Cersei into doing what was right—sending troops North to help in the fight against the Army of the Dead.
Image Credit: HBO
While the scene between the two cut away just when Tyrion gets down to the nitty gritty of the negotiations, fans know Cersei never does the right thing. Not ever. More like, she guilted Tyrion into betraying Dany—enlisting Tyrion to play along by giving the impression that she’s helping out in the Great War. Tyrion is now a party to this illusion. He knows the truth. Cersei isn’t sending a single troop North. When Tyrion gets on that boat to go back to Dragonstone, he knows he’s betrayed Dany by letting Dany and Jon believe Lannister help is right behind them. But the Lannister army is staying put in King’s Landing, minus Jaime, of course. And did Tyrion tip Cersei off about Dany having only two dragons left? Cersei seemed to suspect this during her subsequent, and very threatening talk with Jaime later on. Which prompts this longtime fan to scream at her TV. “Oh, Tyrion, why’d you do it? Why’d you betray Dany for Cersei. Cersei isn’t worth that kind of loyalty. Didn’t Jaime discover that the hard way?”
All fans are aware of Dany’s prophecy, that she will be betrayed three times—once for blood, once for gold, and once for love. Fans already know the medicine woman Miri Maz Durr betrayed her when the priestess tried to bring Drogo back and it failed miserably. That was supposedly the blood betrayal. Then there’s Jorah Mormont, who betrayed her early in Season One for gold. Back then, Jorah was working for King Robert. His job was to make sure Daenerys died. The third betrayal hasn’t happened yet. For that major plot point the writers want you to wait for Season Eight. But since watching last night’s episode, that betrayal for love seems to be all on Tyrion now. For some reason he feels guilty that Cersei’s children have all died. She’s somehow managed to convince him it’s all his fault. Deep down Tyrion loves his family and hated the way Dany ended up scorching the Lannister army like she did. It seems to be a sticking point with him that he’s unable to let go. So, that brings us full circle, back to the scene where he’s discussing the fact that Dany can’t have children. Maybe it’s a foreshadow. Tyrion is suddenly having major second thoughts—about loyalty, about the side he’s chosen, and the future of the Iron Throne.
I don’t want to believe it, but there’s no other reason I can think of for Tyrion to let Dany and Jon believe he’s fixed their Cersei problem unless he’s part of the ruse. At best, Season Eight is a year away from wrapping all this up, maybe even longer. That’s a very long time to wait and stew about why Tyrion let Dany believe help is coming when it isn’t. Game of Thrones has its secrets and this just might be one of them. Et tu, Brute? Et tu?