In six short weeks, Game of Thrones will come to an end. By then, our beloved Tyrion Lannister will be long gone, killed in the series’ final hours.
No, my prediction doesn’t come from a stolen script or a source deep inside HBO. All I’ve really got to back up my Tyrion theory is a hunch. A well-supported, highly-researched, and emotionally devastating hunch.
Throughout Thrones‘ past 7 seasons, Tyrion Lannister has mesmerized audiences with his bravery, integrity, darkness, and wit. He’s traveled to The Wall, defended King’s Landing in the Battle of the Black Water, served as Hand to both the late King Joffrey and rising Queen Daenerys, wrongly stood trial for the murder of his nephew, escaped trial for the murders of his girlfriend and father, and so much more.
Tyrion is beloved by, or at least strongly linked to, practically every character left in Westeros — and that’s exactly why he won’t survive the series finale.
Tyrion’s character arc is among the most impressive in Thrones‘ eight-year run. Introduced as a cynical, drunken womanizer with strong ties to his sleazy family, Tyrion began the show one-dimensional and on the wrong side of history. But as the realities of his marginalization came into focus, shining a light on his tortured existence, he became deeply cherished by fans.
Tyrion embodies the slippery morality GoT is known for.
The complexity of Tyrion and his role in the Thrones universe is hard to overstate. Yes, he’s one of the good guys — but parts of him are braver than others and his definition of “what’s right” seems to shift with startling speed. It’s hard to shake the memory of Tyrion strangling Shae and then harpooning Tywin in Season 4. (Once again, that man was the worst, but he was also on the toilet.)
When Tyrion met Dany at her castle in Meereen and swore his loyalty to her in Season 5, it felt as if he had finally gotten on the right side of things. Of course, then he had that questionable negotiation with those slave traders. And was complicit in the brutal execution of the survivors of the Battle of the Goldroad. Not to mention, that whole thing where his own brother almost died and Tyrion did nothing.
In many ways, Tyrion embodies the slippery morality Thrones is known for. His death and the complicated reactions that will come with it are thematic gold, supported by a complex character arc deserving of a devastating finale.
You can already picture the wave of emotions that will move across Lena Headey’s face when Cersei learns of her brother’s death. (Unless of course, she’s the one who killed him. It’s too early to consider that possibility off the table.)
Moreover, if there’s any actor that can get a universal sob from the Thrones audience, it’s Peter Dinklage. This show loves to pack a punch, and no Snow supporter or Dany stanner will be safe from the emotional ripples of losing Tyrion.
As much as we might hope and pray for Tyrion to make it to the end, it’s just not happening. Sure, there’s the theory that he’s half Targaryen and destined to hold the Iron Throne. But considering Peter Dinklage all but assured Vulture Tyrion would die in Season 8, fans shouldn’t be holding out too much hope on that front.
In Thrones’ final hours, the stakes couldn’t be higher, nor the looming losses more terrifying. So in preparing yourself for Season 8, remember: the question isn’t “Will Tyrion die?” It’s when, and how, and with what final quip.
Game of Thrones: Season 8 premieres Sunday April 14 on HBO.