Acronyms, Acronyms, Acronyms: A G.O.T. R.O.I. & S.W.O.T. Analysis - Tyrion Lannister
The number of characters jostling for the Iron Throne fluctuates faster than the relevance of Dorne. For seven full seasons now, it hasn’t really changed hands; the Baratheon-but-really-Lannister line has held it from Winter is Coming to The Dragon and the Wolf. With a handful of Starks in Winterfell, the Night King leading a zombie army, and Dany commanding a Dothraki horde, an Unsullied army, and
three two dragons, we’re closer than ever to a real power shift. But who’s best positioned to wind up on top of the special spiky seat when all is said and done? I’ll turn to my whopping 10 years of corporate experience to conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis for each character and predict the ROI (return on investment) for the kingdom should they end up in the hotseat.
Let’s take a look at everyone’s favorite drinker and knower of things, Tyrion Lannister.
Prior to being imprisoned, Tyrion was outmaneuvering Cersei to an embarrassing extent. His “tell three stories, find out which one Cersei hears” ploy worked to perfection, and he even bested Varys and Littlefinger at times. If he can’t get answers the easy way, he knows how to get the information he needs.
Tyrion is probably the best-read character in Westeros (Sam bailed on the Citadel pretty quickly there). He’s traveled from the Wall to the Doom of Valyria, and made it back to Dragonstone in one piece. He knows the enemy in King’s Landing better than anyone but Jaime, and spent enough time as the Hand of the King to understand how politics in Westeros work. A lot of bad choices were made in Season 7, but we’re going to assume those were the result of lazy storytelling rather than a true dulling of Tyrion’s mental edge.
As Tyrion tells Jon Snow, “all dwarfs are bastards in their father’s eyes”. Sadly, the same goes for most of the common people, who treat dwarfs with scorn. I’m not sure they would welcome Tyrion as a ruler after so much time in the negative public spotlight.
Tyrion has a surprisingly soft heart, and he’s been duped at times in the past. I think his odd look at Dany’s and Jon’s bedroom door was more about contemplating the ramifications than romantic aspirations, but falling for Dany would only be surprising because of her high birth.
Any chance of using his Lannister claim to sit the Iron Throne goes out the window with deposing Cersei; despite the behavior of some Northern houses in recent history, kinslaying is still considered a bad thing and Tyrion would be leading a foreign army to depose his sister. But what if Tyrion is only half-Lannister? There’s evidence to suggest Tyrion’s father is actually the Mad King Aerys, which would make him the oldest surviving Targaryen. Any birthright would be difficult as a bastard, but if Jon and Dany both perish in the wars to come, he’d be the only one left.
Back to that scene at the end of last season. If Tyrion resents Jon for winning Dany’s affection, he could run into some real issues. Does he make a rash decision, pushing Dany to expel him from her Small Council? Could he become reckless and endanger Jon and/or himself?
Cersei wants nothing more than to kill her youngest brother, who she still considers the source of everything bad in her life despite a stunning lack of evidence. If Cersei is being taken off the throne but gets one last chance to take someone with her, it’s going to be Tyrion.
Return on Investment
Tyrion was a highly capable Hand of the King in Westeros. He oversaw the construction of defenses responsible for saving the city from Stannis Baratheon’s armies https://youtu.be/bxKzT7AzK1c?t=91, and found ways to stave off the unrest in the city streets. His tenure in Essos was more of a mixed bag; attempts at treating with the Masters were largely unsuccessful, and Meereen wasn’t exactly in a good place when Dany returned from her trip to Vaes Dothrak. If the days of King Tyrion came to pass, I think you’d see a smattering of missteps early on followed by a steady upward trajectory for the rest of his reign. ROI: +/- 3% in the first five years, steady 10-15% thereafter.
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