A year ago this week, Tyrion Lannister gave his now famous speech, Bran became Bran the Broken and King of Westeros, Jon Snow ventured north, and Game of thrones It’s over. In honor of the conclusion of the last piece of monoculture, The ring will spend the whole week looking back Thrones– focusing not only on its final season, but celebrating all of its eight seasons, remembering its multitude of memorable characters and wondering where some of them might be a year later.
Tyrion Lannister is never happier than when he serves as the king’s arm. Even while trying to guide Joffrey, a ruler who preferred torturing animals rather than leading his people, Tyrion managed to make great use of his power, saving the people of King’s Landing from certain death at the hands of Stannis Baratheon and ridding the upper echelon of the monarchy. spies and leeches. As Daenerys Targaryen’s chief advisor, he temporarily kept Slaver’s Bay on his heels while his queen was away, and brought possible allies like Varys and Jon Snow into the fold, giving Dany the support she had. need to begin his conquest of Westeros.
Although neither of the two aforementioned leaders he served lived until the end of Game of thrones, at the end of the series, Tyrion again found himself advising a monarch. Like his father before him, the lion cub assumed the role of the hand of a king unfit for the throne. Bran the Broken, as Tyrion dubbed him in his legally baffling Dragonpit sermon, knows more than all the leaders who came before him put together – he can access anything that has happened to everyone in all of history. of the world, and maybe somehow designed it all– but appointing Bran the protector of the kingdom was like making your high school history teacher the secretary of education; they will get you a 5 on this AP test, but there are some interpersonal / managerial tasks they are probably not equipped for.
Fortunately, Bran has Tyrion to help him. As the last Lannister told Daenerys in Mereen, he knows the strengths and weaknesses of the great houses of Westeros (or at least those who remain). Politics is his strong suit, and with a kingdom that has just had years of debilitating wars, its largest region now fully independent, and a lack of leadership in most, if not all of the remaining surrendered strongholds, Bran must look to his hand for help.
Hard to imagine a version of Westeros do not in open rebellion. The Stormlands are ruled by Robert’s last living bastard, a former blacksmith who had never ordered anything bigger than a hammer and a storefront. The Reach is commissioned by, in Bronn’s own words, an empty sword seller, who, in times we know him, rarely thinks about the good of others, and in his position as Master of Coin, would run the risk of skimming some of them. the top to fill his pockets. The Vale is still ruled by a clumsy kid, the Riverlands are ruled by Edmure – the less reliable Tully – and Dorne is ruled by an unnamed New Prince. Meanwhile, the North is now its own kingdom ruled by Sansa Stark, and certainly nobody– not even the stubborn and liberated ruler of the Iron Isles, Yara Greyjoy – is bothered by the new king giving his older sister an added level of independence. (That’s sarcasm.)
This isn’t the first time that the estate has only included six kingdoms. When Aegon and his sisters landed on the shores of Westeros, they burned and bloodied anyone who crossed their path, bending the continent to their will, with one exception. Dorne refused to bend the knee and, for years, rebelled against the Targaryen crown, even killing Rhaenys and his dragon Meraxes in the process. It wasn’t until after Dorne’s conquest, over 100 years before Robert’s rebellion, that the Southern Empire finally joined the fray.
Only now the kingdom is more shattered than ever. There is no strong central military force to control the dissolving kingdoms. The armies in each region have been depleted by multiple wars, but none more so than those loyal to Bran the Broken. What is stopping Bronn from deciding he’s done pledging his allegiance to King’s Landing and breaking up the Reach, the kingdom’s greatest food provider, other than his friendship with Tyrion? Robin Arryn has a closer connection with Sansa and the North, and the Tullies and the Riverlands, than he does with the Crown. What keeps these two regions in place beyond blood ties to Bran – a king with no line of succession, and therefore no historical impetus to maintain control?
Gendry is the ruler of the Stormlands, but seeing as his claim boils down to “the old king who lived here was my father, only we never met”, it’s hard not to think he might have problems earn the loyalty of those under his rule. Gendry is a straight arrow, and he’s unlikely to break the Stormlands. But that does not mean that he will not be confronted with an instability which calls into question his own power over the region.
Given that his king spends the only moments we see him in charge before following Drogon into the skies, it seems fair to assume that the responsibility of keeping the land intact rests solely on Tyrion’s shoulders. And that’s before considering the issues facing Casterly Rock.
Tyrion ostensibly reigns as Lord Paramount of the Westerlands, ultimately taking his family’s ancestral home, long kept from him by his father. But it’s hard to imagine that things went well there. From Lannisport and The Rock to Crakehall and The Crag, there are probably legions of longtime Lannister subjects wary of their new lord. Lannister’s name is synonymous with wealth and power in the region, but with the mines under Casterly Rock dried up, with Tywin, Cersei and Jaime Lannister – three of the most imposing rulers in modern Westerosi history – dead, and with all notable relatives or allied houses erased (RIP Kevan, we barely knew you), the Westerlands are a shell of what they once were.
The Lannisters may have ruled the Rock for centuries, dating back to the days of Lann the Intelligent, but before Tywin took over, the house was briefly seen as a joke. Tywin’s father, Tytos, was an embarrassment for Lannister’s name. His bannerets took advantage of him and laughed at him openly, angering Tywin. When two houses, the Reynes and the Tarbecks, renounced their allegiance to the Lannisters, Tywin marched to their halls without his father’s blessing and quickly ended their bloodlines. It was this brutal efficiency that was immortalized in the infamous aria, “The Rains of Castamere”.
And while there might not be many notable homes left in the Westerlands (or any of the Westeros, for that matter) to rise up against Tyrion, that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t face his. part of opposition. It was Tyrion who killed Tywin, the man who brought the Westerlands to heel. It was Tyrion who was charged and convicted of murdering King Joffrey, a man of Lannister blood. It was Tyrion who betrayed his sister, Queen Cersei Lannister, and helped a foreign usurper to wrest the crown from her. And it was Tyrion who, after seeing the destruction caused by his chosen ruler, anointed another, and with him, drew more power for himself.
Tyrion not only rules the Westerlands from afar, but unlike his father, he doesn’t have the military reputation Tywin held who kept the dogs at bay. Tyrion is respected by those who know him and laughed at by those who do not know him. The Last Lion would never break his crown kingdom, but without the fear that kept the Lannisters’ subjugated in the line, and with dwindling cash reserves, the region is unlikely to ever prosper as before.
Beyond the demise of his homeland and the general disintegration of the union, Tyrion is tasked with another impossible challenge: to help determine who rules after Bran. The previous Raven lived over a thousand years, but its longevity had more to do with the dam tree growing in its body. There is no indication that Bran plans to merge with a giant tree, which means he will die at a normal age (what is the life expectancy in Westeros, like 45?), And since abdicating his name and his title of Stark, he no longer has a parent or line of succession to take care of when he is gone.
Samwell Tarly mocked the platform when he suggested that the Six Kingdoms now have a go at democracy. A ruler is only as good as the way he leaves the world when he dies. Bran’s legacy, and by extension Tyrion’s, rests entirely on what happens after their reigns end. Much of the second half of Tyrion’s story has been built on his belief that a good person can lead people to peace and prosperity. Dany wasn’t that, and Bran doesn’t look like he will be either. Tyrion was left out of Archimester Ebrose’s history of wars following the death of King Robert. Securing peace despite a king, and securing the future prosperity of an entire kingdom, would be the thing to cement his legacy.