SPOILER ALERT: This post contains lots and lots of Game of Thrones spoilers. If you’re not caught up, best go catch up — and then come back when you’re ready to chat theories.
Gather ‘round, friends. It’s everyone’s favorite time of day: Theorizing Time. By now, we’ve all discussed every detail in the Game of Thrones Season 7 finale, but no moment has gotten more theorizing time than that very strange look Tyrion had on his face when he realized his old pal Jon Snow and his new boss Daenerys Targaryen were boning.
Why, oh why, would that upset him so much? It can’t be because he knows the new lovers are actually related by blood — only Bran and Samwell know Jon’s true Targaryen lineage. Has Tyrion gone the way of Ser Jorah (and every other man on both sides of the Narrow Sea) and fallen in love with the Dragon Queen? Is he worried about the King in the North mixing politics and romance? Or, more interestingly, is his look actually one of panicked fear?
Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion, kinda sorta addressed the theories in a recently published interview with Entertainment Weekly. “A lot of the time with Tyrion, it’s professional and personal,” Dinklage said. “Obviously, he has feelings for Daenerys. He loves her — or thinks he does. She’s awe-inspiring.” Dinklage also acknowledged that Tyrion likely feels jealous and is “wondering how smart of a move [Jon and Dany getting romantically involved is], because passion and politics don’t mix well. He knows the two of them getting together could be very dangerous.” Basically, this all sounds true, but it might not be the whole truth.
There’s absolutely no way that look is only a sign that Tyrion’s pining away for Daenerys — he’s too smart and tactical for that. Sure, he finds her “awe-inspiring,” but who doesn’t? There’s also no way Tyrion’s only worried about the political ramifications of a romance between two rulers. He seemed perfectly fine with the idea of Jon and Dany getting together earlier in the season.
So what’s really going on here? It seems very likely that Tyrion is getting ready to, or already has, struck a deal with Cersei that’s going to lead him to betray Daenerys. During the big meeting in the pit during the season finale, Cersei left negotiations when Jon refused to deny his allegiance to Dany.
Tyrion went to try and reason with his sister. During that meeting, the siblings addressed some of their own family baggage, and Tyrion still — as he always has — harbored immense guilt for all the Lannister deaths (his mother, father, niece, and nephews) for which he feels at least partially responsible.
Finally, Tyrion finds out his sister is pregnant. And then we don’t see the rest of the conversation. The next thing we know, Cersei is back in the pit, fully prepared to form the alliance she was entirely opposed to before.
Earlier in the season, Dany and Tyrion discussed the matter of succession. Dany revealed that she isn’t able to have children, and Tyrion was very focused on establishing a line of succession (which Dany refuses to do until she’s won the Iron Throne).
But Dany might not be as infertile as she believes. It’s looking increasingly likely that Dany and Jon will have a baby next season. Of course, Tyrion doesn’t know that. What if, in a bid to get Cersei back to the bargaining table, lessen his own sense of familial guilt, and secure an heir for the Iron Throne, Tyrion promised Cersei that her child would have a right to the Iron Throne after Dany’s death? It makes tactical and logical sense — as long as Dany never bears a child, and never finds out he betrayed her trust.
Cersei will likely betray Tyrion and the “alliance” long before she finds out about Dany’s (very likely) pregnancy, but she’ll no doubt use her deal with Tyrion to finally get the revenge against her youngest brother she so desperately craves. She chooses not to give the order to have him killed during the season finale, but that doesn’t mean she won’t let circumstance (or, ya know, a dragon) take care of it for her. And if Daenerys ever finds out Tyrion made a deal behind her back that jeopardizes the throne, well … we all know what she does to traitors.