With Season 3 of Game of Thrones coming to a close, it’s now time to turn our attention to what may lie ahead in Season 4. Since GoT is based on the book series A Song of Ice and Fire, we can make some good guesses about how the story will play out next season, at least in broad strokes. Here are our predictions about what's coming up for everyone’s favorite Lannister, Tyrion, based on the latter half of A Storm of Swords.
Warning: This article contains MAJOR spoilers from the A Song of Ice and Fire book series. Click away now if you don't want to know!
Disclaimer: Of course, the show may cut plot elements or even completely alter Tyrion's story. These are spoilers based on the books only.
Meet The Red Viper. As part of the deal to send Myrcella (Joffrey’s sister) to Dorne to be a ward of the Martell family, which happened in Season 2, the Martells were to send one of their own to King’s Landing to be a member on the King’s small council. That member turns out to be Oberyn Martell, AKA “The Red Viper,” who has already been confirmed as a character for next season, and who is awesome. When he shows up, he tells Tyrion that he really came for justice for his sister, Elia, the late wife of Rhaegar Targaryen. During Robert’s Rebellion, when King’s Landing was sacked by the Lannister army, Elia was raped and murdered by The Hound’s giant brother, The Mountain, under orders from Tywin Lannister (her infant son was also killed). The Viper wants their blood. Oh, and did we mention he’s awesome?
The Purple Wedding. What’s this? Another colored wedding after that horrible red one? Yep, and this one also features death, but only one person dies this time. And that person is... Wait for it... Joffrey! High five! Yes, Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell finally have their royal wedding, and Joff is predictably a jerk throughout the ceremony. Most of his aggression is aimed directly at his uncle, Tyrion, culminating in a mock jousting match between two dwarves riding a pig and a dog, respectively. Joffrey demands that Tyrion don armor himself and joust against one of the dwarves, but Tyrion says he’ll only face Joffrey because that’s the only foe he’s sure he can defeat. Joffrey doesn’t take that so well, so he forces Tyrion to be his cup bearer, and while Joff is guzzling his wine he begins to choke, turning his face purple. He dies, and it’s awesome.
While we wouldn't be surprised to see the show streamline some of this to make the wedding shorter, we expect the basic outline — Tyrion and Joffrey are hostile towards each other, Joffrey dies, Tyrion looks pretty guilty — to remain the same, since it leads directly to...
Tyrion Is Arrested. As soon as Joffrey draws his last breath, Cersei declares that he was poisoned (he was) and accuses Tyrion of poisoning him (he didn’t). Sansa flees the wedding during the commotion, and Tyrion is arrested for the murder of King Joffrey.
Tyrion Loses All His Friends. Tyrion mulls having a trial by combat, and is soured by the fact that Cersei has named the The Mountain as her champion in case he does. He asks Bronn to represent him anyway, but Bronn has been bought off by Cersei and doesn’t really want to fight the Mountain anyway. One friend down. Then at Tyrion’s trial, basically everyone who was at the wedding says that Tyrion is guilty. There are character witnesses who tell of past events where Tyrion has threatened Joffrey, and even Varys gives detailed accounts of Tyrion’s treachery. Two friends down. Finally, most damning of all, Shae, apparently also bought off by Cersei, testifies against Tyrion, and she gives a very unflattering account of their relationship. Ouch. Three friends down.
The Mountain vs. The Red Viper. Just when all seems lost at Tyrion’s trial, The Red Viper meets privately with Tyrion and tells him he will be his champion in a trial by combat, mainly because he wants to kill The Mountain. The two have their battle, which is one of the most thrilling scenes in the entire book series, and The Red Viper basically kicks The Mountain’s ass. However, Viper desperately wants Mountain to admit to his crimes before he dies. While he's standing over the fallen Mountain trying to get this confession, Mountain is able to grab Viper off guard and disarm him. He admits to his crimes, right before smashing Viper’s head in. It won’t be a Red Wedding-level reaction, but people are gonna be pissed. Looks like death for Tyrion. Sad face.
Tyrion Escapes! While in his cell awaiting his execution, Tyrion is rescued by his brother Jaime, with the help of Varys. When asked why he rescued him, Jaime says he owed him because of what happened with Tyrion’s first wife, Tysha. In case you forgot, Tysha was a whore whom Jaime had hired to pose as a damsel in distress so Tyrion could lose his virginity... Except she wasn’t. Jaime tells Tyrion that she was exactly as she seemed, she was not a whore, and she really did, possibly, love Tyrion. It was Tywin who forced Jaime to tell Tyrion the lie, just as it was Tywin who had Tysha raped by 20 of his men and forced Tyrion to watch. Tyrion gets really mad at Jaime, and says he’ll kill him if they ever meet again. He also falsely admits to killing Joffrey, just to stick it to Jaime.
Tyrion Gets His Hands Bloody. While Varys is leading Tyrion out of the castle through a series of tunnels, Tyrion realizes he’s right under his father’s chambers. He’s really mad about the whole Tysha thing, so he tells Varys he wants to say goodbye to his father before he leaves. He sneaks into the chamber where he finds a naked Shae in Tywin’s bed. Despite her protests, he strangles her. He then grabs a crossbow and finds his father on the toilet. He asks his father why he did what he did with Tysha, and Tywin continually refers to her as a whore. Tyrion warns him not to use the word again and asks him one more time where Tysha went after their marriage ended. Tywin replies, “Wherever whores go,” and Tyrion kills him with the crossbow. On the toilet. It’s going to be epic. He then joins Varys and is whisked away across the Narrow Sea.
That’s what happens in the book, but as we know, the show sometimes makes changes. One thing that will certainly have to be tweaked is Jaime's role in the trial. In the books, he didn't show up until after the Purple Wedding, which gave him a good excuse to be confused about what happened and not come to his brother's defense (they do seem to like each other, after all). Maybe the show will have Jaime miss the wedding for some reason.
We also certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see some major changes with the way Shae’s character is handled. She seems to be much more sincere in the show than in the books, and we would be pretty shocked if she turns on Tyrion and he murders her in the show. One direction the show could go — and this is purely speculation on our part — is Tywin could find out about Shae and have her killed, since he was very vocal in the past about Tyrion not bringing her to King’s Landing. This would save Shae from having to turn on Tyrion, which would seem like a betrayal of her character, and it would also provide extra incentive for Tyrion to murder his father. We’ll just have to wait until next season to see what happens!