How Does a Trial By Combat Work on Game of Thrones?
At the end of Game of Thrones, Season 4, Episode 6 ("The Laws of Gods and Men"), we see Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) demand a trial by combat. We’ve seen a trial by combat before on the show, but it was way back in Season 1, so how do they work again?
In a trial by combat, all courtroom proceedings that happened before the battle are negated. Since Tyrion knew he would be found guilty after all the witnesses had been called, he demanded a trial by combat since he knew it would be his only chance of being found innocent. Everyone has the right to request a trial by combat, and the way that it works is as follows: The prosecution selects a champion to fight on their behalf, while the defendant in most cases will fight himself. However, if the defendant chooses not to fight then he also has the right to select a champion to fight for him, but the champion must be willing — no one can be forced to be a champion.
In Tyrion’s trial at the Eyrie during Season 1, Bronn volunteers to be Tyrion’s champion against a Knight of the Vale selected by Lysa Arryn. After Bronn kills the knight, Lysa has no choice but to release Tyrion since Bronn’s victory proved him innocent in the eyes of Gods and men. While it is certainly a flawed system, no one ever said Westeros was a just place...
Who do you think will be Tyrion's champion? Share your theories in the comments below!