Hello dear reader and thank you for coming back to check out the third article of the series dedicated to analysing the Personality Types of the Game of Thrones Characters from the point of view of their base personality type, according to PCM.
This time we look at Tyrion Lannister, the third and youngest child of Lord Tywin Lannister and the late Lady Joanna Lannister. His older siblings are Cersei Lannister Ser Jaime Lannister. If you’ve missed the first two article in the series, dedicated to Jon Snow and Sansa Stark, you can check them out HERE and HERE.
To shortly recap the PCM theory we need for this article, the base is the one that defines a person’s perceptual frame of reference. It defines the “currency” they use in their communication, the most preferred communication channels, their character strengths and management style.
One can see what base personality someone has by simply noticing what words and expression that person uses most of the time. This is why, in PCM, we say “It’s not WHAT you say, but THE WAY you say it”.
Tyrion – Thinker base
Interviewer: “Do you have a favorite character?”
George RR Martin: “I’ve got to admit I kind of like Tyrion Lannister. He’s the villain of course, but hey, there’s nothing like a good villain.” – Amazon.com Interview with GRRM, 1999
Called “The Imp,” because of his small stature, he is the youngest son of Tywin Lannister, the richest lord in the Seven Kingdoms and younger brother to Queen Cersei and Ser Jaime Lannister. What he lacks in height, he makes up in wit[i].
Tyrion has been a pleasure to watch during the GOT series. Incredibly smart and strategic, always with a touch of humour (demonstrating strong energy on his rebel floor), keeping me curious to see what will his next move be. But I must say he’s not an easy character to analyse from the perspective of the personality types of the Game of Thrones characters.
“He was a cynical, sardonic underdog that we rooted for. He slaps Joffrey. He defends Sansa from being beaten by Joffrey’s Kingsguard goons. He’s smart, pragmatic. Capable even. He’s one of the good guys”[ii], but he also has his share of deep flaws, that we get to learn during the series.
“Tyrion generally receives little respect and is often mocked. His deformity is the cause of many problems and persecution, although mitigated to some extent by his high social standing and his family’s wealth and power. […]. His deformity and the fact that his mother Joanna died at his birth are two of the reasons that his father Tywin and sister Cersei despise him.[…] Tyrion’s older brother Jaime was the only one who ever treated Tyrion with love and affection and for this, Tyrion believed he would forgive his brother for anything.
Tyrion is intelligent, well educated, and a ferocious reader. He is sharp of wit and tongue. Even though he is no warrior, he has been trained at arms and shows great bravery in battle.[iii]“
Given his own situation, he seems to have sympathy for the ones that, just like him, don’t have it easy: bastards like Jon Snow, broken ones like Bran, etc. and helps them when he can.
He is a very complex character, with many strengths, as well as flaws, and I could see many characteristics of various PCM personality types mirrored in him through the series. However, my conclusion is that Tyrion best fits the Thinker personality type.
Thinkers experience the world through the perception of thoughts. They value facts and view the world by identifying and categorising people and things; data and information are important for them. They are logical, responsible and organised, prefer a democratic communication style and they use logic as their preferred currency in conversations.
In the cinema world, thinkers are seen in characters like Hermione from Harry Potter, Monica from Friends, Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) in Castaway, Spock and Data in Star Treck.
Several behaviours of his make me think he’s a thinker:
He is logical and analytical:
- Tyrion learnt very early in life that if he is to become useful and respected, his only real chance is through his brilliant mind and his strategic thinking. This is why, when he was not dinking or whoring, he took care to sharpen his mind. Even this conclusion of his, shown to us very early in the series, is the result of a logical analysis, done very early in life, of his best chances of surviving, or even thriving, in a world that didn’t seem happy to receive him.
- “Jon: Why do you read so much?
Tyrion: Look at me and tell me what you see.
Jon: Is this a trick?
Tyrion: What you see is a dwarf. If I would have been born a peasant they might have left me in the woods to die. Alas, I was born a Lannister of Casterly Rock. Things are expected of me. […] I must do my part for the honour of my house, wouldn’t you agree? But how? Well, my brother has a sword, King Robert has his war hammer and I have my mind. And a mind needs books like a sword needs a wetstone. That’s why I read so much, Jon Snow!”
- Tyrion: “Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.”
- Derived from the use of his very logical and analytical mind, we can see that he is a good character judge, excellent tactician and that he really knows how to “play the game” of politics, intrigues, backstabbing and well… all the other “peaceful” practices one cannot stop but seeing through the series. He is not afraid of killing and manipulating, if that is what needs to be done to defend himself or serve his interest or the ones of the people he chooses to serve or to ally with.
- “Tyrion: I don’t like threaths.
Varys: Well, who threatened you?
Tyrion: I’m not Ned Stark, I understand how this game is played.
Varys: Ned Stark was a man of honour.
Tyrion: And I am not. Threaten me again and I will have you thrown into the sea.”
- “I am taking their side! You need to take your enemy’s side, if you’re going to see things the way they do! And you need to see things the way they do if you’re going to anticipate their actions, respond effectively and beat them!”
- “When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar. You are only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”
Takes facts and ideas and synthetises them:
- Tyrion to Jon Snow: “Things are expected of me. […] I must do my part for the honour of my house, wouldn’t you agree? But how? Well, my brother has a sword and I have my mind. And a mind needs books like a sword needs a wetstone. That’s why I read so much, Jon Snow!”
- Tyrion to Jon Snow: “Let me give you some advice, bastard. Never forget what you are. The rest of the word will not. Wear it like an armour, and it can never be used to hurt you.
- Jon: What do you know about being a bastard?
Tyrion: All dwarves are bastards in their father’s eyes”
- “In my experience, eloquent men are right every bit as often as imbeciles.”
- “What unites people? Armies? Gold? Flags? Stories. There’s nothing more powerful than a good story. Nothing can stop it. No enemy can defeat it.”
- “That’s what I do. I drink, and I know things.”
Strengths: responsible and organised
Unfortunately, these are not traits that could have been easily and repeatedly observed and pictured in the series, given its subject and timeframe…
- One thing that does portrait the fact that he is organised (or better said, that his thoughts and ideas are organised and follow a clear strategy) is the fact that he always had a plan, always knew why he was doing something, what was its purpose and where he’d hope that would lead him (unless, of course, he was forced to do something or he was dead drunk…).
- Tyrion is shown as responsible person also through his reign as Hand of the King, which was probably one of the most successful in recent Westeros history, despite its cruelly unceremonious end. This period boasted a significant balancing-out on the political scene (i.e. keeping Cersei in her place), more efficient spending of money and strategies to defend the capital that were slightly more efficient than shouting “the king can do as he likes” at anyone who’ll listen.
While I believe he is a very strong thinker, I cannot stop from noticing the Promoter strengths in him: adaptive, persuasive and charming (in his own way 🙂 ) and his ability to be firm and direct, a main trait of promoters. While he also manipulates (common to promoters in distress), he does that as part of a well thought plan, thinking several steps ahead of his opponents, as he moves the “chess pieces” on the table of his long-term strategy.
Tell me your thoughts and opinions about Tyrion. Do you agree with my interpretation? Any other ideas you would like to add? Comment below.
This is Tyrion Lannister…. Check in soon for the next post in the series post on the personality types of the Game of Thrones main characters.
Until then… remember: “It’s not WHAT you say, but THE WAY you say it!”
If you want to discover how PCM, the tool that even NASA used for 20 years, can help you and/or your team, get in touch! I’d be happy to discuss the best options for you to fully benefit from what this amazing tool can do for your life: from greatly improving communication and making sure your message is really heard, to knowing how best to motivate others or to gaining awareness and recognising when you or your co-workers enter their stress sequence and thus, be able to reverse that.
One must be aware that not everything can be explained through PCM. As much as I love this training and I see its utility in everyday life, we humans are way too complex beings to be deciphered through a training that is taught in only three days. The way we were educated, the culture and the society we grew in, the events in our life (happy or traumatising) all leave marks on the way we think, react, talk, behave, on the stories we build about ourselves and the world around us. Here’s to us!
These thoughts and this analysis are my own and do not represent the view of Kahler Communications I wrote it in order to offer my readers and educational and fun analysis of the personality types of the Game of Thrones characters, analysis that might help them better understand PCM and its concepts, as it is based on widely known characters. I hope you will take it as such and enjoy it.
Also, please note that, as these are fictional characters, they most probably won’t act/think/feel/develop just as a “normal” person, in the real life, would. As such, sometimes, applying PCM to them might feel a little “forced”. .
None of the images of the Game of Thrones characters belong to me. They are property of the publishers/producers/HBO or the mentioned websites
I am open to feedback and suggestions regarding my interpretations of the PCM Personality Types of the Game of Thrones characters, so please feel free to leave a comment if you have a different opinion 🙂