The relationship between Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones has been kept pretty vague. It’s implied that he has feelings for her, but never confirmed outright. So, is Tyrion in love with the Mother of Dragons, or does he simply admire her cause? In an interview, Peter Dinklage confirmed that—at least in his mind and performance—Tyrion may have fallen hard.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Dinklage chatted about what he felt Tyrion’s reaction was after he found out Jon Snow and Dany had started bumping familial uglies. He jokingly opened with “Keep it down over there, I’m trying to get some sleep!” but then revealed that he sees Tyrion as having romantic feelings for Daenerys, being jealous of Jon Snow, and wanting what’s best for them and Westeros:
A lot of the time with Tyrion, it’s professional and personal. Obviously, he has feelings for Daenerys. He loves her, or thinks he does. She’s awe-inspiring. He’s questioning that because he doesn’t have a good track record for falling in love. There’s jealousy wrapped up in there. And he loves Jon Snow, too. They’re the two people he has the most in common with, in a way. They’re both outsiders in their own families who have refused to follow the path their family has taken, and hopefully for the better. He’s wondering how smart of a move [Jon and Dany’s romance is], because passion and politics don’t mix well. He knows the two of them getting together could be very dangerous.
This tracks with what we’ve seen on the series so far. Tyrion has never confessed his feelings for Dany, but it’s been strongly implied that he’s in love with her. This can be loosely traced to George R.R. Martin, who wrote in a 1993 letter to his publisher that he planned for Tyrion and Jon to fall in love with the same woman—though it was set to be Arya Stark, so it’s not exactly on par. Also, gross.
Really, most of the romance storyline is thanks to Dinklage’s performance, since it’s not actually textual in a good portion of the series. For example, in the script for the season seven finale “The Dragon and the Wolf,” that now-famous Tyrion moment in question only says that he saw Jon Snow enter Daenerys’ bedchamber. There’s nothing there about how he felt about it:
At the far end of the corridor, Tyrion watches from the stairway, and sees Dany’s door closing behind Jon Snow.
We’ll have to wait to find out for season eight to find out whether Tyrion confesses the love that Dinklage has put into his portrayal of the character. Game of Thrones is set to return sometime in 2019.