When it comes to wit or sass, few can compare to Tyrion Lannister.
Portrayed by the talented Peter Dinklage, Tyrion Lannister is a character in the hit HBO series Game of Thrones. Based on A Song of Ice and Fire, a series of epic fantasy novels written by George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones has gone to become one of the highest rated television shows of all time. And of all the characters, Tyrion Lannister is undoubtedly among the most beloved in the show.
Shrewd, funny, and armed with a silver tongue, the self-proclaimed ‘God of T*ts and Wine’ is a pleasure to see on the screen. His antics are both hilarious and relatable, and his words are full of brilliance and sharp wit. Most likely the only sane Lannister in the show, Tyrion’s popularity also stems from the fact that Tyrion is notoriously resilient despite being an underdog. In a show where death is cheaper than fast food, Tyrion somehow manages to always come out on top – despite the odds always being stacked against him.
Here are some of Tyrion Lannister’s smartest and wittiest quotes that you can learn from to always stay on top of life.
25 Tyrion Lannister Quotes on Getting Ahead in Life
1. “Every time we deal with an enemy, we create two more.”
Although it is always good to avoid making enemies in the first place, it is impossible to get everyone to like us. Try not to resort to aggressive tactics or outright violence when you deal with people dislike or antagonize you. As justified as your actions may be, it rarely appears so to the outside world.
Not only will people find your actions questionable, you might create sympathizers for the ones you dislike. And the last thing you need is more people who dislike you.
2. “Generations of capering fools in motley have won me the right to dress badly and say any damn thing that comes into my head.”
Look around yourself and you will realize that the world is full of weirdos. And that is not a bad thing!
There is nothing wrong with being experimental with your looks, clothes or even your attitude if you want to. Dress the way you want or talk the way you like. The world does not give a damn, so why should you?
3. “You love your children. It’s your one redeeming quality. That, and your cheekbones.”
It’s just like that heartwarming organ donor ad – even the worst of people have some redeeming qualities about them. No human being, no matter what they’ve done, is ever completely evil.
4. “It is easy to confuse ‘what is’ with ‘what ought to be’, especially when what is has worked out in your favor.”
Often, we tolerate things even when we know they are harming us – be it toxic relationships or bad habits. Instead, we refuse to change them because we have grown comfortable with their familiarity. They have become so ingrained into our life that we cannot imagine our life without them. And that can have terrible consequences in the future.
Learn to identify the negatives in your life and cut them out. Change may be scary but usually it is just what we need. Contrary to the popular belief, the Devil you know is sometimes much worse than the Devil you don’t.
5. “A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone.”
Your mind is like any other tool. For it to work properly, you must exercise it and maintain it regularly. The simplest way to do this is by reading. It doesn’t matter what you read. Because there is no such thing as useless knowledge. Pick up a book or go to the internet and learn something new regularly.
6. “Turns out, far too much has been written about great men and not nearly enough about morons. Doesn’t seem right.”
History remembers the victors and the successful. But it rarely talks about those who have done some incredibly stupid things. And that is a real shame.
There is a lot we can learn from past mistakes – ours or other people’s. So, remember the mistakes you have made and resolve to never make them again. As long as you do not overthink over your mistakes, it is a healthy form of self-reflection that will ensure you always stay on top of your life.
7. “Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Wear it like armor, and it will never be used to hurt you.”
Trying to overcompensate for your flaws never works. People in general have a good sense for that kind of stuff. And they will pick relentlessly at your flaws if they can see that you are self-conscious about them. Instead of trying to hide them, embrace your flaws. They make you who you are. And once you are comfortable enough with them, people will never be able to manipulate your emotions using your flaws against you.
8. “Let them see that their words can cut you, and you’ll never be free of the mockery. If they want to give you a name, take it, make it your own. Then they can’t hurt you with it anymore.”
Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words will never hurt you – unless you let them!
The reason words of others can hurt you is because somewhere deep-inside you believe their words. Imagine for instance if someone told you that you were a unicorn. Would you believe them? Of course not! But if someone were to prey on your insecurities instead, you would ruminate over it and tear yourself apart from the inside.
Don’t allow their meaningless words to stick to you. And the way to do that is to accept yourself, flaws and all. Because once you’ve accepted yourself for who you are, nobody can use it against you.
9. “Crowns do queer things to the heads beneath them.”
Power is not by itself corrupt. But it does have the tendency to bring out the worst in people. History has examples a plenty of that.
Thus, it is absolutely necessary to check ourselves if we ever find ourselves in a position of power. You may believe that this it doesn’t concern you because you would never find yourself in a position like that. But you’d only be fooling yourself.
Parents, for example, often hold absolute power over their children during their early years. Pet owners too command the power of life or death over their pets. Respect those you hold power over and never let your position go to your head – no matter how justified you think your acts are.
Remember that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
10. Bran: “I’m not a cripple.” Tyrion: “Then I’m not a dwarf. My father will be rejoiced to hear it.”
Denying who you truly are is pointless. Just because you wish it away, does not make it happen. Learn to accept yourself, even your flaws. Because acceptance is always the very first step to change or recovery.
11. Why is it that when one man builds a wall, the next man immediately needs to know what’s on the other side?
Human beings are by nature curious beings. And there is nothing wrong with it. In fact, brilliant people like Albert Einstein encourage curiosity because it fuels innovation. But you should also take care that your curiosity does not lead you to danger. For instance, it is probably not a good idea to be too curious about why a place is off-limits or what touching something that expressly says ‘Do not touch!’ will do.
12. “I believe that the only difference between us and the wildlings is that when that Wall went up, our ancestors happened to live on the right side of it.”
Being afraid of those who seem different from us is understandable. It is human nature to be fearful of the unknown. Evil men have used this human flaw time and again to bring out the worst in normal people since time immemorial. And that isn’t a good thing.
Try to keep an open mind about those that seem different from you. Because often the people who seem alien from you at first glance aren’t really that different at all. In the grand scheme of things, we are all human beings; and most of us are just trying to get by on this Earth as peacefully as we can.
13. “I try to know as many people as I can. You never know which one you’ll need.”
It sounds like something a villain would say but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good advice. Having a large network of acquaintances is never a bad thing. Successful people in any field almost always have an impressive list of connections for that very reason.
Start building your own connection if you haven’t already. Human beings are social animals and we can’t help but need other people to achieve our goals!
14. “The powerful have always preyed on the powerless, that’s how they became powerful in the first place.”
It is almost impossible to get to the top without getting our hands dirty. So, it is always a good idea to be aware of the people around you. Make sure you do not let them take advantage of you or follow in their footsteps. Neither of those is healthy for your well-being in the long term.
15. “You might find it difficult to rule over millions who want you dead.”
This is the main reason why you should never prey on others to gain power or success. When we get to the top on the expense of others, we create a lot of enemies who would like nothing more than to see us fall. Besides, no matter how far we get, we will always require help from others. So, success or power becomes pointless if you can’t find people willing to co-operate with you anymore.
16. “Joffrey Baratheon: YOU’RE TALKING TO A KING! [Tyrion slaps Joffrey in the face] Tyrion Lannister: And now I’ve struck a king. Did my hand fall from my wrist?”
Contrary to what many believe, a position of power does not grant us immunity. Tyrants understand this – which is why they do their best to keep their subjects ignorant and fearful of them.
Although very few of us are likely to be tyrants here, it is best to remember that power in any form does not make us better than those under us. In fact, it just paints a bigger target on our heads.
17. “It is not what we do, so much as why we do it.”
Always be aware of what you are working for. Although hard work is a good thing, it is easy to make the mistake of chasing after things that aren’t worth our time.
18. “We all need to be mocked from time to time, lest we take ourselves too seriously.”
It’s never a good idea to take yourself too seriously. Ridiculing yourself from time to time is a good habit. Not only is it a good indicator of intelligence and friendliness, studies have found that self-deprecating humor is also linked to greater psychological well-being.
19. “If you’re going to be a cripple, it’s better to be a rich cripple.”
Money is important. Idealists and romanticists may have you believe otherwise but realistically it is always a good thing to be in a financially stable position. Although letting our lives be ruled by the pursuit of wealth is a terrible idea, having a pragmatic approach to money is absolutely essential. After all, money may not be able to buy you happiness or love but it sure can buy you everything else.
20. “In my experience eloquent men are right every bit as often as imbeciles.”
Don’t ever fall for superficial charm. Just because someone has a way with words does not necessarily mean that they are intelligent or have the best intentions concerning you. In fact, an incredibly charming and eloquent stranger is more likely to be a psychopath than a genuinely interesting individual.
21. “It’s hard to put a leash on a dog once you’ve put a crown on its head.”
Always pay attention to who you are putting in positions of power. It doesn’t matter whether it is an elected official or just someone you’ve voted as in-charge of a neighborhood committee. They may seem like the most wonderful people at a glance, but give them power and they could be your worst nightmare.
22. “I remember reading an old sailor’s proverb, ‘Piss on wildfire and your **** burns off.’”
Taking calculated risks and making the occasional mistake is perfectly natural. Being an idiot isn’t. It might seem like the simplest rule to follow but a lot of people still can’t seem to do it. Do not be like them.
23. “Only a fool would arm a common footpad with his own blade.”
Do not trust strangers with things that concern you – especially if they can be used against you. There are plenty of cautionary tales about people providing their personal data to strangers only to be duped into schemes by frauds. Do not be one of these people. Remain vigilant and responsible in your day to day life.
24. “When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar. You’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”
Trying to forcefully suppress what others say about you never works. Instead it only proves that what they say has a ring of truth about it. It is why dictators almost always shut down free press when they take over.
Don’t try to shut people down. Instead, disprove them with your own actions. Not only do you discredit your critics, you also gain a lot of respect for your classiness.
25. “Understand the way this game is played.”
Blind luck won’t ever carry you all the way to your goals. You need to be smart and strategize if you plan to succeed. Do your research and learn from people you look up to. Learn from the mistakes you or others have made – and absorb the habits of the successful. Remember: Those who fail to plan, plan to fail!
There are a handful of fictional characters as compelling as Tyrion Lannister. And that is probably because he speaks to us on a level that very few other characters can.
Tyrion is flawed with an impressive list of vices. But at the same time, he is also witty, wise, funny, friendly, kind, gritty, and an overall decent human being; all the things we admire and wish to be ourselves. In a way, we see a bit of us in Tyrion Lannister – and that is what makes him endearing. He may not be perfect but there’s denying the fact that he’s awesome!
Lastly, what makes Tyrion amazing all boils down to this: Tyrion is just the sort of fellow we can see ourselves happily hanging out with.
A toast to Tyrion Lannister, everyone’s favorite “drunken little lust-filled beast”!
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