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Mystery Bacon?

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I have held a suspension of poisoning as the cause of Tyrion retching  after the Red Viper vs. The Mountain combat. When I noticed this discrepancy of his breakfast.

Tyrion Lannister slept long and deep. He rose at first light, well rested and with a hearty appetite, and broke his fast on fried bread, blood sausage, applecakes, and a double helping of eggs cooked with onions and fiery Dornish peppers.

Tyrion's breakfast came boiling back up. He found himself on his knees retching bacon and sausage and applecakes, and that double helping of fried eggs cooked up with onions and fiery Dornish peppers.

My question is: Where and when did he eat the bacon, How did it get in his stomach, and is that bacon or does it just look like it-worms? Where did the fried bread and blood go?
Or is it a jumble thing?

I thought the Red Viper’s offered wine was poisoned:

Tyrion found Prince Oberyn drinking a cup of red wine as he donned his armor. He was attended by four of his younger Dornish lordlings. "Good morrow to you, my lord," the prince said. "Will you take a cup of wine?"

"Should you be drinking before battle?"

"I always drink before battle."

"That could get you killed. Worse, it could get me killed."

But Tyrion may recognize the wine as a dangerous cure all or purging agent like ipecac. After that above comment by Tyrion, Oberyn laughs.

Prince Oberyn laughed. "The gods defend the innocent. You are innocent, I trust?" 

Could the bacon represent sin and the missing fried bread and blood be like a Eucharist? Oberyn wanted to make sure Tyrion was innocent of any offense to the gods?


Edited by Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe
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Three possibilities.

1. The reference to bacon instead of bread was a mistake by GRRM.

2. There is some deep symbolic meaning here about Tyrion's guilt which is weird since the charges he's being accused of he's a completely innocent scapegoat set up by Baelish and the Tyrells.

3. There are several hours between Tyrion's breakfast and the end of the duel. By the time he duel's over and Tyrion vomits are the horrific scene in front of him of Oberyn's skull crushed by the Mountain the bread has already left his stomach and as such is no vomited up. The bacon was part of the blood sausage possibly as part of the filling distinct from the rest or wrapped around it and the blood had broken down sufficiently or given the state of the arena wasn't noticeable.

Also I doubt he's been poisoned at all. Oberyn is implied to be drinking the same wine and I doubt he would risk disrupting his preparations by poisoning himself in the process even if he knows how to deal with it.

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The food code people used to say pigs represented some kind of revolutionary disaster crazy upheaval scenario - which is why Cersei is so fond of pork. In that case Tyrion's disaster would be Oberyn switching from trying to kill Gregor to trying to get a confession from him (and so getting himself killed). This scenario was not apparent to Tyrion at breakfast time, and neither was the bacon.

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On 1/21/2022 at 11:24 AM, Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe said:

Could the bacon represent sin and the missing fried bread and blood be like a Eucharist? Oberyn wanted to make sure Tyrion was innocent of any offense to the gods?

This sounds fun. Tyrion wanted Gregor's flesh and blood, but instead he got bacon.

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Nice catch!

Tyrion eats quite a bit of bacon, usually burned. It seems to relate to his "knighting" by Penny, and their eventual mummer jousting act. I base this on the first mention of bacon in his POV, which occurs as Jaime and Cersei try to find out whether Bran Stark will survive his fall from the First Keep:


A servant approached. "Bread," Tyrion told him, "and two of those little fish, and a mug of that good dark beer to wash them down. Oh, and some bacon. Burn it until it turns black." The man bowed and moved off.


"What were the maester's words?" Jaime asked.

The bacon crunched when he bit into it. Tyrion chewed thoughtfully for a moment and said, "He thinks that if the boy were going to die, he would have done so already. It has been four days with no change."

AGoT, Tyrion I

Recall that the mounts in the jousting act are Pretty Pig and a dog named Crunch. Maybe the foreshadowing in that first appearance of bacon relates to Tyrion becoming a knight and/or engaging in trial by combat. 

There might be another symbolic allusion to the knighting of Tyrion in the vyper / privy wordplay. Jaime knelt at Harrenhal before Aerys to become a member of the Kingsguard. When he later returns to Harrenhal, he notes that a privy has been dug in the spot where he knelt. (Connecting to his "shit for honor" motif.) Prince Oberyn is nicknamed "the Red Viper." His service as Tyrion's champion could symbolize Tyrion taking on a privy / viper status similar to Jaime's "shit for honor" oathkeeping. It is the death of the Viper that causes Tyrion to vomit. 

But the fiery Dornish eggs may offer another clue, in addition to the burned bacon. I think these are hints that Tyrion is a dragon (or he is in the process of becoming a dragon). Eggs are associated with dragons and the "fiery" nature of these eggs is an obvious dragon hint. We also see him turning from Bronn, who defended him in his trial-by-combat at the Eyrie to Oberyn, who is an entirely new and unexpected champion. Bronn is now focusing on his fertility role as a husband to Lollys. Oberyn is a viper and snakes (I have assumed for some time) are symbolic dragons. Something about Dorne is important to the dragon motif. (Figuring out Dorne's role in dragon hatching and nurture might help us to figure out what happened when the original Rhaenys and her dragon, Meraxes, disappeared in Dorne.)

The onions, by the way, are root vegetables and may represent a trip to the underworld. It is common for heroes to make a trip to the underworld (or "A" underworld) before being reborn. 

The egg symbolism might be underscored by another breakfast before a trial-by-combat. In The Sworn Sword, Dunk and Egg both eat eggs before Dunk engages in combat with Ser Lucas Longinch:


Dawn came with hazy gray skies and air that burned the eyes. Dunk meant to make an early start, though after their sleepless night he did not know how far they'd get. He and Egg broke their fast on boiled eggs while Bennis was rousting the others outside for more drill. They are Osgrey men and we are not, he told himself. He ate four of the eggs. Ser Eustace owed him that much, as he saw it. Egg ate two. They washed them down with ale.

The Sworn Sword

I am among the participants in this forum who believe that Dunk is a secret Blackfyre descendant so his robust egg-eating before combat might strengthen the notion of a dragon being hatched.

The wordplay on breaking one's "fast" is also a clue for us: Holdfast is the name of the tower where Ser Eustace lives. The story will be resolved when Ser Eustace and Lady Rohanne finally cross the border separating their lands and join together. (Immediately after eating their eggs, Dunk and Egg discuss a plan to go to Faircastle, which may be a hint that an equitable castle can be achieved if the battlelines can be broken that separate Coldmoat and Holdfast.) 

Dunk's POV in The Sworn Sword also relates to the reader that Dorne managed to escape The Great Spring Sickness, an epidemic that killed many people in Westeros. I wonder whether this tells us something to contrast Tyrion getting "sick" as he watches the shocking death of Prince Oberyn of Dorne. 

But let us return to a scholarly consideration of Tyrion's vomit. 

The fast-breaking and the barf that you cite are ingested and regurgitated in ASoS, Tyrion X. In the previous Tyrion POV (ASoS, Tyrion IX), Tyrion does eat bacon for breakfast:


And then it was dawn, and time for his trial to begin.

It was not Ser Kevan who came for him that morning, but Ser Addam Marbrand with a dozen gold cloaks. Tyrion had broken his fast on boiled eggs, burned bacon, and fried bread, and dressed in his finest. "Ser Addam," he said. "I had thought my father might send the Kingsguard to escort me to trial. I am still a member of the royal family, am I not?"

"You are, my lord, but I fear that most of the Kingsguard stand witness against you. Lord Tywin felt it would not be proper for them to serve as your guards."

(ASoS, Tyrion IX)

So part of Tyrion's vomit at the trial-by-combat is the breakfast he ate the previous day. This would not happen in real life but, luckily for GRRM, this is fiction and he can do whatever he wants to make his points about Tyrion's arc. I think he is showing us that the switch from Bronn to Oberyn is marking a turning point in Tyrion's growth and his symbolic journey. 

Something tells me that Tywin denying Kingsguard protection to Tyrion here is like Jaime stabbing Aerys. Betrayal by a Lannister and the absence of the Kingsguard. (Perhaps also betrayal by the Kingsguard, if you count Gregor Clegane as the future Ser Robert Strong and compare him to Kingsguard member Jaime stabbing Aerys. As the Red Viper, Prince Oberyn may be a symbolic red dragon, dying at the hand of a - future- Kingsguard member.) 

The crushing of Prince Oberyn's skull is like the crushing (crunching?) of a hard-boiled egg. (Something we see Jeor Mormont do during a conversation with Jon Snow.) Of course, the gouging of Oberyn's eyes is further egg-crunching symbolism ("Ei" is the German word for "egg") and that ties into the destruction of the sword Ice ("eyes"). It may also represent the smashing of the skull of baby Aegon, the crime Ser Gregor admits as he kills Oberyn. 

If we follow this Egg-Ei-Eyes-Ice logic for a few more steps, Tyrion eating fiery eggs might symbolize Tyrion attempting to take up a fiery sword. Hmm. Where else have we seen a fiery sword in ASOIAF and what significance could that have? Barfing up the fiery eggs might show that Tyrion

1) isn't quite ready to handle the fiery sword, or

2) he is not fated to be the handler of the fiery sword, or

3) regurgitating the fiery eggs is a "forging" process that means Tyrion has taken the ingredients and combined them in his magical belly to create his own fiery sword.

But what does it mean that he retains the fried bread while losing the bacon? 

My best guess is the wordplay on "pain" (the French word for bread) and "Payne." Possibly also "pane," which is complicated but ties back into dragons. 

Ser Ilyn Payne is the King's Justice but he is loyal to Tywin. Aerys cuts out his tongue (which may relate to a lost ability to savor fiery peppers - in other words, a lost ability to be a dragon). Ser Ilyn has a mysterious rune-covered silver sword that we see only when Joffrey borrows it to slice the cold pigeon pie at his wedding feast. I think the wordplay on Payne and Dayne might imply that the silver sword is a symbolic sword Dawn.

When Tyrion barfs, he loses the fiery eggs but retains the fried bread - "pain" associated with House Payne. He may be keeping Dawn but losing Lightbringer. For true connoisseurs of the vomit motif, the act of barfing and the colorful contents that emerge from Tyrion's mouth might even be described as a Brightroar. 

Of course, Tyrion has eaten many meals served by his psuedo-squire, Podrick Payne. (Including a memorable meal where Pod gives him too many peas.) So Tyrion's association with bread / pain / Payne is not limited to this intriguing episode of fictional barfing prowess. 

The other pain / Payne / pane symbolism comes from GRRM's use of window panes. Often, window panes in ASOIAF are described as diamond-shape. The other things that are diamond-shaped are dragon teeth. So bread retention might symbolize that Tyrion is becoming a dragon, even if we are not sure about his post-vomit relationship to the fiery eggs. 

Edited by Seams
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-If she choked on the blood or retched up the flesh, the omens were less favorable; the child might be stillborn, or come forth weak, deformed, or female.


-He felt strangely at peace, now that he had snatched the power of life and death from his father's hands and placed it in the hands of the gods. Assuming there are gods, and they give a mummer's fart. If not, then I'm in Dornish hands. No matter what happened, Tyrion had the satisfaction of knowing that he'd kicked Lord Tywin's plans to splinters.

-He tossed aside the splinteredspear and claimed his foe's greatsword. 

-Clegane slammed his fist into the Dornishman's mouth, making splinters of his teeth. 

-I put my life in the Red Viper's hands, and he dropped it. When he remembered, too late, that snakes had no hands, Tyrion began to laugh hysterically.

-he staggered to one knee. At once Lord Beric closed, his downcut screaming through the air trailing pennons of fire. Panting from exertion, Clegane jerked his shield up over his head just in time, and the cave rang with the loud crack of splintering oak.

-He found an old shield in the armory, battered and 
splintered, the chipped paint still showing most of the great black bat of House Lothston upon a field of silver and gold. 


Edited by Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe
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Assuming there are gods, and they give a mummer'sfart. 

"My secret is revealed," Tyrion agreed. "Aye, I'm less than half of Haldon, and no one gives a mummer's fart whether I live or die." Least of all me. "You, though … you are everything."


Comely? I have taught my Margaery what comely is worth, I hope. Somewhat less than a mummer's fart. Aerion Brightfire was comely enough, but a monster all the same.

"He picked her because she's fat," Lord Walder said. "You think Bolton gave a mummer's fart that she was your whelp? Think he sat about thinking, 'Heh, Merrett Muttonhead, that's the very man I need for a good-father'? Your Walda's a sow in silk, that's why he picked her, and I'm not like to thank you for it. We'd have had the same alliance at half the price if your little porkling put down her spoon from time to time."

The man slipped out his dirk and found a chink in my friend's armor. His strength, his speed, his valor, all his hard-won skill . . . it was worth less than a mummer'sfart, because he flinched from killing. Remember that, girl."

Edited by Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe
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Lord—Old English hlaford is a contraction of earlier hlafweard, literally "one who guards the loaves," from hlaf "bread, loaf" (see loaf (n.)) + weard "keeper, guardian" (from PIE root *wer- (3) "perceive, watch out for"). 
Lady—Compare lady (literally "bread-kneader"), and Old English hlafæta "household servant," literally "loaf-eater." 


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On 1/21/2022 at 12:24 PM, Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe said:

My question is: Where and when did he eat the bacon

You've discovered a very great secret embedded very deeply in A Song of Ice and Fire. I'm amazed it's taken this long for someone to find this.

Yes, it's true. Tyrion had second breakfast. Which means he is, in fact, a hobbit. Tywin was right to suspect the origins of his very small son...

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Guests were rushing headlong out into the night, some weeping, some stumbling and retching, others white with fear. 

The bells were ringing out across the city, more and more of them joining in. She kept her head down and stayed in the shadows, close behind Dontos. While descending the serpentine steps he stumbled to his knees and retched. My poor Florian, she thought, as he wiped his mouth with a floppy sleeve. 

"You killed him." Clutching the rail, Sansa turned away and retched. Had she escaped the Lannisters to tumble into worse?

16 hours ago, Ran said:

Yes, it's true. Tyrion had second breakfast. Which means he is, in fact, a hobbit. Tywin was right to suspect the origins of his very small son...

Hobbits! It’s an infestation of Hobbits! Smuggled in by Penny Pig and brother dog by way of PennyTree! How could Hobbits resist 77 courses and Melons?! 

Edited by Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe
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19 hours ago, Ran said:

You've discovered a very great secret embedded very deeply in A Song of Ice and Fire. I'm amazed it's taken this long for someone to find this.

Yes, it's true. Tyrion had second breakfast. Which means he is, in fact, a hobbit. Tywin was right to suspect the origins of his very small son...

LOL! Well, what took you so long?

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