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Mulled Wino

How did Tyrion become such a great warrior in CoK?

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Wasn't most of Tyrion's battle fought from horseback against footmen? I think the only actual Knight he fought was in GOT, and he defeated him by stabbing his horse with the spike on his helmet.

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I love it when someone starts a thread with a question then answers it themselves and vehemently defends one opinion over the other. Firstly, I believe your question to be fundamentally flawed, as in Tyrion is not nor has never been "a great warrior". I'm not sure what you mean by his battle skills being overdue by half, but I get the gist of your first post, even though full of error it may be. I also re-read that chapter and Bright Blue Eyes is correct, not much 1-on-1 killing done by Tyrion. This has always been one of my favorite scenes with Tyrion. First, nowhere do I believe it to be indicated that Tyrion is "a great warrior", as you suppose in your title.

Surviving a battle does not a great warrior make. Did he slay hordes of enemies, who had superior weapons, armor, and battle positions? No. Does he seek out the best knights of the enemy to slay them in rage with his "newly found battle skills"? No. Has he participated in numerous battles earlier in life, such that we know he is a horrible and cowardly fighter? No. Is it possible that people, himself included, underestimate his ability to survive a battle and take a few enemies down with in the process? Yes.

What Tyrion does, is act in the heat of the moment for his own survival. If the gates did not hold, the city would be sacked, and Tyrion had numerous motives for survival. Adrenaline can take you a long way, if you have ever been in any type of sink-or-swim situation, you may know that one can often far exceed one's own perceived abilities for a time, and perform seemingly miraculous feats. This is what I saw of Tyrion. He was fighting to save his own skin... he was doing what had to be done in order to try and turn the tide of the battle, and he gets caught up in the moment while never becoming reckless. He is on horseback for the most part, which gives him a great advantage over anyone on foot, especially common half-trained "soldiers". I would say that most, if not all, of those Tyrion took down in that battle were at a disadvantage.

Unlike many, I found the scene to be some of Martin's greatest writing, and did not have to suspend any disbelief, because I did not disbelieve. Especially when compared to the scale of "believing" Jaime was able to get him out of the black cells, or Varys onto a ship bound for Pentos undiscovered, or convincing the hill tribes to follow a dwarf they randomly run across, nor a company of sell-swords fighting for him on nothing but a promise, etc.

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I don;t have the book with me, but was Tyrion not in a battle after their first charge on the guys with the battering ram trying to get in the gates?

I could have sworn Stannis came over with some fighters on the shore that Tyrion fought that were't blinsided and armored.

Yes, that is the foggy part. It does more to show Tyrion's emotions than facts. It shows that Tyrion feels himself as "such a great warrior", but if you look at it closely, that feeling isn't backed by deeds.

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I love it when someone starts a thread with a question then answers it themselves and vehemently defends one opinion over the other. Firstly, I believe your question to be fundamentally flawed, as in Tyrion is not nor has never been "a great warrior". I'm not sure what you mean by his battle skills being overdue by half, but I get the gist of your first post, even though full of error it may be. I also re-read that chapter and Bright Blue Eyes is correct, not much 1-on-1 killing done by Tyrion. This has always been one of my favorite scenes with Tyrion. First, nowhere do I believe it to be indicated that Tyrion is "a great warrior", as you suppose in your title.

Surviving a battle does not a great warrior make. Did he slay hordes of enemies, who had superior weapons, armor, and battle positions? No. Does he seek out the best knights of the enemy to slay them in rage with his "newly found battle skills"? No. Has he participated in numerous battles earlier in life, such that we know he is a horrible and cowardly fighter? No. Is it possible that people, himself included, underestimate his ability to survive a battle and take a few enemies down with in the process? Yes.

What Tyrion does, is act in the heat of the moment for his own survival. If the gates did not hold, the city would be sacked, and Tyrion had numerous motives for survival. Adrenaline can take you a long way, if you have ever been in any type of sink-or-swim situation, you may know that one can often far exceed one's own perceived abilities for a time, and perform seemingly miraculous feats. This is what I saw of Tyrion. He was fighting to save his own skin... he was doing what had to be done in order to try and turn the tide of the battle, and he gets caught up in the moment while never becoming reckless. He is on horseback for the most part, which gives him a great advantage over anyone on foot, especially common half-trained "soldiers". I would say that most, if not all, of those Tyrion took down in that battle were at a disadvantage.

Unlike many, I found the scene to be some of Martin's greatest writing, and did not have to suspend any disbelief, because I did not disbelieve. Especially when compared to the scale of "believing" Jaime was able to get him out of the black cells, or Varys onto a ship bound for Pentos undiscovered, or convincing the hill tribes to follow a dwarf they randomly run across, nor a company of sell-swords fighting for him on nothing but a promise, etc.

Obviously the thread was made to take some sort of a stance, but I'm glad that you like it.

It sure came across to me that he slew a horde of enemies in that chapter, all while having physical disabilities, a very strong inclination NOT to fight, very little physical prowess/confidence as far as fighting goes, no battle instinct ingrained in him whatsoever (think muscle memory), and with adrenaline flowing in EVERYONE in the battle.

As far as the last paragraph goes, I agree that this was far from the most outlandish thing that we are asked to believe that happened to tyrion in his adventures

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No. Is it possible that people, himself included, underestimate his ability to survive a battle and take a few enemies down with in the process? Yes.

Here we go...

Of course, anything's possible. When 15 "anything's possible" moments happen to the same character, I find it hard to suspend disbelief.

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Um, nothing out of the ordinary of him escaping from the black cells?

I was referring to being "rescued in the slave pits, when the others in the pit were burned up.

I've even left out an entire company of sellswords rescuing him for promissary notes, which didn't seem to be the most acceptable currency floating around at the time; AFTER his master died and he was able to escape with another dwarf.

W

Lannisters always pay their debts.

also he was well armored.. castle forged steel and a big armored horse under his tiny rump... its not to hard to chop down a few men in boiled leather and maaaybe chainmail on foot when you're on a horse swing your axe about. a lot of them were running away.. already scared and broken as well. also he was in a bloodlust..

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It sure came across to me that he slew a horde of enemies in that chapter, all while having physical disabilities, a very strong inclination NOT to fight, very little physical prowess/confidence as far as fighting goes, no battle instinct ingrained in him whatsoever (think muscle memory), and with adrenaline flowing in EVERYONE in the battle.

Tyrion was at the head of a large cavalry charge against exhausted, disorganized footmen with inferior equipment who had just crossed a river of fire. He would have had to try to not kill people. Oh, and he had Balon Swann or Mandon Moore next to him the entire time. One of the guys Tyrion killed tried to stab him with an arrow. The men he killed were not the hardened core of Stannis' army.

There's a reason people rode horses into battle. Out-of-formation infantry is easy pickings for a dude in armor on a 1000 pound charger.

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I think you're the one who's overestimating his fighting prowess. These are all of the actual descriptions of his fighting - most of them consist of him mounted and flanked by heavy horse, charging into broken, poorly equipped, disorganized, and demoralized opposition.

Tyrion feared his charge would end with him tumbling from the saddle before he even reached the foe, but somehow he and his horse both managed to keep their balance. Beneath the gate men were turning, hurriedly trying to brace for the shock... Ahead of Tyrion was a knight whose surcoat showed a fox peering through a ring of flowers. Florent was his first thought, but helmless ran a close second. He smashed the man in the face with all the weight of axe and arm and charging horse, taking off half his head. The shock of impact numbed his shoulder. Shagga would laugh at me, he thought, riding on.

...Tyrion rode down an archer, opened a spearman from shoulder to armpit, glanced a blow off a swordfish crested helm... Ser Mandon flashed past him, death in snow-white silk. His sword sheared off limbs, cracked heads, broke shields asunder - though few enough of the enemy had made it across the river with shields intact.

...Men were crawling from the river, men burned and bleeding, coughing up water, staggering, most dying. He led his troop among them, delivering quicker cleaner deaths to those strong enough to stand.

...Another spearman ran at him. Tyrion lopped off the head of his spear, then his hand, then his arm, trotting around him in a circle. An archer, bowless, thrust at him with an arrow, holding it as if it were a knife. The destrier kicked at the man's thigh to send him sprawling, and Tyrion barked laughter... A knight rose up from nowhere to hack at his shield with a two-handed greatsword, again and again, until someone thrust a dagger under his arm. One of Tyrion's men, perhaps. He never saw.

...A man-at-arms grabbed the bridle of his horse, and thrust at Tyrion's face with a dagger. He knocked the blade aside and buried the axe in the nape of the man's neck.

...He led them through the guttering fires and the soot and ash of the riverfront, pounding down a long stone quay with his own men and Ser Balon's behind him. Ser Mandon fell in with them, his shield a ragged ruin. Smoke and cinders swirled through the air, and the foe broke before their charge, throwing themselves back into the water, knocking over other men as they fought to climb up...

...a spearman... drove the point of his weapon up through the chest of Balon Swann's horse before he could dismount, spilling the knight from the saddle. Tyrion hacked at the man's head as he flashed by, and by then it was too late to rein up.

At this point, he is unhorsed and reeling across a burning deck.

...He found his feet again and lurched to the railo, and then he was fighting, staggering, and splashing across crooked decks awash with water. Men came at him. Some he killed, some he wounded, and some went away, but always there were more. He lost his knife and gained a broken spear, he could not have said how. He clutched it and stabbed, shrieking curses. Men ran from him and he ran after them, clambering up over the rail to the next ship and then the next. His two white shadows were always with him, Balon Swann and Mandon Moore, beautiful in their pale plate. Surrounded by a circle of Velaryion spearmen, they fought back to back; they made battle as graceful as a dance.

His own killing was a clumsy thing. He stabbed one man in the kidney when his back was turned, and grabbed another by the leg and upended him in the river.

None of this indicates any real skill at arms. The vast majority of it is a cavalry charge into disorganized foot. The rest is basically a barroom brawl with armor on; where Ser Balon and Ser Mandon are fighting as they've been trained, Tyrion staggers from one clumsy encounter to the next, and can't even remember what he did.

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His two white shadows were always with him, Balon Swann and Mandon Moore, beautiful in their pale plate.

Surrounded by a circle of Velaryion spearmen, they fought back to back; they made battle as graceful as a dance.

Other than Tyrion being on a horse, this is the biggest factor. Swann and Moore are polished, fearsome killers wearing the mythical white of the Kingsguard (I think Swann is probably one of the most underrated knights in all the books, TBH). You'd have an easier time in a battle with those two next to you too.

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Plot armour. I like Tyrion but come on.. .... he was dominating way too much in that battle

I don't see how you can look at those quotes and think he was dominating. I think you're confusing his mindset with what he's actually doing, which mainly involves flailing at people with his ax from the saddle and going low on unsuspecting opponents. Even then, Tyrion is aware that what he's doing doesn't even belong on the same battlefield with the artistry of men like Balon Swann and Mandon Moore.

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Sigh. Three threads on this topic in as many weeks.

A couple of things to consider:

1. GRRM employs the unreliable narrator quite often. Is it really all that far-fetched to believe that a person in a high-adrenaline situation, such as a battle, might not be able to accurately describe what's going on? It's extremely unlikely that all of Tyrion's battle scenes were 100% reliably narrated.

2. Tyrion is nearly always surrounded by very able warriors. If you have a couple of massive, heavily armored knights and a halfman coming at you, who are you going to defend yourself from first? I'm pretty sure my first reaction would be to defend myself against the armored warriors and hope like hell the small man doesn't get to my legs and guts.

3. At the BoB, the scene was one of chaos. There's WILDFIRE! It can't be put out. It's burning the river, the boats, the people, everything. Try imagining what it would be like to be trying to escape both the monstrous fires while also having to properly defend yourself from an army that is safe from the lick of the flames. Even a five-year-old who's never held an ax would have had the better advantage.

4. Fighting on horseback beats a foot soldier 90% of the time.

5. Tyrion is very small. When he's on the ground and close up, it's easy to lose him in your peripheral vision, especially if you are wearing armor and a helm. Sometimes my 2-year-old niece manages to sneak up on me and pound at my legs without me even seeing her.

6. Adrenaline can do strange things to people. I was in a fairly terrible car accident when I was a kid. My mother managed to get out, get my siblings and I out and away from the wreck. Care for us until an ambulance came, give her report and then promptly passed out. She ended up having numerous broken bones and a punctured lung. Adrenaline kept her moving as though she were uninjured just as adrenaline keeps Tyrion from noticing any cramping in his legs.

When you consider all of this, Tyrion's battle scenes don't appear to be too unbelievable. The biggest thing to remember is that you really cannot trust someone to reliably narrate a battle scene when they are in the middle of it.

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Sigh. Three threads on this topic in as many weeks.

A couple of things to consider:

1. GRRM employs the unreliable narrator quite often. Is it really all that far-fetched to believe that a person in a high-adrenaline situation, such as a battle, might not be able to accurately describe what's going on? It's extremely unlikely that all of Tyrion's battle scenes were 100% reliably narrated.

2. Tyrion is nearly always surrounded by very able warriors. If you have a couple of massive, heavily armored knights and a halfman coming at you, who are you going to defend yourself from first? I'm pretty sure my first reaction would be to defend myself against the armored warriors and hope like hell the small man doesn't get to my legs and guts.

3. At the BoB, the scene was one of chaos. There's WILDFIRE! It can't be put out. It's burning the river, the boats, the people, everything. Try imagining what it would be like to be trying to escape both the monstrous fires while also having to properly defend yourself from an army that is safe from the lick of the flames. Even a five-year-old who's never held an ax would have had the better advantage.

4. Fighting on horseback beats a foot soldier 90% of the time.

5. Tyrion is very small. When he's on the ground and close up, it's easy to lose him in your peripheral vision, especially if you are wearing armor and a helm. Sometimes my 2-year-old niece manages to sneak up on me and pound at my legs without me even seeing her.

6. Adrenaline can do strange things to people. I was in a fairly terrible car accident when I was a kid. My mother managed to get out, get my siblings and I out and away from the wreck. Care for us until an ambulance came, give her report and then promptly passed out. She ended up having numerous broken bones and a punctured lung. Adrenaline kept her moving as though she were uninjured just as adrenaline keeps Tyrion from noticing any cramping in his legs.

When you consider all of this, Tyrion's battle scenes don't appear to be too unbelievable. The biggest thing to remember is that you really cannot trust someone to reliably narrate a battle scene when they are in the middle of it.

Boom goes the dynamite.

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Tyrion was at the head of a large cavalry charge against exhausted, disorganized footmen with inferior equipment who had just crossed a river of fire. He would have had to try to not kill people. Oh, and he had Balon Swann or Mandon Moore next to him the entire time. One of the guys Tyrion killed tried to stab him with an arrow. The men he killed were not the hardened core of Stannis' army.

There's a reason people rode horses into battle. Out-of-formation infantry is easy pickings for a dude in armor on a 1000 pound charger.

Another thing worth pointing out is that Tyrion is not a normal dwarf that looks like Peter Dinklage from the TV show. He is a seriously deformed person with a huge head, relatively large and strong arms, and abnormally short and awkward legs. The novel version of Tyrion on horseback is much more of a threat than your typical midget.

Examples of Tyrion's upper body strength: Martin makes some points about Tyrion walking on his hands, doing somersaults off the stairs, and so on. I recall that being very easy to Tyrion. I think Tyrion mentioned walking around on his hands was easier for him than walking on his crooked and misshapen legs. Another major example of his strength is when he chokes Shae to death.

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I'm just going to say, how can a tiny fat hobbit kill a gigantic spider that is the descendant of a horrible evil creature?

Different series I know, but don't ruin this for me.

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I'm just going to say, how can a tiny fat hobbit kill a gigantic spider that is the descendant of a horrible evil creature?

Different series I know, but don't ruin this for me.

Sam didnt kill Shelob. He interposed himself between her and Frodo. Sam blinded her with a holy artifact that Shelob was particularly vulnerable against. Shelob ended up wounding herself by driving her own weight against him, stabbing herself with his magical dagger in the process. After that point Shelob had enough and backed off for easier prey that doesnt defend itself with holy artifacts.

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He went all Yoda in Attack of the Clones

Ha!, I said the exact same thing and called him a Medieval Yoda for the very same reason the other day too.

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I saw him as more of a commander than a fighter/warrior.

He was good because he's just a smart dude. He also reads alot so he'll have learned about all kinds of military tactics and strategies.

:agree:

Sometimes brains does win against brawn:)

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