Despite the bloodshed, brutalness, and betrayal, Game of Thrones has its way of teaching us valuable life lessons. One character in particular, however, does it best.
He may be “half-man”, but he’s got brains. Tyrion Lannister, the master of words, has used his wisdom and intellect to survive the harsh realm of Westeros.
If you’re in need of some inspiration or motivation, the wordsmith’s funny one-liners and words of advice are here to help you get through life.
Spoken eloquently and perfectly delivered by none other than the incredible Peter Dinklage, here are 25 of the best Tyrion Lannister quotes to live by (as well as a few words on how you can apply them to your own life!).…
1. “Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.”
The North Remembers
A quote about: Self-realization
Use this when: Consoling a friend having a crisis of confidence.
This Tyrion quote is timeless and truly speaks to the character’s core philosophy: that imperfections can and must be used as strengths. It’s one of the earlier quotes that helped make him one of the best characters in Game of Thrones, overall. You can use it to remind yourself and others that flaws can be accepted and used in positive ways.
2. “Death is so final. Whereas life, ah, life is full of possibilities.”
A quote about: Enjoying life
Use this when: You have a brush with danger (hopefully a minor one).
Tyrion delivers this line almost offhandedly to his brother Jaime, and in doing so, produces one of the more powerful bits of wisdom in Game of Thrones. The next time you have a brush with danger, or even a little bout of what’s-the-point-of-it-all despair, remember this line. You’ll be a more grateful and clear-eyed person for it.
3. “I try to know as many people as I can. You never know which one you’ll need.”
Dark Wings, Dark Words
A quote about: Social intelligence
Use this when: Befriending everyone at the party.
Tyrion says this in part to brush off Shae’s mild suspicion when he conveys familiarity with Ros – another prostitute. Even so, it’s a nice line to keep in your back pocket for the next time a significant other or parent asks why you’re still friends with that sketchy high school friend on social media.
4. “Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.”
Winter is Coming
A quote about: Self-confidence
Use this when: You happen to feel like doling out some incredible advice.
This line comes from the very first episode of Game of Thrones. Tyrion says it to Jon Snow as part of his famous “All cripples are bastards in their fathers’ eyes” speech. It basically conveys the character’s entire ethos, and it’s also great advice, both to take for yourself and spread to others.
5. “Everything’s better with some wine in the belly.”
A quote about: Wine
Use this when: Having a drink with friends.
One of the greatest quotes by Tyrion, if not ever. This little piece of uncle-y advice is delivered to Jon Snow while he and Tyrion are on a journey to the Wall. The quote speaks for itself, and ought to bring a smile to your face the next time you enjoy an adult beverage or two.
6. “It’s not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy.”
A quote about: Being drunk
Use this when: Regretting the number of drinks you’ve had.
Tyrion spits out this famous quote in the midst of drinking dear squire Podrick under the table, and he’s got a bit of a point. Hopefully, you’re not drunk all the time. But the next time you are, try to recognize the truth in Tyrion’s words: It’s not that easy to pull off!
7. “In my experience, eloquent men are right every bit as often as imbeciles.”
The Dance of Dragons
A quote about: Bad influences
Use this when: Mistaking a silver tongue for a sharp mind.
Tyrion’s point here is basically that eloquence is no guarantee of rightness. Use this memorable line the next time someone throws a pretentious argument your way…or when a bad influence feeds you lies with their convincing words.
8. “Death is so boring, especially now with so much excitement in the world.”
The North Remembers
A quote about: Appreciating life
Use this when: Convincing someone life is worth living.
This is Tyrion’s response to his niece, Princess Myrcella, asserting that she’s glad rumors of his death were false. He says it somewhat matter-of-factly, but it’s ultimately another nice nugget on the value of living. If you know someone who’s sick of life, convince them there’s “so much excitement in the world” with this quote.
9. “Every time we deal with an enemy, we create two more.”
A quote about: Conflict
Use this when: Fighting with your wife…and then facing her besties (we joke).
This is a morbid line Tyrion says to Cersei at a time when ongoing conflict seems inevitable. And while it’s generous to call it a guiding philosophy for him (given how much conflict he plays a role in), it does speak to his preference for diplomacy over bloodshed. You may not have too many chances to use this line in the real world. Using the principle, however, is not a bad idea when it comes to managing conflicts in your life.
10. “That’s what I do. I drink, and I know things.”
A quote about: Knowing yourself
Use this when: Doing anything. Just every chance you get.
This is perhaps the most well-known quote in Game of Thrones, save “Winter is coming.” In what is one of the most memorable scenes in GoT, Tyrion says it to Grey Worm as a vague explanation for mysterious knowledge about dragons, and that’s exactly how it ought to be used – ideally, when you’re Tyrion-level drunk. Even if you’re not, this iconic line is a great response any time someone asks how you’re so intelligent (particularly if you happen to be drinking at that moment).
11. “When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him to be a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”
From the books
A quote about: Freedom of speech
Use this when: Someone tries to silence your opinion.
This unforgettable Tyrion quote (taken from the GoT books) feels increasingly relevant in a world that’s full of ‘political correctness’ and where people are afraid to speak up. The next time you see someone trying to silence someone else, you may want to reach for these witty words.
12. “The powerful have always preyed on the powerless. That’s how they became powerful in the first place.”
The Wars To Come
A quote about: Power
Use this when: Explaining to your kids why they’re being made to do a chore.
It’s a dramatic quote for most of our everyday lives, but the ‘kids’ scenario can help you turn it into an amusing one. Next time someone who looks up to you experiences a small injustice, remind them of this harsh reality articulated by the great Tyrion Lannister.
13. “Laughing at another person’s misery was the only thing that made me feel like everyone else.”
The Mountain and the Viper
A quote about: Man’s inherent cruelty
Use this when: In therapy?
While Tyrion is admitting to some devilish pleasures to Jaime, he’s also conveying that he believed such pleasures to be natural for everyone else. It’s a fascinating line as a sort of character study unto itself, though it’s one you hopefully won’t have to use in real life. If you do identify with it, the therapy couch may be a great place to share the sentiment, though.
14. “I am the god of tits and wine.”
A quote about: Indulgence
Use this when: In very friendly company, and nowhere else, ever.
After suggesting that no man can match him in drinking or lust, a thoroughly sloshed Tyrion spouts this assertion out to his disgusted father, Tywin Lannister. We can’t say there’s a strategic real-world application for the rest of us, though it may make for a fun joke among (very close) friends.
15. “Next time I have an idea like that, punch me in the face.”
A quote about: Regret
Use this when: You wake up the morning after deciding that “everything’s better with some wine in the belly.”
This is undeniably one of the best Tyrion Lannister quotes. He says this to Lord Varys after having freed Daenerys’ dragons from their chains. This of course is not a situation you’ll ever encounter. Even so, it’s one of the more useful quotes on this list. Say it to a friend the next time you chug a too-cold beer, or drunkenly message an ex.
16. “A wise man once said that the true history of the world is the history of great conversations in elegant rooms.”
A quote about: History
Use this when: Arguing with a history professor.
This isn’t the only time Tyrion uses his “A wise man once said” trick to lend credibility to his own sayings. This trick aside though, it’s his way of conveying that important people communicating with one another should take precedence over conflict. It can be taken in a positive or a negative way, but really, you can have the most fun with it busting it out in a history class.
17. “I just want to stand on the edge and piss off the end of the world.”
A quote about: Wanderlust?
Use this when: Explaining your priorities to a travel agent (or going over honeymoon destinations with your fiancé).
You probably won’t actually use this Tyrion quote when making travel arrangements. But there’s some merit to the mindset! Use of the word “piss” aside, it’s a surprisingly poetic concept: a desire to travel so adventurously as to reach the world’s edge. Make of that what you will, but remember not to relieve yourself off of, say, the cliffs of Santorini or the Great Wall of China.
18. “Sometimes, nothing is the hardest thing to do.”
Beyond The Wall
A quote about: Restraint
Use this when: Someone is testing you, but you have to hold back.
Versions of this quote are recycled quite often. Tyrion’s use of it is powerful, however, because it serves as one of a series of pleas to an increasingly reckless Daenerys to stand down. It’s also a good quote to remember and use in real life. Plus, taken more lightly, it’s an excuse to be lazy now and then.
19. “A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone.”
A quote about: Reading
Use this when: Flirting with a bookstore salesperson (or someone listing books as an interest on a dating app).
This is another piece of wisdom Tyrion imparts to Jon Snow during their journey to the Wall, and frankly, it’s just a good reminder to read when you can. You really are “sharpening” your mind when you whip out a book. (Just don’t actually use the line to flirt, unless it’s with a true GoT superfan.)
20. “Love is more powerful than reason. We all know that.”
The Iron Throne
A quote about: Love
Use this when: Someone isn’t sure dating you is the best idea.
This is a weighty quote Tyrion delivers to Jon Snow, as part of a conversation about what to do about Daenerys. You won’t have such dire need of the saying, but you can always try it on a crush who’s hesitant to date you. Mind you, we’re not saying that’ll go particularly well – particularly if said crush remembers the quote and knows Jon puts a sword through Daenerys soon after it’s used.
21. “As impossible as it seems, there was once a time when I was unaccustomed to wine.”
A quote about: Wine, again. And dependency, sort of.
Use this when: Your aunt judges your drinking at a holiday dinner.
It may not carry the depth or wisdom of some of Tyrion’s other quotes, but this is an amusing little gem from GoT’s resident drunken sage. Try this line out the next time you feel someone’s giving you a critical eye for pouring another glass.
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22. “It’s easy to confuse ‘what is’ with ‘what ought to be,’ especially when ‘what is’ has worked out in your favor.”
The Dance Of Dragons
A quote about: Principles
Use this when: Someone’s clearly doing the wrong thing.
Tyrion says this in Meereen as a means of speaking truth to power, and really, it’s an excellent line for the real world. The next time you notice someone repeating less-than-righteous actions for selfish reasons, reach for this quote. It might just make someone think about whether what they’re doing is right, rather than whether it’s effective.
23. “A wise man once said that you should never believe a thing simply because you want to believe it.”
A quote about: Self-delusion
Use this when: Someone you care about is avoiding reality.
This is kind of a funny quote in execution, because after Tyrion says it, Daenerys calls him out on using his “A wise man once said” strategy to make his own thoughts seem like “ancient wisdom.” This amusing gotcha moment aside though, it is a wise line. Use it the next time a friend or family member is delusional about one thing or another.
24. “I trust the eyes of an honest man more than I trust what everybody knows.”
A quote about: Trust
Use this when: You hear another Covid-19 conspiracy theory.
Basically, the idea here is that an honest and clear-eyed assessment can be more valuable (and more valid) than an idea that has caught on broadly. It’s a particularly good quote to bear in mind given the rampant disinformation that exists in our world today.
25. “I’m not well suited for work.”
The Wars to Come
A quote about: Hating work
Use this when: Quitting the job you hate.
Tyrion doesn’t really mean this when he says it to Lord Varys…nor does he practice this level of apathy. Nevertheless, it’s a quote we can all relate to now and then. Next time you’re feeling fed up with your job, mutter this to yourself. You’ll at least feel a touch of amusement in the moment. And if it’s time to make a change, maybe Tyrion’s words will give you the nudge you need.
There you have it – some of the coolest quotes of all time by none other than Game of Thrones’ “half-man”.
It’s official. Tyrion Lannister has the most wit and wisdom in Westeros. These witty, insightful, and useful quotes (or shall we say “Tyrion-isms”?) prove that he is clearly the brain of the show, and at times its conscience, as well.
What is your favorite Tyrion Lannister quote? Did we miss any epic phrases out? Let us know in the comments below…
This article was originally published in September 2016.
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