Logren Bone-Breaker

Sorrow's Peak Cover New

tony curran is logren in my brainSon of Rognar the Conqueror and brother of the Light of Madra, Logren Bone-Breaker is commander of the guard in Dunvarak. First introduced in Edgelanders, Logren and his men met with Lorelei and her companions at the base of Great Sontok, arriving just in the nick of time to save their collective backsides from a pack of Hunters sent by the Council of the Nine to dispose of them.

We discover early-on Logren and Vilnjar are old friends, and the shock of discovering he is actually still alive and has been spying on Viln for the last twenty years provokes enmity between them early on.

His sister, however, is precious to him and he has been waiting years to come face to face with her. Prior to events in Sorrow’s Peak, Logren’s story about how the Light of Madra saved him is the only one we’ve been told in any great detail. He and his mother were sleeping when the Tyrant King’s fires swept through their village, and had the Light of Madra not reached out her hand to him, he would never have made it out of Vrinkarn alive. Losing both his mother and father in a manner of hours, he found himself under the protective guidance of a half-U’lfer named Hakon, fleeing for their lives into the tundra of Rimian when he was barely eight years old.

tony curran logrenLogren became a man in Dunvarak, the harsh climate and difficult life they eked out making him both capable and strong, but he struggles with his memories of the night he lost everything but his life. A formidable warrior, there is a touch of madness within him that drives him to irrational reactions, making him a crush first and ask questions later kind of man. He is often unstable, argumentative and easily provoked, drinking heavily to dull the pain of things he doesn’t wish to face. He struggles internally with the fact that he cannot take up his father’s lost cause or play the role of adventuring hero with his sister.

While he never quite comes out and says it, it is quite clear that despite having nearly everything a man could want: a loving wife, a strong son and the honor of providing council to his father-in-law, Logren is filled with resentment over not having been chosen to play a more important part in the prophecies surrounding the rising legend of his own sister. His best friend, Brendolowyn, was chosen to aid her instead, but he doesn’t hold that against the mage at all. Instead, he doubts himself, questions his own ability as a warrior and wonders why his sister would bother to save him if she didn’t actually need him. Despite his resentment, he loves Lorelei very deeply and wants nothing more than to forge a powerful bond with all that remains of his family.

His relationship with Vilnjar is often volatile, the two of them clashing in their views and coming to verbal blows over everything from memories of their childhood together to their very different philosophical viewpoints. Much like his deep affection for his sister, Logren both respects and loves Vilnjar because he is a link to the past Logren can’t release from his grip. He is a memory of times in his life Logren believes were better, even if he knows deep down they were not.

Want to learn more about Logren Bone-Breaker? Check out Sorrow’s Peak September 2014. You can also pick up a copy of Edgelanders, available everywhere ebooks are sold for just $.99!

*Images: I often cast characters in my imagination, and the moment Logren came alive inside my mind, he reminded me of a slightly bulkier Tony Curran, especially in his role as Weath the Musician in the film The 13th Warrior. Casting actors is sometimes a great way to help build and strengthen characters. I just wanted to share a glimpse of what he looked like to me. I love that kind of inspiration.

Imaginary Heroes: Geralt of Rivia

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*This essay may contain spoilers for those who have not read Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher series

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The first time I met Geralt of Rivia I was standing in the magazine aisle at the local grocery store. He was staring back at me from the cover of some PC gamer magazine I have long-since forgotten the title of, and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was set to launch for PC. The year was 2011. The cover drew me in, and I picked up that magazine, started reading and knew this was a game I HAD to play. Monster hunter, mercenary, mutant… hero. I was intrigued, but after putting that magazine back on the shelf I forgot about The Witcher until Steam had a big sale in 2012, just around the holidays.

geralt of rivia for blogI was immediately drawn into this world, more than just intrigued with the character, his back story, his companions and his future so I started to do a little digging and discovered something a lot of other nerds knew about LONG before I came along. The game series was inspired by a series of books by Polish fantasy author, Andrzej Sapkowski, and Geralt of Rivia had been a part of this world far longer than my own daughter had been alive. In fact, I was only eleven years old the year Sapkowski wrote the first Witcher story on a whim, and over the next twenty-eight years (mostly during the 1990s) Sapkowski expanded Geralt’s universe to include several short stories and five novels.

While the story between prose and game differs slightly, it takes place in the same world with similar political issues and problems. One thread remains true between both: Geralt of Rivia is a hero, though he rarely sees himself in that light. Mutated, scarred, and allegedly emotionless, Geralt often thinks himself a monster who kills monsters, someone unworthy of love, friendship and the honor that comes with heroics, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Geralt of Rivia is perhaps one of the few people in this world Sapkowski created who is not a monster.

To define the term monster in this series is a near impossible task, because monsters aren’t always what they seem. In The Last Wish, we meet King Foltest of Temeria for the first time and discover that while he is handsome and wise, he has peculiar romantic tendencies. King Foltest fell in love with his own sister, Adda, and got her with child. The child was born cursed, died shortly thereafter and rose again seven years later as a striga. Geralt was eventually called in to deal with the situation, as the foul striga was murdering people left and right and furthering the scandal caused by her incestuous father’s deeds. Geralt lifted the curse, reverting the striga back to a human girl, but one is left to question whether or not the striga was the real monster of the story, or if it was the father that begot her on his own sister?

Many of the stories in The Witcher series follow this same vein. Geralt is drawn into situations where he must deal with a monster, only to discover said monster is only doing what comes naturally. At times, provoked to action by the evils of society, we, as readers, find the people employing the Witcher are often far more horrific than the monster they’ve brought him in to slay.

geralt blogThe central storyline revolves around Geralt’s on-again/off-again relationship with a beautiful sorceress named Yennefer, who doesn’t know her own worth or believe she deserves to be loved, therefore making Geralt doubt his own worth as a man, and a child of destiny the two lovers come to raise together named Cirilla. Because Geralt is a mutant, he is sterile and will never father children. As a sorceress, Yennefer’s body is barren, and she cannot mother children, something she desperately wants. There is the barest possibility that through sorcery, she might find a way, but Geralt’s sterility would make that impossible. Her resentment for making this wish doubly impossible to attain is a source of tension and bitterness between the lovers, but often we have most difficulty seeing the gifts that lay right under our noses.

Geralt’s destiny is entwined with Ciri’s when she is still in her mother’s womb and he saves her father, Duny, from a curse. Invoking the Law of Surprise as payment for saving his life, Geralt asks Duny for “that which you already have, but do not know.” It is discovered shortly thereafter that Princess Pavetta is pregnant with Duny’s child and Geralt’s destiny is sealed.

He spends years arguing with himself over whether or not he should return and take the child he was promised and train her as a witcher. A witcher’s life is a cruel and lonely life, one he wouldn’t wish on anyone, but destiny cannot be thwarted. After deciding he won’t take her, destiny itself, in the guise of war, intervenes and pushes Ciri into his care time and time again. Finally he realizes he has no choice but to take her, raise her and teach her the ways of the witcher. The training he would have denied her if destiny had not poked its pointy, meddlesome nose into affairs, saves Cirilla’s life on numerous occasions, though at times we’re left to wonder if it is even a life worth living at all. Ciri faces obstacles so insurmountable at times, it is a wonder she makes it through to the end of the books at all, but because of the strength Geralt instilled in her, the unfailing devotion he offered, she never gives up and becomes a legendary hero and unstoppable force herself.

Geralt, as a man, is as flawed as they come. He lives his life in blacks and whites, deigning to neutrality–as is the witcher’s way. He keeps his head down when nasty matters of a political nature crash down around him like unending waves smashing upon the shore, preferring to avoid them. Unfortunately, his world is so embroiled in such  matters, it is not always easy to stand in the center of an issue without leaning in one direction or the other. The complicated issue of humanity versus non-humanity that prevails in the story often tugs him toward other non-humans.

He is human, yes, but only in the barest sense of the word. He is a mutant, a freak of nature and an outcast. People seem to take little to no issue dropping a bag of gold in his palm when they need him to do away with a monster terrorizing their town, and though he claims it doesn’t bother him, those same people rarely welcome his presence in their town–even after he’s done away with their monster problem. He’s no stranger to scowls, stares, whispers and derision, and because of humanity’s treatment of that which it doesn’t understand, he’s rather cynical and dour about the world. Despite his often jaded worldview, he still sticks his neck out time and again to help people who very rarely, if ever, deserve his help.

And that is what makes him a hero. As a witcher, it is his job to help people, but in a changing world where the definition of the word monster is tenuous at best, it does become difficult for him to draw the line without occasionally it from time to time. As the war with Nilfgaard rages through the Northern Kingdoms, Geralt finds himself in company with other outcasts: dwarves, halflings, an archer known for aiding and leading Scoia’tael to safety, a Nilfgaardian knight who defected from his king’s cause, a vampire, a foul-mouthed thief and a self-absorbed, wandering minstrel/spy who also just so happens to be the witcher’s best friend. It is the friendship bond he forms with these people on the road to finding and saving Cirilla that inevitably define him.

geraltAll his life he’s stuck his neck out for others, and no one’s ever done it for him. Why would they? Why should they? Yet these people are willing to go with him to the very end, to sacrifice themselves for his cause, and as they fall for his cause one by onehe begins to see things differently for the first time in his life. The risk for those who do not appreciate it is no longer worth it. He gets nothing from it, and so long as his loved ones are safe, he sees no reason to go on being the hero. Unfortunately, once a hero, always a hero. When the proverbial shit hits the fan in Rivia literal moments after he’s decided to hang up his sword and live out the rest of his life in peace, the hero rises to the occasion again and sacrifices himself to keep his friends and loved ones safe.

I’m sure if we were to ask Geralt of Rivia if he thought himself a hero he would laugh in our faces. He would more than likely tell us he’s no hero at all, no champion worthy of praises, ballads and songs. He’s just a killer of monsters, a lover willing to die for the woman who holds his heart, a father willing to walk to the ends of the earth for his daughter and a friend who’ll take a pitchfork to the chest to defend the people who accept him for who he is.

A hero in the noblest sense of the word, whether he sees it or not.

 

Imaginary Heroes: Severus Snape

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I remember reading an interview with J.K. Rowling right around the time The Order of the Phoenix came out in which the interviewer asked Rowling if Professor Severus Snape was truly irredeemable. She said he’d done unforgivable things, that some people are just bad and that’s all there is to it, but even then I knew she wasn’t telling the whole truth about one of my favorite characters in the Harry Potter book series.

When we first meet Severus Snape in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone he becomes an instant red herring. Not only does he look the part of evil with his dour expression, greasy black hair and hookish nose, but he’s caught in the great hall upon Harry Potter’s arrival, glaring at the boy as if he’s got sinister plots a-brewing. Of course, he is an early lesson about the danger in making assumptions, but Harry and his friends remain unconvinced about Snape’s innocence even after poor stuttering Professor Quirrel reveals that he’s got YOU KNOW WHO living like a parasite beneath his turban.

Despite learning that not only was Professor Snape innocent of all those things Harry and his friends accused him of in The Sorcerer’s Stone, but he actually helped Harry, Ron and Hermione, there’s just something about Snape that begs both the heroic trio and the reader to dig deeper into his person. Snape is hiding things. He’s got secrets, and because he is so very often cruel to the point of unforgivable, we know there’s something so much more than sour grapes and unexplained bitterness driving Severus Snape’s actions.

snape and dumbledoreWe begin to understand a bit more about Snape’s character in The Prisoner of Azkaban, one quote in particular shedding a bit of light on why the potions master seems to have it in for Harry. “How extraordinarily like your father you are, Potter,” Snape said suddenly, his eyes glinting. “He too was exceedingly arrogant. A small amount of talent on the Quidditch field made him think he was a cut above the rest of us too. Strutting around the place with his friends and admirers … The resemblance between you is uncanny” (Rowling, Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 14). This revealing little tidbit tells the reader that Snape and Harry’s father, James Potter, had a vicious rivalry while they attended Hogwarts together, which is later confirmed when Snape faces off against Professor Lupin and Sirius Black in the shrieking shack. Revealing that Ron’s rat, Scabbers, is really Peter Pettigrew in disguise, Pettigrew turns out to be Voldemort’s trusted servant and setting Pettigrew free reunites the servant with the master. Even though we all know the truth about Sirius Black’s innocence, Snape’s need for vengeance against the group of boys who made his life at Hogwarts a living hell drives him to present Black for imprisonment even though the children keep telling him it was Peter Pettigrew all along. When Black escapes with Buckbeak, Snape’s howls of defeat can be heard echoing through the castle and we are left wondering what on earth happened between young Severus Snape and the Marauders to fill him with so much loathing. His final act of vengeance against the Marauders is revealing to the parents of Hogwarts’ students their Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is a werewolf. Of course, we are led to believe he only did this so he could finally get his hands on the DAtDA position he’s coveted for years, and there is no doubt that was a motivating factor, but Snape is a bitter man and that one act of cruelty probably felt justified by all the wretched things James Potter and Sirius Black did to him (which we don’t learn about until The Order of the Phoenix.)

When Harry Potter’s name unexpectedly flies out of the Goblet of Fire, naming him the fourth Tri-Wizard Champion, there is a lot of speculation on Harry’s part that it was Professor Snape who put it there. Of course, it wasn’t Professor Snape, and we all learn that before the end, but we also discover that the snarky, embittered Professor Snape was, in fact, one of Voldemort’s Death Eaters. When Harry takes this news to Sirius, Black says, “Ever since I found out Snape was teaching here, I’ve wondered why Dumbledore hired him. Snape’s always been fascinated by the Dark Arts, he was famous for it at school. Slimy, oily, greasy-haired kid, he was.” Sirius added, and Harry and Ron grinned at each other. “Snape knew more curses when he arrived at school than half the kids in seventh year, and he was part of a gang of Slytherins who nearly-all turned out to be Death Eaters” (Rowling, The Goblet of Fire, Chapter 27). But since the beginning of the story, Headmaster Albus Dumbledore stood behind Snape, claiming that he trusts the man, and with good reason. Though he refuses to name that reason when an unconvinced Harry asks the headmaster what made him believe Snape stopped serving the dark lord, he tells him in Chapter 30, “That, Harry, is a matter between Professor Snape and myself.”

As The Order of the Phoenix is reformed in book five of the series, no one is more surprised than Harry to learn that Dumbledore has allowed Snape to be an active member of the Order. What his duties are, no one knows, and since Dumbledore seems to be avoiding Harry at all costs, he’s unable to ask the headmaster why he trusts Snape enough to allow him to be a member of the Order of the Phoenix. Snape seems to take great joy in taunting Sirius Black, whose fugitive status prohibits him from doing much to aid the Order, and after Harry’s mental connection to Voldemort is confirmed when Harry saves Arthur Weasley’s life, Dumbledore sets Snape to the task of teaching Harry how to block the Dark Lord from his mind using Legilimency. Sadly, their history with one another makes this a difficult task, and the unforgiving Professor Snape often taunts Harry, tormenting him with his own private thoughts until an angry Harry turns the tables and reveals Snapes Worst Memory to the reader. Harry sees firsthand just how cruel his own father was to young Snape, how Sirius and James tormented Severus and humiliated him in front of the entire school. This revelation infuriates Snape, and he refuses to continue Harry’s lessons, warning him that he better not ever tell anyone what he saw in Snape’s memory.

teen snapeWhile Harry is preoccupied with his father’s cruelties, we as readers learned something very important in that memory that made a few things click. Snape also knew Lily Evans, Harry’s mother, and it was Lily who spared Severus from James Potter’s cruelty that day in Snape’s Worst Memory. Perhaps, we think as readers, it was simply an act of kindness from a good-natured witch, but even then I felt like there was so much more to Snape and Lily than met the eye.

With the confirmation of Voldemort’s return after the battle at the Ministry of Magic, Harry’s hatred for Snape has reached an all-time high because Harry believes Snape deliberately betrayed Sirius, and it was that betrayal that got Sirius killed in the battle. No matter what Dumbledore says about Snape, Harry will never believe the man can be trusted, which poses a huge problem in year six, when Harry discovers that Snape has finally been granted the coveted position of Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. In the second chapter of The Half-Blood Prince, we see Snape in action with fellow Death Eater, Bellatrix LeStrange. It is a very one-sided glimpse at the other side of Snape’s dealings, his life as a double-agent playing both sides of the game, and though it seems to confirm Harry’s suspicions all along that Snape is a nasty, rotten, traitorous git, Snape does something in this early chapter of the book that says volumes about who he is as a man: he makes an unbreakable vow with Narcissa Malfoy, promising to  making and unbreakable vow with Narcissa Malfoy, in which he promises to look after Draco as he attempts to fulfill the Dark Lord’s wishes and protect him. He also promises that if Draco is unable to do this thing the Dark Lord has asked him to carry out, he will do it for him. Though we can only begin to imagine what this task is, we know it must be huge, and the task itself is cleverly played from beginning to end.

Throughout The Half-Blood Prince Harry finds himself chasing down Draco, who’s obviously up to something sinister. Harry is convinced Draco is a Death Eater now, and that Voldemort has set him to some task. This seems to be confirmed every time Harry overhears Snape and Malfoy, but no one seems to want to believe that Malfoy or Snape are capable of doing whatever it is they’re plotting. As events unfold, and Harry learns about the Horcruxes Voldemort made, he is given further instances in which to suspect Snape is not all he is pretending to be. Unfortunately for Harry, each time he tries to convince Dumbledore that he’s wrong about trusting Snape, Dumbledore gently reaffirms his trust for Severus. When the two of them return from retrieving Voldemort’s horcrux from the caverns, and Dumbledore is dying, he insists that instead of going for the school nurse, Madame Pomfrey, he go and find Professor Snape. Unfortunately, as Harry is heading out to find Professor Snape, Draco marches in ready to carry out the task Lord Voldemort set him to in order to redeem his father. He’s obviously come to kill Professor Dumbledore, but try as he might to convince himself and Dumbledore that he’s not weak, that he can kill, Draco is unable to do it. Harry observes this all from the shadows beneath the stairs, overhears everything, but he’s unable to move because of the spell Dumbledore cast on him. When Snape charges onto the scene, there’s a momentary glimmer of hope that is quickly shattered when Dumbledore says, “Severus, please…” Severus Snape lifts his wand and casts the death curse on the headmaster, sending him tumbling from the top of the astronomy tower and into the courtyard below.

young snapeIt seems to infuriate Harry how shocked everyone was that Snape was capable of killing the only man who trusted him, but as events unfold in the final book of the series, and we are coming down to the face-off against Lord Voldemort, Harry is given one piece of evidence from Professor Snape himself as he lay dying. Snape withdraws a silver strand of memory before taking his final breath and gives it to Harry, who then takes it back to Hogwarts and climbs the stairs to Dumbledore’s old office, where he drops the memory into the pensieve and discovers that Snape knew and befriended his mother, Lily, before the two children were at Hogwarts together. They head to Hogwarts believing their friendship will hold them together, but when the two are sorted into rivaling houses their bond begins to wane. We see moments over time that put Lily and Severus at odds, and when she calls him a Mudblood after she tries to protect him from James and Sirius in the scene Harry saw in Snape’s memories during his training, Lily cannot forgive him. It is only after Snape has joined Voldemort that we discover what it was that made Dumbledore trust him all those years, even though he seemed absolutely irredeemable. Snape loved Lily with all his heart, and when he learned the Dark Lord was planning to kill her, he turned from Voldemort and went straight to Dumbledore in order to protect her.  When asked what he would do to protect her, Snape says, “Anything!”

But even with Snape’s assistance, Dumbledore was not able to protect Lily from Voldemort because James and Lily put their trust in the wrong person: Peter Pettigrew. Completely beside himself with grief over having lost the woman he loved, Snape reluctantly agrees to protect Harry when Voldemort returns, though he makes Dumbledore promise to never tell anyone because Harry is James Potter’s son, his most bitter enemy. On the other hand, Dumbledore reminds him that he is also Lily’s son, and he agrees.

Over the years, Snape did everything in his power to protect Harry, even though the mere sight of him brought him agonizing pain–because he looked so much like the man who stole away the woman he loved, and of course, because he had his mother’s eyes.

Snape sacrificed himself for love, even though he didn’t have to. He spent the years of his life protecting her child because of the love he had for that child’s mother. There were moments when we were led to believe that Snape was evil, corrupted and absolutely unable to be saved, but in those final moments it is learned that of everyone in the story, Snape was, perhaps, the most human of them all. Driven by anger, softened by love, Snape made the ultimate sacrifice. He gave up the only comfort he had in his life: the dark arts, for the woman he loved, and even though his sacrifice did not save her, it did save her son.

snape bravest manThere are so many lessons to be learned from Snape, who is truly a rose among thorns. Finally understanding the man who gave up everything so that he could live, Harry named his own son for two of the bravest men he’d ever known: Albus Severus Potter. A true hero’s tribute, if you ask me.

I have so many favorite Severus Snape moments, that to list and explore them all would take several blog posts. I would love to hear some of your favorite Snape moments, including the moment you first realized there was more to the man than his sour disposition and scathing criticisms of the Boy Who Lived.

Imaginary Heroes: Tyrion Lannister

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*This post may contain spoilers for those who have not read George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.

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Tyrion Lannister, portrayed by Peter Dinklage in HBO’s Game of Thrones adaptation

I’ve been racking my brains for the last few weeks for some interesting topics to talk about here on the blog between book releases, and one topic I’ve been wanting to tackle for a while is some of my imaginary, literary heroes, characters in books I’ve read over the years that really resonated with me as a reader even long after I’ve put the book down.

To launch the first of many to come, I want to talk about one of my all-time favorite literary geniuses: Tyrion Lannister from George R.R. Martin’s epic saga, A Song of Ice and Fire.

lannister sigilAlso sometimes known as The Imp or The Half-man, Tyrion Lannister is the youngest of the Lannister children, who is often berated by his older sister, Cersei and his father, Tywin, for killing his mother as she bore him. He is a dwarf, and in George R.R. Martin’s world, dwarfs are often abused, beaten down and used for ridiculous entertainment purposes, and Tyrion often makes a mockery of this, especially in the face of his father. To Jon Snow, who snarkily asked him what he knew about being a bastard, Tyrion replied, “All dwarfs are bastards in their father’s eyes,” (Martin, A Game of Thrones, Chapter 5,) and it is no small secret that Tywin Lannister looks upon his youngest son this way.

To make up for his small stature, Tyrion spent his life developing his intelligence, wit and humor, very rarely allowing those who scorn him for his size to get under his skin. His older brother Jaime seems to be the only one in his direct family who has any love for Tyrion at all, and it is because of this kindness that during the first half of the series Tyrion believes Jaime could do just about anything and he would forgive him for it.

But there is a dark story in Tyrion’s past that is often referred to when his love of whores and drink become the focal point for his character. As a young man Tyrion fell in love with a girl named Tysha, and though she was labeled a whore who only wanted him for his money, Tysha seemed to genuinely love him too. They were married without his father’s consent, and lived happily for only a matter of days before Tywin Lannister marched in with his men, tore them apart and forced his son to watch while his men raped and paid her for her services to convince young Tyrion that she was a whore who only wanted him for his money.

This awful story haunts Tyrion, because he believed Tysha loved him, and to avoid allowing himself to ever endure that kind of pain again he frequents whorehouses with an underlying hope that somehow he will find her again and discover the truth. After Joffrey is murdered at his wedding feast, and Tyrion is imprisoned for the crime, Jaime Lannister confesses to Tyrion that Tysha was not a whore, shattering the brothers’ bond between them and forcing Tyrion to angrily declare to Jaime that their sister Cersei, who had been Jaime’s lover all his life, had slept with dozens of men and that he did murder Joffrey, even though he had no hand Joffrey’s death. You know what they say… A Lannister always pays his debts, and though the brothers had always been close, that single act of betrayal was enough to tear them apart.

One of the things I love most about Tyrion Lannister is that circumstances made him more than just a mere survivor. His intelligence and wit make him a formidable adversary and his kind heart, though he often denies even having one, cast him in a sympathetic light, despite many of his shortcomings. On the eve of his marriage to Sansa Stark, he told her, “I am malformed, scarred, and small, but… abed, when the candles are blown out, I am made no worse than other men. In the dark, I am the Knight of Flowers. I am generous. Loyal to those who are loyal to me. I’ve proven I’m no craven. And I am cleverer than most, surely wits count for something. I can even be kind. Kindness is not a habit with us Lannisters, I fear, but I know I have some somewhere. I could be… I could be good to you.” (Martin, A Storm of Swords, Chapter 68.)

And for me that is one of his most admirable qualities. Tyrion wants to be good, even though he often hides behind a veil of bitter cunning and snark; in the end he wants the same thing we all want: to be loved, to be accepted for who he is. This longing for love and acceptance tends to get him into more trouble than its worth enduring, but he continues to search and secretly hope for it even though he knows it’s doubtful he will ever truly know it.

Tyrion takes great pride in showing those who doubt him the error of their ways, constantly rising above his own limitations to come out on top of the game. He’s had to work incredibly hard to be the man he is, and the fact that he’s seen so much hardship, despite being a part of one of the most prosperous and influential families in the realm makes him a dynamic source for inspirational quotes. The bit of wisdom he passed onto Jon Snow, for example, when the latter asked him why he read so much in A Game of Thrones, “My mind is my weapon. My brother has his sword, King Robert has his warhammer and I have my mind… and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge. That’s why I read so much Jon Snow.” (Martin, A Game of Thrones, Chapter 5.)

There are so many lessons to be learned from The Imp, words of wisdom that speak to all our hearts if we listen closely. We must work with what we have, instead of trying to be something we are not. If we are not strong of body, we must be strong of mind if we want to survive. There are no small parts in this life, in some way we are all larger than life, we just don’t know it yet. Sometimes we do things that make us doubt ourselves, and sometimes the world does things to us that we can’t do much about, but we never stop being what we truly are at our very core, and if we choose to be good that goodness will find ways of shining through.

I think Maester Aemon said it best while Tyrion was visiting the Night’s Watch in the North: “Oh, I think Lord Tyrion is quite a large man. I think he is a giant come among us, here at the end of the world.” (Martin, A Game of Thrones, Chapter 21). A man doesn’t have to be large in stature to be a true giant, and whether you love him or hate him, there is no doubt in my mind that Tyrion Lannister is, as Maester Aemon noted, a giant among imaginary men.