During Game of Thrones season four finale Sunday night, Tyrion Lannister committed patricide after murdering his former prostitute and lover Shae with her own necklace. Though the scenes played out slightly differently on TV than how the Song of Ice and Fire series author George R. R. Martin plotted them out, Tyrion’s acts of rage and the inevitable consequences of those acts are essentially the same, according to Martin.

George R. R. Martin On 'Game Of Thrones' Finale

Why does Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) kill Tywin (Charles Dance) and Shae (Sibel Kekilli) right after being gifted an escape from certain death by his brother, who is one of the few who doesn’t believe him guilty of killing his nephew Joffrey (Jack Gleeson)? Martin reveals it was a matter of Tywin’s youngest child simply having enough of the abuse.

“He’s lost his position in House Lannister, he’s lost his position in court, he’s lost all of his gold — which is the one thing that’s kind of sustained him throughout his life,” said Martin, who went on to address the scene from the book missing in the Thrones TV series in which Jamie reveals that Tyrion’s first wife was never a whore in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.. “He’s also found out that Jamie — the one blood relation that he loved unreservedly and has his back, and was always on his side — played a part in this traumatic event of his life, the ultimate betrayal.”

The ultimate betrayal during his days as a young man included Jamie doing his father’s bidding to convince Tyrion that he had wed a prostitute – one that Jamie had paid to seduce Tyrion. In truth, Tywin had merely disapproved of the match, thinking the girl to be chasing after Lannister gold. To show Tyrion a lesson, he threw money at the girl while soldiers raped her, then made Tyrion get into bed with her last before shipping her away.

“I think sometimes people just get pushed too far, sometimes people break. And I think Tyrion has reached his point. He’s been through hell, he’s faced death over and over again, and he’s been betrayed, as he sees it, by all the people that he’s tried to take care of, that he’s tried to win the approval of,” Martin said of Tyrion’s split-second decision to pull the trigger on the crossbow. “He’s been trying to win his father’s approval all his life.… The act of killing his father is something of enormous consequence that would be forever beyond the pale, for no man is as cursed as a kinslayer.”

As for killing Shae, while the crime itself would go unpunished in Westeros due to her rank in society, the penalty on Tyrion’s soul will be great, according to Martin. “With Shae, it’s a much more deliberate and in some ways a crueler thing,” the author said. “It’s not the action of a second, because he’s strangling her slowly and she’s fighting, trying to get free. He could let go at any time. But his anger and his sense of betrayal is so strong that he doesn’t stop until it’s done and that’s probably the blackest deed that he’s ever done."

In the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, Nedd Stark (Sean Bean), the Lord of Winterfell dies. In the second, his surviving wife and eldest son and heir die. Book three saw the deaths of two of the series best villains – Joffrey and Tywin. When writing, Martin doesn’t plot out the deaths, they merely manifest themselves in the process of telling his epic story.

“I don’t sit down and make decisions like, 'Yes I need a decision here, I need something there.' I set the characters in motion, I set the story in motion, and they lead me to certain places,” he said. “Admittedly, sometimes they lead me down a dead end and I go, 'This isn’t going to work, I really painted myself in a corner here, I gotta go back and change this.' But sometimes they lead me to very powerful places.”

One thing is for sure, though, with a couple more books for Martin to write and a few more seasons of the Game of Thrones TV series to go, there are bound to be more shocking deaths in the Thrones vast universe – of villains and heroes alike.


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