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During the seventh episode of Season 5 of Game of Thrones, Joreah Mormont gave Tyrion Lannister to Daenerys as a gift in order for her to forgive him for his treason. After he killed his father in Season 4, Tyrion Lannister escaped from the prison with the help of his brother and thought that Meereen would be a better place for him as suggested by Varys. He said to the Mother of Dragons that he is a better-suited advisor.

Why would he say that? And why does he want to help Daenerys to claim the Iron Throne?

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I haven't read the books other than the first one so my answer is based on TV universe exclusively.

Tyrion Lannister is a very shrewd operator he is quite intelligent and knows how to run an entire kingdom as we see in Season 2 and also made brilliant battle plans to keep Stannis Baratheon at bay during battle of blackwater despite having smaller numbers in his army.

We see him lose his way after he killed Shae and Tywin primarily because his father tried to kill him for a crime he didn't commit until he is set right by Varys. If you follow Varys's character development throughout the series his actions were mysterious and it was unclear until the current season where its revealed he is rooting for a Targaryen revival.

Seeing how Varys believes in his political acumen, he learns that Dany is trying to do something meaningful in Meereen and eventually after he is kidnapped by Jorah he gets to finally see Drogon a sight which truly marvels him along with the fact that he sees how loyal Jorah is to Dany which i think inspired him to join Dany's cause.

Finally the quote I would like to add is from the last episode where he talks to Dany that he advised people like Joffrey or Cersei who paid no heed to his advice and he believed that Dany is someone worthy to give advice because she is trying to do some good to the people. From a personal point of view I feel Dany clearly needs someone of his acumen to help her cause in reclaiming the throne with her limited political prowess.

  • Lose his way? Or find his true way? That's what makes him so compelling as a character. – corsiKa Jun 5 '15 at 17:02
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Partially because there is nothing else he can do. There is a bounty on his head, he needs to be somewhere safe. If he is Daenerys's valued advisor he will receive protection and a comfortable life.

He has also always loved dragons and has read everything he has ever been able to find about them as well as spending long hours gazing as the bones which they keep in the basement of the castle (although I am not sure that was in the series).

Partially he can also use this to strike at his sister although he has never shown any inclination to kill people unless he is in a rage (Shay and his father) or in battle. So it is unlikely murdering her is foremost on his mind.

I think the main reason is that there is simply no one else he can turn to other than Daenerys and no other service he can offer her other than his advice.

  • 1
    I was thinking much the same: it's the best gig in town. – Steve Jessop Jun 5 '15 at 1:00
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Those who achieve great things in history have always been driven.

In Tyrion's case, his father's hatred and the world's disdain has always been his driving force. Given an actual education and opportunity due to his father's well-hidden love (that is in many ways so harsh it is abuse), as well as the intelligence that led his family to the top of the Realm, he is a man primed to 'rise to the top' - given an opportunity, he'll set the world on fire (as shown on the Blackwater).

He's also a man who has lost everything. Betrayed by those he loved, toughened by years of disdain to not simply crumple under those circumstances, it's the kind of kick up the rear that tells those intelligent and driven but just a little bit naive, that they need to start breaking rules to get what they want.

In the story, Tyrion has always been the innocent - seeking a greater good where those more cynical (including his entire family) see only the greed of Man. As a noble, he can see that his one chance to still do good is to find someone who is not afraid of his family's wrath, and who is yet in precarious enough position that his advice (as an intelligent and fully-trained noble - nobles' work was with words and mind, not the body, the 'noble knight' is actually a failure) is useful. Finding an honest-to-goodness Targaryen heir with dragons over the sea is basically the greatest sign the old gods could have given him that they have his back. If he can make himself useful to her (and given his knowledge and skill, he really can), she is his ticket back into the kingdom, and perhaps, a new golden age for Westeros.

It pretty much appeals to every single one of his desires. So much so it probably seems too good to be true.

And in the converse, why should Daenerys agree? Because Barristan's old, everyone else is an effete slaver or uneducated, Mormont is a pompous failure, and she is untrained and winging it on pure charisma (with her own share of bad decisions). Someone like Tyrion, intelligent, devious, noble-trained, with reasons to see her succeed and none of the arrogance or pride to betray her? Makes you think perhaps Valyrian magic isn't a myth.

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Tyrion mentioned he liked the power that came with being the temporary Hand of the King. That was the reason he did not escape with Shae to Pentos before. At Illyrio's manse Varys says that the people of the realm wont accept himself or Tyrion as their ruler due to their obvious disadvantages. So if Tyrion were to counsel the Khaleesi, much good could be achieved.

Also there is this fact that he can't return to King's Landing and serve as Tommen's Hand. He killed his father. So definitely death if he goes back.

Therefore this is the best way for him right now to remain in power and to stay safe as well.

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Why does Tyrion Lannister say anything? Because he thinks it’s the thing that needs to be said in order to achieve some goal.

So when Tyrion Lannister says he wants to help Daenerys, we have to take that with a grain of salt. He may very well want to help her – or he may think that saying he wants to will accomplish something he wants. In this case, there are a lot of reasons to convince Daenerys, at the least, that he wants to help her: she would be a powerful protector, assisting her could be a source of potentially-enormous power and position, and let’s not forget, she has the world’s only dragons.

Compare this to saying, well, anything else: best case scenario, he’s imprisoned as an enemy. More likely, he’s killed or sent away, since he’s pretty much worthless as a bargaining chip. None of these are good things for Tyrion, and they certainly don’t help him do anything at all.

So really, why wouldn’t he claim to want to help her? He has much to gain, and a lot of negative consequences to avoid, by doing so.

(Again, I do want to emphasize that it is entirely possible that he is sincere; his family has never treated him well, and the revelations that led to Tyrion leaving Westeros may have completely shattered the surprising loyalty to them he used to have despite his treatment. But whether he wants to help her or not, saying he wants to help her is kind of a no-brainer.)

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