We still have at least a few months to wait before the much-anticipated final season of Game of Thrones arrives at last, and while we can certainly offer plenty of guesses, we don't know too many story details yet. That lack of knowledge is complicated by how much was left up in the air in an often nerve-wracking way at the end of Season 7, including the last expression we saw on Tyrion Lannister's face. Now, Peter Dinklage himself is here to shed some light on that moment.
The last time we saw Tyrion, in the episode "The Dragon and the Wolf," he was outside the door to Daenerys' cabin on the Targaryen ship coming back from King's Landing, and he'd just realized that inside that cabin Daenerys and Jon Snow's relationship had finally turned sexual. While the two rulers join together inside, Tyrion looks pained, even disturbed by what he assumes is happening on the other side of the door. Of course, his expression was ultimately overshadowed by the sex scene itself and the confirmation that Jon is actually Aegon Targaryen, the son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark and, therefore, Daenerys' nephew.
As the season ended, fans were left to assume that Jon and Dany will eventually discover their blood relation, in part because Bran Stark and Samwell Tarly make it clear that they're going to tell them of the discovery. Even without that knowledge, though, their relationship is precarious in the grand scheme of the world of the show at the time, and according to Dinklage, that's what Tyrion was feeling in that moment, along with something else: Jealousy.
“No, ah, it’s complicated…” he told Entertainment Weekly. “A lot of the time with Tyrion, it’s professional and personal. Obviously, he has feelings for Daenerys. He loves her — or thinks he does. She’s awe-inspiring. He’s questioning that because he doesn’t have a good track record for falling in love. There’s jealousy wrapped up in there. And he loves Jon Snow, too. They’re the two people he has the most in common with, in a way — they’re both outsiders in their own families who have refused to follow the path their family has taken, and hopefully for the better. He’s wondering how smart of a move [Jon and Dany getting romantically involved is], because passion and politics don’t mix well. He knows the two of them getting together could be very dangerous.”
Tyrion's worry that Jon and Dany's romantic ties would create bigger problems going forward might be the most obvious part of Dinklage's remarks here, because Tyrion is the character who's always going to be concerned about such things. When he's able to set personal feelings aside, even if just for a moment, he's an adept player of the Great Game, able to see factors, allegiances, and tensions that other characters aren't.
He's also, as recent seasons have clearly revealed, a man who can't avoid his own emotions eventually getting in the way of that. Unlike his father, Tyrion is a passionate man, whether he's feeling love or hate, and that always spills over into his work. We've seen that with the pity he took on Sansa, the love he felt for Shae, his hatred of his father, and even his frustrations with his sister Cersei. That means that, next season, he's going to try to be a wise counselor for both the Mother of Dragons and The King in the North as they continue their alliance, but something will be boiling within him, and we have no idea if or when that might spill over.
Game of Thrones returns to HBO for its final season next year.