Tryion in A Song of Ice and Fire
Those of you who are show watchers only may be a little confused. You are probably saying to yourself “Peter Dinklage isn’t disabled. He’s just little.” This is true, but book Tryion is much more impaired. As a point of view character we witness his pain both physically and emotionally. He is described as a misshapen dwarf with one red eye and one black who waddles instead of walking. After his nose is cut off in battle he becomes even more grotesque. He is often referred to as a monster and unfairly compared to his beautiful, perfect siblings.
He is in pain most of the time and even made it a condition of his contract with his mistress that she must rub his aching legs after a day of riding. Despite his physical shortcomings, he has a keen mind and pushes himself to complete the grueling journey so he can see the wall with his own eyes. His sadness and anger at his situation is always present in his mind, but he only shows the world his witty, nonchalant attitude. For example, his siblings were discussing Bran falling from a tower and breaking his back. His brother says that someone should mercy kill the child because he would live a horrible grotesque existence. Tryiion answers “speaking for the grotesque, I hope the boy lives. Death is so terribly final, while life is full of possibilities”. He refers to the angry and bitter Jon Snow as simply “Bastard”. He says “never forget what you are. The world will not. Wear it like honor and it can never be used to hurt you”. He also explains his duty to his house as “I have a realistic grasp of my own strengths and weaknesses. 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.”
He has proven himself as Hand of the King and even led troops when the young king ran off to his mommy. So does this mean that Tryion is the happy, well adjusted and successful gimpy role model that we have been craving? Not exactly. Just like now, wealthy people who are disabled in Westeros live a much better quality of life, but he is actually more crippled by his emotional pain than his physical shortcomings. Being told over and over again since birth that he is a monster and no one wants him has warped his mind. If you hear something often enough you start to believe it even if you know intellectually that it isn’t true. His family even blamed him for killing his mother in childbirth. Even though he parties hard, has power and money, he is incredibly lonely on the inside. I think he is the perfect example of why it is important to surround yourself with people who love and respect you as you are. As for the rest of the world, never give them the power to hurt you with hateful words.