This past season of Game of Thrones found Tyrion inhabiting a role where he was comfortable, for perhaps the first time since Season 2: Hand of the Queen. Soft power has always been Tyrion's forte, the man behind the man, or in this case, the woman. But things didn't go quite as he'd planned, and by the end of the season, he found himself dealing with his Mother of Dragons striking up an affair with the King in the North. But could his reaction to that be a Game Of Thrones season 7 Finale clue about Tyrion's future?
Let's go over how Tyrion fared this season. One of his major miscalculations is that Tyrion assumed being Hand of the Queen for Daenerys would be not unlike being Hand of the King for Joffrey. In Season 2, Tyrion was able to make deals, play people, and generally do whatever he thought was best with impunity in King's Landing. Joffrey wasn't interested in being King, or ruling, and didn't really notice what Tyrion was up to. Cersei did, but she was unable to stop him.
Things were very different with Dany. Though she did listen to Tyrion, at least at first, as time went on, being Hand of the Queen for her was a bit like riding a dragon you aren't bonded to -- it doesn't allow you to steer, and it doesn't much care if you hang on or fall off.
The end of the season left Tyrion at a complete loss. His Queen, who he had worked hard to keep focused on the war at hand, had done something utterly inconvenient. She had fallen in love and was openly having sex with Jon Snow, a man who is (in about an episode or so) going to become her biggest rival for the Iron Throne. This is going to be more than a mite awkward.
For many, Tyrion's standing alone in the dark outside Dany's room was cause for intense speculation. Was this proof he was in love with Dany, and was he standing there brokenhearted? Was he standing there in terror at the idea that she might produce an heir, after years of insisting she couldn't? Or was he standing there, calculating the massive political implications of her sex life?
A good Hand would be doing that last one, by the way, and we take it on faith that though things didn't always go Tyrion's way this season, he is actually a good Hand of the Queen. (Just not a great battle tactician.) Sleeping with someone who is a political ally can have terrible consequences if the relationship goes south -- and we have a very bad feeling that finding out Jon's true parentage is going to cause it to do just that.
So what does this mean for Tyrion going forward? Tyrion is loyal to Daenerys. That's who he swore his oath to, that's who chose him to raise up for his skills, not because of his last name or family connections. But there's a reckoning coming. When Jon's identity is revealed, many are going to choose sides -- including his ex-wife Sansa (Team Jon) he's BFF Varys (we suspect also Team Jon) and his brother Jaime (Still Undecided.)
Who is Tyrion going to choose? We feel like this scene tells us the answer: Dany. For all that she's rejected his advice, sneered down at him for worrying about succession, and otherwise treated him rather shabbily this season, Tyrion believes in her. So much so that he spent a portion of his evening standing in a hallway calculating the political implications of letting Jon into her bedroom.
When push comes to shove, he'll stay Team Dany, even if it puts him at odds with everyone around him, because he sees in her the Queen Westeros needs. Let's just hope she can live up to it.