Amazon.com: Do you have a favorite character?
Martin: I’ve got to admit I kind of like Tyrion Lannister. He’s the villain of course, but hey, there’s nothing like a good villain.
—Amazon interview with George R.R. Martin, 1999
This is interesting, an interview with GRRM done after the release of ACOK, while he was writing ASOS. It’s not in SSM except as a link,
so it’s new to me. The interview doesn’t have much out of the ordinary
information-wise, it’s all mostly stuff we already knew and/or that GRRM
has said elsewhere… except for this one quote.
Usually GRRM just says things like Tyrion is “the grayest of the gray”, never outright calling him a villain. So I wonder if he was saying this like the way he talked about it here,
where it’s the Starks that see Tyrion as a villain? Or since he was
writing ASOS at the time, if it was a reference to how by the end of
that book, all of Westeros sees Tyrion as a monster, a kingslayer and
Or maybe GRRM meant it to be something more, perhaps a reference to how the Tyrion-pastiche in The Bloody Hand echoes Shakespeare’s Richard III, deliberately choosing the path of villainy?
But remember, GRRM also says he prefers grey characters, and often talks about how he never wants to write “pure evil” villains, so even if he did mean Tyrion was the villain, I don’t think it necessarily means Tyrion will become that much darker than the grey that he already is. And certainly old interviews could have ideas that have changed in the 15 years since GRRM spoke them. Still, we’ll just have to see.