Book 1 vs. Season 1: Whitewashing Tyrion
We all know it happened.
One of the strange things about writing this series of essays for me is that at this early point in the adaptation I don’t think a lot of these issues are exactly problems yet. I think many of them become problems and ultimately prevent the showrunners from telling the story we see in the books, but here and now they’re just blips on the radar.
This is very clear when it comes to Tyrion Lannister. Peter Dinklage’s portrayal of Tyrion is a real highlight of season one, for me. And Tyrion’s a great character – clever, funny, respectful of literacy in an ignorant society, compassionate to “cripples, bastards, and broken things,” and his struggles to gain recognition and respect despite the prejudice he faces for his disability are heartwrenching.
However, Tyrion also has a dark side that is very dark indeed – misogynistic, deeply classist, spiteful and violent. It is that side that has largely been erased from the show. Not only that, but Tyrion’s positive qualities have frequently been enhanced, sometimes at the expense of other characters.