What's The "Great Game" Tyrion Mentioned On 'Game Of Thrones'? Daenerys Is Ready To Take The Iron Throne
In the preview for the Season 6 finale of Game of Thrones, Tyrion is shown saying to Daenerys, "Are you afraid? Good. You're in the great game now and the great game's terrifying." This great game Tyrion is talking about on Game of Thrones is none other than the HBO show's title — it's the Game of Thrones, the battle for the Iron Throne. While I certainly think that Daenerys has been involved in the game since Season 1, the powerful families of Westeros (with the exception of Robert Baratheon) have continually underestimated Daenerys Targaryen since she has been on the wrong side of the Narrow Sea. The old adage of "out of sight, out of mind" resonates when you think of how the Lannisters, in particular, have handled Daenerys. But, as Tyrion alludes to, that's all going to change now that Dany has a fleet of ships at her disposal to head to Westeros.
While Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys don't have the exact same views on leadership, Tyrion proved what a helpful advisor he can be to the Mother of Dragons in the June 19 episode, "The Battle of the Bastards." As much as I love Dany and in no way want to take away from all of her accomplishments on Game of Thrones so far, Tyrion understands the struggle for control over Westeros. He is uniquely suited to be a powerful ally to Daenerys because of his time serving as the King's Hand in King's Landing — not to mention living life as the child of Tywin Lannister, which holds true even if you think Tyrion is actually a Targaryen since he was still raised by the most manipulative man in all of Westeros.
Dany has a lot of experience rallying troops of disenfranchised people behind her in Essos, but what about the political moves that the Lannisters are infamous for? That's the part of the "great game" that Tyrion knows firsthand is truly terrifying.
The Lannisters have fallen so far in Season 6 that I almost think that Tyrion could be giving them too much credit. But, it's not just the Lannisters that Tyrion knows Dany needs to be wary of. You've got the Starks regaining their power in the North with the newly empowered Sansa at the helm. You've got the shady AF Petyr Baelish, who will literally do anything to serve his own motives. There are the Tyrells who not only have gotten away with killing a king in plain sight, but Margaery has proven time and time again that she's a force to be reckoned with. There is the religious powers of the High Sparrow, who has successfully seized King's Landing for now. And, let's not forget that the Lannisters have teamed up with the Freys again, just proving that there's no way they will give up their power (even if the king's last name is technically Baratheon) without a dirty, immoral fight.
Tyrion may be removed from knowing every detail of the "game" since fleeing Westeros, but Varys knew that Daenerys could benefit from Tyrion's intelligence and expertise in the politics involved in winning the game of thrones. It's also fascinating to think how HBO decided to change the name of their version of George R. R. Martin's story to Game of Thrones instead of keeping the original book series title of A Song of Ice and Fire. It's indicative of the fact that the TV show is focused on who has control of the Iron Throne and has been echoed time and time again since Tyrion's voiceover discussing the "game" was featured in other previews for Season 6 — even before the season premiered.
Tyrion speaking of Dany's involvement in the game seems to be pointing directly to how the show is finally going to have Daenerys cross that Narrow Sea and take on Westeros. Thanks to Theon and Yara Greyjoy arriving to Meereen with their 100 ships from the Iron Fleet (with impressive speed, I must add), Daenerys finally has a way to get to King's Landing, and Tyrion's words act a warning that, though Dany has had success in Essos, there is a reason to be afraid of what lies in Westeros.
Yet, as showrunner David Benioff discussed during the "Inside the Episode" segment of "The Battle of the Bastards," Daenerys is an "unprecedented threat" to the families vying for the Iron Throne with the Dothraki army, the Unsullied, and three dragons at her disposal. While I absolutely think Tyrion's advice to Daenerys should be heeded, I'm also in full agreement with Benioff when he said, "So if she can make it all the way across the Narrow Sea and get to Westeros, who's gonna stand in her way?" Who's gonna stand in her way, indeed.
Image: Helen Sloan/HBO, HBO