'Game of Thrones' Sentenced Tyrion To Death, But Let's Hope They Stick To The Books

"The gods have made their will know. Tyrion Lannister, in the name of King Tommen of the House Baratheon, first of his name, you are hereby sentenced to death." And so, with Prince Oberyn's tragic (and disgusting) death, Tyrion was found guilty of the murder of his own nephew, King Joffrey — a crime he often joked about but didn't actually commit. So we head into the Season 4 finale of Game Of Thrones with one fan-favorite character's head exploded, and another about to get his own chopped off.

Sure, we've seen the satisfying demise of a few insufferable villains: Viserys, Joffrey, Lysa. But that doesn't even come close to matching the list of beloved characters who've been sent to an early grave: Robert, Ned, Drogo, Renly, Talisa, Robb, Catelyn, Mormont, Oberyn, Ygritte. Surely George R.R. Martin (and showrunners David Benioff & D.B. Weiss) wouldn't be so crazy as to add the only lovable Lannister to that ever-growing list. Right?

Let's see what Martin's source material has to say about Tyrion's sticky situation. In A Storm Of Swords, the third novel in the Song Of Ice And Fire series, Tyrion is promptly sent back to his cell after his ill-fated trial-by-combat to await his impending execution. But — thankfully — he never makes it to his date with Ser Ilyn Payne, the royal executioner.

On the eve of his beheading, Tyrion is sprung from prison by his brother Jaime, with the help of wily Lord Varys. During their escape, in the bowels of the castle, Jaime reveals a secret he's been keeping from Tyrion for years: Tyrion's former wife, Tysha, wasn't actually a prostitute like he was told. Tywin ordered Jaime to lie to his younger brother — in reality, Tysha was simply a peasant girl who truly loved Tyrion. Infuriated by this revelation, Tyrion falsely admits to killing Joffrey, and abandons Jaime in the tunnels.

Tyrion makes his way to Tywin's bedchamber to confront his father. Upon entering the room, he sees a naked Shae in his father's bed. Stunned by her betrayal, he strangles the whore to death. He then finds Tywin in the privvy, where he holds him at bay with a crossbow and asks him what became of Tysha. When Tywin refuses to answer his son's question and continues to taunt him, Tyrion surprises them both by shooting his father in the stomach. Tywin dies and Tyrion rejoins Varys in the tunnels, where the Spider helps the Imp escape into exile across the Narrow Sea.

It's one of the most surprising moments in Martin's entire saga because it's one of the only times the good guy lives and the bad guy gets what's coming to him. It's going to feel great to see Tyrion get his revenge, but it's also going to be sad to see Tywin go.

While Papa Lannister is undeniably a villain, he's more pragmatic than evil, and it's been fun watching him scheme and manipulate to keep his family in power. And since Joffrey died six episodes ago, Tywin's been the show's Big Bad. There will be something of a villainy vacuum after his death — but this is Game Of Thrones after all, so you know there are always more evil people waiting in the wings for their chance to wreak havoc on our favorite characters.

Images: HBO (3)