A possible inspiration for Tyrion Lannister character creation

By @sachintrivedig on
Peter Dinklage
Actor Peter Dinklage poses backstage with his award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role in HBO's "Game of Thrones" during the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California September 20, 2015. Reuters/Mike Blake

George RR Martin loves to read history, with many events in “A Song of Ice and Fire” inspired by historical events. Even the concept of the shocking Red Wedding, in which the host kills his guests at a dinner, is not unheard of for students of history. But what about the characters in the books? Were some of them inspired by actual people from the past?

Perhaps the most popular and one of the most beloved characters in the books is Tyrion Lannister. For fans who consider a dwarf wielding actual power in a medieval setting a little farfetched, it turns out there actually was such a person in history.

Sir Jeffery Hudson was a court dwarf of the English queen Henrietta Maria of France in the 17th century. He was known as "Queen's dwarf" and "Lord Minimus."

The only difference between Tyrion and Sir Jeffery is that Martin made his character rather ugly, which made the general populace of King’s Landing and indeed most of Westeros consider him some sort of a monster. Sir Jeffery, on the other hand, was considered one of the “wonders of the age” because he was well-proportioned despite his small size.

Sir Jeffery was also a warrior. He fought with the Royalists in the English Civil War. Readers will remember how Tyrion also fought in many battles, both small skirmishes as well as massive ones. Often it was this half-man leading the fight while inspiring his men.

The similarity between the two doesn’t end there. Sir Jeffery was expelled from court for killing a man in a duel. Tyrion of course had to leave the city for a different kind of death.

After leaving court, Sir Jeffery was captured by Barbary pirates and taken to North Africa, where he spent 25 years as a slave before being ransomed back to England. Fans may find this strikingly similar to what happened to Tyrion after he travelled across the Narrow Sea to Essos.

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