52

Why isn't Tyrion mentioned in the in-universe book "A Song of Ice and Fire"?

He certainly deserved to be. He mentions that he didn't think he'd be spoken of kindly. Why did the maester dislike him?

53

There is no plausible way of writing a complete and accurate history of events after Robert's rebellion without mentioning Tyrion. It was likely a joke.

The man held the office of the Hand to Kings Joffrey I Baratheon and Brandon I Stark, and Queen Daenerys Targaryen. He also served as Master of Coin for King Joffrey Baratheon. He has been convicted of killing a King and his own father who happened to be the Hand of the King and the most powerful man in Westeros.

His association with Dany would earn him a long chapter dedicated to him as well.

  • 11
    Minor nitpick even though it doesn't change your point, Tyrion was acting Hand of the King to Joffrey whilst Tywin was away with the war. – TheLethalCarrot May 20 at 12:12
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    An imp who was the Hand to three different rulers. Absurd that they would leave him out. – TargBot May 20 at 13:10
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    This is the correct answer. It was an (out-of-universe) joke, executed at the cost of a reasonable narrative. – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft May 20 at 18:48
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    "Complete and accurate history" -- as the current highest upvoted answer indicates, you fundamentally misunderstand the goals this Maester would have had in this setting. That was never the intent of the work, and everyone (who is educated, at least) in the world knows that. – zibadawa timmy May 21 at 13:55
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    Is there some evidence of this?@BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft says its an out-of-universe joke, but can you provide more details? I don't see what they are referencing in the joke. I'm sure it will be hilarious once explained </sarcasm> – David Grinberg May 22 at 4:53
88

The history books of Westeros, like those of the corresponding era of Europe, do not prize accuracy above all else. Therefore, unless Maester Ebrose was unusually scrupulous, he would be focusing not only on which events actually occurred, but also on telling a story. He would want this story to have a satisfying and tidy narrative, so that people would read and enjoy his book, and he would want to tell a story that was acceptable in the political climate he was writing in, so that he could keep his enviviable position as archmaester.

History books focus on figureheads

People like reading stories about Lords and Ladies, Princes and Princesses, Kings and Queens. Their entourages are of less interest. No matter how important they are behind the scenes, advisors and councillors are unlikely to get a mention. Even for a position as important as Hand of The King, it makes for a better story to simply pretend that it was the monarch themselves who made the decisions and gave the commands. This is highlighted rather touchingly by Varys after the Battle of Blackwater.

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There are many who know that without you this city faced certain defeat. The King won't give you any honours, the histories won't mention you, but we will not forget.

Varys' prediction was correct. Although Tyrion was highborn and Hand to several Kings and Queens, he was never the ruler of any of the great houses or any of the Seven Kingdoms. (This situation might have changed since the end of Ebrose's book, due to the deaths of every other member of House Lannister.) Therefore his actions would not necessarily merit inclusion in a history.

Tyrion's victory at Blackwater is King Joffery's victory. The fact that Tyrion was convicted of Joffery's murder is irrelevant since it was later revealed that the murderer was Lady Olenna Tyrell. The commands Tyrion gave as Hand of The Queen would have been attributed to Daenerys Targaryen. The one action that he might have been granted credit for was the murder of his father Tywin, but (assuming it was even public knowledge) Maester Ebrose would have found it awkward to include this fact.

It would have been politically unwise to mention him

Westeros is now totally controlled by the Starks. They rule the Night's Watch, The North and The Six Kingdoms. Furthermore they've appointed a close personal friend as Grand Maester. Therefore Maester Ebrose would wish to avoid publishing anything that would offend them or cast them in a bad light.

Likewise Tyrion is in a very powerful position as Hand of The King, so Maester Ebrose would also wish to avoid offending him.

This puts Ebrose in a difficult position since Tyrion spent almost all of the wars serving those fighting against the Starks. If he mentioned Tyrion in a flattering way it would make the Starks look worse. If he mentioned Tyrion in an unflattering way then Tyrion might have retaliated. It's hard to mention him in a neutral way because Tyrion spent all his time associating with the Starks' enemies. Worst of all, Tyrion's main achievement was his victory at Blackwater against Stannis, the very man that Ned Stark was executed for supporting.

So Maester Ebrose took the easy solution and simply didn't mention Tyrion at all. This ran the slight risk of offending Tyrion by diminishing his importance, but the risk was less than that of writing something that could have directly offended Tyrion or the Starks.

  • 10
    "The history books of Westeros, like those of the corresponding era of Europe, do not prize accuracy above all else." - This corresponds to the fact that the Three Eyed Raven is 'the memory of the world' and the books of the Maesters in the Citadel isn't - History books reflect the story the writer/victor want to tell, not the accurate historical context. Nice point! – Cinderhaze May 20 at 14:00
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    Adding to your point in the first paragraph, one of the most commonly cited historians on Ancient Greece (Herodotus) is referred to by some as "The Father of Lies" for his many apocryphal stories. Many ancient historians were story-tellers who heavily edited their stories for dramatic effect. – kuhl May 20 at 16:20
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    @MikeScott A relationship never consummated so never formally cemented. At least as far as Ramsay was concerned. In any case, it makes it easy to wipe away something that, formally speaking, never really existed in the first place. – zibadawa timmy May 20 at 17:24
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    @MikeScott Ebrose would then have to explain why they weren't still married. Tyrion wouldn't appreciate the world being reminded of the fact that he never consummated the marriage. To us it's a sign of his good character that he refused to rape Sansa despite pressure from his family to do so. But to the kind of people the Hand of The King has to deal with, it would be a sign of weakness, unmanliness or impotence. Since the marriage was never valid anyway, it's possible to simply not mention it. – Oscar Cunningham May 20 at 17:28
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    And +1 from me simply for reminding us of that Varys quote. Makes it quite clear that the history books would not be written for accuracy, and this is to be expected by the (educated) people of this world. – zibadawa timmy May 20 at 19:24
14

I see people are trying to come up with in-universe explanations, but I strongly think that the reason is this:

The writers simply wanted to make yet another joke within the larger joke that was the whole scene.

Besides amusement, they also wanted to emphasise that Tyrion played a huge role in obtaining the final peace, and ironically nobody would ever know.

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    I consider statements like these to be pandering non-answers. Of course the writers are trying to make jokes at times. When you've got Bronn there smirking from Dorne to The Wall it is patently obvious that this was constructed to be a humorous event to the viewer. We don't need to be reminded of that. The OP isn't even specifically asking for out-of-universe explanations&mdash;which we generally require to have an actual source (quoting an interview with Benioff and Weiss, say)&mdash;or demonstrating a fundamental inability to grasp the obvious humor. – zibadawa timmy May 21 at 13:53
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    @zibadawatimmy you may be missing the point here, which is that finding an in-universe answer (like the one above with around 84 upvotes right now) is essentially a writing exercise, i.e., filling missing pieces that the writers never even thought of. – Bogdan Alexandru May 23 at 15:45
  • Actually that answer makes it clear that this was established as part of the setting a long time ago. People just forgot that the writers already dealt with this years ago. And people also don't realize that they are applying modern day standards inappropriately to a non-modern setting. – zibadawa timmy May 23 at 17:19
5

This would be a nod to how the Maesters are not men of science, as we now know them, nor even historians as we now know them, as befits such men in the time period and setting most similar to their setting from our own history. The story has been recorded not to provide an accurate and factual retelling, but to provide the story. It was, apparently, this Maester's decision that Tyrion did not fit into the story he wanted to tell. A whore-mongering imp was not quite as stirring a character as warranted inclusion, perhaps.

2

This all makes perfect sense to me.

How many US presidents from the 20th century can you name from memory alone? Even if you're not an American, I'd wager that you could name quite a few. Now, how many vice presidents? Okay, okay, you can name some. How about Grover Cleveland's vice president?

Sorry, that was a trick question. Grover Cleveland was late 19th century. It was Adlai Stevenson, by the way. I could give you back to Nixon, but beyond that, I'd have a hard time naming more than half a dozen. And I've been paying attention.

Who remembers Alexander Haig? Henry Kissinger? James Baker? George Keenan? Lee Atwater? I mean, I remember when these names were constantly mentioned in the news.

These guys were, in a way, some of their respective president's closest advisors. These men's opinions and conclusions definitely impacted the course of history, but ask a random stranger under the age of fifty to tell you who any of these once famous (or infamous) men were and you'll likely draw a blank.

Now remember that the common peoples of The S(ix)even Kingdoms don't have miraculous hand computers, the internet, TV with any channels, radio, newspapers, books, literacy, liberal education of any kind, or knowledge of soap.

Trust me, somewhere in the fictional known world of GOT, there exists a chronicle of what really happened. Grey Worm was there for most of Tyrian's tenure as Hand of The Queen and he left Westeros for different lands. Surely there would be stories...

  • 2
    Your answer doesn't make sense given the context of writing down a version of events that has literally just happened and whose surviving figures are still in positions of authority. If Maester Ebrose wrote this in 20 or 50 years time, maybe. – pyro May 23 at 12:05
0

The book was on the war of succession, and Tyrion did not play a big role in that. He did not try to claim the throne, he was not politically important as he was not a head of a house, and he did not lead armies in any significant battles.

His act as a hand will be attributed to the rulers he served, his marriage to Sansa was inconsequential, and the murder of Joffery and Tywin were probably attributed to their enemies.

Him being named hand of Brandon is probably outside of the scope of the book.

  • 1
    Tyrion was accused of killing one of the kings, he served as hand to the one of the Queens, and in the end was responsible for the last king's succession. The war of five kings initially started because Tyrion was abducted. There is no way that he could not have been mentioned, barring the actual kings and queens that tried to take the throne he is the next most important figure. This was just a poorly written joke. – Jacob Sutton May 22 at 12:51
  • @JacobSutton You said it yourself, 'barring the actual kings and queens', who are worth mentioning, 'he is the next most important figure'. If they would write a book about really important people, beside the important people, Tyrion would be the main character. They don't write such books, so Tyrion doesn't get mentioned. – Andrei May 22 at 17:35
  • They do write such books, it was supposed to be an account of the war of five kings and everything up until bran's reign. There is no way you can describe that in any detail at all without Tyrion, and it was a massive volume so there was definitely detail. Trying to justify the decision in-universe will never really work because it's a joke by the writers that does not fit into reason. – Jacob Sutton May 22 at 18:15
0

I think there's a much simpler explanation: D&D wanted their 'lol academics amirite' joke, and kinda forgot that Tyrion was instrumental to several key events during and after the War of the Five Kings.

-1

I believe this book is to mimic the books we read (also titled (as a whole) A Song of Ice and Fire). In the books Tyrion is certainly mentioned- but they make certain to spend a good deal of rime describing how hideous looking Tyrion is. I took this joke in the show to be Sam saying “no, no, you’re not even in it..” all sheepish and then Tyrion reading parts, smirking, rolling his eyes and closing the book- to be him seeing his description as a horrible looking moster-esque man and that was the joke...

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