Tyrion Lannister’s Letter To Jon Snow Omitted A Crucial Detail

Tyrion Lannister’s Letter To Jon Snow Omitted A Crucial Detail

All Images: HBO

The big question to come out of the latest episode of Game of Thrones was how the impasse between Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen was going to be fixed. It turns out that divide is a hell of a lot more complicated than we thought, since a key prop suggests Tyrion Lannister is keeping one of the parties in the dark.

Tyrion Lannister’s Letter To Jon Snow Omitted A Crucial Detail
Tyrion Lannister’s Letter To Jon Snow Omitted A Crucial DetailImage: HBO / Game of Thrones

In the second episode of season seven, “Stormborn,” Tyrion beseeches Daenerys to send a message to Jon Snow so they can join forces against Cersei Lannister. However, Daenerys has no intention of letting Jon stay as King in the North, so she orders Tyrion to demand Jon bend the knee. This isn’t an unusual request for someone wanting to rule the Seven Kingdoms; in the season seven premiere, Cersei’s own letter to Jon Snow demanded the exact same thing.

This presents a major problem for Jon Snow, as there’s no way the North would surrender its newly re-established kingdom… especially not to a Targaryen (barring the inevitable reveal of Jon’s secret parentage). So, how could Jon possibly justify accepting Dany’s summons if it meant he’d have to give up his crown? If the letter is to be believed, it’s because Jon doesn’t know he’s supposed to bend the knee.


HBO recently released the letter Tyrion sent to Jon Snow, part of a collection of letters from the episode (and yes, it includes Jorah’s sad emo missive to Daenerys). Here is the text of Tyrion’s letter in its entirety:

Queen Daenerys Targaryen, First of Her Name, invites you to Dragonstone. My queen commands the combined forces of Dorne and the Reach, an Ironborn fleet, legions of Unsullied, a Dothraki horde and three dragons. The Seven Kingdoms will bleed as long as Cersei sits on the Iron Throne. Join us. Together we can end her tyranny. I appeal to you, one bastard to another — for all dwarves are bastards in their fathers’ eyes.

Tyrion Lannister Hand of the Queen

Notice anything missing? That’s right, there’s literally no mention of Jon Snow having to bend the knee to Daenerys Targaryen. In fact, the letter seems to suggest the exact opposite: an alliance.

There are two possible explanations for this. The easy one is that the prop is inaccurate. For example, it could’ve been made before the scene between Daenerys and Tyrion was finalised or filmed, and that her demand that Jon Snow “bend the knee” wasn’t in a previous version. However, if the prop accurately reflects the episode, that means something else entirely.

Tyrion likely knows that Jon isn’t going to bend the knee to a foreign queen, and any demand he do so would be immediately rejected. So, Tyrion might be playing his cards to get Jon to the table so they can negotiate in person. The downside of this is that both Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen will be meeting on different terms. She assumes he’ll surrender his kingdom, and he believes she wants to forge an alliance.

The other cost is that, by not telling Jon of Dany’s intentions and demands, Tyrion may have defied his Queen. Given how badly Tyrion’s Dorne mission failed, and Olenna’s insistence that Dany be a “dragon,” this could spell trouble for Tyrion in the future.

All of these questions will likely be answered in the third episode of Game of Thrones, “The Queen’s Justice.” The teaser trailer shows Daenerys sitting regally on her throne as Jon Snow enters Dragonstone, showing she most likely has every intention of making him bend the knee. The question is whether he’ll cooperate… or worse, if he even knows he’s supposed to do it.

[Making Game of Thrones]


    • This seems to be the general sentiment.

      She’s a fairly weak ruler really, unsure and relies heavily on the advice of others around her. When she ignores it and does what she wants instead she tends to royally mess things up.

      Meanwhile Jon was crowned king due to popularity among those he led. He makes up his own mind based on sounds judgement, usually in an unfavorable position and convinces those around him that it’s a solid choice.

      Best result for the two is that they hook up, as a pair they’d be great.

      • So a “weak ruler” is someone who listens to their advisors and then makes a decision rather than choosing a plan of action based on a whim, ideology or pure emotion? The latter sounds like certain idiotic modern day politicians I won’t name … in any case I’ll take a “weak ruler” any day of the week.

        • Yeah, sure just paraphrase what I said and completely take all meaning out of it.

          The key points you missed is that she is often “unsure” and when she ignores the advice given she tends to “royally mess things up”.

          Your reading comprehension skills need some work.

          • My comprehension skills are just fine. You described her as “weak” with the justification that she was “unsure and relies heavily on the advice of others.” If that wasn’t what you meant, then you shouldn’t have written that.

          • Again, you’re paraphrasing. Read both sentences together and you get the explanation for why she is weak.

          • Um, no offense, but I’m not sure you know what “paraphrasing” means. I literally quoted you.

            Given what you wrote, either she’s weak for:
            a) relying on others
            This would be the direct implication from what you wrote given that you included that about her in the same sentence, and at least would imply some relationship with the word “weak”.
            b) making decisions where she “royally mess[es] things up”
            Which has absolutely nothing to do with “weakness” as a leader, but instead refers to some shortcomings in her judgement skills.

            Neither of those really hold up as a logical argument for describing her as “weak”.

            In general Daenerys actually gets a lot of support from the population at large – it’s specific groups (e.g. slavers) that have opposed her. There are definitely reasons to criticise her as a ruler, but “weak” isn’t an appropriate descriptor, and certainly not with the justification you provided.

    • Absolutely except I never liked her to begin with. Call me crazy but I’d rather see Cersei end up on the Iron Throne at the end of the series.

      • Okay, you’re crazy. Cersei is pretty much the worst ruler of anyone in the series.

        Even Joffrey was better. Yes, even Joffrey. Joffrey was a rampant psychopath, but he was at worst an ineffectual ruler because everyone else made decisions for him because he was too interested in his petty tormenting to try to rule the kingdom.

        Cersei takes whatever action she can to deal with the problem immediately at hand, and generally chooses the heavy-handed approach to try to eliminate, disgrace or kill who she perceives as the particular enemy at the time. There’s no subtlety, there’s no diplomacy, there’s no negotiation, it’s her way or be driven over on the highway. She doesn’t give a damn about the population or their opinion, and can’t think ahead to the ramifications of her actions. She’s just playing constant whack-a-mole with her enemies, bringing a hammer to each problem and always complaining about how she’s hard done by. She’s an absolute idiot.

        Dany’s biggest problem is that she’s young and naive. She’s not a terrible ruler, she simply didn’t have the background or the experience to be able to “play the game”, but she recognised that and so built up her bank of advisors. Dany at least tries to consider what the best course of action is for her and her people and even though she sometimes fails to predict the ramifications of her actions, she does at least *attempt* to plan for the future.

  • I reckon she’ll go full Targaryan at some point and alienate everybody before pulling her head back in.

    I just hope the writers don’t have Little Finger bump off Sansa’s lady protector and blame it on the wildling ranga, just so he can cut her out of the herd. The fallout would be too annoying to sit through.

  • Stop putting fucking spoilers in the fucking article blurb on the front page. Jesus!

    • Deadset hey, even something small can ruin a lot. Netflix is shocking for it, I’ll finish an episode and it will have the preview image for the next episode with very obvious spoilers – Drives me bloody mental.

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