Tyrion & Samwell: The Riddlers of The Sphinx


Does that face without a nose, look a bit familiar?

Something like him?

The Imp's Scar by Evelius

The Imp’s Scar by Evelius

He said the sphinx was the riddle, not the riddler, whatever that meant. He asked Sam to read for him from a book by Septon Barth

A Feast for Crows – Samwell IV

What is a sphinx? How are sphinxes described in the books?

It had been Lazy Leo who dubbed Alleras “the Sphinx.” A sphinx is a bit of this, a bit of that: a human face, the body of a lion, the wings of a hawk. -A Feast for Crows – Prologue

The gates of the Citadel were flanked by a pair of towering green sphinxes with the bodies of lions, the wings of eagles, and the tails of serpents.. -A Feast for Crows – Samwell V

The gateway to the Long Bridge was a black stone arch carved with sphinxes, manticores, dragons, and creatures stranger still. -A Dance with Dragons – Tyrion VII

So what do we have here? A sphinx is a bit of this, a bit of that, a human face,: wings, serpent characteristics like tails and they are associated with dragons and creatures stranger still

But sphinxes also have the tails and serpents and are associated with dragons. What about dragon tails? Or something “stranger still?”

In 273 AC, however, Lady Joanna was taken to childbed once again at Casterly Rock, where she died delivering Lord Tywin’s second son. Tyrion, as the babe was named, was a malformed, dwarfish babe born with stunted legs, an oversized head, and mismatched, demonic eyes (some reports also suggested he had a tail, which was lopped off at his lord father’s command). Lord Tywin’s Doom, the smallfolk called this ill-made creature, and Lord Tywin’s Bane. Upon hearing of his birth, King Aerys infamously said, “The gods cannot abide such arrogance. They have plucked a fair flower from his hand and given him a monster in her place, to teach him some humility at last.”

What about Tyrions associations with dragons? Tyrion dreams of dragons:

“So they say,” Tyrion replied. “Sad, isn’t it? When I was your age, I used to dream of having a dragon of my own.

“No,” Tyrion admitted, “not me. I seldom even dream of dragons anymore. There are no dragons

If you look into why Tyrion doesn’t dream anymore. It is honestly quite sad. What is different for him now than when he was younger is that he drinks himself into dreamless sleep. Just as the Maesters would drug Bran and Robin Arryn. Only after Maester Lewin died and Bran left was he able to hone his abilities. Robin Arryn is even more medicated and is the only one to still hear the singer in the Eyrie when he is long dead.

So lets put it all together now:

A sphinx is half man… ok. Wait… a Halfman?

They are part lion. Ok. You mean, like Lannister?

Tyrion was said to be born with demonic eyes and a tail.

And dragons. He is obsessed with dragons. He is a small man. If only there was one dragon, the smallest one that he could ride. Maybe he could somehow make a custom saddle to be able to ride it? Who knows?

What is this riddle stuff Aemon speaks of and what does this have to do with Tyrion?

Well… You know it all too well.

Where do whores go? That is the riddle that runs Tyrions life.

He isn’t a riddler. He is the answer to the other riddle Aemon mentioned but you might have missed. It may not be the riddle you were thinking.

[Aemon] asked Sam to read for him from a book by Septon Barth, whose writings had been burned during the reign of Baelor the Blessed. Once he woke up weeping. “The dragon must have three heads,” he wailed,“but I am too old and frail to be one of them. I should be with her, showing her the way, but my body has betrayed me.”

The true riddle is who will be the third head of the dragon. As Aemon is too old.

The sphinx is the Halfman. He is part lion (Lannister), part dragon(rider or Targ bastard), that was born with deformities like rumored tail. Oh and just like the Sphinx in Egypt Tyrion also has its nose cut off and looks horrible.

Tyrion is the riddle of the sphinx. He is the missing third dragon, as the dragon must have has three heads. Dany, Jon, and Tyrion.

It is after all GRRM’s story so it will not be a Disney ending. I think one or all of the dragons will die. One or all of the dragonriders will die. There may be wighted dragons. We don’t know what kind of a person Jon will be when he comes back. And lastly Bran has already become the Ice Dragon Winter and saw himself facing off against Jaime, Azor Ahannister himself.

 Tyrion is also associated with sphinx statues:

“I can see where Joffrey learned his courtesies.” Tyrion paused to admire the pair of Valyrian sphinxes that guarded the door. -A Clash of Kings – Tyrion I

I think Tyrion will develop delayed symptoms of Greyscale from his run-in with the Stone Men. He will go through a roller coaster. First the depression after losing everyone and killing “his father” then he will get the will to live again. Only to get diagnosed with this plague. Get depressed again and then find meaning in his life by having a meaningful death. Sacrificing himself and dying in Tyshas (The Sailor Wifes) arms in Braavos.

“Dragons,” Moqorro said in the Common Tongue of Westeros. He spoke it very well, with hardly a trace of accent. No doubt that was one reason the high priest Benerro had chosen him to bring the faith of R’hllor to Daenerys Targaryen. “Dragons old and young, true and false, bright and dark. And you. A small man with a big shadow, snarling in the midst of all.”

I wonder if the snarling is not the late phase of Greyscale where they go mad? Or it could simply be his dragon.

Tyrion and Septon Barth

Right after Aemon tells Sam about the Sphinx prophesy he asks him to read him a very specific book by a very specific author. My friend Aziz of The History of Westeros Podcast was the first to make the discovery I think that “Septon Barth” is GRRM-speak for this is basically true and what you should think. Almost everything Barth predicts is true.

So in the same breath that Aemon tells Sam the Sphinx prophesy, he asked him to read a book by Barth. It just so happens that Tyrion has read some of the very few remaining copies of that book by Barth and is seeking to read more of it it:

Baelor the Blessed had ordered all Barth’s writings destroyed when he came to the Iron Throne. Ten years ago, Tyrion had read a fragment of Unnatural History that had eluded the Blessed Baelor, but he doubted that any of Barth’s work had found its way across the narrow sea. And of course there was even less chance of his coming on the fragmentary, anonymous, blood-soaked tome sometimes called Blood and Fire and sometimes The Death of Dragons. -A Dance with Dragons – Tyrion IV

But just as the sphinx is a duality, the riddle of the sphinx has two faces. There is another part to this riddle… Samwell is the riddler posing the riddle.


4 thoughts on “Tyrion & Samwell: The Riddlers of The Sphinx

  1. You contradict yourself with stone dragon being tyrion or stone dragons being the ice dragon.
    Also the entry about two walls, Brynden is catelyn’s uncle. There are a lot of spelling mistakes and confusing contradictions and unifnished sentences. You should really get a someone to proofread, if you take it serious. Like at the end of oshas post you say that she is a servant of the starks but then you say in a passage above she is servant to the others. Confusing.
    But a few good starting points.


    • Yes that is true. I copied and pasted my old posts over. When I get new information that overturns my previous ideas, those ideas go. I still think he is the Sphinx. See Tyrion The Clever article.

      I am also jettisonig my ancestral ice is in the cold pool theory. I have a much better idea where it is.

      When I have time I will edit old articles. But writing new ones is more fun 🙂


    • She was a servant of the Starks. I proposed she might be a servant of Others or another power.

      I have more than a full time workload. Don’t have time to edit as much as I would like. Now if you would like to proofread or find me someone who will…


  2. I really enjoyed reading all of this. I’ve always thought Aerys was Tyrions father because of Aerys obsession with Joanna and malformed Targ babies with Tyrions infant description. You pinning this together with the Sphinx description was brilliant.
    I will have to disagree with you on Tyrion having Greyscale. Jon Connington only reached into the water briefly and got it. Tyrion was dragged into the river by the stonemen and never got the symptoms. The shrouded lord relented because he recognized Tyrion as his nephew. That’s right, the shrouded Lord is Gerion Lannister. Notice Tyrions dreams after his encounter with the shrouded Lord… He was dreaming about the shrouded Lord and Tywin. Also, in AGOT, which uncle was Tyrion particularly fond of? Gerion again. You might not be off base though. The first look we get of Tyrion in AGOT there’s a reference to him looking like a gargoyle. Only time will tell!


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