Everyone lies in King's Landing, according to Littlefinger's Theory of Political Intrigue. In the case of Tyrion Lannister v. The Good People of Westeros, the deception is in the details. Much of the testimony against Tyrion resurfaced his own words and actions – horrendously out of context. Tyrion's outspoken nature "provided a lot of ammunition for Cersei to ground the evidence against him in reality," series creator D.B. Weiss explains.
Because Tyrion was unable to cross-examine his witnesses, the judges never heard the full story. Below are seven rebuttals in his defense:
1. "He slapped the king across the face and called him a 'vicious idiot' and 'a fool.' " – Meryn Trant
With the people of Kings Landing's starving during the War of Five Kings, an incensed onlooker pelted King Joffrey with a cow pie. The boy king responded by sentencing his hecklers to death; a riot ensued. With Sansa nowhere to be found and blood in the streets, Tyrion administered the slap heard round the world. The back of a hand seems lenient when you consider that the High Septon lost an arm that day.
2. He "compared his grace to the Mad King and suggested he'd meet the same fate." – Meryn Trant
Sansa was still betrothed to King Joffrey when Robb Stark defeated Lannister forces at Riverrun. As retribution for her "crimes," the girl was publicly stripped and beaten in the Throne Room. Tyrion put a stop to the assault and reminded Joffrey what happened to the last King who put indulgence ahead of prudence. As Tyrion told Ser Meryn at the time, "I'm not threatening the king, ser. I'm educating my nephew."
3. "My stores of potions were plundered… by the accused, Tyrion Lannister after he had me wrongly imprisoned" – Grand Maester Pycelle
Pycelle earned a place in the Red Keep's Black Cells after he leaked information to Queen Cersei. Aware that Jon Arryn and Ned Stark – the two Hands who preceded him – were deceived, Tyrion employed a ruse to suss out Cersei's spy. Imprisoning Pycelle was a way to "send a message about who the new Sheriff in town is," Weiss explained in Season 2. Unfortunately for Tyrion, his jurisdiction didn't last long; Pycelle was reinstated on the Small Council when Tywin Lannister returned to King's Landing.
4. "A day will come when you think you're safe and happy and your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth." – Tyrion, recited by Cersei Baratheon
Queen Cersei, furious after Tyrion sent her beloved daughter Myrcella to Dorne, imprisoned and beat Ros, mistaking her for Shae. Realizing the depths of Cersei’s cruelty, Tyrion promised vengeance.
5. "I'd confronted him about his plans to place Joffrey on the front lines of the battle." – Cersei Baratheon
Tyrion wanted Joffrey on the battlefield to increase morale. When the siege hit, Cersei demanded her son be ushered to safety, and it was Tyrion who manned the front lines. Thanks to his rousing call to arms and his ingenious plan to attack with wildfire, Tyrion saved the city.
6. "Perhaps you should speak more softly to me, then. Monsters are dangerous, and just now kings are dying like flies." – Tyrion, recited by Varys
Upon learning of Robb Stark's death, Joffrey commanded that the Young Wolf's head be served to Sansa at his wedding. Defending his wife, Tyrion reminded Joffrey that Sansa is "no longer yours to torment." Even Tywin sided with his son, and sent Joffrey to bed.
7. "I'm a whore, remember." – Shae
"Love is weakness," Cersei once said to Sansa. This principle informs Shae's testimony, as she spits Tyrion's words back in his face. Sadly, Tyrion only reminded Shae of her origins to protect her from Cersei, but that decision ultimately landed his embittered ex into the queen's hands.
Bonus: The poison was "used to strike down the most noble child the gods ever put on this good earth!" – Grand Maester Pycelle
The defense rests: #FreeTyrion