It’s time to talk about everyone’s favorite half-man, Tyrion Lannister. Taking more of a backseat role this season, Tyrion’s arc was still definitely important and set up for quite the remaining seasons to come.
Tyrion’s story starts where season five left off – Daenerys’ has left him alone in Meereen. Trying to rule in the Queen’s absence, Lord Varys and Tyrion are walking through the commonfolk and sense unrest in the people; angry graffiti on the wall, Red Priests preaching taking up arms. The city is on the verge of collapse. Varys sends his little birds to find the identities of the radical rebellious group The Sons of the Harpy, when suddenly the docks of Meereen are engulfed in flame. Tyrion exclaims that they will not be returning to Westeros anytime soon.
If we knew then what we know now…
In the Great Pyramid, Tyrion meets with the rest of the present Small Council, consisting of Varys and former slaves Missandei and Grey Worm. It isn’t good news – slavers have retaken Slaver’s Bay, they haven’t found the culprits who burned their ships, and the dragons Rhaegal and Viserion have not been eating. Realizing he can solve at least one of these problems, Tyrion decides that the dragons are not eating because they are not to be kept in captivity, and sets them free.
While a bored Tyrion tries to get Missandei and Grey Worm to play drinking games with him, Varys interrogates a prostitute who is working with the Sons of the Harpy and learns that the group is being funded by the slavemasters of Yunkai, Astapor and Volantis.
Tyrion invites representatives of these three great cities to meet with him in the Great Pyramid: his former master Yezzan zo Qaggaz representing Astapor, Daenerys’ old enemy Razdal mo Eraz from Yunkai, and a new master Belicho Paenymion from Volantis. The masters ask Daenerys and her kind to leave Meereen so they can reinstate slavery. In counterpoint, Tyrion says that slavery will never return to Meereen, and gives the slavers 7 years to abolish slavery in their own respective cities as well. You don’t want to piss off the people with three dragons, and they will not receive a better offer. The Meereenese smallfolk, as well as Grey Worm and Missandei, are unhappy with this deal, warning Tyrion not to trust the masters. He admits that he does not – he trusts their own self-interest.
After a few days, it appears the shaky peace is starting to take hold – No killings have occurred since the pact. Varys is satisfied with this, but Tyrion is not. In order to convince the people of Meereen that Daenerys is responsible for the peace, he decides to recruit Kinvara, a high ranking Red Priestess of R’hllor, to spread the message to other emissaries of the Lord of Light. This decision annoys the only friend Tyrion hasn’t pissed off yet, Varys, as he does not trust sorcery and he does not trust Red Priests. The mysterious Kinvara assures him that he has nothing to worry about – as long as they fight for the same Queen.
Everything truly starts to look up as the word is spread of Daenerys’ glory. The people are placated. Varys decides that in order to take back Westeros, they need Westerosi friends and ships, and decides to sail across the Narrow Sea to meet with Olenna Tyrell and Ellaria Sand. Tyrion makes the hesistant Grey Worm and Missandei drink with him, and they start telling jokes – but their merriment is cut short when the slavers start attacking Meereen from their ships. Missandei and Grey Worm refuse to listen to Tyrion again, and Grey Worm starts planning a defense to save the Great Pyramid. In the wake of all this chaos, Daenerys Targaryen arrives back in Meereen.
Tyrion attempts to explain the situation to Dany, claiming that things were going very well up until recently. Daenerys declares that she will destroy the slavemasters’ armies, ships and cities – but Tyrion councils caution. Her father, The Mad King, had a similar thought process and he went insane and was murdered. Always the diplomat, his solution is to meet with the masters. While parleying with Belicho, Yezzan and Razdal, the slavers believe they have won. They give their terms – they want Meereen restored to it’s former “glory”, the dragons executed, Missandei and Grey Worm reinstated as slaves, and Daenerys gone. Dany responds by having her dragons Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion burn the entire fleet. Tyrion decides that one of the masters should be killed for breaking the pact, so the other two volunteer Yezzan. As a result, Grey Worm kills Belicho and Razdal and sends Yezzan to spread the word of Daenerys’ power.
After the battle, Tyrion and Daenerys meet with the Greyjoy siblings Yara and Theon. Tyrion doesn’t trust Theon for the atrocities he committed at Winterfell, but Daenerys likes Yara. The Greyjoys agree to help Dany take back the Seven Kingdoms, as long as The Iron Islands are left the Greyjoys. Daenerys agrees on the condition that they stop raping and pillaging the mainlands.
Varys returns successful from his mission – with the support, armies and ships of the Unsullied, the Dothraki, the Second Sons, the Iron Islands, Dorne, and The Reach, Daenerys is ready to return to Westeros. Tyrion councils Dany to end her relationship with Daario Naharis, and she does – leaving Daario and the Second Sons behind to rule Meereen in her absence. For his council, Daenerys decides to appoint Tyrion as Hand of the Queen, and the army sails west across the Narrow Sea.