Deconstructed Trope A Song Of Ice And Fire Discussion

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12:00:26 PM Jan 22nd 2014
Should I cover all the spoilers, or add a warning at the top of the page?
12:03:03 PM Jan 22nd 2014
Depends. How much would have to be spoilered out?
10:18:09 AM Feb 15th 2014
edited by
A ton. The page is overflowing with spoilers.

EDIT: You know what, I'll just do both.
08:07:26 AM Aug 7th 2013
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Tyrion is a deconstruction of the ubiquitous Tolkienian dwarves in the Epic Fantasy genre. For starters, he is a human with dwarfism.
    • His use of an axe in combat is explained because of his physical limitations making him unable to swing a sword properly.
    • Since he was never expected to excell at combat (or anything else) he turned to books and became one of the most learned men in Westeros rather than a dwarf Boisterous Bruiser. He still got zero respect from it, unlike dwarfs in Norse Mythology.
    • He is not even rich because he mines for gold, but because his (non-dwarf) father owns several gold mines.
    • Finally, when Tyrion is deprived of his wealth and noble status, he gets much Angst from a Crapsack World that only sees him as a circus freak.

Is there really any reason to suspect that Tyrion was meant as a deconstruction of this trope? On the one hand, he's The Alcoholic and, er, he uses an axe once. On the other, he's human, he seems to prefer wine to beer, he's clean-shaven, he's human, he doesn't live underground or work in a mine, he's not remotely Scandinavian/Germanic, he's human, and there's no overt reference to fantasy dwarfs anywhere. So there doesn't seem to be a reason to expect him to be a typical fantasy dwarf besides the fact that he's a person with dwarfism in a fantasy book, and there's a hint of Unfortunate Implications to that (You don't often get dwarf characters who aren't meant to represent a fantasy race, so explaining away a well-written and realistic one as merely a response to that trope seems rather dismissive).

The examples given also aren't deconstructions of the trope ("why would this trope not work as usual in the real world?"), they are respectively: an aversion; a justification; a subversion; an aversion; and not related to fantasy dwarfs at all.
08:13:01 AM Aug 7th 2013
Agreed. It's shoehorned in.
08:19:53 AM Aug 7th 2013
I also agree. I think as a WMG, the idea that Tyrion draws from some traditional fantasy dwarf tropes is not immediately unconvincing, but it really seems a stretch- not to mention the huge Unfortunate Implications in equating a human with dwarfism with a mythical humanoid race.

There are not fantasy dwarves in the setting (unless that's what the probably fictional in-universe snarks and grumkins are), but if there were, only then could one consider whether or not those tropes are being deconstructed.

03:16:35 PM Mar 13th 2017
The deconstructed trope page needs a lot of work in general... There is obviously a misunderstanding of what deconstruction means for some people.
04:52:50 AM Feb 13th 2013
I thought breaking the marriage pact would be part of why Robb is bad with diplomacy, so that's why I added the thing about One Thing Led to Another.
05:59:36 AM Feb 13th 2013
I suppose so, but the way it was written kind of swamped the main point of the entry. I've re-added it as a brief sidenote.
04:38:08 PM Feb 13th 2013
Yes, that works better.
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