How Tyrion Lannister’s Trial Can Make You Feel Better About Your Own

If you've watched Game of Thrones, you know that it'd be an understatement to say that George R. R. Martin's world is less than fair. If you've gotten into trouble with the law and are going to court, perhaps Tyrion Lannister's predicament can make you feel a little bit better about your own.

He was Only Convicted on Circumstantial Evidence

While Tyrion's first alleged crime had physical inculpatory evidence (e.g., a dagger), his parricide conviction was based mainly on circumstantial evidence—or facts that are proved by inference.

And unlike Westerosi courts, many U.S. states have parameters on the usage of circumstantial evidence. For instance, in California, you must be able to draw two or more reasonable conclusions from the circumstantial evidence. And, if you draw one conclusion for guilt and one for innocence, you must reject any unreasonable conclusions and accept the conclusion for innocence.  

While Tyrion certainly had a right to hate King Joffrey, it would be an unreasonable conclusion to say that he was the only suspect in attendance with that feeling (e.g., Oberyn, Margaery, any person in King's Landing with a brain, etc.).

In short, at your trial, you'll not only have a chance to have circumstantial evidence weighed carefully, but your lawyer can gather expert witnesses and forensic evidence for your case.  

He Wasn't Allowed a Reasonable Bail—or Any Bail for That Matter

Bail should have been a breeze for Tyrion; after all, a "Lannister always pays his debts." However, he was left to rot in a cell for most of the season. Unless you're likely to flee or have committed a heinous crime, the 8th Amendment gives you every right to a reasonable bail. While "reasonable" may not translate to "affordable," it does mean the state can't give you anything terribly excessive to confine you while they gather evidence.

He Didn't Have a Lawyer to Protect Him from Discrimination

Tyrion hit the nail on the head when he confronted his family and the court for discriminating against him because he was "guilty of being a dwarf." Thankfully, your own lawyer can challenge the venire, or the panel of prospective jurors from which a jury is selected. During "voir dire" (Latin for "to speak the truth"), your lawyer will question potential jurors and weed out any who have extreme biases.

He Couldn't Protect His Potential Witnesses 

If your trial put not only you but family and friends in a dangerous position, the Witness Protection Program could help. According to, no one who has followed the program guidelines has ever been killed. While Sansa and Podrick were able to flee the crime scene, Shae wasn't; and, her false testimony compromised Tyrion's trial.  

So . . . Did Tyrion Have Anything Going For Him?

The only "good" thing to come of Tyrion's trial was the option of trial by combat. But even you could have that option! While a U.S. court probably wouldn't take that route seriously, has some compelling arguments as to why a defendant could make a go of it. But as you can see, preparing for your court date here in the U.S. is probably a cakewalk compared to doing so in the Seven Kingdoms. 

To talk to a criminal lawyer, contact a law firm such as Dimeo Law Offices.