There’s a weekly tradition around here in the Maisonet household, as on Sunday nights there’s nothing else that I’m doing other than watching HBO’s critically acclaimed show “Game of Thrones.” GoT is one part Dungeons and Dragons, one part softcore porn, one part “300″ and one part “The Wire.” If you’re not watching this show, then I’m going to assume the following:
ONE: You don’t have HBO.
TWO: You don’t have good taste.
With that being said, I’ll attempt to lay this particular scene out for you.
We have our beloved imp by the name of Tyrion Lannister. A man who lives life the way we all should. Cocksure, carefree and always down to chug a pint of ale and gather up a few
whores women for some recreational activity. The man has been with us in “Game of Thrones” since the beginning of the show three seasons ago, and in that time, the man has won wars, saved cities and helped bring the people in the seven kingdoms together, all while doing it behind the scenes and not garnering any credit for it like his name was Al Haymon or Worldwide Wes. Tyrion might’ve made an enemy or two in the process, but he was generally out here for the good of the people.
However, when shit started hitting the fan — or in this case, when Tyrion’s brother and sister had a kid and that kid somehow was able to become the King of Westeros, and then that kid just so happened to die by being poisoned — Tyrion was blamed. They sent the man to trial, and the man was fed up with the fickle group of people that he’d tried to valiantly serve.
I think we’ve all hit that breaking point in life, when we are accused or thought of in some type of way that genuinely doesn’t fit you at all. It could be from a chance encounter or folks assuming things that they don’t actually know. Or it could just be general hating that occurs on a daily basis on this here earth. You’ve been made out to be this bad person, and although it doesn’t feel right, you begin justifying and accepting the falsehoods put on your head.
Which leads me to Mike Tyson.
Back in 2003, the legend that is Ralph Wiley wrote a splendid piece on Mike Tyson’s interview with FOX’s Greta Van Susteren. In it, he highlighted that FOX was sensationalizing Mike for ratings and buzz (SHOCKER), and was disappointed that Van Susteren would take the route of discussing Tyson’s rape charge from over a decade prior. Mike Tyson has always been willing to give us what’s on his mind, and that’s why FOX knew that Mike would deliver if they asked the right questions. Two in particular:
Greta: “Did you rape her?”
Tyson: “No, I didn’t rape that slimy bitch … lying reptilian young lady … put me in this state … where I don’t know … now I really do want to rape her, her and her mama …” (We are supposed to be feeling the chill by now and checking to see that our doors are locked).
Greta: “Why do you think she did this?”
Tyson: “Because she’s a sick, money-hungry … a really bad person … now I’m all f—– up …. I got issues. … So I’m this big black rapist who wants some p—-, so if she says no I’m just a black ape and hits her with a club and drag her by her hair (and rapes her) … I’m left with the stigma of this … it’s the worst thing, even worse than being a murderer. I’m stigmatized …”
Because of a rape charge, we never got to fully see the pugilistic greatness of Mike Tyson. We now know over 20 years after the charge that Mike has some issues, and his ability to be transparent with us for all of these years is what has made many love him to this day.
With Tyrion Lannister, we have no idea what’s left of his story (unless you read the books, in which case I’m going to ask you to get all the way up on out the paint and don’t say a word and spoil this for the rest of us), as the imp has now asked for a trial by combat as an ultimate proof of innocence. I don’t know if Tyrion’s going to win his trial, but I’m pretty sure that if Mike Tyson would’ve had the chance to have a trial by combat, he’d never lose.
The point here is this: We have two characters who fundamentally believed in their innocence. Merriam-Webster defines innocence as two things. One being the state of being not guilty of a crime or other wrong act, and the other being a lack of experience with the world and with the bad things that happen in life. Now, it’s not to say that Tyrion and Iron Mike were naive to the salacious and otherwordly things that this earth has to offer (both of them were quite found of the ladies), but there’s a sense of purity in both of them. You believe in the good of The Imp; you can see the good intentions in Iron Mike. Surely these two people can’t be a murderer or a rapist, right? One man was proven to be guilty in court, as Iron Mike served his time for the rape he says he did not commit. The fate of Tyrion is yet to come, but like Tyson, he finally hit his breaking point in regard to the accusations.
Iron Mike’s life post-conviction has been a wild and bumpy ride. Drugs, violent outbursts, grabbing his manparts and threatening to eat people’s kids, bad relationships, and a turbulent fight career left Tyson as a shell of his former self. Mike was truly the scariest man on the face of the earth, and it had little to do with his actions in the ring. It’s taken 20 years (plus loads of therapy, a good woman and a reinvestment of family) for Mike to be personable and relatable again. I still love him, and many will always love him. Some will always hate him, and that’s their right too.
But what Mike said to Greta in that interview rings true. “I’m left with the stigma of this … it’s the worst thing, even worse than being a murderer. I’m stigmatized …” Who knows if Tyrion Lannister will survive his “Trial By Combat” in the next episode, but we do know that he will be stigmatized regardless of the outcome.