New Release Interview: The Wit & Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister


martin-witThe Wit & Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister by George R. R. Martin and Jonty Clark is in fine bookstore now!

It is the perfect holiday book for your Song of Ice & Fire fan!

Everyone loves Tyrion Lannister. The Imp of Casterly Rock has his wits and his brains to overcome the physical limitations he has been born with. With that wit, he makes a formidable foe, one beloved by millions of readers worldwide. He has an answer to every situation.

The Wit & Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister collects some of his most famous lines from the Ice & Fire series!

Here is more about the book:

The perfect gift for fans of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels and HBO’s Game of Thrones: a collection of wicked one-liners from the incomparable Imp of Casterly Rock, fully illustrated by Jonty Clark!

“My mind is my weapon. My brother has his sword, King Robert has his warhammer, and I have my mind . . . and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge.”

The jealous masses of the Seven Kingdoms may call him Halfman, but none have ever accused Tyrion Lannister of being a halfwit. His golden tongue has saved his skin slightly more often than it has landed him in mortal peril. Now, this special illustrated volume preserves his most essential knowledge for future generations, featuring time-tested guidance on such varied subjects as . . .

The art of persuasion
“The best lies are seasoned with a bit of truth.”

The fair sex
“The young ones smell much better, but the old ones know more tricks.”

At once charming, insightful, and ruthlessly irreverent, The Wit & Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister is short on pretense and overflowing with finely crafted gems—just like the man himself.

To celebrate this perfect holiday gift, I sent interview questions to the artist responsible for illustrating the book, Jonty Clark!

Here is that interview:


Shawn Speakman: THE WIT & WISDOM OF TYRION LANNISTER is published today! Tell Unbound Worlds readers about the book and how you became involved in it?


Jonty Clark: I was contacted by a Publishing Director at Harper Collins back in April of this year asking me if I’d be interested in illustrating a collection of quotes and aphorisms by the marvellous Game of Thrones character, Tyrion Lannister. I’d worked with this Publishing Director in 2012 on a piece she’d written for BBC History Magazine here in the UK, and she was very pleased with the illustrated map I’d produced to accompany her article. I sent her a ‘follow-up’ email (asking her about the possibility of other work in the future) some months afterwards which had unfortunately been held up in her spam filter. She eventually found my email and the Wit and Wisdom enquiry followed soon after. It’s strange to think that I might not have had this fantastic opportunity due to an email glitch!

Shawn Speakman: Were you a fan of The Song of Ice & Fire before you took on illustration duties? Talk about your experience working with such a popular story?

Jonty Clark: No, because I wasn’t actually aware of it!! I’d heard of George R.R. Martin and the books of course, but that was the extent of my knowledge and exposure to the work. I think this was a help to me actually because I wasn’t really aware of how amazingly popular the series of books was – so I couldn’t really be intimidated by the challenge ahead! The woman who commissioned me had been publishing Mr Martin with Harper Collins for the best part of 20 years and very soon gave me a great flavour of the nature of the stories. She also sent me the first HBO season boxed set so that I could rapidly immerse myself in the G.O.T world.

Shawn Speakman: Our world can learn a lot from Tyrion. Do you have a favorite WIT & WISDOM quote you’d like to share?

Jonty Clark: Yes, it’s in the ‘On The Human Condition’ section, page 73:

“We all need to be mocked from time to time, lest we start to take ourselves too seriously”

I think our political and world leaders could learn something from this!

Shawn Speakman: I love the interior art. Do you have a favorite piece from the group?

Jonty Clark: Thank you very much! I appreciate your kind comments.

My favourite is the first main illustration I worked up, on page 57.

“My sister has mistaken me for a mushroom….”

I like Tyrion’s expression being illuminated by the shaft of light – he looks like a vexed woodland pixie! Initially I’d thought that the illustrations would be a combination of colour and mono, but in the end the cover was the only full colour image I produced. I do like the result though.

Shawn Speakman: What was your biggest challenge while providing the art for THE WIT & WISDOM OF TYRION LANNISTER?

Jonty Clark: Without doubt the greatest challenge was developing an identity for the true Tyrion character, as described in the books. Our Tyrion went through quite a lengthy evolution, as it was made clear to me quite early on that he mustn’t look like Peter Dinklage in the HBO production. I was sent this description of Tyrion from the book:

“stubby legs, a head too large for his body, a squashed-in forehead, a jutting brow, mismatched eyes of green and black, and lank, white-blonde hair.”

So you can see that this is quite different from the Dinklage appearance!

I also remember being quite rude/explicit in the early roughs I submitted (being led by the bawdy text of course), and I was quickly asked to tone it down a bit! Being ‘uninhibited’ in the written word is quite a different thing from drawing rude pictures!

The Wit & Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister by George R. R. Martin and Jonty Clark is in fine bookstores today!

My mind is my weapon…