Chapter 1 - Tyrion
Tyrion is on a boat bound for the free cities; he's drunk and feeling very sorry for himself. When the ship makes port, Tyrion is stuffed inside a wine cask and delivered to Magister Illyrio Mopatis, the man responsible for selling Danaerys to Khal Drogo. Tyrion feels sorry for himself. Illyrio has to go out on magisterial duties and so Tyrion wanders about the mansion, drinking, and rambling to servants he believes don't understand him. The rambling concerns his future and what he might do with it. He falls down drunk, sees some mushrooms, picks them and puts them in his pocket. He thinks they might be poisonous.
Later he dines with Illyrio and his appetite for food is re-stimulated by the feast laid out before him. Illyrio makes reference to 'the king' but Tyrion doesn't appear to pick up on it. During the feast, mushrooms in garlic butter are served. Tyrion goes to take one but falters when he remembers the mushrooms he picked earlier. He offers the plate to Illyrio who insists that he goes first. Tyrion believes he is being offered poison. Illyrio asks him if that isn't what he wants. The servants understood his rambling better than he thought. Instinctively, Tyrion doesn't want to die, but realises he doesn't know what he will do with the rest of his life. The magister talks about going east so that Tyrion can return to Westeros with the three-headed dragon.
Oh hai, Tyrion, where've you been? You know, in some respects Tyrion is very naive. He is prone to dwelling on the past and now he has more to torment himself with. His experience in King's Landing has revealed the truth about his family and it's a blow. And really, it's not like he thought his family was great. He already thought that his experience was pretty shit, and then to find out that it was worse, well that sucks.
I think that Tyrion has had a lot of his sense of identity stripped away from him and the worst of his character is at the surface at the moment. He's soft-hearted and protecting himself behind bitterness. A lot of the commenters on the fan blogs seem to be willing Tyrion to hook up with Dany - I guess on the basis that you always want your favourite characters to get together - but I'm not sure that's how this is going to pan out. And why does Illyrio want to help Tyrion? What's he getting out of this?
I think I should say at this point that there are no characters I dislike in this series. Obviously I have my favourites, but all the characters are sympathetic to some degree. Yes, even Cersei.