Tyrion Lannister was often the funniest character on , but his favorite joke remains unfinished after the opening " was teased multiple times. Tyrion instantly became a fan-favorite character on and Peter Dinklage ended up winning 4 Emmys for his performance. While he was a tragic character in many ways, part of his popularity came from his humor and willingness to insult even the most powerful people in Westeros with his clever wit. Tyrion's favorite joke in the series also showed his ability to laugh even in dangerous scenarios.
There have been a number of recurring jokes on , including Podrick Payne's surprising talent in the bedroom and Tormund Giantsbane's infatuation with Brienne of Tarth. However, Tyrion's unfinished joke remains one of the funniest gags as well as one of the most baffling since, by the time , the viewers were given no more information beyond the opening setup, "" Of course, the entire point is that the joke is never completed, but that's done nothing to stem demand for the punchline of Tyrion's joke.
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Tyrion's Jackass and a Honeycomb joke has appeared three times in though never in full. The first time was in his "confession" to Lysa Arryn and Catelyn Stark, while on trial in the Eyrie in season 1 for the alleged murder of Jon Arryn and the attempted murder of Bran Stark. After being kept as a prisoner for some time, Tyrion lets it be known that he wishes to confess to his crimes.
However, in typical Tyrion fashion, he then begins to mock the proceedings by admitting to a whole host of disgusting and childish pranks he has committed over the years. He makes another vulgar confession, beginning with " before Lysa decides she's heard enough and cuts him off. However, young Robin Arryn excitedly speaks for the audience, asking what happens next.
The second time that the setup appears in the series is in season 6. Tyrion, Missandei, and Grey Worm are together in Meereen, and Tyrion is trying to teach them to drink and tell jokes. After getting two to finally loosen up a bit and tell some jokes of their own, Tyrion excitedly launches into his favorite joke, delivering the Jackass/Honeycomb setup once again just as he is interrupted by the attack from the Great Masters.
The final mention of Tyrion's infamous joke comes in . Tyrion is seated at the head of the Small Council, as Hand to King Bran the Broken, speaking with Master of Coin (Bronn), Master of Ships (Davos), Commander of the Kingsguard (Brienne), and Grand Maester (Sam Tarly). As the Council debates the importance of sewers, ships, and brothels, Tyrion chimes in at the end with, making for Tyrion's final line in .
The humor in the show is that it remains an unfinished joke, but that is not enough for some fans who have sought to find an answer to what happens next. Since the joke was first mentioned, fans have been trying to guess the punchline, but the general favorite comes from Reddit user :
Tyrion walks into a brothel with a honeycomb and a jackass.
Madame: What can we do for you?
Tyrion: I need a woman to lay with, for mine has left me.
Madame: Whatever for? And what's with the honeycomb and the mule?
Tyrion: My woman found a genie in a bottle, and he granted her three wishes. The first was for a house fit for a queen, so he gave her this damn honeycomb. The second wish was that
she have the nicest ass in all the land, so he gave her this damn donkey...
Madame: And what about the third wish?
Tyrion: Well... she asked the genie to make my cock hang down past my knee.
Madame: Well that one's not so bad, eh?
Tyrion: Not so bad!? I used to be six foot three!
This may not be the official end of the joke, and it is not clear if there was ever anything determined beyond the exciting setup, but the punchline does fit surprisingly well. It perfectly channels Tyrion's bawdy sense of humor as well as his razor-sharp wit. It also fits with the love of brothels that he was known for earlier in the series, and his willingness to be self-deprecating.
Tyrion retells the Honeycomb Jackass joke for each ruler/house he supports, and each time, it reveals a little about his mental and emotional state. At first, as a Lannister, telling it with arrogance and a little bit of anger to his captors, matching his character at the start of : cocky, entitled, but with some real anger underneath. While it is justified that he is bitter about his false imprisonment, he also ignores the fact that he is in a precarious position and mocks the people who hold his fate in their hands.
The second time Tyrion tells his joke while on the Targaryen side. Here he is animated, bright, happy, and hopeful. He finds new purpose in Meereen as part of Danaerys' council, feeling that he can bring about real change in such a role. However, it is also fitting that his joke is interrupted by an attack from enemies Tyrion was confident had already been dealt with. It shows that his arrogance can lead him astray and sets up the makes later in the series.
Finally, Tyrion tells his joke while Hand to King Bran the Broken. Here he is subdued, seeming almost exhausted, but still trying to be himself and do the best he can. He knows he has made a lot of mistakes that he now has to make up for, and he takes his new position very seriously. His delivery of the setup for his joke suggests some hesitancy in telling it, but that there is also a playful side of Tyrion that can never fully be diminished.
While the viewers were never meant to know the punchline of Tyrion's joke, it does remain an unanswered question in, and far from the only one. There were plenty of mysteries brought up throughout the series. Though many of them were resolved by the end, many still remain unanswered. Whether it was an unimportant detail or an overlooked storyline in the truncated final season, there are a number of lingering questions after the finale.
In the final episode of , Jon Snow is sent to the Night's Watch following his assassination of Danaerys. However, with the Night King and his army destroyed, along with part of the Wall itself, it is puzzling why the Night's Watch is still needed. Though Tyrion gives a throwaway response about always needing a place for "," it doesn't answer what function the Night's Watch now serves. Also in the finale, it's never revealed where Drogon took Danaerys' body when he flew away. Bran makes some mention of looking for him, but no answer comes, leaving this important point unresolved.
Like Tyrion's joke, there are also some smaller questions that were never meant to be answered. . It is certainly a tantalizing question, but the mystery of the unknown is intentional. In the end, may have failed to fill in a lot of blanks in the story, but Tyrion's joke remains a fun mystery that is perhaps best left up to the imagination.