I am a person who drinks
People who drink need to keep drinking [MatPat] Sure you say
That now but after today’s episode you
Might wanna rethink that policy
[Film Theory Intro]
Hello internet! Welcome to Film Theory
where I thought to myself what better
way to celebrate the coming of winter
than by talking about the series where
winter just never seems to quite arrive,
One of my favorite shows here on the
Channel: “Game of Thrones.”
Up to now we’ve concocted theories around Dany, John, and
Jorah. The last of which I still think is
incredibly likely to happen, but there’s
one character who has sadly remained on
the sidelines, a character who’s been
everyone’s favorite including mine since
season one and by some miracle has
somehow been able to escape the wheel of
death that George R. R. Martin is hanging
on his writing room wall.
Yep, today’s theory is about none other
than Tyrion Lannister. Now, in case you’re not
familiar with Game of Thrones or this
character in particular
while I could tell you about him, I think
he sums it up best: [Tyrion:] “I drink and I know things.”
Yeah, that about does it and when he says
he drinks, man! can Tyrion drink. The channel
“Movie Maniacs” put together a compilation
of every Game of Thrones characters’
drinking throughout the first four
seasons and I get a little woozy just
Roll the tape!
MMMM. That’s a good red.
More wine? Tyrion, buddy, I’m afraid you’re
drinking is really starting to get out
of hand, and I don’t mean let’s get you
to Alcoholics Anonymous I mean more like
your liver is a lump of coal and you
should be catatonic right now.
Tyrion even admits that being as sloshed as he is
at all hours of the day is way harder
than it looks.
[Tyrion:] It’s not easy being drunk all the time.
Everyone would do it if it were easy. [MatPat:] and
it’s boasts like that combined with the
seemingly endless stream of wine going
into Tyrian’s mouth hole that has me a bit
concerned, so our question of the day
just how drunk is Tyrion Lannister?
What is this guy’s blood alcohol concentration?
What kind of health effects should he be experiencing?
But perhaps the most important question of
all in a fantasy series full of dragons
and ice zombies – is the most unbelievable
element – Tyrion’s ability to handle his liqour?
[Tyrion:] No I don’t think so.
[MatPat:] We’ll see my friend … we’ll see.
Now don’t get me wrong, Tyrion’s drinking isn’t
the kind of behavior that I’m gonna
defend here. Heck, when most of my friends
were in college out drinking at parties
no joke i was trying to start a show
choir. Yea, talk about regrettable life
decisions and I was sober!
Suffice it to say that I can’t estimate
how drunk Tyrion is from any kind of
personal experience so I’ll try to prove
how drunk he is in the best way that I
know how – SCIENCE! and some history and
maybe a few leaps of theorists logic but
mostly – SCIENCE so the first thing that
we’re going to need to do if we’re going
to calculate the level of Tyrion’s
intoxication is determine exactly what he’s drinking.
Game of Thrones watchers
might know some of these wines by name
like Arbor Gold, Arbor Red, Dornish Red
but what would the real world
equivalents of these be?
It’s actually a tricky question since the popular types
and strengths of wine have changed throughout
history and fans of Game of Thrones
argue about when exactly the series
should be set.
Well, the knee-jerk reaction to castles
knights and dragons would be to put it
into the medieval period which lasted
from the fifth-century to the mid 15th
century based on my research Game of
Thrones is actually taking place a bit
later than that. Sure, George R. R. Martin has
said that part of the inspiration for
was the english war of the roses which
took place from 1455 to 1487 but there’s
one piece of evidence that guarantees
the events of the show are happening at
least 50 years after those dates and
for as unimportant as 50 years might
seem that little difference matters.
In medieval times most wine was relatively
weak. We’re talking somewhere between
grape juice and Mike’s Hard Lemonade and
that may sound like a joke but it’s not
because by the 16th century people have
discovered a new and magical technology
that helped them age wine and preserve it
so it would get stronger.
That crucial piece of technology and the evidence
proving the dates that we’re hanging out
in Westeros during Game of Thrones is …
Yep, a cork in season one the wine
merchant who tries to poison Daenerys, pulls
a cork out of the cast and talks about
the need to quote: “let the wine breathe”
so clearly Westeros is hip to the
newfangled cork trend.
That moment coupled with their advanced
understanding of Medicine, large cities
with standing armies, and global trading
system points to the series taking place
during the post columbian exchange of
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. (laughing)
Sorry, I just gotta laugh at moments like
this since in order to calculate
something as ridiculous as how drunk a
fictional character is, we’re forced to
explore the history of global trade and
the evolution of cork-based technology.
Ughhhh! That’s why i love my job.
Anyway, what does any of this mean for our theory?
Well, it tells us that royalty
like Tyrion Lannister would likely be
drinking wines that are aged or
fortified IE the really strong stuff.
In the 16th century fortifying wine became
so popular and so strong it would make a
box of franzia look like an oversized juice-box.
The most popular fortified
wines of the day like Malmsey, Sherry and
Port all have alcohol contents of
around twenty two percent alcohol by volume.
That number, on its own, might not
mean a lot to you but by comparison an
average bottle of wine nowadays is going
to be in the realm of eleven percent
alcohol by volume, so the stuff that we
see Tyrion drinking throughout Game of
Thrones is going to be nearly twice as
strong and honestly it can go up from there.
In A Clash of Kings, the second novel of
the series, Tyrion reveals that when
was killed by a boar, he’d been
consuming fortified wine that was three
times as strong as usual which would
seem to indicate that it’s alcohol by
volume was around forty percent which is
as strong as a hard liquor like whiskey
but he’s downing it like wine
so for our purposes today we’re safe to
assume that Tyrion is drinking strong
fortified wine at about twenty percent
alcohol by volume but of course knowing
what Tyrion is drinking is only part of the equation.
To determine how drunk he’s
really getting we need to consider how
much he’s drinking and how quickly he’s drinking it.
Our best scenario for this
is Tyrion’s and Sansa’s wedding banquet
from season three. Now, obviously we don’t
see the whole scene but we can figure it
out and make some estimates based on
what we do see. For one, Tyrion is filling his
chalice to the very top which is a bad sign.
A serving of wine is typically about four
to five fluid ounces but the full volume
of this glass is going to be something
similar to this modern goblet from
Williams and Sonoma for Eighty bucks?
Geez, no wonder history invented the Red Solo Cup.
Lannisters always pay their debts?
Yeah, Lannisters always pay Williams and Sonoma.
Man, home goods are way too expensive.
Anyway that overpriced
vessel for holding fluid has a capacity
of 10 ounces, so each time Tyrion fills
and empties his glass, he’s draining a
double serving of wine. In the brief
moments of the banquet that we do see
Tyrion downs two of those glasses in a
matter of minutes, and more importantly
he was already drunk to begin with!
Tyrion was out pre-gaming!
This is the first shot that we see of him at the reception.
If that face doesn’t say I’m about to regret
my life choices, I don’t know what does.
Now, we can’t say
for sure how long that wedding reception
lasts, but we can calculate both the
conservative estimate and an aggressive estimate.
Assuming that the banquet is
fairly short, say an hour or two, and Tyrion
finishes his wine every half hour.
Then he’s going to consume roughly 30 to 40
fluid ounces of wine or about a third of
a gallon, 1.26 liters of alcohol.
If he’s drinking at the breakneck pace he seems
to be polishing off the glass every 15
minutes for upwards of three hours, then
maybe drinks as much as a hundred ounces,
just under three quarters of a gallon or
for those on the metric system just shy
of three liters! That is a ton of alcohol.
That’s more than the amount of
diet coke that I drink everyday and
whether you’re talking about the
conservative estimate or the aggressive
estimate either way it ain’t gonna be
but before we address that and determine
the medical consequences of Tyrian’s
beverage of choice, there’s one last
factor that we have to take into account, Tyrian’s weight.
Alcohol tends to affect
people proportionately based on their
size, so while Tyrion might be able to
drink as much as the mountain, his blood
alcohol concentration is gonna be a lot
higher than that of someone who weighs
Peter Dinklage, the actor who plays
Tyrion Lannister, stands at four feet 5
inches tall and is estimated to weigh
anywhere between 88 and a hundred and
twelve pounds and honestly with as much
fizzy lifting drink that Tyrion is
pumping into his body a few pounds in
either direction is going to make that
much of a difference so let’s call it a
hundred pounds or 35.3 five kilograms so
knowing that let’s go back to our
conservative number. If a man of Tyrion’s
sighs drinks roughly six glasses of
strong fortified wine in the space of about two
hours, that person’s peak blood alcohol
concentration is going to be somewhere
between, drum roll please,
.30 and .35 percent.
Huh, well damn, kinda expected that to be
a more climactic moment, but I guess it’s
really hard to get hyped when every
number that you’re possibly gonna be
talking about is going to be less than 1
because let me impress this upon you
dear viewer .3 and .35 are
huge numbers when it comes to blood alcohol concentration.
Let me try to explain to
you how scary these numbers are even if
the numbers themselves don’t seem all
Well first, take into account that blood
alcohol concentration measures how many
grams of alcohol are in every hundred
milliliters of your blood so having
point three grams of alcohol in every
hundred milliliters of your blood is a
lot of alcohol relative the amount of
blood that you have pumping through your veins.
I mean any of you watching who passed
drivers and should know that the legal
limit to drive in the U.S. is point zero
eight percent which surprisingly is one
of the highest limits of any country.
Most others are hanging in the .05
range and that means that Tyrion is at
least four times as drunk as someone who
would be considered a drunk driver in
the US and the scene. In fact, I’m kind of
limited by how much I can impress upon
you how crazy these numbers are.
If you really want to see the world through
Tyrian’s eyes at that level of
intoxication, there’s actually a link in
the description to a website that I
helped work on in partnership with the
National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration that simulates going
through a night getting progressively
more impaired. It’s actually really cool
and gives you a better perspective at
what these numbers translate to.
I’ll be talking more about that at the end of
the video but for now remember that this
point three BAC is a conservative
estimate and it’s already a huge number
and already that alone comes with some
intense health risks, impaired breathing,
impaired heart rate, lapses in
consciousness, even a low possibility of
death, and honestly the evidence from the
show supports our calculation.
After the wedding banquet, when Tyrion and Sansa
go off to their bedchamber, Tyrion refuses to
consummate the marriage if Sansa doesn’t
want to. He then takes one last swig of wine
and passes out cold. That instance of
sudden onset unconsciousness, which is
played largely to lighten up a very
heavy scene, is actually something that
occurs when BAC levels reach about .30
If now we switch over to our
aggressive estimate and say that Tyrion
had been drinking more than
that, at a rate closer to what we see in the
scenes that the show does put on screen,
Then Tyrion’s blood alcohol concentration
skyrockets to a whopping .84
Again, the number on its own might not seem
impressive but think about this, that
number shouldn’t physically be possible.
For most people, a blood alcohol
concentration of .45 leads
to shutdown of automatic bodily
functions. You know, the little things
like breathing and getting your heart to
beat on its own. Tyrion’s BAC at his
wedding is nearly double that and that’s
just one instance how bout when Tyrion emerges
from the crate Varys with smuggling him
at the beginning of season five.
He starts chugging wine, then gives the old boot and rally.
There he says that he’d been drinking
the entire time on the ship so who knows
how drunk Tyrion is at this point.
The bottom line is that drinking the way
Tyrion does is extraordinarily dangerous
especially for someone of his size.
The numbers don’t lie! Based on the
volume of wine he’s guzzling and the speed
with which, Tyrion should
have been the first character to die in
season 1 but wait, saying those slightly
inebriated viewers watching this during
their weekend frat party.
If Tyrion’s been drinking this heavily for this long
wouldn’t that mean that he’s got like
really good tolerance wouldn’t that mean
that he could survive drinking much more
than a normal person and honestly that’s
a really good question. That’s actually one I
had myself as I worked on the script but
believe it or not that’s not how tolerance works.
Alcohol tolerance is
definitely a thing, but it has much more to
do with how inebriation affects someone
externally rather than internally.
Someone with a lot of experience
drinking might be able to stay balanced
to not slur their speech with higher
BAC’s but on the inside they’ll be just
as drunk as the novice drinker who’s had
the same amount.
Alcohol tolerance doesn’t affect your blood alcohol
concentration and that’s the toxicity
that causes those pesky problems like
cardiac arrest, breathing issues, and
early death. Are there anecdotal
instances of people with extraordinarily
high blood alcohol concentrations living?
Sure! There was this one guy who stole a
vehicle full of sheep in South African
with an unimaginable BAC of
1.6 percent not .16
percent 1.6 percent AKA 20
times the legal driving limit.
That person had to have been a genetic anomaly.
I’m sure Professor X is reaching
out to the guy as we speak but in
general tolerance doesn’t determine your
BAC; it just determines how long you can
stay conscious enough to get your BAC
even higher but surely with how smart
and high functioning Tyrion always seems
to be in crucial moments of the show, we
can at least say that he holds his
liquor better than anyone else.
Let’s give that to the man at least right ?
Tyron: Of course of course.
MatPat: Well not so fast. Tyrion actually isn’t
the most impressive drinker in the Game
of Thrones universe. In fact he’s not
even the best drinker in his family.
That title belongs to the queen of mean
Cersei Lannister. Why? Well consider the
season 2 episode about the Battle of Blackwater.
While Tyrion is leading the
defense of King’s Landing, Cersei is
hiding away in the holdfast getting Dean
Martin levels of drunk. Like we did with
Tyrion we can perform similar
calculations on this episode with
similar assumptions but with one big
Cersei is a woman. Cersei is actually
going to have a higher blood alcohol
concentration than Tyrion if they both
drank the same amount. Why? Well, generally
speaking women have a higher proportion
of their body weight as fat, sorry no
shame it’s just a fact, and fat has a
very low water content compared to muscle.
The water in muscle tissue helps
dilute alcohol in the blood stream more,
thereby creating a lower blood alcohol
concentration so when we account for all
of Circe’s drinking, the time elapsed, her
gender, her weight, all that good stuff.
We get a peek blood alcohol concentration
of 0.63. Sure its not quite as high as the
highest possible calculation that we got
for Tyrion but there are two things to
consider here. One, this is still a BAC
that would kill most people and two,
compared to Tyrion, Cersei handles
this level of drunkenness like a champ.
When Tyrion gets this drunk, he wipes his
mouth on a tablecloth and passes out in front of his bride.
When Cersei gets this
drunk she tries to comfort her son and
tell them stories while the city around
I mean sure she said some really awful
things to Sansa in these scenes but Cercei
says terrible things when she’s sober
so I don’t think that really counts.
[Circe] Every breath you draw in my presence annoys me.
[MatPat] So Tyrion might get the award for
drunkest in the family but the overall
best drinker is undeniably Cersei.
Dammit just another crown that she ripped off
of someone’s head, but hey that’s just a
theory a FILM THEORY and wait right
there because I want to talk about this
really cool website that I worked on so
full disclosure this is an episode I’ve
had kicking around on my to-do list for
a while now and then NITSA the national
highway traffic safety administration
came a-knockin wanting to partner with
Film Theory and it was like the fates had aligned.
That seems awfully random, you say
skeptically. Why would they want to
partner with Film Theory?
Well one because we’re super cool duh,
but to because we specialize in
translating complicated educational
concepts into fun videos that most
people can understand like this one and blood
alcohol concentration. They actually
asked me to serve as a guide through
this really cool 360-degree website that
gives you a first-person experience of a
night on the town getting more and more
Maybe you can’t get up to Tyrion coma
levels of drunkenness like .8 but
you can get your BAC to some dangerously
large numbers and like I said the
episode because so much of blood alcohol
concentration depends on perceptual
differences that you experience at
different levels, this is a great way to
experience it firsthand in the safety
of your own home and for free!
You’re not actually have to pay for any alcohol.
So give it a go and tell me how it goes.
In fact, you’ll see me there as I guide
you through the experience. Go up against
my raging nerd brain in Bar trivia.
Just listen to my snarky remarks as I wait
there for you to choose a darn drink.
Seriously, just pick the darn thing!
All in all, it was a fantastic project to
work on and it presents a super fun way
to learn about the effects of alcohol.
A 360-degree choose-your-own-adventure
style evening of getting drunk.
It’s not too shabby so go to the website you
see on screen or just hammer the link in
the top line of the description to go
and check it out. Not just I will thank
you but your future self will thank you too,
and if Back to the Future has taught me
anything when that meeting eventually
happens you will have caused a time paradox but
it’ll be so worth it, so one last time
check out this website or click the link
in the top of the description
to have some drinks, attempt and fail
at darts, and try to seduce people while
getting sloppy at the counter.
All while watched over by your little guardian
angel MatPat. Don’t worry guys I got you
covered. Now if you’ll excuse me, next
call me Pippin because I’ve got some
magic to do.