Brendan Moody wrote:
Likable to readers doesn't mean likable within the story. A lot of Tyrion's humor, and his taste in associates, is too crass for the society in which he operates; it's not just his appearance that makes people shy away from him. He's really rather sneering and insinuating. Because the reader is in Tyrion's head and on his side, it's less obvious, but an awful lot of his funny lines are not actually appropriate things to say to people if you care about being liked. Which he doesn't, because he's decided no one is going to like him no matter how polite he is.
Does Tyriol behave like he wants to be liked? Heck, no. Tyrion is sardonic and insulting, but in a smart way. That's not what what I associate with the word "gross". Gross is how Viserys behaves to his sister. And I don't know what the show has changed about Tyrion's manner, but I don't see the need for it. To the reader, a lot of the accepted behavior of the society described in the book is gross, and the reader is only likely to side with Tyrion for mocking them.
It's actually funny to say that Tyrion's behavior is "too crass to the society in which he operates", when this society is overall very crass, with few exceptions. At least from our point of view.
I know, I just think it takes away from the character. I don't think people would call Peter Dinklage a demon or a gargoyle.
But how large a pool of great dwarf actors who could play that role is in the first place? And were they really going to turn down Dinklage on the grounds that he just wasn't ugly enough, and look for "a really ugly little person" to fill the role?