Tyrion Lannister's dramatic demand for "trial by combat" at the end of last night's Game of Thrones has precedent. Not just in the annals of ancient Germanic law: 12 years ago, an "unemployed mechanic" demanded trial by combat over a motor-vehicle fine.

In 2002, 60-year-old Leon Humphreys of Bury St. Edmonds, England, demanded a trial by combat from the mad king Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. The Telegraph reports:

Leon Humphreys remained adamant yesterday that his right to fight a champion nominated by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) was still valid under European human rights legislation. He said it would have been a "reasonable" way to settle the matter.

Humphreys, who had been fined £25 by the DVLA, said he "was willing to fight a champion put up by the DVLA, but it would have been a fight to the death." (Humphreys offered to fight with "samurai swords, Ghurka knives or heavy hammers.")http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/14...