Tytos Lannister

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House Lannister.svg
Tytos Lannister
House Lannister.svg
Tytos Lannister TheMico.jpg

Alias The Laughing Lion
The Toothless Lion[1]
Title Lord of Casterly Rock
Shield of Lannisport
Warden of the West
Allegiance House Lannister
Born In 220 AC[2]
Died In 267 AC[3][1], at Casterly Rock
Spouse Lady Jeyne Marbrand
Book(s) The World of Ice and Fire (mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)

Tytos Lannister was Lord of Casterly Rock and head of House Lannister during the reigns of Aegon V, Jaehaerys II, and Aerys II Targaryen. He is the grandfather of Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion by his eldest son, Tywin Lannister.


Tytos was described as an amiable gentleman, but he was also weak willed, eager to please, slow to anger, quick to forgive and too trusting by half, he saw the good in everyone, great and small, this trust blinded him to threats to his House.[1]

Tytos was called a kind but weak man. When lord of Casterly Rock he loaned money to lords who never bothered to repay him and his vassals openly ignored his orders.[4]

Early Life

Tytos was the third-born son of Lord Gerold Lannister and Lady Rohanne Webber. His elder twin brothers were Tywald and Tion; Tywald was slain in the Peake Uprising in 233 AC. Tytos was married to Jeyne Marbrand and they would have five children.[5] Tytos became the heir of Casterly Rock in 236 AC, after the death of Tion at the Battle of Wendwater Bridge during the Fourth Blackfyre Rebellion.[1]

Rumor was that the newly-widowed Ellyn Reyne, who was married to Tion, tried to seduce the already-married Tytos who became heir so he would set aside his wife for her. Tytos apparently was so intimidated by her that he failed to perform and in shame confessed to his wife who forgave him but not her good-sister, Ellyn. Jeyne informed her good-father, Lord Gerold, who hastily wed Lady Ellyn to his elderly bannerman, Lord Walderan Tarbeck. Gerold took firm control of the westerlands and was determined to do everything he could to prepare his unpromising new heir for lordship. Gerold was not blind to his son's flaws though and knew Tytos would be unsuitable for the positions of Lord of Casterly Rock and Warden of the West.[1]

Lord of Casterly Rock

Tytos Lannister in his prime along with a young Tywin as depicted by Magali Villeneuve in The World of Ice and Fire

Tytos became Lord of Casterly Rock in 244 AC after his father's death from a bad bladder. Tytos had a jovial manner and was known as the Laughing Lion; at first the west laughed with him, but soon enough they laughed at him. Tytos was weak willed and indecisive when it came to matters of state, having no stomach for war or conflict, and he laughed at insults that would have sent his forebears shouting for their swords. Many saw this weakness and sought to take advantage for their own personal gain. Eager to please, Tytos lavished wealth, land and power to men who despised him, something he was too blind to see. Some borrowed from Casterly Rock and never bothered to repay the loans. When it was seen that Tytos was willing to extend such debts, or even forgive them, common merchants from Lannisport and Kayce soon began to attend the court in droves to beg for loans. The power of House Lannister waned and many other neighboring Houses grew in strength. Many said that the Lion of Lannister was no longer a beast to fear and japed about toothless lions.[1]

According to his daughter Genna, Tytos agreed to marry her to Emmon Frey, the second son of Lord Walder Frey, just to please Walder. The betrothal was announced at a feast in 252 AC, with most of the lords of the west in attendance. Upon the announcement, Lord Roger Reyne, the Red Lion of Castamere, left the hall in anger and Lady Ellyn Tarbeck laughed aloud. The rest of Lord Tytos's vassals sat on their tongues, and only Tytos's eldest son, Tywin Lannister, spoke out against the wedding because he thought it an uneven match.[6] Tytos later sent Tywin to King's Landing to serve as a royal cupbearer at King Aegon V Targaryen's court.[1]

House Reyne power grew under Tytos's poor leadership, as did their close allies in House Tarbeck, as Ellyn Tarbeck was Roger Reyne's sister. Lady Tarbeck was not slow to take advantage of Tytos's willingness to part with large sums of gold, borrowing heavily and using the money to restore the crumbling Tarbeck Hall, strengthening the curtain walls, rebuilding its keep and furnishing its keep with a splendor to rival any castle in the west.

Lord Tytos was known as the Laughing Lion, but after the death of his beloved wife Jeyne a month after giving birth to their son Gerion in 255 AC, no one ever called him that again, as his sorrow at her loss was great. Under his leadership, conditions in the west became dismal; bandits and outlaws prowled the roads, while bannermen ignored their liege lord's orders and saw to their own affairs. King Aegon V thrice in his reign had to send the forces of the Iron Throne to intervene and restore order to the west, as no sooner had the king's knights departed that conflict would soon erupt again. During the War of the Ninepenny Kings, Lord Tytos answered the call of his new king, Jaehaerys II Targaryen, and sent ten thousand westermen under the leadership of his young brother, Ser Jason Lannister (who would later perish in the war) to fight beside the forces of the Iron Throne in the Stepstones. Lord Tytos also sent his three eldest sons—Tywin, Kevan, and Tygett Lannister—to fight in the conflict, while he on the other hand remained at the court of Casterly Rock with his new mistress, a lowborn woman who had caught his eye, Gerion's wet nurse.

Battle hardened from the war, Tytos's sons knew how their House was regarded by others under the misrule of their sire and were determined to change that. The young Tywin declared to his father he was restoring House Lannister to its proper place. Lord Tytos protested feebly before returning to the comfort and embrace of his wet nurse mistress.[1]

Tywin began by demanding the repayment of the gold his father lent out; those who could not repay immediately had to send a hostage to Casterly Rock until their debt was settled. He charged his brother Kevan with command of five hundred knights, who were all blooded and seasoned veterans from the War of the Ninepenny Kings, and had them rid the westerlands of robber knights and bandit outlaws. Some hastened to obey, and Ser Harys Swyft was said to have stated,

The lion has awoken.[1]

Unable to pay the loan at the time, Ser Harys agreed to surrender his daughter Dorna into Ser Kevan's custody, elsewhere the collectors were met with sullen resistance and open defiance. Lord Roger Reyne reportedly laughed when he read Tywin's edicts and counseled his friends and vassals to do nothing.

Lord Walderan Tarbeck unwisely choose a different course. He rode to Casterly Rock to confront Lord Tytos, confident he could easily cow Tytos to rescind his son's edicts. Lord Tytos was not present when Lord Tarbeck arrived at court, but the young Tywin was and ordered Lord Walderran imprisoned for disloyalty.

In return, Lady Ellyn Tarbeck seized three Lannisters—two Lannisters of Lannisport, as well as Stafford Lannister, whose sister was betrothed to young Tywin Lannister—and threatened them harm unless her lord and husband was returned. This awoke Lord Tytos, who ignored Tywin's suggestion that Lord Walderran should be sent back to his wife in three pieces, one for every Lannister taken. Tytos returned Walderran unharmed and even forgave the Tarbeck debt to House Lannister.[7]

Less then a year later, the Tarbecks rebelled in 261 AC, together with House Reyne. Tywin took charge of crushing the rebellion which he did so completely that both castles were destroyed and the family lines extinguished.[8]

While his son and heir Tywin was named Hand of the King by the newly-crowned King Aerys II Targaryen, Tytos remained at Casterly Rock, though after the destruction of the Reyne and Tarbecks by his heir, none of his remaining vassals caused anymore trouble.

One autumn, Tytos came between a lioness and her prey. The lioness tore into Tytos's horse and was about to attack him as well, when the kennelmaster of Casterly Rock came to his rescue with his dogs, losing his leg and three dogs in the process. Out of gratitude, Tytos gave the kennelmaster lands and a towerhouse and took his son as a squire, thereby creating House Clegane.[9]

In his last few years, Tytos became fat and took a new mistress, a commonborn daughter of a candlemaker. She helped herself to the late Jeyne Marbrand's jewels and clothes and also began ordering about the household knights, dismissed servants and sat in attendance when Tytos was absent. In 267 AC, Lord Tytos died of a heart attack while climbing stairs to see her. Tywin returned from King's Landing to Casterly Rock as its lord. [10]

The only influence Tytos had on his son was that Tywin mistrusted laughter and that he became a hard man.[4][11] Tytos did not forget his children when he died, and left behind a generous inheritance for Tywin, Kevan, Genna, Tygett and Gerion.[12]


Lord Tytos was an altogether different character [to Tywin], amiable but ineffectual, and he allowed himself to be pushed around a good deal, by a number of people.. including Lord Walder Frey (ever wonder how Genna came to marry so poorly?) and the Red Lion of Castamere, the richest and most powerful Lannister bannerman, and a formidable soldier/warrior in his own right...[13]

- George R. R. Martin

Our own father was gentle and amiable, but so weak his bannerman mocked him in their cups. Some saw fit to defy him openly. Other lords borrowed our gold and never troubled to repay it. At court they japed of toothless lions. Even his mistress stole from him. A woman scarcely one step above a whore, and she helped herself to my mother's jewels![4]

- Kevan Lannister

His lordship wants only to be loved. So he laughs, and takes no offense, and forgives, and bestows honors and offices and lavish gifts on those who mock him and defy him, thinking thereby to win their loyalty. Yet the more he laughs and gives, the more they despise him.[1]
- Maester Beldon in a letter to the Citadel


Tytos was the third-born son of his father and mother. He had two older twin brothers, Tywald and Tion, and a younger brother, Jason Lannister.[5]


Cerissa Brax
Teora Kyndall
Alysanne Farman
Rohanne Webber
Ellyn Reyne
Jeyne Marbrand
Various women


Jeyne Marbrand
Dorna Swyft
Emmon Frey
Darlessa Marbrand
Ermesande Hayford

References and Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 The World of Ice and Fire, House Lannister Under the Dragons.
  2. See the Tytos Lannister calculation.
  3. The World of Ice and Fire, Aerys II.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 66, Tyrion IX.
  5. 5.0 5.1 The World of Ice and Fire.
  6. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 32, Cersei VII.
  7. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 44, Jaime VII.
  8. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 19, Tyrion III.
  9. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 18, Sansa II.
  10. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 3, Cersei I.
  11. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 32, Jaime: Genna Lannister, to Jaime Lannnister "He heard too many people laughing at your grandsire."
  12. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 7, Cersei II.
  13. So Spake Martin: Tywin and the Reynes November 15, 1999.

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