Tywin Lannister

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Tywin Lannister
Brittmartin TywinL.jpg
Tywin Lannister - by BrittMartin

Alias The Lion of Lannister
The Old Lion
The Great Lion of the Rock
Title Lord of Casterly Rock
Shield of Lannisport
Warden of the West
Hand of the King
Savior of the City (of King's Landing)
Allegiance House Lannister
Born In 242 AC[1]
Died In 300 AC, at King's Landing
Spouse Joanna Lannister
Book(s) A Game of Thrones (appears)
A Clash of Kings (appears)
A Storm of Swords (appears)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)
The World of Ice and Fire (mentioned)

Played by Charles Dance
TV series Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3 | Season 4

Tywin Lannister is Lord of Casterly Rock, Shield of Lannisport, and Warden of the West. The head of House Lannister, Tywin is one of the most powerful lords in Westeros, and is the father of Jaime, Cersei, and Tyrion Lannister. He loves his children Jaime and Cersei, but despises Tyrion. This is partly because Tyrion is deformed, but also Tywin blames his son for causing his beloved wife Joanna's death during his birth, as well as for shaming the family name with his frequent whoring. In the television adaptation Game of Thrones, Tywin is portrayed by Charles Dance.

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of Tywin Lannister

Tywin is a tall, slender, broad-shouldered man in his fifties. He has kept his head shaved ever since he started going bald, but grows out bushy golden side-whiskers, and has green eyes flecked with gold. In battle, he wears deep crimson armor highlighted with gold, with a cloth-of-gold cape.[2]

Tywin is a calculating, intelligent, politically astute, ruthless, and controlling man. He dedicates his life and efforts towards maintaining the Lannisters' prestige, and ensuring House Lannister is respected, or at least feared. He is a proven battle commander and politician, and has a very powerful presence combined with an intimidating gaze.


Early life

Tywin as a boy with his father Tytos as depicted by Magali Villeneuve in The World of Ice and Fire

Tywin was the first born of Tytos Lannister and his wife Jeyne Marbrand. His early years were formative ones, shaping his mind and resolve for the life that lay ahead of him. Tywin was forced to watch his mighty house nearly brought to ruin through his father's actions. His father while a gentle and amiable man was also weak willed and eager to please, loans went unpaid and his bannermen did what they pleased mocking him in their cups or openly defying him.

According to Genna Lannister, when Tytos agreed to marry her to Emmon Frey, the second son of Lord Walder Frey, just to please Lord 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 left the hall in anger and Ellyn Reyne laughed aloud. The rest of Lord Tytos's vassals sat on their tongues, only the ten-year-old Tywin spoke out against the wedding because he thought it an uneven match.[3] Tytos later sent Tywin to King's Landing to serve as a royal cupbearer at King Aegon V Targaryen's court. At the royal court Tywin befriended the young Prince Aerys and the heir to Storm's End, Steffon Baratheon. His cousin, Joanna Lannister, also served at the royal court as a companion and lady-in-waiting to Princess Rhaella Targaryen.[4][5]

During the War of the Ninepenny Kings, eleven thousand westermen under the leadership Tywin's uncle, Ser Jason Lannister (who would later perish in the war) were sent to fight beside the forces of the Iron Throne in the Stepstones. Tywin who was already a knight by then joined the Lannister force as did his brothers Kevan and Tygett as squires. The young Prince Aerys Targaryen served as a squire during the war and when he won his knighthood, Tywin was granted the honor of knighting his friend.[5]

House Lannister's reputation was low because of Tywin's weak father, Tytos.[6] Tywin decided to take ruthless steps to rectify the situation and restore the family honor and fortune from its near ruin. Upon the return of Ser Tywin Lannister from the Stepstones with his brothers, Ser Kevan (newly knighted) and Tygett Lannister who while still a squire had distinguished himself well in the fighting. The three were now battle hardened from the war, they knew how their House was regarded by others under the misrule of their sire and were determined to change that. Tywin Lannister took upon himself the task of restoring his house's dominance. 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 current mistress, who was a wet nurse.[4]

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 stated, "The Lion has awoken."[4]

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. Roger Reyne reportedly laughed when he read Tywin's edicts and counseled his friends and vassals to do nothing.

Lord Walderran 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 Tywin and threatened them harm unless her Lord and husband was returned. This awoke Lord Tytos who was determined to get his late brother's son, Stafford, back alive and 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, further weakening the position of the House.[7][4]

Tywin was determined to bring the overmighty and belligerent vassals to heel. Late in the year of 261 AC Tywin (who did not seek his lord father's leave, nor even informed him of his intent) sent a raven message to both Tarbeck Hall and Castamere demanding that they present themselves at Casterly Rock to answer for their crimes. Both refused (as Tywin knew they would) and choose defiance, rising in revolt and renouncing their fealty to House Lannister. Tywin rode forth himself taking command of the Lannister forces and immediately marched against the upstart vassals taking the army he had already gathered prior to sending the raven messages.

Thus, Tywin took upon himself the task of putting down House Tarbeck and House Reyne, for their defiance and showing the world that the Lion of Lannister was a beast to fear. Tywin crushed both vassal houses with ruthless efficiency, destroying both houses entirely so that their lines were ended, leaving their ruined and shattered castles as a mute testimony to the fate that awaits those who scorn the power of Casterly Rock.[8] Such was the brutality of Tywin's destruction of House Reyne that a song called "The Rains of Castamere" was written as a tribute to the event. Indeed when Lord Farman of Faircastle later grew truculent Tywin sent a messenger with a lute instead of a letter and once "The Rains of Castamere" was played Lord Farman caused no further trouble.

Upon the death of King Jaehaerys II Targaryen, the newly-crowned King Aerys II Targaryen choose his friend Ser Tywin as Hand of the King, impressed by the ruthlessness demonstrated against the rebellious Reynes and Tarbecks. Tywin spent much of his time at the court of King's Landing, his father continued to rule the westerlands for the next few years, though still a weak Lord none of his other vassals dared cause trouble after seeing what his heir Tywin did to Reynes and Tarbecks.

When Tywin's father Tytos finally keeled over of a burst heart in 267 AC while climbing a flight of steps to visit his new mistress,[9] Ser Tywin became the Lord of Casterly Rock and Warden of the West. Upon his return to Casterly Rock after hearing of his father's death, Tywin found his father's new mistress trying on one of his late mother's gowns. Tywin learned that while he was away serving as at King's Landing, his father's mistress, the daughter of a chandler, dominated Tytos utterly, ordering about the household knights and dismissing servants and helping herself to his late wife's jewelery.[6] Tywin had her stripped naked and forced the sobbing woman to walk the streets of Lannisport to confess to every man she met that she was a thief and a harlot before banishing her from the westerlands.[9]

As a result of his father's follies Tywin Lannister never laughed as he mistrusted laughter, hearing too much of it directed at his father and House Lannister in his youth. Tywin also seldom smiled when he was young and never smiled again after his wife's death.[10]

As Hand of the King

Tywin married his cousin Joanna Lannister and from all reports the marriage was a happy one. Genna Lannister said that Tywin smiled on the day he wed Joanna.[10] It was said that though Tywin ruled the Seven Kingdoms (as Hand) he was ruled at home by his lady wife. Joanna gave him twins, Cersei and Jaime that he hoped would one day be Queen of Westeros and Lord of Casterly Rock, but then disaster struck when his beloved wife died giving birth to Tyrion, considered a hideous monster. Tywin was devastated by Joanna's untimely death and took no further wife. Gerion Lannister once told his nephew Tyrion that the best part of Tywin died when Joanna did.[11]

Tywin appointed as Aerys II King's Hand

Tywin proved himself a brilliant administrator in the position of Hand of the King and held the post for twenty years of peace and plenty. Some people joked it was he and not the king who really ruled the land. It ended when Aerys' increasing paranoia and jealousy drove the two into several bitter disagreements. According to Ser Barristan Selmy, Aerys lusted after Tywin's wife when she was alive[12] which caused further friction between the two. Tension increased at the tournament in honor of Viserys's birth in Lannisport in 276 AC when Aerys refused Tywin's offer to betroth Cersei to his heir, Prince Rhaegar. In 281 AC Aerys raised Jaime, Tywin's fifteen-year old son, to the Kingsguard, robbing Tywin of his prized heir; Tywin understood that the king’s motivations were to make Jaime a hostage to use against his father. Upset at Aerys's treatment of Jaime at the tourney of Harrenhal, Tywin resigned his position on some thin pretext and returned to Casterly Rock.

Robert's Rebellion and aftermath

When Robert's Rebellion began, Lord Tywin sat at Casterly Rock and waited, ignoring King Aerys's orders to arm, taking no side until after Robert Baratheon's decisive victory at the Battle of the Trident. After the battle, Tywin mustered his forces and rode for the capital of King's Landing. After Aerys was convinced by Grand Maester Pycelle that Tywin had come to aid him, he ordered the gates of the city opened for Tywin. The westermen proceeded to sack the city. Aerys was killed by Jaime before Tywin's forces arrived at the Red Keep, but Gregor Clegane and Amory Lorch, knights sworn to Tywin and under Tywin's orders, slew Rhaegar's wife Elia of Dorne and her two young children, Rhaenys and Aegon. Tywin wrapped the bodies in crimson Lannister cloaks to better conceal the blood and presented them to Robert Baratheon as a token of fealty. When asked by his son Tyrion years later why Tywin did not let Robert bloody his own hands, Tywin's replied:

We had come late to Robert's cause. It was necessary to demonstrate our loyalty. When I laid those bodies before the throne, no man could doubt that we had forsaken House Targaryen forever. And Robert's relief was palpable. As stupid as he was, even he knew that Rhaegar's children had to die if his throne was ever to be secure. Yet he saw himself as a hero, and heroes do not kill children.[13]

While earning House Lannister the hatred of both House Martell of Dorne and the population of King's Landing, this act also secured the marriage of the new king, Robert I Baratheon, to Tywin's daughter Cersei, whose proposed betrothal to Prince Rhaegar Targaryen had been rejected by Aerys much to Tywin's bitter disappointment. Cersei's marriage to the new, young, and popular king did much to make up for Tywin's earlier disappointment.

Tywin Lannister - by Nacho Molina ©

After the rebellion, Tywin returned to Casterly Rock, where he continued to serve as Lord and Warden of the West. In 289 AC Lord Balon Greyjoy began Greyjoy's Rebellion against King Robert by burning the Lannister fleet anchored at Lannisport. After the defeat of the Greyjoys, Tywin rebuilt his fleet[14] and hosted another tourney at Lannisport. Due to King Robert's financial mismanagement of the realm, as well as his own new connection to the throne by marriage, Lord Tywin frequently lent money to the crown, placing the court in King's Landing in debt of over three million gold dragons to House Lannister.

Though ruthless, Tywin Lannister is an able and shrewd ruler who brought great prosperity during his tenures as the King's Hand. He is especially talented at the raising of funds, leading to a persistent jest that he must "shit gold."[15] The common folk of Lannisport cheered twice as loud for Tywin at the tourney for King Aerys II as they did for their actual king. Even so, Tywin is more respected than loved in the westerlands and he became despised in King's Landing after his house treacherously sacked the city.


When Tywin discovered his son Tyrion wed a common girl, Tysha, which in Tywin's eyes would make the house a laughingstock again, Tywin taught him a sharp lesson. He commanded Tyrion's brother Jaime to name her a prostitute and made Tyrion watch as Tywin gave Tysha over to his garrison of guards, having each man pay the girl a silver coin after raping her. He forced Tyrion to do the same but pay the girl a gold coin.[16] He earned the enmity of his son forever for that act, but Tywin did not care, for it was on his other children that he placed all his hopes.

Tywin later refused to allow Tyrion to travel and see the world as Tywin's brothers had in their youth, fearing he would bring further shame on House Lannister and as a "gift" for Tyrion's sixteenth name day he put his son in charge of cleaning all the drains of Casterly Rock.[17]

When Tyrion became 16-years-old, the official age of adulthood, he believed he would be free to do as he wished. Tywin disillusioned him, replying:

No man is free. Only children and fools think elsewise.[17]

Though Tywin's children also greatly respect him, none of them have been able to conform to the paths he had laid out for them, which causes many difficulties.[7]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Tywin Lannister preparing for war - by Magali Villeneuve ©

Believed to be responsible for hiring an assassin to murder Bran Stark while he lay in a coma, Tywin's son Tyrion is arrested at the inn at the crossroads by Catelyn Stark, the wife of Eddard Stark, current Hand of the King. She takes him to her sister Lysa, at the Eyrie, for trial. Though Tywin does not care about Tyrion's welfare, he sees the arrest and kidnapping as a direct slight on House Lannister's honor which he will not tolerate. In response Tywin sends Ser Gregor Clegane and the Mountain's men, disguised as brigands, to sack and pillage various villages and hamlets across the riverlands, Catelyn's homeland.[18] These raids mark one of the seminal points in what is to become the War of the Five Kings.

Tywin's aim is to draw Eddard out of King's Landing, capture him, and exchange him for the freedom of his son.[19] Eddard, however, is injured in a skirmish on the streets of King's Landing with Tywin's son Jaime, who is unaware of Tywin's plans, and Eddard sends Lord Beric Dondarrion after Gregor in his stead. When Beric's forces reach the Mummer's Ford, soldiers of Tywin's and Gregor's attack from all sides, routing Beric's host.[20]

Tywin and Jaime ride to war - by Thomas Denmark ©

As the war gains momentum, Tywin's forces take the majority of the riverlands and lay siege to Riverrun before meeting their first real opposition in the battle on the Green Fork. Just prior to the battle, Tyrion, having won his freedom from the Vale of Arryn via trial by combat and earned the loyalty of many of the Vale mountain clans along the way, meets with his father. Tywin sends Tyrion and his clansmen into the battle on the left flank, believing the undisciplined men likely to rout, but giving the northern commander, which Tywin believed to be the young and inexperienced Robb Stark, a chance to over-commit and be annihilated.[21] The clansmen do not rout, however, and the northern commander is not Robb but instead the more cautious and experienced Lord Roose Bolton. The battle is a Lannister victory, but it buys enough time for a separate northern force under Robb Stark's command to cross the Trident at the Twins. With the battle in the Whispering Wood and the Battle of the Camps, Robb is able to capture Tywin's other son, Jaime, and lift the siege of Riverrun.[22]

After the death of King Robert I Baratheon, Tywin is named Hand of the King for his grandson, Joffrey I Baratheon.[23] After the battle, he sends Tyrion to King's Landing to serve as Hand in his stead, and to prepare the city's defenses in anticipation of an attack from one or both of Robert's brothers, Stannis and Renly, while Tywin manages the war with the north and the riverlands.[22]

A Clash of Kings

The loss of Riverrun means that Tywin is not able to pursue and destroy Roose Bolton's forces. Instead he marches south to Harrenhal while he ponders his next move. Lannister men in the riverlands are harassed by Beric Dondarrion's outlaw brotherhood, despite Beric having been reported as slain several times.[15]

Robb Stark, now the King in the North, marches from Riverrun and invades the westerlands, smashing a new Lannister host being raised and trained by Stafford Lannister at Oxcross and turning his forces loose to scour the westerlands. With Renly mysteriously killed and the loyalties of his men disputed,[24][25] Tywin leaves Harrenhal and marches his forces west in pursuit of Robb,[26] gambling that Stannis will be occupied with the siege of Storm's End.[27][28] With Tywin gone, however, the Brave Companions abandon the Lannister cause and betray Harrenhal to Lord Bolton.[29]

Robb and Ser Brynden Tully plan to lead Tywin's army on a long chase across the westerlands, bleeding his forces and living off of their lands.[30] However, Ser Edmure Tully, who has been tasked with holding Riverrun but is unaware of Robb's plan, meets Tywin's army in the field in the Battle of the Fords.[31] Tywin's forces are bloodied and thrown back, but the delay allows word to reach Tywin that Stannis has unexpectedly[27] taken formidable Storm's End and laid claim to much of Renly's army, and that he is marching and sailing on King's Landing with an enormous force.[32][28]

Tywin turns his host southeast on a forced march to the headwaters of the Blackwater Rush, where he meets Lords Mathis Rowan and Randyll Tarly of the newly-allied Reach. They then join with the forces of Lord Mace Tyrell at Tumbler's Falls.[30] Sailing together on barges down the Blackwater Rush, the Lannisters and Tyrells arrive just in time for the waning moments of the Battle of the Blackwater, where they are able to break and drive away the majority of Stannis's army, which had been on the cusp of victory, by taking them in the flank.[30] Tywin commands the host's right flank during the battle.[33] Tywin is declared Savior of the City by King Joffrey I Baratheon. Tywin's son Tyrion, who had done much for the city's defenses, is critically wounded in the fighting.[34]

A Storm of Swords

Tywin paraded as Savior of the City - by Pojypojy ©

Tywin's timely arrival at the Battle of the Blackwater allows him to take the majority of the credit for the Lannister victory. Tywin assumes his official position as King Joffrey's Hand,[35] while giving Tyrion, after his recovery, the position of Master of Coin, which Tyrion sees as a demotion and an insult. Tywin arranges for Tyrion to be wed to Sansa Stark[8] before she can be betrothed to Willas Tyrell, giving him claim over Winterfell and directly denying Tyrion's ambition to inherit Casterly Rock.[34] He also makes plans to find a suitor to marry his widowed daughter, Queen Cersei, though they are never realized. He offers her to Willas Tyrell but Mace Tyrell, after being hectored by his mother, Olenna Redwyne, refuses the match. Tywin demands that Tyrion act as if the offer were never made.[36]

After learning that Robb Stark has unexpectedly wed Jeyne Westerling and that House Westerling has gone over to the Starks, Tywin remains in communication, via raven, with Jeyne's mother Sybell Spicer. He also communicates with Roose Bolton, who has switched sides to the Lannisters after taking Harrenhal, and Lord Walder Frey, who sees Robb's marriage to Jeyne as an insult to House Frey, as it breaks a marriage pact Robb had previously made to wed a Frey girl. The Red Wedding is the direct result of their correspondence, which sees Robb Stark betrayed and murdered along with the vast majority of his host, effectively ending the war with House Lannister the victor.

Tywin Lannister has Ice, the Valyrian steel greatsword of Eddard Stark, reforged into two longswords as gifts, one for Joffrey on his wedding day and the other to Jaime.[36] Not long after, King Joffrey is poisoned and dies at the feast following his wedding to Margaery Tyrell. Tywin's son Tyrion is falsely accused of the crime, and Tywin agrees to be one of Tyrion's three judges, alongside Oberyn Martell and Mace Tyrell, at his trial. When it becomes clear that he is going to be found guilty, Tyrion demands trial by combat, and Oberyn surprisingly volunteers to champion him. Cersei, being Tyrion's accuser, selects Ser Gregor Clegane to represent the crown. Gregor, despite being poisoned by Oberyn during the trial, wins the duel, slaying Oberyn, and Tyrion is thus found guilty.[37]

Tywin faces huge political ramifications from the trial. Before slaying Oberyn, Gregor roars his guilt in slaying Elia Martell and her son Aegon for all the realm to hear. Tywin fears Dorne might join Stannis Baratheon, which could prolong the war for years. He plans on having Gregor executed to appease House Martell, but needs it to be seen to be the King's Justice who carries out the deed, not poison. Tywin commands Pycelle to heal Gregor, but Pycelle's efforts prove fruitless.[38]

Awaiting his sentencing, Tyrion is freed from the Red Keep's dungeon by his brother Jaime and a reluctant Varys. During his escape, Jaime reveals the truth about Tyrion's first wife Tysha, saying she was not a whore but a girl just met on the road and Tywin had made Jaime speak the lie to Tyrion. Tyrion is enraged by this and has Varys show him to a ladder that leads directly into the Tower of the Hand, Tywin's residence, Tyrion finds his ex-lover Shae in Tywin's bed, wearing nothing but his father's golden chain of office. Tyrion strangles her to death with it. He then takes a crossbow from the wall and finds Tywin in the privy and confronts him about Tysha. Tywin remains belligerent, repeatedly calling her a whore, which Tyrion sees as the final insult; shooting him through his bowels with the crossbow, mortally wounding him. Tywin dies while seated on the privy, his bowels loosening in the moment of death causing Tyrion to think as he left his father's body:

But the stink that filled the privy gave ample evidence that the oft-repeated jape about his father was just another lie. Lord Tywin Lannister did not, in the end, shit gold.[39]

A Feast for Crows

After Tywin's body is discovered, it is prepared for a state burial. Cersei has the Kettleblacks remove the body of Shae and swears she will have the tongue removed of any man who mentions Shae was ever there.[9] The remains of Lord Tywin are shown for seven days in the Great Sept of Baelor before making its way west with an entourage of knights and lords from the westerlands. The smell of the body is so bad many of the mourners grow sick or faint from being too near. A drying of the mouth also causes Tywin's lips to curl up and make him appear to smile.[40] This disturbs Jaime and Cersei, because Tywin Lannister seldom smiled.

A Dance with Dragons

Now in Essos, on his way to meet up with the crew of the Shy Maid, Tyrion listens to what Illyrio Mopatis has to say about Daenerys Targaryen and he wonders,

Are you down in some hell, Father? A nice cold hell where you can look up and see me help restore Mad Aerys's daughter to the Iron Throne?[41]

Ser Kevan Lannister thinks of how Tywin would never have dreamed his golden daughter Cersei would experience a similar fate, a walk of shame, as Tywin made their father Tytos's mistress suffer.[42]

Quotes by Tywin

No man is free. Only children and fools think elsewise.[17]

– Tywin, to Tyrion Lannister

Some battles are won with swords and spears, others with quills and ravens.[34]

– Tywin, to Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion: Could the Westerlings and Spicers be such great fools as to believe the wolf can defeat the lion?
Tywin: The greatest fools are ofttimes more clever than the men who laugh at them.[8]

– Tywin and Tyrion Lannister

There is a tool for every task, and a task for every tool.[36]

– Tywin, to Tyrion Lannister

When your enemies defy you, you must serve them steel and fire. When they go to their knees, however, you must help them back to their feet. Elsewise no man will ever bend the knee to you. And any man who must say ‘I am the king’ is no true king at all. Aerys never understood that, but you will. When I’ve won your war for you, we will restore the king’s peace and the king’s justice.[13]

– Tywin, to Joffrey Baratheon

I did not fight a war to seat Robert the Second on the Iron Throne.[13]

– Tywin, to Cersei Lannister

You are not my son. You say you are the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, and only that. Very well, ser. Go do your duty.[43]

– Tywin, to Jaime Lannister

Tywin: I suppose the steward sent her on her way. I never thought to inquire.

Tyrion: On her way where?

Tywin: Wherever whores go.[39]

– Tywin and Tyrion Lannister, regarding Tysha

Tywin: You shot me.

Tyrion: You always were quick to grasp a situation, my lord, that must be why you’re the Hand of the King.
Tywin: You ... you are no ... no son of mine.

Tyrion: Now that’s where you’re wrong, Father. Why, I believe I’m you writ small. Do me a kindness now, and die quickly. I have a ship to catch. [39]

– Tywin and Tyrion Lannister

Quotes about Tywin

I would sooner entrust a child to a pit viper than to Lord Tywin.[44]

Eddard Stark's thoughts

A fool more foolish than most had once jested that even Lord Tywin’s shit was flecked with gold. Some said the man was still alive, deep in the bowels of Casterly Rock.[2]

Tyrion Lannister's thoughts

Every once in a very long while, Lord Tywin Lannister would actually threaten to smile; he never did, but the threat alone was terrible to behold.[8]

Tyrion Lannister's thoughts

Joffrey: You talk about Aerys, Grandfather, but you were scared of him.

Cersei: Joffrey, apologize to your grandfather.

Joffrey: Why should I? Everyone knows it’s true. My father won all the battles. He killed Prince Rhaegar and took the crown, while your father was hiding under Casterly Rock.[13]

Joffrey Baratheon and Cersei Lannister

Kevan: Tywin seems a hard man to you, but he's no harder than he's had to be. Our own father was gentle and amiable, but so weak his bannermen mocked him in their cups. Some saw fit to defy him openly. Other lords borrowed his gold and never troubled to repay it. At court they japed of toothless lions. Even his own mistress stole from him. A woman scarcely one step above a whore, and she helped herself to my mother's jewels! It fell to Tywin to restore House Lannister to its proper place. Just as it fell to him to rule this realm, when he was no more than twenty. He bore that heavy burden for twenty years and all it earned him was a mad king's envy. Instead of the honor he deserved, he was made to suffer slights beyond count, yet he gave the Seven Kingdoms peace, plenty and justice. He is a just man.

Tyrion: You love him.

Kevan: He is my brother.[6]

Kevan Lannister and Tyrion Lannister

Lord Tywin Lannister did not, in the end, shit gold.[39]

Tyrion Lannister's thoughts

I have served six kings, but here before us lies the greatest man I ever knew. Lord Tywin wore no crown, yet he was all a king should be.[40]


...I remember the first time my father took me to court, Robert had to hold my hand. I could not have been older than four, which would have made him five or six. We agreed afterward that the king had been as noble as the dragons were fearsome. Years later, our father told us that Aerys had cut himself on the throne that morning, so his Hand had taken his place. It was Tywin Lannister who’d so impressed us.

Stannis Baratheon

Men say Tywin never smiled, but he smiled when he wed your mother, and when Aerys made him Hand. When Tarbeck Hall came crashing down on Lady Ellyn, that scheming bitch, Tyg claimed he smiled then, and he smiled at your birth, Jaime, I saw with my own eyes.[10]

Genna Lannister, to Jaime Lannister

I was seven when Walder Frey persuaded my lord father to give my hand to Emm. His second son, not even his heir. Father was himself a thirdborn son, and younger children crave the approval of their elders. Frey sensed that weakness in him, and Father agreed for no better reason than to please him. My betrothal was announced at a feast with half the west in attendance. Ellyn Tarbeck laughed and the Red Lion went angry from the hall. The rest sat on their tongues. Only Tywin dared speak against the match. A boy of ten. Father turned as white as mare's milk, and Walder Frey was quivering. How could I not love him after that? That is not to say I approved of all he did, or much enjoyed the company of the man he became ... but every little girl needs a big brother to protect her. Tywin was big even when he was little.[10]

Genna Lannister, to Jaime Lannister


Tywin married his cousin Joanna Lannister, with whom he had three children: Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion. Joanna died when giving birth to Tyrion.


References and Notes

  1. See the Tywin Lannister calculation.
  2. 2.0 2.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 56, Tyrion VII.
  3. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 32, Cersei VII.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 The World of Ice & Fire, House Lannister under the Dragons.
  5. 5.0 5.1 The World of Ice & Fire, Aerys II.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 66, Tyrion IX.
  7. 7.0 7.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 44, Jaime VII.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 19, Tyrion III.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 3, Cersei I.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 33, Jaime V.
  11. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 38, Tyrion V.
  12. Aerys's own unhappy marriage was arranged
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 53, Tyrion VI.
  14. So Spake Martin: The Lannister Fleet
  15. 15.0 15.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 30, Arya VII.
  16. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 42, Tyrion VI.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 8, Tyrion III.
  18. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 43, Eddard XI.
  19. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 17, Arya III.
  20. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 55, Catelyn VIII.
  21. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 62, Tyrion VIII.
  22. 22.0 22.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
  23. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
  24. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn IV.
  25. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 36, Tyrion VIII.
  26. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 38, Arya VIII.
  27. 27.0 27.1 So Spake Martin: Tyrion and Tywin, July 27, 1999
  28. 28.0 28.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 44, Tyrion X.
  29. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 47, Arya IX.
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 14, Catelyn II.
  31. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 45, Catelyn VI.
  32. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 42, Davos II.
  33. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 62, Sansa VII.
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 4, Tyrion I.
  35. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 64, Arya X.
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 32, Tyrion IV.
  37. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 70, Tyrion X.
  38. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 72, Jaime IX.
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 39.3 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 77, Tyrion XI.
  40. 40.0 40.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 8, Jaime I.
  41. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5, Tyrion II.
  42. A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.
  43. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 62, Jaime VII.
  44. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.

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