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| Titles=[[Hand of the King]]<br>[[Lord of Casterly Rock]]<br>[[Warden|Warden of the West]]
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Revision as of 06:27, May 9, 2012

"The future of our family will be determined in these next few months. We could establish a dynasty that will last a thousand years, or we could collapse into nothing, as the Targaryens did."
Tywin Lannister[src]

Tywin Lannister is a major character in the second season. He initially appeared as a recurring character in the first season and debuted in "You Win or You Die." He is played by starring cast member Charles Dance. Tywin Lannister is the head of House Lannister, the Lord Paramount of the Westerlands, and the richest man in the Seven Kingdoms. He is intelligent, entitled, and ruthless. His primary concern is with his family's legacy.



Tywin is the head of House Lannister, the Lord Paramount of the Westerlands, and the richest man in the Seven Kingdoms. The Westerlands are one of the constituent regions of the Seven Kingdoms and House Lannister is one of the Great Houses of the realm. House Lannister rule the region from their seat of Casterly Rock and Tywin also held the title Lord of Casterly Rock. He is also the Warden of the West. He is a widower with three children, Jaime, Cersei and Tyrion.

Tywin is the son of Tytos Lannister. His father presided over a period of decline for the house. He frittered away much of their fortune on poor investments and allowed himself to be mocked at court creating a perception of weakness. Their vassals House Reyne of Castamere rebelled against Lord Tytos. Tywin put down the rebellion personally, extinguishing their house and re-establishing the fearsome reputation of House Lannister. His ruthlessness gave darker meaning to the common phrase "A Lannister always pays his debts" and was immortalized in the song "The Rains of Castermere".[1]

Tywin married Joanna Lannister and their first children were the non-identical twins Cersei and Jaime. She died after giving birth to Tyrion. Tywin blames his son for the death of his spouse.[2][3]

Tywin served as Hand of the King to Aerys II Targaryen but was replaced after his growing power led to him being perceived as a threat by the Mad King.[4] During Robert's Rebellion Tywin initially feigned loyalty to King Aerys. His son Jaime, a member of Aerys's Kingsguard, killed Aerys II when he threatened to burn the capital city of King's Landing. Tywin was responsible for the subsequent sack of the city. After the rebellion Robert Baratheon took the throne and married Tywin's daughter Cersei to cement their alliance.

Cersei's son Joffrey Baratheon is the heir to the throne. She has two younger children Myrcella Baratheon and Tommen Baratheon. Unbeknownst to Tywin all three children are the product of her incestuous relationship with Jaime.[5] Tywin is close to his younger brother, Kevan who is his chief advisor. Kevan's son Lancel is King Robert's squire.

Tywin despises and hates his younger son, seeing him as misshapen and perverse. When Tyrion was very young, Jaime set him up with a prostitute. Jaime posed her as a common girl in distress that they rescued from bandits. Jaime chased the bandits off while Tyrion comforted the girl. They married, but when Tywin found out he was furious and made Jaime reveal the truth. Tywin paid her for every one of his guards to have sex with her and forced Tyrion to watch. Tywin's hatred of Tyrion has been reciprocated since.[6] Nevertheless, all of Tywin's children are in awe of him and heed his counsel.[4]

Season 1

Tyrion is accused of the attempted murder of Bran Stark and taken prisoner by Catelyn Stark.[7] Despite their mutual dislike Tywin regards any affront to Tyrion as an affront to the honor of House Lannister as a whole and will not allow the action to go unpunished.[8] Jaime confronts Catelyn's husband Eddard Stark who is the current Hand of the King to Robert. Eddard takes responsibility for Catelyn's actions. They fight and Jaime leaves Eddard wounded but alive before leaving King's Landing.[9] Lord Tywin leads an army of sixty thousand men from the Westerlands to the borders of the Riverlands where he is met by Jaime. He commands Jaime to take half their men and besiege Riverrun, the childhood home of Catelyn. Tywin is incredulous that Jaime didn't capture Eddard Stark when he had the chance on the basis that he didn't win their fight 'fairly' because a Lannister man-at-arms interfered. Robert dies after being injured by a boar while hunting and Joffrey claims the throne. Eddard challenges Joffrey's legitimacy and is arrested for treason in King's Landing.[10]

Tywin 1x08

Tywin in the Lannister war camp

Tywin moves his half of the force West to the banks of the Trident. Tyrion arrives at the Lannister army having won his freedom in a trial by combat. He is accompanied by the leaders of the hill tribes, Shagga, Timett and Chella, having won their allegiance with promises of supplies. Tywin agrees to the alliance, and is amused when the hill tribes say they will only fight if Tyrion is with them on the field. Learning that the Stark army is moving to meet him in battle, Tywin triumphantly predicts victory, since Robb Stark is an unproven, untested 'green' boy. Tyrion notes that Robb is belligerent and cleverer than he looks. Tyrion bemuses Tywin by suggesting that he would like Robb.[11] The Lannister armies prepare for battle. Tywin tells Tyrion that he will place the hill tribe forces in his vanguard and orders Tyrion to lead them from the front. Tyrion angrily accuses his father of trying to kill him but nevertheless survives the ensuing Battle of the Green Fork. The Lannister force wins a decisive victory but finds the Stark force much smaller than the scouts had reported. Robb had split his forces at the Twins and led the majority west. He won a victory of his own in the Battle of the Whispering Wood and captured Jaime. In King's Landing Joffrey has Eddard executed for his crimes.[12]

Lord Tywin and his bannermen meet to discuss Jaime's defeat and capture. Kevan reports that both of Robert's brothers (Stannis and Renly Baratheon) have made their own claims on the Iron Throne. Kevan suggests a truce with House Stark. Tyrion impresses his father by asserting that Joffrey has destroyed any hope for peace between the Starks and the Lannisters. Tywin dismisses the others and orders Tyrion to go to King's Landing to act as Hand of the King in his place. He instructs Tyrion to keep Joffrey under control and to watch for treason among the small council. He forbids Tyrion to bring the prostitute Shae to court but Tyrion defies him and has Shae follow him to King's Landing.[13]

Season 2

Main: Tywin Lannister Season 2

As the head of House Lannister Tywin is leading his forces in defence of his nephew King Joffrey Baratheon in the War of the Five Kings. He has suffered three significant defeats at the hands of newly declared King in the North Robb Stark and his son Jaime Lannister remains Robb's captive. His regrouped forces are raiding the Riverlands from their base at Harrenhal.[14]

Robb wins a further victory against Tywin's reinforcements in the Battle of Oxcross. Tywin returns to Harrenhal to find his courtyard full of prisoners and Ser Gregor Clegane and his men systematically torturing them to death. He orders a halt to the practice because it is a waste of manpower. He notices a female prisoner posing as a boy. She says that it is safer to travel as a boy and recognizing her intelligence he makes her his new cupbearer. Unbeknownst to Tywin the girl is Arya Stark.[15]

Tywin hosts a war council to discuss a new strategy to defeat Robb. He is frustrated at having underestimated his opponent. Realizing that Arya is from the north he asks for her opinion of Robb. She relays rumours about his supernatural connection to his direwolf and supposed invulnerability. Tywin asks if she believes what she has heard and she says that anyone can be killed.[16]


Season One appearances
Winter is Coming The Kingsroad Lord Snow Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things The Wolf and the Lion
A Golden Crown You Win or You Die The Pointy End Baelor Fire and Blood
Season Two appearances
The North Remembers The Night Lands What is Dead May Never Die Garden of Bones The Ghost of Harrenhal
The Old Gods and the New A Man Without Honor The Prince of Winterfell Blackwater Valar Morghulis

Image gallery

Family tree

Tytos tree
Tytos Lannister
Jeyne Lannister
née Marbrand Marbrand shield icon
Tywin tree
Tywin Lannister
Joanna Lannister
Kevan tree
Kevan Lannister
Dorna Lannister
née Swyft Swyft shield icon
Robert tree
Robert Baratheon Baratheon shield icon
Cersei tree
Cersei Lannister
100px-Jaime tree
Jaime LannisterKingsguard shield icon
Unknown tree
100px-Tyrion tree
Tyrion Lannister
100px-Sansa tree
Sansa Stark Stark shield icon
Lancel tree
Lancel Lannister Sparrow shield icon
Martyn Lannister tree
Martyn Lannister
Willem Lannister tree
Willem Lannister
KL baratheon sigil
Unnamed son House-Baratheon-of-King&#039;s Landing-Shield-Icon
Died in infancy
Joffrey tree

Joffrey Baratheon House-Baratheon-of-King&#039;s Landing-Shield-Icon

Margaery Tree
Margaery Tyrell Tyrell shield icon
Mycella Season 5 family tree pic

Myrcella Baratheon KL Baratheon shield icon

Trystane Martell family tree
Trystane Martell Martell shield icon
Tommen Baratheon family tree
Tommen Baratheon KL Baratheon shield icon
Margaery Tree
Margaery Tyrell Tyrell shield icon


In the books

In the Song of Ice and Fire novels, Tywin is a ruthless, pragmatic leader and a formidable general and strategist, although he prefers to orchestrate events from behind the scenes rather than leading from the front. His father, Lord Tytos, was a weak ruler who was mocked by many of his vassals. When Tywin became Lord, he destroyed two of these lesser houses, House Reyne of Castamere and House Tarbeck of Tarbeck Hall, cowing the rest into respect and obedience. He was the Hand of the King under King Aerys II Targaryen for twenty years before a series of insults saw him resign the position. Tywin's term in office as Hand of the King was very successful, to the point that he was essentially the only man holding the kingdom together as Aerys II grew increasingly more insane over the years. The TV series does not state this, but the reason the Mad King had Ilyn Payne's tongue torn from his mouth with hot irons was because he overheard Payne remarking that Tywin was the real ruler of the kingdom. After Tywin resigned and returned home to Casterly Rock, Aerys II's rule rapidly spiralled out of control, which in turn only fueled the Mad King's paranoia.

When Robert's Rebellion erupted, Tywin took no part. Only after it became clear that the rebels would be victorious, Tywin betrayed Aerys by sending his army to sack King's Landing, delivering Robert Baratheon his final victory of the war. This action spawned the original friction between House Lannister and Ned Stark, who correctly observed that the Lannisters only intervened when it was convenient, and that they could not be trusted. Further, Ned was disgusted that the Lannister army had dishonorably sacked the city and even killed Rhaegar Targaryen's small children (as Aemon recounts to Jon in the TV series). The first book explains that Gregor Clegane led the Lannister forces that found and killed the children; Gregor personally killed Rhaegar's infant son by bashing his head in, then - while covered in the blood and brains of her baby - raped and killed Rhaegar's wife Elia Martell. Tywin's defense when confronted by Ned was that he never personally ordered Gregor to kill the royal children, but Tywin also did nothing to punish Gregor. It is Ned's disgust at Tywin's actions during the Sack of King's Landing that drive how he deals with Cersei's betrayal, because even if Cersei's children are bastards borne of incest, Ned knows that Robert would have all three killed if he told him, and Ned fears that this would make himself no better than Tywin.

Tywin pledged fealty to Robert in the aftermath of the conflict, and Robert agreed to marry Tywin's daughter Cersei. Tywin is proud of his son Jaime, a great warrior, but loathes his youngest son Tyrion, blaming him for the death of Tywin's wife, Joanna, in childbirth. The books make it clear that Tywin is unaware of the incestuous relationship between Jaime and Cersei, even though there were enough hints that a man of his intelligence could easily have figured it out. Rather, the situation is that Tywin would be so shocked and disgusted at his own children that he is willfully blind to it, refusing to consciously acknowledge that it could be anything more than a vicious rumor.

See also


v  d  e
Lord: Queen Regent Cersei Lannister Heir: (disputed)
Seat: Casterly Rock Lands: The Westerlands
Title(s): Lord Paramount of the Westerlands · Lord of Casterly Rock · Warden of the West · King of the Rock (pre-War of Conquest)
Ancestors:Lann the Clever · Tommen II Lannister · Loren Lannister · Damon Lannister
Current members:Kevan Lannister · Tyrion Lannister · Jaime Lannister · Dorna Lannister · Lancel Lannister · Cynda Lannister · Lyman Lannister
Deceased members:Tytos Lannister · Joanna Lannister · Stafford Lannister · Alton Lannister · Martyn Lannister · Willem Lannister · Orson Lannister · Tywin Lannister
Household:Podrick Payne · Bronn · Gregor Clegane · {Amory Lorch} · {Polliver} · {Rorge} · {Biter}
Overlord:House Baratheon of King's Landing

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