"You have to give it to the Lannisters – they may be the most pompous, ponderous cunts the gods ever suffered to walk the world, but they do have outrageous amounts of money."
Renly Baratheon[src]

House Lannister of Casterly Rock is one of the Great Houses of Westeros, one of its richest and most powerful families and oldest dynasties. It is also the current royal house of the Seven Kingdoms following the extinction of House Baratheon of King's Landing, which had been their puppet house anyway.

The Lannisters rule over the Westerlands. Their seat is Casterly Rock, a massive rocky promontory overlooking the Sunset Sea which has had habitations and fortifications built into it over the millennia. They are the Lords Paramount of the Westerlands and Wardens of the West. As the new royal house, they also rule directly over the Crownlands from their seat of the Red Keep in King's Landing, the traditional seat of the royal family. House Lannister's Heraldry consists of a golden lion on a crimson background, and their House words are "Hear me roar!", which is rarely mentioned. Their unofficial motto, which is as well known as the official one, is "A Lannister always pays his debts" - which is used much more often and mostly in negative context, though it can also be used in the original, literal sense.

The incestuous relationship of Cersei and Jaime has been concealed in a conspiracy. Their son Joffrey Baratheon has claimed the Iron Throne on the premise that he was actually fathered by the late King Robert Baratheon. Lord Tywin was a key supporter of his reign in the War of the Five Kings.



House Lannister is one of the Great Houses of Westeros. Their lands are in the far west of the continent. Their seat is Casterly Rock, a castle on a rocky promontory overlooking the Sunset Sea. It overlooks the thriving city of Lannisport and sits atop the most productive gold mine in the Westerlands.[1] They are the wealthiest family in the realm.[2] They once possessed a Valyrian steel sword called Brightroar, which was lost by King Tommen II Lannister.

Fair-haired, tall and handsome, the modern Lannisters are the blood of Andal adventurers who carved out a mighty kingdom in the western hills and valleys. Through the female line, they boast of descent from Lann the Clever, the legendary trickster of the Age of Heroes who swindled Casterly Rock from its previous rulers. They used to rule the Westerlands as the Kings of the Rock before swearing allegiance to the Targaryen family. The last King of the Rock, Loren Lannister, and the last King of the Reach, Mern Gardener, joined forces and fielded 60,000 men against Aegon the Conqueror. They were defeated by his dragons in a battle that came to be known as the 'Field of Fire' and lost 4,000 men. They have since served the Targaryens and now King Robert Baratheon as the Lords Paramount of the Westerlands and Wardens of the West. The gold of Casterly Rock and the Golden Tooth has made them the wealthiest of the Great Houses.[3][2]


The red lion of Reyne confronts the golden lion of Lannister

Tywin Lannister is the current head of the family. His father Tytos Lannister 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 Castamere".[4][5]

House Lannister banner

Tywin has three children Cersei, Jaime, and Tyrion by his wife Joanna Lannister. Joanna died after giving birth to Tyrion. Tyrion is a dwarf and has a troubled relationship with Tywin. Cersei and Jaime are fraternal twins. Cersei is Queen of Westeros since Tywin arranged for her marriage to King Robert Baratheon in exchange for his support in Robert's Rebellion.[2] She has a longstanding incestuous relationship with her brother Jaime. The two conspire to conceal their love and have passed their children (Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen) off as being the product of Cersei's marriage.[6]

Season 1

Following the death of the Hand of the King Jon Arryn Queen Cersei Lannister meets with her brother Jaime Lannister in the throne room. They discuss their secret incestuous relationship and speculate that Jon may have known about it. Lysa Arryn writes to her sister Catelyn Stark claiming that Jon Arryn was murdered by House Lannister.[6]

Cersei and Jaime travel north to Winterfell with her husband King Robert Baratheon. Robert plans to make Eddard Stark Hand of the King. They are accompanied by their brother Tyrion Lannister. Their son Joffrey Baratheon is betrothed to Sansa Stark. Cersei and Jaime continue liaise in a disused tower. They are interrupted by Bran Stark and Jaime pushes him out of the window of the tower to prevent him from revealing what he saw.[6]

Cersei and Jaime are shocked to learn that Bran survived the fall. Cersei visits Catelyn at Bran's bedside and tells her that she once had a black-haired son who died young. Joffrey refuses to pay the Stark family the same courtesy and Tyrion violently rebukes him. The royal party leaves Winterfell and Tyrion splits from the group to go further north to see the Wall. He befriends Jon Snow, a bastard of House Stark and new volunteer to the Night's Watch. On the Kingsroad south Joffrey is attacked by Arya Stark and her direwolf Nymeria. Arya was attempting to defend her friend Mycah from Joffrey's cruel bullying, but Joffrey claims to Robert and Cersei that the attack was unprovoked. When the direwolf cannot be found Cersei demands that its sister wolf Lady be executed. An assassin attempts to kill Bran as he lies comatose at Winterfell but he is protected by his direwolf Summer. Catelyn discovers a blond hair in the disused tower and notes the fine blade the assassin used; she suspects the Lannisters of ordering the assassination.[7]

Cersei counsels her son about the incident and warns him that anyone who is not a member of their House is an enemy. A raven arrives with news of Bran's recovery. Cersei fears that he will expose their secret and Jaime comforts her. Tyrion finds the Night's Watch undermanned and lacking voluntary recruits. He travels south with the recruiter Yoren. Catelyn goes to King's Landing to discuss the attack on Bran with Eddard. She is told by Petyr Baelish that the knife the assassin used belonged to Tyrion.[8]

Tyrion is disturbed by a frosty reception from Robb Stark at Winterfell and notes the absence of Catelyn. He delivers plans for a saddle that will allow the paraplegic Bran to ride a horse but chooses to stay elsewhere because of Robb's rudeness. Much further south Tyrion chances across Catelyn in the Inn at the Crossroads. She calls upon the loyalty of the Tully bannermen present and has him arrested for the assassination attempt.[9]

In King's Landing Eddard begins to investigate the movements of Jon Arryn prior to his death and uncovers a bastard son of Robert. Jaime refuses to deliver a message from Eddard to Robert but does reminisce with Eddard's Captain Jory Cassel about fighting during the Greyjoy Rebellion. Jaime is chagrined at having to guard Robert while he cheats on Cersei. Cersei attends the Tourney of the Hand thrown in Robert's honor but leaves when Robert's coarse behavior annoys her. She visits Eddard, questions his motivations and warns him that his service to Robert is futile. Lannister sworn sword Gregor Clegane kills Jon Arryn's former squire Hugh of the Vale during the jousts.[9]

Cersei and Robert have a frank discussion about the threat of the alliance between the exiled House Targaryen and the Dothraki, their loveless marriage, and Robert's feelings for his dead first love Lyanna Stark. Catelyn takes Tyrion East through the Vale of Arryn and he is imprisoned in the sky cells of the Eyrie. News of his capture reaches King's Landing and Jaime confronts Eddard and kills several of his guards, including Jory before duelling him personally. Eddard is wounded by a Lannister Man-at-Arms and Jaime leaves him alive and rides out of the capital.[10] Lord Tywin Lannister calls his banners and marches on the Riverlands (Catelyn's ancestral home) to punish her for Tyrion's abduction.[11]

Cersei and Robert argue over punishing Eddard for the capture of Tyrion and Robert hits her. Robert goes hunting in the Kingswood leaving Eddard to rule in his absence. Refugees from the Riverlands report being attacked by Ser Gregor Clegane. Eddard dispatches a small force to bring Gregor to justice and calls Tywin to King's Landing to answer for Gregor's crimes. Tyrion wins his freedom in a trial by combat where the sellsword Bronn fights as his champion. Eddard's investigation leads him to realise that Cersei's children are all fathered by Jaime.[12]

Jaime liaises with Tywin's forces at an encampment in the Riverlands. Tywin has gathered an army of sixty thousand men. He tells Jaime that the current conflict will decide the fate of their family. He orders Jaime to take thirty thousand men and besiege Riverrun, Catelyn's childhood home and the seat of House Tully. Jaime ponders why Tywin would risk so much for the ugly, stunted son that he hates, and Tywin explains that a Lannister is a Lannister and any affront must be punished.[11]

Eddard confronts Cersei with his findings and warns her that he intends to tell Robert on his return. Robert's squire Lancel Lannister gives him plenty to drink during the hunt and Robert is gravely wounded by a boar in the Kingswood. He is brought back to King's Landing to die. Eddard holds his tongue and Robert declares him Protector of the Realm from his deathbed. Renly Baratheon appeals to Eddard to help him seize the throne but Eddard refuses because Stannis Baratheon is Robert's oldest brother and rightful heir. Eddard writes to Stannis to inform him of his findings and then recruits Baelish and the City Watch in an attempt to take Cersei and her children into custody. Renly flees the city. Eddard is betrayed by his allies and she instead has him arrested and destroys Robert's final proclamation. Cersei installs Joffrey as King and becomes Queen Regent.[11]

Lannister forces massacre the remaining Stark retainers in King's Landing. Sansa is captured but Arya escapes. Cersei manipulates Sansa into writing to her brother Robb to convince him to swear fealty to Joffrey. Robb sees through the ploy and calls his banners to march south. Cersei dismisses Ser Barristan Selmy as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and installs Jaime in his place.[13]

Tyrion is captured by the Hill tribes of the Vale but convinces them to join the Lannister cause in exchange for weapons and autonomy from the Lord of the Eyrie. Tyrion and his men link up with Tywin in the Riverlands as he prepares to battle Robb's army.[13]


Tywin Lannister in armor after the Battle of the Green Fork

Robb sends a decoy force to fight Tywin's force and Tywin wins an easy victory against the much smaller force in the Battle of the Green Fork. Jaime is captured by Robb's army in the Battle of the Whispering Wood. Despite Cersei arranging for Eddard to confess in exchange for leniency, Joffrey has him executed for treason.[14] Tywin receives word that both Stannis and Renly have declared claims on the throne and are gathering armies. These battles mark the opening exchanges of the War of the Five Kings.[15]

Jaime is questioned by Catelyn and admits to pushing Bran from the tower but does not reveal why. Tywin is frustrated with Cersei's failure to control Joffrey and names Tyrion Acting Hand of the King and sends him to King's Landing. Tywin forbids Tyrion to take his lover Shae with him but Tyrion defies the order. Tywin moves his army to Harrenhal to avoid being pinned between the opposing forces. Cersei sleeps with Lancel for the first time.[15]

Season 2

Tyrion Lannister arrives at King's Landing during King Joffrey's nameday. He apologizes to Sansa Stark for the loss of her father and makes his way to the Small Council, where he informs them of his position as acting Hand of the King. Cersei Lannister is enraged by this, but nonetheless complies with their father's wishes. Tyrion scolds Cersei for letting Joffrey execute Eddard Stark, which in turn has led to the North rising up against them.

After Robert Baratheon's bastards are purged by the City Watch on Joffrey's orders, Tyrion dines with Janos Slynt, who personally killed one of Robert's infant bastards. There, he accuses Janos of having no honor and informs him that he has been replaced by Bronn as Commander of the City Watch. Janos protests and wants to complain to Joffrey, but Tyrion and Bronn instead have gold cloaks drag Janos to a ship to take him to the Wall to serve in the Night's Watch.

Tyrion tests the loyalty of his three fellow councilors by informing them that he plans to wed Princess Myrcella Baratheon to three different suitors: he tells Grand Maester Pycelle that it will be Trystane Martell, Varys that it will be Theon Greyjoy, and Lord Petyr Baelish that it will be Robin Arryn. Tyrion later discovers that Cersei believes that her daughter will be shipped off to Dorne, realizing that Pycelle is a spy for Cersei. Before confronting Pycelle, Tyrion gives Littlefinger the task of meeting with Catelyn Stark in Renly Baratheon's camp to discuss the possibility of exchanging his brother Jaime for her daughters, Sansa and Arya Stark. Afterwards, Tyrion and Bronn have Pycelle locked away.

Later, Ser Lancel Lannister, on behalf of Queen Cersei, commands Tyrion to have Pycelle released; during this meeting, Tyrion blackmails Lancel to become his spy, knowing that Cersei is bedding him. He agrees to release Pycelle but he will not have the Grand Maester on the small council. Lancel informs Tyrion that Cersei has commissioned the Alchemists' Guild to produce wildfire for the defense of King's Landing against Stannis Baratheon and his fleet, so Tyrion and Bronn meet with Wisdom Hallyne, where he tells the Wisdom that he will no longer be producing wildfire for Cersei but for him.

When Tywin Lannister arrives at Harrenhal to hold his war council, he commands that Gregor Clegane's prisoners be put to work, stopping Gendry, who informs Tywin that he is a smith, from experiencing a torturous death. He calls on Arya Stark to serve as his cupbearer, although he is unaware of her true identity.

When Tywin's cousin Reginald Lannister requests for the council to be concluded so that he may sleep, Tywin angrily dismisses him and tells him to ride to Lannisport before he sends his wife his head. As Arya serves them drink, Tywin asks where she is from. Arya attempts to lie, but he deduces that she is from the North and asks her what the Northmen say of Robb Stark. Arya praises her brother, and when Tywin asks if she believes that Robb can't be killed, Arya replies that anyone can be killed.

Tywin dismisses the illiterate Ser Amory Lorch from his war council after he sends a letter of Lannister troop movements to a Stark vassal accidentally. Afterwards, Littlefinger arrives to discuss the possibility of forging an alliance between House Tyrell and House Lannister after the untimely death of Renly Baratheon. He also informs Lord Tywin of Tyrion's proposal to Catelyn Stark to release Ser Jaime in exchange for her daughters.

Later, Tywin inquires about Arya's father, who Arya claims was a stone mason that taught her to read. While Tywin talks about his own father, she steals one of his letters from the table. While reading it, however, she is caught by Ser Amory Lorch. Arya tells Jaqen H'ghar to have him assassinated; Ser Amory collapses in front of Lord Tywin, who misinterprets it as an assassination attempt on his own life.

Ser Gregor later tells Tywin that they believe it to be an infiltrator from the Brotherhood Without Banners. Tywin orders the Mountain to burn down nearby villages and farms. After Clegane leaves, Tywin offers the underfed Arya his mutton. While she dines on the food, he teaches Arya about legacy, mentioning how the once great fortress of Harrenhal was Harren the Black's legacy, and how everyone remembers Aegon Targaryen to present day because of his conquest of the Seven Kingdoms with dragons - which he had used to burn down Harrenhal and House Hoare. Arya mentions how Aegon also rode with his sisters who had dragons of their own. Tywin notes that Arya reminds him of his own daughter. When Tywin asks how she learned all of this history, she claims it was her father, who Tywin continues to believe was a stone mason. However, Tywin figures out that Arya is posing as a lowborn by her proper use of addressing him as my lord; she continues to lie to Tywin, saying that her mother served House Dustin, which Tywin believes.

With word of the impending attack on King's Landing by Stannis Baratheon from Ser Kevan Lannister, Tywin decides to abandon Harrenhal and march at nightfall. He commands Ser Gregor to maintain a garrison at Harrenhal and to track down and destroy the Brotherhood Without Banners.

The Battle of the Blackwater begins; Stannis's fleet sails into Blackwater Bay but is destroyed by wildfire, destroying many of his ships and killing many of his men. Nonetheless, he and his forces are able to row to the city gates, attacking the weak Mud Gate and using ladders to climb over the battlements. As the Baratheon troops overwhelm the Lannisters, Sandor Clegane retreats within the city walls and abandons his post within the Kingsguard. King Joffrey leaves the battle as well per his mother's wishes, leaving Tyrion to lead the attack through hidden tunnels beneath the city. They are able to flank Stannis's forces attacking the Mud Gate, but as they celebrate, more Baratheon troops arrive. During the ensuing chaos, Tyrion is slashed across the face by Ser Mandon Moore, a member of Joffrey's Kingsguard, but before Ser Mandon can kill him, Tyrion's squire, Podrick Payne, stabs Mandon through the back of his head with a pike. As Tyrion slips into unconsciousness, he watches as reinforcements from his father and House Tyrell arrive, forcing Stannis and his remaining troops to retreat. Loras Tyrell and Lannister and Tyrell troops enter the throne room of the Red Keep, where Cersei sits on the Iron Throne with Tommen. Tywin then enters the room, declaring that they have won the battle.

Tyrion awakens from his injuries to the sight of Pycelle, who mockingly gives him a silver coin and informs Tyrion that he is no longer acting Hand of the King due to the arrival of his father. Later, Varys comes to check on him and tells Tyrion that Bronn has been relieved of his command of the City Watch and his hill tribesmen have returned home to the Vale. As he and Podrick exit the room to leave Tyrion alone with Shae, he turns to Tyrion to say that, while the history books will not remember his saving of the city, he and many others will. Shae urges Tyrion to leave with her to Pentos, but Tyrion refuses as he wishes to remain in King's Landing.

At the next convening of court in the Red Keep, Tywin Lannister is formally appointed Hand of the King by King Joffrey and declared the Savior of the City. Joffrey also agrees to wed Margaery Tyrell after he is counseled to set aside his marriage with Sansa Stark and informed by Grand Maester Pycelle that the High Septon has assured him that this is acceptable in the eyes of the gods. Thus, House Tyrell is bounded to the royal family.

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

A funeral is held for Lord Tywin Lannister at the Great Sept of Baelor. Cersei tells the High Septon to have the other lords wait as she mourns over her father, whose body is being protected by Jaime. Cersei goes on to accuse Jaime of being a "man of action" who does not consider his consequences, and expresses her desire to have Tyrion killed for murdering their father. As she leaves, Jaime looks on sadly at their dead father's body. Cersei later meets with her cousin, Lancel Lannister, who has joined the Sparrows, a new and extremist movement within the Faith of the Seven. Lancel's father, Ser Kevan Lannister, expresses his disgust over the Sparrows, and apologizes to Cersei for Lancel's strange and pious behavior. Meanwhile, at the palace of Illyrio Mopatis in the Free City of Pentos, Varys releases Tyrion from his crate, whom he smuggled safely across the Narrow Sea to Essos. Varys explains to Tyrion how he was apart of a group that saw King Robert I Baratheon for the disaster that he was, and implores Tyrion to donate his services to Daenerys Targaryen. Varys tells Tyrion that talented men have a role to play in "the wars to come," and notes how Daenerys is stronger than King Tommen but gentler than King Stannis, and that she has the right family name.[16]

After receiving the necklace of Princess Myrcella Baratheon, Cersei and Jaime's daughter, in the clutches of the statue of a viper, Jaime travels to Dorne with Ser Bronn, intent on rescuing Myrcella, whom they fear is being hurt by House Martell, the rulers of Dorne, in revenge over the deaths of Elia and Oberyn Martell. Jaime and Bronn have a brief skirmish with some Martell guards, but are able to kill them; Jaime himself uses his right prosthetic golden hand to stop one of the guards' swords. Disguising themselves in Martell uniforms, Jaime and Bronn infilrate the Water Gardens where they locate a happy Myrcella with her intended, Prince Trystane Martell, the son of Prince Doran Martell. Suddenly, they are attacked by three of the Sand Snakes - Obara, Tyene, and Nymeria Sand. Nymeria attempts to run off with Myrcella but before she can, they are stopped by a group of Martell guards led by Areo Hotah, the Captain of the Guards. They arrest Obara, Tyene, Nymeria, Jaime and Bronn, and also apprehend Ellaria Sand, Oberyn's paramour who has plotted with the three Sand Snakes to mutilate Myrcella.

Ellaria later meets with Jaime, and tells him that she does not judge him for being in love with his sister, noting how the Targaryens did the same thing for centuries. She notes how society constantly changes it views on who people are meant to leave, but what never changes is who people truly love. Jaime is later brought before Prince Doran, who questions him as to why he would enter Dorne without telling him. Jaime tells Doran of the threatening message he and Cersei received; Myrcella notes how the necklace was stolen from her, and Doran immediately looks over at Ellaria. Doran and Trystane agree to show mercy to Jaime and Bronn and allow Myrcella to return to King's Landing, much to Ellaria's displeasure. In exchange, Trystane will be given a seat on the small council. Trystane also has Areo Hotah punch Bronn in the face for ding the same to him during their earlier encounter. Jaime and Bronn later depart from Dorne.

After hearing of Ellaria's words earlier to him, Jaime decides to confront Myrcella and tell her the truth of her parentage. Myrcella interrupts Jaime and confesses to knowing the truth, saying that a part of her always knew. Myrcella tells Jaime she is glad that he is her father, and the two embrace. Suddenly, Myrcella begins to bleed from her nose and collapses as Jaime panics. Back on the dock, Ellaria drinks an antidote as her nose begins to bleed too: Myrcella has been poisoned by the Sand Snakes.[17]

Tyrion continues to travel with Varys, having agreed to meet with Daenerys Targaryen. The two make a stop in Volantis. While excreting his wastes, he is suddenly apprehended by Ser Jorah Mormont, who tells Tyrion he intends to take him to "the queen." Tyrion later realizes that Jorah conveniently means Daenerys and not his sister, Cersei, who has placed a bounty on Tyrion's head. During their journey, Tyrion and Jorah form a bond of sorts. In Old Valyria, Tyrion is shocked to see one of Daenerys' dragons, Drogon, flying above the ruins. Shortly afterwards, they are attacked by a group of stone men. Tyrion does not make contact with them, but Jorah is secretly touched by one, giving him greyscale, the disease that turns men into stone men. Tyrion later inadvertently informs Jorah of the death of his father, Jeor Mormont, the 997th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, who mourns him.

Tyrion and Jorah are eventually captured by a group of slavers, and are sold into the services of Yezzan zo Qaggaz, who will have his "freedmen" fight in the fighting pits for the Queen of Meereen, Daenerys Targaryen. Jorah uses this opportunity to present Daenerys with a gift: Tyrion, who walks into the pits and informs Daenerys that he is the gift. Tyrion and Jorah are brought before Daenerys in one of the pyramids in Meereen, one of the cities of Slaver's Bay which she has conquered from the slave masters. Tyrion advises Daenerys not to execute Jorah since executing those devote to her is unwise, but says that she cannot allow a known traitor around her either. Tyrion also expresses his thoughts that Jorah is likely in love with Daenerys. Thus, Daenerys emotionally sends Jorah back into exile and has him removed from the city. Daenerys later meets with Tyrion, where she agrees not to have him killed to send a message to House Lannister. Instead, Daenerys will have Tyrion advise her on how to get what she wants: the Iron Throne. Tyrion wonders aloud if she should remain in Slaver's Bay, but Daenerys says that Westeros is her home, not Essos. Daenerys goes onto tell Tyrion that she intends to "break the wheel" of noble houses vying for power, all the while hurting those below them - their vassals and, below them, the commoners of the realm.

Tyrion and Daenerys sit with Missandei, Daario Naharis, and Hizdahr zo Loraq during an event in the fighting pits of Meereen. Tyrion notes how his father would have liked Hizdahr. They are shocked to see that the champion of the competition is none other than Jorah himself. Suddenly, Jorah grabs a spear and throws it towards Daenerys' direction; it instead hits a member of the Sons of the Harpy, an insurgency group of the Great Masters, the slave masters who ruled over Meereen, fighting Daenerys' rule in Meereen. Suddenly, the Sons of the Harpy rise from the crowd and begin to slaughter the audience, the Unsullied and the Second Sons as panic spreads. In the ensuing massacre, Hizdahr is stabbed to death by the insurgents. Tyrion slits the throat of one of the insurgents that nearly kills Missandei, and with Jorah and Daario's help, the five leap off the podium and attempt to escape. However, the gates are shut, and they find themselves surrounded by the Sons of the Harpy with few Unsullied left to shield them. Daenerys closes her eyes, and suddenly Drogon flies into the pit and begins to burn the rebel insurgents, who flee out of fear. Daenerys climbs atop Drogon and flies away from the city as Tyrion, Missandei, Jorah, and Daario watch on in awe. Back at the Great Pyramid, Jorah and Daario decide to go looking for Daenerys while Tyrion, Missandei, and Grey Worm are left behind to govern the city in her stead. As Tyrion watches Daario and Jorah depart, he is approached by Varys, who expresses his delight that Tyrion has made it into Daenerys' service. Tyrion says that it would help him govern the city if he had someone with a "vast network of spies," and tells Varys how he missed him while they were apart.[17]

After being assaulted at a brothel by the radical Sparrows, for mocking the Seven, the High Septon demands justice from the small council. Cersei sees this as an opportunity to undermine House Tyrell, whose influence has grown stronger and stronger over her young son, King Tommen. She has the High Septon thrown into the dungeons beneath the Red Keep and meets with the so-called High Sparrow, who is serving soup to the smallfolk of King's Landing. Cersei goes on to have her son appoint the High Sparrow as the new High Septon and has the Faith Militant reestablished, with the bulk of the forces being made up of the Sparrows, of course. She informs the High Sparrow of Ser Loras Tyrell's "perversions," which are seen as a sin in the eyes of the Faith. As a result, Loras is arrested by a group led by Brother Lancel. At a subsequent hearing for Loras attended by Cersei, Tommen, Olenna Tyrell, Loras' grandmother, and Margaery Tyrell, Loras' sister and Tommen's wife, Margaery testifies for her brother. However, a squire named Olyvar, who is secretly in the service of Lord Petyr Baelish, provides sufficient evidence of Loras' perversions. As a result, both of the Tyrell children are arrested. Cersei smirks at the shocked Olenna over her victory. Earlier, Cersei had met with Baelish to extract this information from him. Baelish also informed Cersei that Sansa Stark has returned to Winterfell and is being wed to Ramsay Bolton; Cersei believes that Sansa played a part in King Joffrey's murder, and agrees to have Baelish appointed as Warden of the North if he defeats the Boltons in the name of House Lannister. Baelish, who has control over the armies of House Arryn, the rulers of the Vale, pledges to use the elite "knights of the Vale" to defend the Iron Throne, and promises that he will not rest until the banner of House Lannister flies over Winterfell.

Olenna later meets with Littlefinger, who promises her the same gift he gave Cersei: a handsome, young man. After checking on Margaery, Cersei meets with the High Sparrow and tells him that she believes Margaery's conditions are fine. The High Sparrow declares his intentions to strip the nobility of their wealth and power to expose them for who they truly are. At that moment, Lancel walks out from the shadows, having confessed of his sins. Realizing their intentions, Cersei attempts to leave, but is apprehended by Septa Unella and locked away.

During her time in prison, she is met by Qyburn, an expelled maester who helped heal Jaime's wound and has been experimenting on the deceased Ser Gregor Clegane. Qyburn informs her that Grand Maester Pycelle has called for her uncle Kevan to serve as Hand of the King and Protector of the Realm, and that both Pycelle and Kevan refuse to visit her. He also informs Cersei that Tommen has fallen into a state of depression and is refusing to eat. He implores Cersei to confess so that she may return to her son, but Cersei refuses to give the High Sparrow that satisfaction. However, Cersei later decides to finally give in. She confesses to some of her sins, but denies any involvement in sleeping with her brother Jaime and conspiring to murder her late husband, King Robert. Because she confesses to some sins but not all, Cersei must still have a trial; however, if she undergoes a humiliating walk of atonement, she may return to the Red Keep. Reluctantly, Cersei agrees to do so. Her hair is cut and she is stripped naked and forced to walk through the streets of King's Landing as Septa Unella rings a bell next to her, shouting "Shame!" and the smallfolk throw food and wastes at her. Her feet bloodied, she finally makes it back to the Red Keep, where Qyburn rushes to her and warps her in a cloak as Kevan, Pycelle, and Lord Mace Tyrell, Olenna's son, watch on. Qyburn then introduces her to the undead and silent Gregor Clegane, who carries a vengeful Cersei off.[17]

Season 6

Because of Cersei's arrest and walk of atonement, her uncle, Ser Kevan Lannister, is called upon by Grand Maester Pycelle to serve as the Hand of the King and Protector of the Realm for the young King Tommen I, Cersei's son. Cersei is delighted when she hears that her brother, Ser Jaime Lannister, has returned from Dorne, but when the ship comes in, she soon realizes the ugly truth: that her daughter, Princess Myrcella Baratheon, is dead, having been poisoned by Ellaria Sand and the Sand Snakes. Cersei mourns her death as Jaime promises that they will take back everything that has been taken from them – their power.

Cersei and Jaime later attend a meeting of the small council despite not holding positions on it. Lady Olenna Tyrell has been summoned to King's Landing to advise the council on freeing her grandchildren from the clutches of the Sparrow-controlled Faith Militant. Jaime and Cersei attempt to intervene even though they are reminded by their uncle Kevan that they do not sit on the council; Jaime mentions that House Martell has been overthrown by the same people that murdered Myrcella. However, they are simply ignored as Kevan, Olenna, Pycelle, and Mace Tyrell leave the room, noting that while they cannot make Cersei and Jaime leave, they are able to leave themselves.

Cersei, Jaime, and the undead Ser Gregor Clegane later meet with Qyburn, who has secured some of the little birds left behind in King's Landing by Varys. Cersei commands Qyburn to send his little birds across the country and find anyone who is insulting House Lannister and plotting against their house. Jaime questions if the Faith of the Seven has officially levied charges against her; Cersei is relaxed, however, as she is confident that she can use the Mountain in a trial by combat if her trial is to still be held.

Cersei is later told a secret by Tommen, who has spoken with the High Sparrow: that Margaery Tyrell, the Queen Consort and Olenna's granddaughter, is to have a walk of atonement herself. Cersei and Jaime plot with Olenna and Kevan to prevent this from happening: Kevan, who bears no love for the Sparrows due to his son's, Lancel Lannister, affiliation with the radical sect, will keep the gates of King's Landing open while Olenna and Mace Tyrell will march a group of the Tyrell army into the city to confront the Faith Militant.

Jaime and Mace lead the army to the steps of the Great Sept of Baelor, where the High Sparrow is delivering a speech to the smallfolk of the city in preparation for Margaery's walk of atonement. The two sides face an intense standoff. Jaime gallops up the steps atop his horse, demanding that in King Tommen I's name, they release the Tyrells, though the High Sparrow rebukes this by claiming that the gods do not recognize his authority in such a matter. When Jaime threatens to have all the Sparrows killed, the High Sparrow claims that they yearn to die in service to the gods. Before a slaughter can ensue, however, the High Sparrow proclaims that Margaery's walk of atonement will not be necessary as she has helped cement a new alliance between the crown and the faith. Suddenly, King Tommen walks down the steps and joins his wife and the High Sparrow. Subsequently, Jaime is dismissed from the Kingsguard for marching against the faith, and thus the crown. Tommen commands Jaime to assist House Frey in taking back Riverrun, which has been recaptured by the resurgent House Tully army commanded by Ser Brynden Tully, "the Blackfish". Jaime meets with Cersei one last time, enraged that the High Sparrow has "taken" their son away from them. Cersei tells Jaime to go, however, to remind the people of the power of House Lannister, and reassures him that she will be able to use the Mountain in a trial by combat should it come up when Jaime is not present in the capital.

Jaime arrives in the Riverlands with 8,000 troops and Ser Bronn at his side, who has been promised lordship and a new high born wife after he previously left Lady Lollys Stokeworth when he was recruited on Jaime's mission to Dorne. Bronn notes how the Freys' siege is a disaster, and Jaime marches the army into the Frey camp to meet with Lothar Frey and Walder Rivers, who have been commanded by their aging father, Lord Walder Frey, to take back Riverrun. Jaime assumes command of the siege, and orders for Edmure Tully, a hostage of House Frey and the one who was wed to Roslin Frey at the Red Wedding, to be bathed and fed. Jaime later parlays with the Brynden the Blackfish, saying that his men will be able to breach Riverrun's defenses and will slaughter every last Tully soldier. The Blackfish retorts that they have enough provisions and supplies to last for two years. When Jaime accuses the Blackfish of having no intention to save the lives of his men and asks why he even agreed to the parley, the Blackfish replies that he simply wanted to get a look at him. The Blackfish then says that he is disappointed, visibly hurting Jaime, who considers the Blackfish to be one of his personal heroes due to his role in the War of the Ninepenny Kings.

Having been sent by Sansa Stark, Brienne of Tarth and her squire, Podrick Payne, arrive at Riverrun to find the castle under siege by the Lannisters and the Freys. As Pod reunites with Bronn, Brienne talks with Jaime inside a tent. Jaime agrees to allow Brienne to enter Riverrun so that she can try to persuade him to march the Tully army north to help Sansa retake her family home, Winterfell. Brienne meets with the Brynden the Blackfish, who immediately refuses her. The Blackfish gets emotional when he reads Sansa's letter, noting how she is just like her mother, Catelyn Stark, his niece. However, he still refuses to march the Tully army north, claiming he does not have the men an is unwilling to leave his own family home. Brienne has Podrick prepare a raven to send to Sansa informing her that she has failed her task.

Later in the night, Jaime meets with Edmure, who is chained to a post. Jaime breaks Edmure, threatening to drive House Tully into extincion, including killing his newborn son with his wife, Roslin. Unwilling to let his remaining family die, Edmure agrees to surrender Riverrun to the Lannister and Frey forces. At the castle, the Blackfish orders the Tully captain not to open the gates and let Edmure in, but the captain and his men refuse to obey, noting that Edmure is their rightful Lord of Riverrun. Realizing he is outnumbered, the Blackfish walks away as the gates are lowered. Edmure enters the castle and meets with the captain, ordering him to command the soldiers to lay down their arms. Realizing that the Blackfish was right, the captain reluctantly gives the command. Edmure also orders for his uncle to be arrested and handed over to the Freys. The Blackfish helps Brienne and Podrick escape; though Brienne implores that he joins them to help Sansa take back Winterfell, he refuses to leave his home. Meanwhile, the Lannister and Frey soldiers walk into the castle and secure it, arresting the Tully troops. A Lannister soldier later reports to Ser Jaime that the Blackfish died fighting, which saddens Jaime. Jaime later watches as Brienne and Podrick sail away; Brienne raises a hand as a way of saying goodbye, and Jaime raises his right golden hand back rather than having his men seize the two.

Meanwhile, in King's Landing, Brother Lancel leads a group of Sparrows to demand that Cersei meet with the High Sparrow at the Great Sept. Cersei, who is accompanied by Qyburn and the Mountain, refuses. One of the Sparrows attacks the Mountain; however, his melee weapon gets stuck in the Mountain's breastplate, who grabs the Sparrow by the neck and throws him to the ground. The Mountain then rips off the Sparrow's head in front of the others. Later, King Tommen calls for a royal announcement, though Cersei is not informed of this. Kevan does not permit her to stand by her son, and instead forces her to stand by the other ladies, who fearfully walk away when she, Qyburn, and the Mountain join them. Tommen then declares that after conferring with the High Sparrow, whom he refers to as the High Septon, trial by combat has been forbidden throughout the Seven Kingdoms. Tommen also states that the trials for Ser Loras Tyrell and Cersei are to be held on the first day of the Festival of the Mother. Cersei is shocked by this, as she will no longer be able to use the Mountain to defend her. As she walks away, Qyburn informs her that his little birds have confirmed a long hidden rumor.

High Sparrow engulfed in Wild Fire

The High Sparrow is engulfed in wildfire flames as the Great Sept explodes.

The Winds of Winter 30

Cersei Lannister sits the Iron Throne.

The day of the trial for Loras Tyrell and Cersei Lannister arrives. Loras ultimately confesses to all of the sins that he has been accused of, including sleeping with Renly Baratheon and having sexual relations with him. Loras thus announces all claims of inheritance to House Tyrell, and agrees to spread the light of the Seven henceforth as Brother Loras. The Queen Mother's trial is to take place just afterwards; however, Cersei and King Tommen mysteriously have not shown up. Knowing Cersei is plotting something, Margaery Tyrell attempts to explain the situation to the High Sparrow, but he does not believe her. When Margaery implores that everyone leave the Great Sept of Baelor, they are blocked off by the Sparrows of the Faith Militant. The Great Sept subsequently explodes from wildfire in a plot by Cersei and Qyburn, killing all of those inside, including the High Sparrow and the other Sparrows, Mace, Loras, and Margaery Tyrell, as well as Kevan Lannister and Lancel Lannister. Meanwhile, Qyburn has his own "little birds" kill Pycelle, who has no longer been loyal to Cersei and working against her interests.

Jaime at Cerseis coronation

Jaime watches as his sister is proclaimed Queen of the Andals and the First Men.

Though Cersei has succeeded in wiping out nearly all of her primary enemies, her last surviving child, King Tommen, commits suicide after watching the Great Sept explode and hearing of the deaths. With his death, House Baratheon of King's Landing – and the main branch, House Baratheon - becomes officially extinct. With Qyburn as her Hand and no opposition, Cersei ascends to the Iron Throne, thus elevating House Lannister as the royal family and establishing a formal Lannister dynasty – something her late father had desired. Jaime watches on in shock as his sister is crowned Queen of the Andals and the First Men and Protector of the Seven Kingdoms by Qyburn. During her coronation, Cersei exchanges a look with Jaime, whose expression is shows only grimness, knowing what she did to achieve her crown.

Military strength

House Lannister can raise approximately 60,000 men in a relatively short period of time. As the richest house, the Lannisters' forces are among the best-equipped in the Seven Kingdoms, though House Tyrell commands larger numbers.[11] However, the strength of House Lannister has been badly depleted due to the War of the Five Kings, between the Battle of Blackwater and the battles with Robb Stark, such as the Battle of Oxcross. Nevertheless, the Lannisters are still able to field important forces to continue fighting their wars. When Jaime Lannister was sent to defeat the last remaining Tully forces at the Siege of Riverrun, he was given command of an army of 8 000 men, only one of many fighting forces fielded by the Lannisters (as confirmed by his comment to Bronn about one day commanding 'all of the Lannister forces').

Lannister seems to be well-equipped than any army that Westeros could muster. Lannister men seem to have red chestplate and gold strips over their shoulder guard. Their helmets comprised mostly of an opened vizor and their shields are circulated and have their house's sigil. Beneath their armor is a leather or wool clothing made to protect their bodies. However, Lannister guards are corruptable in King's Landing and have been seen accepting bribes.

The Lannisters also command a modest fleet, berthed at Lannisport. The fleet was largely destroyed at anchor during the Greyjoy Rebellion in a pre-emptive strike led by Balon Greyjoy's brothers.[9]



Family Tree

Tytos tree
Tytos Lannister

Jeyne Lannister
née Marbrand
Tywin fam tree
Tywin Lannister
Joanna Lannister
Kevan fam tree
Kevan Lannister
Dorna Lannister
née Swyft
Robert tree
Robert Baratheon House-Baratheon-Main-Shield
Cersei family tree
Cersei Lannister
Jaime family tree
Jaime Lannister
Unknown tree
Tyrion family tree
Tyrion Lannister
100px-Sansa tree
Sansa Stark House-Stark-Main-Shield
Lancel tree
Lancel Lannister Faith-Militant-Main-Shield
Martyn Lannister tree
Martyn Lannister
Willem Lannister tree
Willem Lannister
Unnamed son
Died in infancy
Joffrey tree

Joffrey Baratheon House-Baratheon-of-King's Landing-Main-Shield

Margaery Tree
Margaery Tyrell House-Tyrell-Main-Shield
Mycella Season 5 family tree pic

Myrcella Baratheon House-Baratheon-of-King's Landing-Main-Shield

Trystane Martell family tree

Trystane Martell House-Martell-Main-Shield

Tommen Baratheon family tree
Tommen Baratheon House-Baratheon-of-King's Landing-Main-Shield
Margaery Tree
Margaery Tyrell House-Tyrell-Main-Shield

Cadet branches

House Lannister is a very old and wealthy family, dating back to the Age of Heroes and the Andal invasion 6,000 years ago. As a result it has produced numerous cadet branches and distant cousins of the main line, who have prospered as members of the minor nobility in the Westerlands for many years. In contrast, while House Stark is even older than House Lannister, due to the harsh conditions of the North (both low economic output and threat of Wildling attacks) by the time of the War of the Five Kings, the Starks possess few if any cousins, and only one major cadet branch, House Karstark. Therefore, there are numerous minor members of the extended "House Lannister" which exist in the background of the narrative, but they are so numerous and distantly related that members of the main line wouldn't think to mention them any more than they would their other vassals.

House Lannister of Lannisport - a cadet branch of House Lannister, formally organized as a distinct House. They directly rule the city of Lannisport for the main branch, while the main branch rules the gold-mine rich area of Casterly Rock in the nearby mountains above Lannisport.


Sworn to House Lannister

Vassal Houses

Household and sworn men

Image gallery

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, House Lannister was established many thousands of years prior to the books' opening by a trickster-hero called Lann the Clever, who tricked the powerful Casterly family into abandoning their stronghold of Casterly Rock, which the Lannisters took for their own. The Lannisters have ruled the region known as the Westerlands ever since, getting rich off the many gold and silver mines in the western hills and mountains.

During Robert's Rebellion, the Lannisters sat out most of the war, refusing to heed the calls of King Aerys II Targaryen to aid him in crushing the rebellion. After the rebel victory at the Battle of the Trident, the Lannister army marched to the relief of King's Landing but, instead of helping defend the city, they brutally sacked it, killing King Aerys and his grandchildren. Robert Baratheon publicly forgave the Lannisters their actions and accepted their allegiance, marrying Cersei Lannister in thanks for Tywin's assistance. However, Eddard Stark saw the Lannister action as betrayal and murder, and has not trusted them ever since.

House Lannister consists of a "main" branch led by Lord Tywin and a junior branch, led by cousins, that controls the city of Lannisport. The Lannisters are a relatively large family, though nowhere near as numerous as the Freys of the Crossing.

A minor change is that in the books the heraldry of House Lannister features a lion passant (striding on all four legs), but in the TV series the lion is rampant (rearing up with its forepaws raised to attack). The variant with the striding, passant lion is still glimpsed on several occasions in the TV series (i.e. Tywin's battle-flags during the Battle of the Green Fork), though it is not the primary version featured in promotional materials.

According to the TV series official pronunciation guide developed for the cast and crew, "Lannister" is pronounced "LAN-iss-ter". It rhymes with "Lancaster". The conflict between the "Starks and Lannisters" in the series is loosely inspired by the English War of the Roses between the "Yorks and Lancasters".

See also


  1. "The Complete Guide to Westeros: House Lannister" featurette, Season 1 Blu Ray boxset
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Lannister entry
  3. "The Complete Guide to Westeros: House Lannister" featurette, Season 1 Blu Ray boxset
  4. "The Complete Guide to Westeros: House Lannister" featurette, Season 1 Blu Ray boxset
  5. "The Old Gods and the New"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Winter is Coming"
  7. "The Kingsroad"
  8. "Lord Snow"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things"
  10. "The Wolf and the Lion"
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 "You Win or You Die"
  12. "A Golden Crown"
  13. 13.0 13.1 "The Pointy End"
  14. "Baelor"
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Fire and Blood"
  16. "The Wars to Come"
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 "Mother's Mercy"
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House Lannister
Lord: Cersei Lannister Heir:
Seat: Casterly Rock / Red Keep Lands: The Westerlands / The Crownlands
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 · Tyland Lannister · Damon Lannister
Current members:Tyrion Lannister · Jaime Lannister · Dorna Lannister · Cynda Lannister · Lyman Lannister
Deceased members:Tytos Lannister · Joanna Lannister · Stafford Lannister · Alton Lannister · Martyn Lannister · Willem Lannister · Orson Lannister · Tywin Lannister · Lancel Lannister · Kevan Lannister
Household:Bronn · Gregor Clegane · Qyburn · {Amory Lorch} · {Polliver} · {Rorge} · {Biter}