Tywin Lannister: The Westerlands are all bounded by three natural defenses: mountain, sea and forest. Necessary boundaries when a land is as rich as the Westerlands. From its mines come the gold and silver that fuel the rest of Westeros. From Lannisport, its largest city, come the most skillful gold and silver smiths in the land. Yet geography alone is not strength. The Westerlands would have been sacked and pillaged for thousands of years if it had not been for the men who ruled it: House Lannister.
According to legend, the Lannisters trace their descent to Lann the Clever, a trickster of the Dawn Age who swindled the Casterlys out of Casterly Rock, their ancient castle. A childish story, but not without merit. One: A mind can and should be a weapon in a man's arsenal. Two: Lann must have been clever enough not to rely solely on his wits. After all, where today is House Casterly? Three: By keeping the Casterly name on the castle, Lann reminded the world of the price of getting in his way.
The Reynes ignored all of these lessons. Not content with being the second-richest family, they sought to challenge the first: Mine. My father had put up with their insults and disrespect. When I came of age, I led our army to teach them what they should have already known. Some people say I was too harsh, that eradicating every member of their family was not necessary. But now, there are no bannermen as loyal to their lord as the Westerlands to us. If any lord bridles at their authority, I have only to send a singer with a harp, and he falls back into line.
Because I will not have our lords squabbling amongst themselves, like the lords of the Riverlands, or hide in their castles, like the lords of the Vale, each of our bannermen contributes a unique skill that furthers the whole of the Westerlands.
House Payne, who provides us loyal servants. Ser Ilyn Payne was once captain of my household guard until the Mad King heard him boast that Tywin ran the Seven Kingdoms, which I did. The Mad King tore out Ser Ilyn's tongue, making him especially well suited to later become the King's Justice. Apparently these days a younger Payne also serves my degenerate son, Tyrion.
House Lefford who guards the Golden Tooth, the eastern pass through the mountains in the all-too frequent chaos of the Seven Kingdoms. Though after Robb Stark's recent incursions, perhaps they will need a new gatekeeper.
Fools look at the Westerlands and see gold. Fools see our wealth and call it strength. Gold is just another rock. The Westerlands are strong because of House Lannister. From strong leadership comes unity. From unity comes power.
- In this video Tywin incorrectly says that Lann the Clever lived in the Dawn Age; he actually lived in the following Age of Heroes.
- Lann the Clever
- Lord Tytos Lannister (mentioned)
- Lord Tywin Lannister
- Ser Gregor Clegane
- Sandor Clegane (mentioned)
- Ser Ilyn Payne
- King Aerys II Targaryen (mentioned)
- King Joffrey Baratheon (not mentioned by name)
- Podrick Payne (mentioned)
- Tyrion Lannister (mentioned)
- King Robb Stark (mentioned)