for @joannalannister; lauren, you’re the sweetest and most caring person i’ve ever met!! you always send me messages asking me about my health and everything, so this is a little gift for you, because i really wanted to tell you i appreciate you sO MUCH (even when i don’t reply D:) but i didn’t know how to do it DDD: … so yeah, i hope you’ll like this gifset :)
“A good horror story will frighten us, yes. It will keep us awake at night, it will make our flesh crawl, it will creep into our dreams and give new meaning to the darkness. […] Good horror stories make us look at our reflections in dark distorting mirrors, where we glimpse things that disturb us, things that we did not really want to look at. Horror looks into the shadows of the human soul, at the fears and rages that live within us all.” –GRRM
I reached the horror section of Dreamsongs a couple days ago and let me tell you, I am NOT looking forward to whatever dark trip GRRM is taking us on in TWOW. Just kidding, I need it more than ever!! GRRM knows how to tap into something primal and beam it directly into my nightmares. (I feel very uneasy about crabs right now.)
Horrifying imagery aside, GRRM’s real strength is emotional horror. Beautiful things like love, and courage, and friendship, and hope die faster than Ned Stark when GRRM writes horror. Jealousy and hatred and rage win when GRRM writes horror. (Anyone else thinking “valonqar” right now because I am…. I keep saying it, the Lannisters are horrifying, and I love them.)
For example, I read GRRM’s “Meathouse Man” and the stories are very different, but I felt a resonance with Tyrion’s storyline:
“Of all the bright cruel lies they tell you, the cruelest is the one called love.”
Jon Lannister - Sansa and Tyrion’s firstborn, named after King Jon of Houses Targaryen and Stark. Jon Lannister is a brave young man with his father’s sense of humor (and curly golden hair lol). He’s a skilled warrior like his uncle Jamie was. Sansa raised him to be everything she ever wanted in a man once. And he is everything Tyrion dreamed to be when he was a child. Jon is called a Golden Heir of House Lannister. People from the Westerlands are very proud of him. He is popular in the Riverlands also.
Catelyn and Joanna Lannister - the red-haired twins. While Catelyn is this perfect young lady like her mother is and her grandmother was, Joanna is “little Arya”. The girls are good to each other and they don’t fight that often (though Joanna fights a lot with their little brother Rickon). Cat has a little crush on Targaryen prince (but don’t say anyone).
Rickon Lannister - Youngest child. Rickon is bookish, shy and reserved young man (when he’s not arguing with Joanna). He is very intelligent and has a great political mind. He doesn’t understand, but women find him very attractive. Sounds familiar?
263 AC♛ “My father insists on attending. Insists!” Taking the chair beside the king, Tywin leaned back with his boots stretched out in front of him and signaled for wine.
“I would not have thought him capable,” Aerys confessed, adjusting his crown as it threatened to topple. Though he had worn it for nearly a year, the heavy circlet of red gold still did not rest easily upon his brow.
“Making a mockery of me and mine is my father’s sole talent. He would not miss my wedding for the world, or so he claims.”
Aerys voiced his sympathy. “Does she know?”
“Not yet.” Tywin studied the women shaded by a silken canopy as they took their midday meal. One of them, at least. “My betrothed is already marshaling an army of porters, seamstresses, and confectioners. Had we had such numbers on the Stepstones, Maelys would have been defeated within a month. She will be crestfallen when she learns Tytos the Tame shall play the host. At least he has finally tired of his milk cow. I suppose I should kneel and thank the gods we shall be spared her presence.” Tywin swirled his wine and took a deep draft.
“I could preside over the feast,” Aerys said quietly, not looking at his Hand. “Tytos would give way before his king.”
Tywin’s surprise quickly turned to pleasure. “Thank you, my friend.” He returned his gaze to the queen’s companions. “Joanna will not be disappointed.”
Gabriella Wilde as Joanna Lannister ♥ Toby Regbo as Tywin Lannister ♛ Christian Lees as Aerys Targaryen ♥ Tamzin Merchant as Rhaella Targaryen
Yet he said nothing. A wise man did not pour wildfire on a brazier. Instead he poured a fresh cup of wine. “How safe do you think Myrcella will be if King’s Landing falls? Renly and Stannis will mount her head beside yours.”
And Cersei began to cry.
Tyrion Lannister could not have been more astonished if Aegon the Conqueror himself had burst into the room, riding on a dragon and juggling lemon pies. He had not seen his sister weep since they were children together at Casterly Rock. Awkwardly, he took a step toward her. When your sister cries, you were supposed to comfort her … but this was Cersei! He reached a tentative hand for her shoulder.
“Don’t touch me,” she said, wrenching away. It should not have hurt, yet it did, more than any slap. Red-faced, as angry as she was grief-stricken, Cersei struggled for breath. “Don’t look at me, not … not like this … not you.”
It’s familial insights like these that really give me sad feels over the inevitable Lannister reunion in A Dream of Spring and really makes me feel the shadowed legacy Tywin’s messed-up child-caring lessons and life left behind.
Because, for one rare moment, there’s a chance for Tyrion to console a crying sibling and, honestly, this is probably the first time ever that Tyrion’s been put into this position regarding his own family. As Tyrion himself notes, Cersei herself hasn’t cried since childhood and I doubt she’s ever put himself in a position to be vulnerable to her valonqar.
For that matter, I doubt Jaime, who performs his ‘I don’t care what anyone thinks of me, never let anyone see how they’re getting to me’ persona, has ever been put into a position where he cries in front of Tyrion and Tywin… only with Joanna and never again after her. Until now, I don’t think Tyrion’s ever found himself in this kind of familial situation.
Every Lannister in this story is trying to project, to perform this kind of invincible, never-be-vulnerable image of being a strong lion with sharp claws and a roaring wrath to those that go up against them… which leaves no room for compassion, for love, for support towards each other. Being vulnerable means you’re weak, that you’re a toothless lion.
Tyrion and Cersei have internalized these lessons so hard, it hurts to see it in practice. That he has to compare Cersei crying to a sheer impossibility sounds funny at first, until you realize this isn’t hyperbole, this is the Lannister household. These are the children Tywin Lannister raised in his household.
Tyrion wants to comfort his sibling, like he’s “supposed to”, but the pragmatic of it being Cersei, a person who despises him and would latch onto any weakness on his part, keeps invading. Yet, because he’s a decent man who does have sympathetic impulses, he still tries “awkwardly” with a “tentative hand.”
And Cersei… she needs someone to comfort her through the pain and grief of losing Myrcella and the dread of Renly and Stannis storming King’s Landing without much reassurance that anyone or, really, Jaime will protect her from that fate. She might be angry, but the “grief-striken” is also a real part of Cersei.
And, you know, it never crosses either of their minds to unconditionally love and take support from each other in their lowest moments because they’re family or siblings who’ve grown in the same household together. Whenever they get close to such a moment, they think in pragmatics and performance. The moments slip away from their claws and never come to fruition.
“Don’t look at me.” The Lannisters are driven to perform outwardly to show the world that they’re proud, strong lions at all times, while performing inwardly, forcing their pride to stomp out the tears and pain because lions show no weakness. And that’s the thing: the Lannisters are people who eat, shit and hurt like any other person, but they’re all wrapped up in their respective lion-identity performance.
They can’t love because Tywin’s poisoned those wells. From Tytos being mocked as a toothless lion and Joanna’s death wrecking Tywin so much he swears off on love henceforth, the footsteps of familial dysfunction echo from the past to the present with all the Lannister siblings.
Why show weakness when people will bite down on it? Why love when it is “sweet poison”? They’re a family and they should love each other for that reason alone. Just like the Starks in the beginning and even now. Instead, their ideology’s going to cause them to tear each other apart.
Because Tywin raised no toothless lions. Better a roaring lion than a crying one.
"and probably Tyrion, who has got Lannister blood and no Valyrian blood of any kind." - I read this and I was curious, while you subscribe to Jon/Danny/Tyrion as the three heads, have you ruled out that some or all of the Lannister children may be Aerys's and not Tywin's? So Tyrion would have Valyrian blood. It doesn't mean anything but I read somewhere and wondered if the dwarfism (a genetic defect) and the incestuous love were hints of Targaryen-ness. Especially dwarfism as a "malformation".
Nope. Cersei, Jaime, Tyrion, each and every one of them were fathered by Tywin.
Cersei and Jaime being Aerys’s kids is fairly easy to disprove. Joanna was dismissed from the queen’s service in 263 following Aerys’s conduct and comments at her wedding (one of several dismissed by the queen who disliked Aerys acting as such around her ladies-in-waiting), and so Aerys had no opportunity to sire the Lannister twins, as they were fathered sometime in 265 or early 266 (we don’t have a month, but it’s 9 months before their birth in 266). While Tywin going home to see his wife and manage his keep would be so normal that no one would bother recording it, Aerys leaving King’s Landing for an extended period of time to go to Casterly Rock for a progress would be something worth noting.
Tyrion we have an opportunity, because Joanna was in the capital during 272, roughly nine months before Tyrion was born, for the Tenth Anniversary Tourney in King’s Landing and Aerys had sworn off other women only at 275. However, given Aerys’s public humiliation of her, asking “if nursing her children had ruined her breasts” in full view of the court, leads me to believe that Joanna would not willingly sleep with Aerys after being treated in such a degrading fashion. Other suggestions that Aerys raped her run into problems. How did Aerys perpetrate the deed? How would he be able to get around Lannister guards, or isolate Joanna from them? Why would Joanna not report such an action immediately? Too many holes in that for me to believe it to be credible as opposed to the more likely idea of Tywin simply sleeping with Joanna and getting pregnant.
Furthermore, dwarfism does not exist in the Targaryen family tree, and the Targaryen physical birth defects tend to involve dragon-human chimeric traits as opposed to dwarfism. Without a documented case of dwarfism in the Targaryen family tree, then there’s no real reason to believe that Tyrion is a Targaryen over Tyrion being a Lannister, since neither family (to our current knowledge) has dwarfism popping up in their family tree.
Lastly, as for the Three Heads theory, we have a confirmed statement from GRRM himself, who said the following at a book signing in November 2000:
“Three heads of the dragon… yes… but the third will not nessesarily BE a Targaryen…”
So yeah, I think all of the Lannisters are Lannisters. I’ll tag @joannalannister to see if she’s got anything she’d like to add, she is the Marchioness of debunking this theory.
“Does it not horrify you, my lady, what your betrothed did to the Reynes and the Tarbecks?”
What Joanna yearns to say is this: I would have done the same, in his place. They needed to be taught a lesson, the Reynes and the Tarbecks, and Tywin taught them and the whole of the Westerlands a lesson they would never forget.
She knows better than to say this out loud, however. Men are allowed much and forgiven more; women are not.
She does not yearn to reform Tywin, to change him ‘for the better,’ to turn him into ‘a kinder, gentler soul.’ She sees him for what he is, knows him for what he is, loves him for what he is.
Her heart does not beat with the desire to be his salvation; it beats with the desire to be his true partner, a lifelong companion not only of the hearts and the bodies but also of the minds.