strategists do it better

anonymous asked:

Do you think that Tywin is a better strategist than tactician? I got that feeling while reading the books.

We’ve written a lot about Tywin, but I think Tywin is actually a fairly mediocre strategist. He does alright against a conventional enemy that he is already stronger than, but he is completely outplayed by the Young Wolf (who is a prodigy certainly) and Tywin is prone to not changing his mind once he draws a conclusion, which leads him to disaster when he believes that Robb Stark has a boy’s love and a boy’s understanding of warfare, causing him to constantly stumble over Robb.

Then, Tywin’s conduct does not help him in the long-term. Forced labor and removal of the Riverlands smallfolk to Harrenhal, burning the Riverlands with the objective to force Catelyn to release Tyrion, the Red Wedding, these all provoked resentment of him. With something like the Red Wedding, which violates holy codes of conduct and even the mediocre law of armed conflict in Westeros, the backlash is immense. Much like Asha finds out with the Glovers and the Mormonts, the people remember those atrocities and aren’t willing to forgive them. That leads to the Brotherhood Without Banners and the North Remembers, as the North won’t have peace on Lannister terms, and preventing this sort of thing is why even ancient peoples considered certain conduct to be taboo in war.

For more reading, I wrote a long piece on Tywin’s strategic shortcomings here, and the Fish had a 5-parter essay way back in the day, first part here.

Thanks for the question, Anon.

SomethingLikeALawyer, Hand of the King