Pairing: Tywin x
(daughter) Reader, Tyrion x (sister) reader
Fandom: Game of
Warnings: None…but it’s
my first and it’s a little long… Eh, Tywin may be a little OOC.
Summary: You are the
youngest Lannister daughter and are struggling with your reading, so you get
help from your brother, Tyrion. Reader
is six years old. Mostly fluff.
Word Count: 3,582
Tywin Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock, and previous Hand of
the King sat in his study, pouring over documents and filling in
signatures. He hadn’t gotten any sleep
the past few days, mainly because the fools of the Eyrie didn’t know how to
strike a proper bargain. Lord Tywin had
never liked the Lady Arryn but while her husband, the true Lord of the Eyrie
was away, he was forced to make political agreements and meet her terms.
There was a knock on the door, and he looked up,
frowning. Everyone knew not to disturb
him when he worked on his documents. It
was either something important or a rather stupid servant. He called for them to open the door.
The servant that stood before him was young and
broad-chested. He’d probably make a good
soldier in a few years, but Tywin never took the time to learn his servants’
names. This boy was no different. He swallowed, and Tywin raised an eyebrow.
“My lord,” the servant began. Then he stopped talking.
“Yes?” Tywin said, looking straight at him. “You came into my study during a critical
time, clearly you have something to tell me.”
Tywin could see the boy swallow away the lump in his
throat. His fingers drummed the desk,
and he glanced at the tower of documents at the table.
“My lord, it’s about your daughter,” the boy said, and
Tywin’s attention was automatically caught.
The boy couldn’t tell this though, for Tywin kept his same stoic
expression. “The Septas have been
looking for her, but she seems to have disappeared. They say she’s not doing well in her lessons
and that she’s struggling with her reading.”
Tywin’s face hardened, remembering a similar experience with
his eldest son, Jaime.
“Very well, you are dismissed,” Lord Tywin said to the boy.
He nodded and fled the room.
Tywin looked over at the documents.
Y/N, his daughter, would have to wait until he finished the bulk of
these. He had a pretty good idea where
she was hiding. The girl had never been
too good at keeping secrets.
As Tywin worked, he mused on his daughter. He thought that his late wife was finished
giving birth when she gave birth to Tyrion, but Y/N had come more than a decade
later, a pleasant surprise for all of them.
Tywin hadn’t expected to be a father again, and he worried for his wife,
that her body couldn’t handle it, but she had given birth to a healthy
daughter. His wife had named her Y/N,
though Tywin had wanted to name her after an ancestor. Lady Joanna had insisted on Y/N though, so
they went with that.
Tywin finished up his paperwork and left his office,
ignoring the bowing servants and “milord”s as he walked through the
stronghold. He left the castle and went
through the gardens. Since he had told Y/N
that her mother had loved the gardens, they had become her favorite place. Sure enough, he saw her seated on a bench
below one of the larger trees.
He cleared his throat loudly, and she turned to look at him
with those striking emerald eyes –Joanna’s eyes. His daughter was only six and as gentle as a
hummingbird. Her long golden hair
splashed down her back. Of all his
children, she looked the most like her mother.
It was as if the child realized the danger she was in with
her father’s arrival. She jumped to her
feet, smoothed her dress and curtsied before him.
“Good afternoon, father,” she said with all the bearing of a
lady at court. She knew her courtesies
“Why aren’t you in your lesson, Y/N?” he asked, cutting to
the point. It was true he was probably
softer with her than his other children, but that was only because she hadn’t
caused him nearly as much grief. When a
child misbehaved though, it was a father’s duty to correct that child.
“I don’t like the septa,” Y/N said. “She’s boring.”
“I don’t care if you like the septa. You’re learning to read. Children outside these walls don’t get that
opportunity. Someday you will thank me
for everything I’ve done for you,” he said.
“Let go of your pride and do your lesson. The house that puts the family’s name before
its own selfish whims –“
“Will be the house that history remembers,” she finished for
him. She glared up at him. “I just don’t like reading. I’m not good at it, and I can’t do it. No matter how hard I try, I don’t understand
“You are not working hard enough,” he said.
“I spent two hours looking at the same page, and when the septa
asked me to read aloud, I couldn’t do it,” she argued. The girl definitely had spunk. A Lannister needed that to get along in the
world, but she needed to learn there were better times than others for it. “All I do is stare at the page. I know the letters. I see the septa write them, and I can go
through the alphabet. The septa says my
penmanship is wonderful, but when I have to read a word, the letters move
around on the page and I can’t make any sense of them!”
Tywin nodded, and she was quiet. He had dealt with this before.
“Your brother Jaime was the same way,” he said. “The maesters told me that he also mixed up
the letters on the page. Yes…I wondered
if this would happen again.”
“And how did Jaime learn to read?” Y/N asked.
A determined look flashed across Tywin’s face.
“I sat him down with the maester four hours each day,” he
said. “Which is exactly what I’ll do
“Father!” Y/N cried.
“Silence!” He cut her off.
“Remember your courtesies, young lady.
You will thank me for this. A
Lannister needs to know how to read!
Jaime was angry with me too, but now he can read!”
“But four hours!” The girl looked close to tears, and for a
rare moment, Tywin did feel something tear at his heart, but he was determined.
“A lady doesn’t say ‘but’,” he said. It was something that Joanna used to say to
Cersei when she argued with her. “Go
back to your lesson now. I shall speak
with your septa about the changes in your scholarly pursuits.”
Y/N’s pink lips quivered for a moment, and then she curtsied
before her father and ran off. Tywin
watched her go, slightly amused, but slightly angry at her behavior. Cersei had been much more rebellious, so he
at least should have been grateful that he didn’t have to deal with that. He didn’t particularly like upsetting his
daughter, though. She was the last thing
of Joanna he had, and he was determined to give her the best life he could.
Being a father as well as a lord could be difficult at
At the end of your lesson, you were fuming at the
septa. Your head pounded and your eyes
were sore from constantly staring at the page.
You offered a short and stiff curtsy and then left as soon as the lesson
ended. You never wanted to see your
septa ever again. In fact, you would run
away from the Rock and make your father miss you so much that he would find you. That would really show him.
You loved your father like none other, but he could be stiff
at times. He was the proud lord lion of
Casterly Rock, you reminded yourself. He
was held to different standards than the small folk. Jaime supposedly had the same problem with
words that you had, but Jaime got to run around and play with a sword, and then
he got to be a knight. Why did it matter
if you could or couldn’t read? Your
father would wed you to a handsome lord when you were older, and you’d raise
the babies while your lord husband signed important papers.
In your room, you tried to forget all about your lesson by
combing through one of your dolls’ hair.
The door opened and your father entered; the brush you used on the doll
stopped halfway through its silk hair.
“What are you doing here?” You asked.
“The septa told me that you needed to study outside of your
lessons,” he said firmly. “Where are
“I just got out of my lesson! I need a break!” You cried.
“Your mind is sharpest right after a lesson,” he said. “Do you want to learn to read or not?”
“I don’t want to learn!” You snapped.
You had crossed a line, and you knew it. Your father’s eyes narrowed dangerously.
“You will read those books, Y/N, and I won’t ask you again,”
he said in a low voice.
You shrunk back, fighting back the tears that threatened to
escape your eyes. You hated
disappointing your father; he was your hero, but he just didn’t understand how hard
it was for you to read! You watched as
he left the room. You didn’t move for a
moment, and when he was gone, you threw your doll against the wall.
You picked up the book and tried to read it, determined to
show your father, but the more you looked at it, the worse your headache got
and you found you just couldn’t do it.
You woke up with your face on the book. You panicked slightly, aware that that was
not proper for a lady. By the sky
outside your window, you knew it wasn’t time for supper yet. You sighed with relief. Then you picked up the book. You didn’t want to visit the septa, but maybe
if you just studied for many hours at once, she could get it all done and over
with. Hugging the book, you stomped past
your broken doll and out the room.
Every step taken was tortuous. You really, really did not want to see the septa. What did that old lady know anyways? Why couldn’t your father give you a fun
teacher? Maesters were always more fun
“Sister,” a deep voice suddenly rang in your ears. “Does father know that you are wandering the
Rock by yourself?”
Your heart stopped. You
turned and saw your older brother, Tyrion, standing there. Even though he grinned at you, you felt a
shiver pass up your spine. She had
always been more than a little frightened of him.
Tyrion wasn’t like Jaime or Cersei. He was only slightly taller than you, but
whereas you were six, he was a man. His
hair was as blonde as yours and his eyes as green, but his forehead was too
big, and his arms and legs were too short.
He wasn’t handsome in the least, and Cersei had told you that Tyrion had
killed your mother. Jaime had insisted
it wasn’t true, but Cersei said that Tyrion had forced mother to care for him
when he had a contagious illness, and she had died for it. You hadn’t even been a year old, and because
of that you didn’t have a mother.
“He’s a monster, Y/N, and monsters don’t show remorse,”
Cersei had said to you.
You stared at your brother, fingers clutching the book. You wanted to run, but you knew you needed to
be brave. He wasn’t really a
monster. He was frightening, but he was
still your big brother. Jaime got along
with Tyrion after all.
“I’m going to the septa,” you said shortly. “I’m learning to read.”
“Are you mixing up the letters on the page?” Tyrion asked in
a dry tone.
“Um…” How did he know that was your problem? “Yes…”
“Just like Jaime, or so I hear,” he said. “Don’t go to the septa. She’ll bore you to tears with her
lessons. It looks like she already has.”
“I have to learn to read so father will be happy,” you
“Yes, we must keep father happy,” Tyrion said.
“I need to go,” you said.
When you turned away, Tyrion suddenly touched your arm. You froze, remembering what Cersei had told you. Tyrion looked kind of funny, but could he
really be a monster? What if you died
because he touched you? Maybe that’s why
your mother had died!
“B-brother,” you stammered, voice squeaking.
“I’ll teach you to read,” he said. “I’ve read a lot, and I’ve even stumbled on
some of the histories of Casterly Rock that recorded other children with the
same problems you were having.”
“Father wants me to study with the septa,” you replied
“Father wants you to learn how to read,” he said. “Do you want to please father?”
You nodded meekly, and he smiled.
“Then follow me,” he said.
Your heart sank, and you imagined for a moment a maiden
following a dragon into its lair. Tyrion
was no dragon; he was too small, but you couldn’t help but be scared regardless. You frowned.
Lannisters didn’t get scared. You
would learn how to read no matter what.
On the way to Tyrion’s chambers, he actually talked to you.
“Father rarely lets you see me,” he said. “I remember when you were born. I’ve never seen father smile like that
before. I suppose after me, you were
everything he could have asked for. You
were a beautiful babe, and it looks to me like you’ve grown to be a beautiful
girl. You have mother’s features.”
How could he talk so easily of mother? Didn’t he feel guilty?
“Thank you,” you whispered.
“Father keeps me in lessons most the time.”
“And apart from the reading, how are those going? Do you understand the laws of the land and
the science? I hated learning about the
agriculture personally,” he said.
Before you could think, you said: “I do too.
I hate that part.” You suddenly
shut your mouth. Had you just agreed
with your brother?
“Ah, here we go,” Tyrion said. “My room.
We shouldn’t be in here too long, but I’ll teach you more than the
“With magic?” You asked.
“What do you think I am?
An imp with magical powers! Is
that what Cersei told you?” he asked.
Cersei had never said that, but you couldn’t help but imagine it. “No, if I knew magic, I’d make myself as tall
as Jaime. No, we’re going to learn the
old fashioned way.”
“I won’t learn to read by supper?” You asked faintly.
“I’m afraid not,” he said.
“You’ll have to come back each day, but I promise you I will make it
much more painless than the septa’s ramblings. You’ll be reading in no time.”
And then he pulled out a seat for you at his desk and took
the book from you. He laid it on the
table, and a devilish smirk appeared on his face.
“Let’s begin,” he said, and you sat down, feeling your hands
and feet shake.
You had been visiting Tyrion in secret for a week. You were never told to stay away from your
brother, but father also made a point of keeping you as far away from him as
possible. With Tyrion as your teacher, you
were able to see improvements you never thought possible. Even the septa praised you when you actually
read two sentences aloud and only had to pause a few times. Tyrion didn’t use magic, but he may as well
What really confused you though was that you were actually
starting to like your brother. What would Cersei say? Perhaps Jaime would be happy for you. Tyrion was kind to you and very patient when you
made mistakes. He was constantly egging you
on, but in a way that showed he really cared.
“You know this word,” he said as you hovered over the same
word for over a minute. “You can do it…”
“D…R…G… No, that’s not right.” The letters were moving again. “D…R…A….Dragon!”
Tyrion applauded you, and you blushed. You then read the sentence aloud:
“Aegon I Targaryen rode on the dragon Balerion in the War of
Conquest!” Your voice went up a notch at the end, and again Tyrion applauded you.
“Wonderful!” He said.
“Wonderful! Can you read the next
“Aegon’s sister-wife…V…Vis…Visenya mounted Vhagar as her
steed.” You glanced up at Tyrion,
praying you’d gotten the sentence right, and by his smile, you knew you
had. “I did it! I’m learning to read, Tyrion! You’re the best!”
You kept improving, and you actually sought out books to try
and read. Most of them you couldn’t, but
you could understand a lot more than you could before. Four days later, you were in yet another
lesson with Tyrion. He no longer
frightened you, and Cersei’s words seem to fade.
You had finally reached the part in your heavy book that
spoke of House Lannister.
“Lord Tytos Lannister was the eldest of four. He was named heir in 236 AC of Casterly
Rock…” your eyes skimmed the page. Then you
gasped. “Jason Lannister!”
“Hmm?” Tyrion asked.
“Jason Lannister was Tytos’s younger brother. Tytos was our grandfather! Jason was our other grandfather! He was mother’s father!” You cried. “Mother and father were cousins?”
“I thought you knew that,” Tyrion said. “Besides, cousins are one thing, but the
Targaryens married their brothers and sisters for centuries.”
“It’s like how Cersei wants to marry Jaime,” you said.
“Y-Y/N …” Tyrion winced.
“I don’t know how you know that, but you mustn’t say a word to father.”
You stared at the page and your finger found Lady Joanna’s
“What was mother like?” You whispered.
Tyrion froze and didn’t answer immediately. Then he swallowed, and he smiled in a way
that made him as handsome as Jaime.
“She was beautiful,” Tyrion said. “She was my best friend, my champion. She was always encouraging me to be better,
and when I cried, she held me.” He
looked out the window, and you watched him intently. “When I learned that dragons had gone
extinct, I was a mess. I cried myself to
sleep…but when I woke up, mother was holding me in her arms and telling me
everything would be alright. She had a
beautiful voice too…”
“Cersei said mother died while taking care of you,” you
Tyrion looked down at his hands.
“That’s true,” he breathed.
“I was probably old enough to not need my mommy, but I begged the
maesters to let me see her, and she came right away and cared for me. She stayed by my side all night…and then…it
was all so sudden…she was gone.”
Tyrion was a man, but his lip trembled like a child’s. He didn’t blink, like he was determined not
to let the tears come. He was always so
carefree, sarcastic, and witty. You had
never seen this side of him before.
You reached under the table and held his stubby hand.
“Thank you for telling me about mother,” you whispered.
You found yourself outside your father’s study. He would be finished with his paperwork in
any moment. You waited there, going over
again and again Tyrion’s cheers in your mind.
The door opened, and Tywin stared down at you. You drew yourself up as tall as could be, but
he still towered over you.
“Do you need something, Y/N?” he asked.
You nodded, but didn’t answer. Without a word, you strode right inside his
study. You heard you father sigh behind you
“What is the meaning of this?” he asked you. “Have you finished your studies today?” You reached up and took the first bit of
parchment off the stack. “Careful, Y/N,
those are important documents. They
can’t be lost –“
“Lord Randyll Tarly…Lord of House Tarly…To whom it may
concern…We are in the process of building a bridge to help ensure our grains
come quicker to the capital.” You looked
up from the sentence and hid your smile.
Then you continued, and you read the entire letter out loud to your
When you finished, Tywin actually laughed, and you felt your
cheeks go red. You loved it when you
pleased her father. You had seen his
smile more times than you could count, but you rarely heard a laugh.
“You see, Y/N? You
are a Lannister! You always had it in
you!” He said. “You’ve got quite the
attitude, but I’m proud of you. Keep up
the good work.” He touched your face but
didn’t embrace you. He was still a lord
after all. “Come now, supper is waiting
You beamed at him, and they headed to the dining hall
After supper, you returned to Tyrion. You still had much farther to go, and the
letters still got jumbled, but you were determined to work hard. You recounted the story to Tyrion, and he laughed
first and then congratulated you. Then
he hugged you.
Once again you found yourself pouring over the book. You finished reading the paragraph aloud and
looked up at Tyrion. He was
absent-mindedly playing with an ink bottle.
“Um…I have a question,” you said.
“Ask away,” Tyrion urged you.
“Well, it’s just about something that Cersei said. She said that you spent most your time in
brothels and that you had…what were the words she used? …An appetite for whores,” you began. “Tyrion, what’s a brothel? And what’s a whore?”
The ink bottle suddenly slipped from his fat fingers and
shattered all over the floor.
What do you think of kevan speech to tyrion ( when the latter is in jail ) ?
I’m assuming you mean Kevan’s impassioned defence of Tywin, anon?
“Do you think he would allow you to take the black if you were not his own blood, and Joanna’s? Tywin seems a hard man to you, I know, but he is no harder than he’s had to be. Our
own father was gentle and amiable, but so weak his bannermen mocked him in their cups. Some
saw fit to defy him openly. Other lords borrowed our gold and never troubled to repay it. At
court they japed of toothless lions. Even his mistress stole from him. A woman scarcely one step
above a whore, and she helped herself to my mother’s jewels! It fell to Tywin to restore House
Lannister to its proper place just as it fell to him to rule this realm, when he was no more than
twenty. He bore that heavy burden for twenty years, and all it earned him was a mad king’s envy.
Instead of the honor he deserved, he was made to suffer slights beyond count, yet he gave the
Seven Kingdoms peace, plenty, and justice. He is a just man. You would be wise to trust him.”
- Tyrion IX, ASoS
It explains a decent chunk of Tywin’s psychology, specifically how Tywin’s entire life is overcompensation for his father’s failings as Lord of Casterly Rock. This speech also demonstrates how Kevan feels about Tywin, which is Tyrion’s takeaway from it. (”You love him.”)
But the thing is, we already know that this is terrible analysis of Tywin’s actions. “No harder than he’s had to be”? We saw Tywin give the order to burn the Riverlands. “A just man”? We’re familiar with Tysha’s story by this point. “You would be wise to trust him”? We know who arranged the Red Wedding, thanks.
What we see here is that Kevan is not the “faithful old mastiff” Cersei thinks of him as (Cersei III, AFFC), but Tywin’s genuine fellow traveller. Note how he refers to restoring House Lannister to its “proper place.” He believes in Lannister supremacy too, and the fact that he sees Tywin’s crimes as proportionate tells us more about Kevan than whether the burning of the Riverlands was remotely justified.
tywin lannister??? nah what a horrible father, i hate hi– *trips* *hundreds of thousands of photos of tywin lannister spill out of jacket* w-what a gross old grandpa, listen these aren’t mine *gathering them up frantically sweating* listen i just listen fuck *thousands of pictures of tywin lannister scatter across the floor* shit fcuk im holding them for a friend just listen
I feel so strongly about the relationship between Tyrion and his father, I think it’s my favorite relationship GRRM shows on the page.
And like, with Jon - the thing about Jon is that Ned is His Father but he’s going to have to come to terms with the fact that Rhaegar is his biological father, that Jon wasn’t Ned’s love child, that Jon wasn’t the result of some tragically short-lived romantic tryst on Ned’s part, that instead it was Rhaegar trying to fulfill a prophecy, that even tho Rhaegar was a Hero to most in the Seven Kingdoms, Rhaegar did some Horrible Shit to make this prophecy happen because he felt like he had no good choices while trying to save Westeros (something I think Jon will eventually be able to relate to, like, think of Jon switching the babies)
And with Dany - Dany is the same in her own way, in that she too needs to come to terms with her father. Right now she just has Viserys’s romanticized version of Aerys, and she knows that’s not really the Real Aerys but she’s not ready to face that yet, because it’s all tied up in her own right to the Iron Throne, because if the Lords Paramount were justified in throwing off a tyrant who betrayed the feudal contract, where does that leave her? It leaves her as the Princess that was Promised, but she doesn’t know that yet. So she too has to come to terms with her father’s actions, to realize that her destiny lies in something much greater than the iron throne, to realize that “a true king queen protects his her people” from the Others.
So with Tyrion and Tywin - the idea that Tyrion has some secret father in Aerys Targaryen falls flat. Aerys doesn’t mean anything to Tyrion. Sure, Aerys is That King That Refused To Betrothe His Son To My Sister, and That King My Father Served, and That King My Brother Murdered and That King That Joffrey Is Beginning To Resemble, but what is Aerys to Tyrion beyond an account in a history book? What would it mean to Tyrion, and to readers, to have Aerys be his True Father? That Aerys was a rapist? We already knew that. That Tyrion had a father that was arguably even more horrible than Tywin? What …? What does that…? What does that even do for Tyrion’s character, if he had a biological father even worse than Tywin? “Well, gee, I guess Dad Foster-Dad was right in denying me Casterly Rock back in book 3, cuz it looks like I’m the bastard son of a rapist tyrant and literally all of Tytos’s great-grandchildren are ahead of me in the line of succession, so I guess I’ll jump on this dragon and go save the world now”? How is that narratively satisfying?????
Honestly I don’t think A+J=T is how ASOIAF works.He’s going to tempt each of these heroes with their hearts’ desires, he’s going to put each of them through their own trials by fire, to temper them, to forge them into the heroes Westeros needs them to be.
With Dany, I think she’ll be tempted with the iron throne, with children, with a Targaryen dynasty reborn, even more powerful than before. With Jon, I think it’s the choice to walk away, something he’s been trying to do since book 1, to seek out the scraps of his family.
And with Tyrion, the thing that GRRM is holding out to Tyrion is Tywin’s legacy. It’s the chance to be Tywin’s True Son, to finally prove to his dead father that he learned all of Tywin’s sharp lessons. “See there, Father? he wanted to shout. See how fast I learn my lessons?” I think GRRM is proffering Casterly Rock and the chance to annihilate everyone in it. But Tywin’s legacy is poisoned, and if Tyrion grasps it, the world dies, I suspect.
There’s a war inside Tyrion, a war between light and dark that makes him “the grayest of the grays”, a war that GRRM points at over and over and over again, from Tyrion’s black and white hair, to his black and white shadowskin cloak, to his post-Blackwater fever dreams of “black columns of smoke and white-hot ashes” And it’s this war that Tyrion has to win before he can even try to fight the Others. He has to forsake Tywin’s legacy, and grrm won’t do that with ~~~secret paternity~~~!!!! Tyrion has to make the choice, he has to realize that he doesn’t have to pick up the mantle of Tywin’s brutality and wrap it around himself like that old shadowskin cloak in order to be recognized as a human being. Tyrion has to come to terms with Tywin as his father, but recognize that he doesn’t he doesn’t have to becomehis father.
One day I will write this word vomit more coherently, but today is not that day
“ Jaime is your eldest son, heir to your lands and titles. But he is a Kingsguard, forbidden from marriage or inheritance. The day Jaime put on the white cloak, he gave up his claim to Casterly Rock. ”
“Did you love him?” Jaime heard himself ask. His aunt looked at him strangely. “I was seven when Walder Frey persuaded my lord father to give my hand to Emm. His second son, not even his heir. Father was himself a thirdborn son, and younger children crave the approval of their elders. Frey sensed that weakness in him, and Father agreed for no better reason than to please him. My betrothal was announced at a feast with half the west in attendance. Ellyn Tarbeck laughed and the Red Lion went angry from the hall. The rest sat on their tongues. Only Tywin dared speak against the match. A boy of ten. Father turned as white as mare’s milk, and Walder Frey was quivering.” She smiled. “How could I not love him, after that? That is not to say that I approved of all he did, or much enjoyed the company of the man that he became … but every little girl needs a big brother to protect her. Tywin was big even when he was little.” She gave a sigh. “Who will protect us now?” Jaime kissed her cheek. “He left a son.” “Aye, he did. That is what I fear the most, in truth.” That was a queer remark. “Why should you fear?” “Jaime,” she said, tugging on his ear, “sweetling, I have known you since you were a babe at Joanna’s breast. You smile like Gerion and fight like Tyg, and there’s some of Kevan in you, else you would not wear that cloak … but Tyrion is Tywin’s son, not you. I said so once to your father’s face, and he would not speak to me for half a year. Men are such thundering great fools. Even the sort who come along once in a thousand years.” - Genna Lannister, A Feast for Crows
do you think Jaime and Cersei loves Tywin ? I've always thought they loved, or at least admired the politician but not the father (and it's undersantable, he was an awful father!) Especially for Cersei.
That sums it pretty well. Tywin became for them, very early on, the only role model available. And boy what a role model he was. The man everyone in the seven kingdoms feared. The former Hand, who was rumored to be the actual ruler of the realm behind a mad and inept king. Tywin was powerful, respected, feared. He made sure his children respected and feared him, as well. All the three Lannister siblings (Tyrion included, of course – but I will leave him aside for now or it gets too long) have this fear/admiration for him; they hate him, but they also want to be like him; they crave for his respect and his approval.
The twins in particular, I think, loved him in a twisted way, but this love was closer to a cult of personality and family pride (so typically Lannister), than to real affection. Tywin was a very distant and cold parent, and had this habit of disposing of his children as he liked – not just Tyrion whom he despised, but the twins too, who looked just every bit as pure Lannister perfection. Granted, he didn’t abuse and humiliate them as he did with Tyrion, but he still used them as political tools. Cersei was his bargaining chip to raise house Lannister even higher in the social ladder, and for this he sold her to a brute
like a brood mare, as Cersei herself poignantly puts it (she’s never forgiven him, not just for marrying her off, but for marrying her off to the wrong king). Jaime was his golden heir and he fucked it up when he joined the Kingsguard and for this Tywin always resented him, because he messed with his plans. Not once Tywin gave a rat’s ass about what his children wanted, what would make them happy. All that mattered to him was the family legacy, not the happiness of the individual members.
I think it’s interesting to consider how the twins react to Tywin’s death. They both feel disoriented and nostalgically reflect on his greatness, but their mourning is also punctuated by a distinct lack of genuine grief. They also both feel like it’s time to take Tywin’s place in society, but in different ways and with different attitudes.
Hi Lauren! I think maybe that question about Tywin being disappointed with Genna and her sexuality might have been about those rumors about whether Emmon Frey was the biological father of Genna’s children. That depends how “known” these rumors actually were, if Tywin could have heard them or not, and what he thought of them. For all I know, Genna wasn’t really bringing dishonor to house Lannister, but with Tywin I have no clue. You know the man better than I do, of course.
No, surely not. It is implied that Genna had some liaisons.
“She gave Frey four sons, to be sure. At least she says they are this” No one in Casterly Rock had the courage to suggest otherwise, least of all Ser Emmon. (Jaime AFFC)
Genna was a lively, sensual woman who loved food, laughter, music. A woman who may have ‘horned’ her husband. I thought that’s how she disappointed him.
Hi, thank you both for your response! Yes, I’m aware of that passage about the rumors, but I disagree with your theorized connection to Tywin’s disappointment. I think it’s important to look at the “disappointment” passage in context.
I know I criticize the show a lot and don’t agree with many of D&D’s choices. But there are times when they really do seem to get it. The way they book-ended tonight’s episode with the destruction of one Stark sword and the reclaiming of another was nearly flawless.
What’s interesting is how Arya and Tywin’s different perspectives and values on family are represented in their respective sword scenes.
Tywin believes that the most important part of family is House legacy, not the individual members. By destroying Ice and turning it into weapons for his own House, he believes he is dolling out the finishing blow to House Stark. Ice was part of the Stark legacy after all, passed down from generation to generation. He’s brought an end to that and claimed the sword for his own family’s legacy.
Arya, on the other hand, has always been less concerned in legacy and far more interested in the actual members of her family and her pack. It’s the individual people who she’s been protective of and has been fighting so hard to reunite with. While Needle isn’t an ancestral weapon for her House, it is a weapon created in Winterfell’s forge specifically for her, a symbol of her family members and the life she had before the war. In reclaiming Needle and using it to bring justice to the murderer of her pack member, she is proving that her House and their values in justice are not done.
These two scenes made this episode a perfect way to pick up after the seemingly thorough Stark defeat that was season 3. It highlighted the Lannisters’ temporary victory while foreshadowing the eventual rise of the Starks through Arya. Because the wolves will come again, and they’re already on their way.
Welcome to the Small Council! How would you like your customer service? If you pick “Soft,” Petyr will treat you with polite aloofness. Pick “Mild” and enjoy Varys’ idle dismissal. “Medium” is Pycelle acting contemptuously indifferent towards you. “Small burn” will get you no less than three snide remarks from Tyrion. “Large Burn” will involve Cersei and her crushing satire of your dreary, ordinary existence. But “Western Spicy Barbecue” gets you three full minutes of abuse from Tywin! Feel free to mix and match to suit your palate.
I have a question for you: IIRC, Jon sort of darkly thinks about how only Stannis sent help to the Wall and how he'd (or 'they') would remember that. The North declared independence and all Northerners (except for like the Boltons) recognize only the Starks as their rulers. So isn't the Wall solely the North's responsibility now? I understand the threats beyond the wall and that its defense is in everyone's best interests but are the other realms actually obligated to send soldiers?
Hi anon! Before the dragons came, men were still sent to the Wall from all over Westeros, even though the North itself was independent:
“When Aegon slew Black Harren and claimed his kingdom, Harren’s brother was Lord Commander on the Wall, with ten thousand swords to hand. He did not march. In the days when the Seven Kingdoms were seven kingdoms, not a generation passed that three or four of them were not at war. The Watch took no part. When the Andals crossed the narrow sea and swept away the kingdoms of the First Men, the sons of the fallen kings held true to their vows and remained at their posts. So it has always been, for years beyond counting.”
So I would say that those below the Neck have a communal, historical obligation to keep the Wall defended and supplied. It‘s the core of the Westerosi social contract, to the extent such a thing exists (if nothing else, should the Wall fall, northern refugees would be a massive drain on southern resources, leading to mass starvation, civil chaos, etc.) Stannis understands that; when he learns the Watch is in mortal danger, he rides to the rescue, all but abandoning his struggle for the throne itself. Tywin believes otherwise; he feels no tug of responsibility or common humanity regarding the Wall once Robb declares independence, and manipulates events at Castle Black as though no larger cause is at stake.
“…[T]he Watch is grievously under strength. If
the Wall should fail…”
“… the wildlings will flood the north,”
his father finished, “and the Starks and Greyjoys will have another
enemy to contend with. They no longer wish to be subject to the Iron
Throne, it would seem, so by what right do they look to the Iron Throne
for aid? King Robb and King Balon both claim the north. Let them defend
it, if they can…”
“There is no need. The Night’s Watch is a pack of thieves, killers, and baseborn churls, but it occurs to me that they could prove otherwise, given proper discipline. If Mormont is indeed dead, the black brothers must choose a new Lord Commander.”
Pycelle gave Tyrion a sly glance. “An excellent thought, my lord. I know the very man. Janos Slynt.”
Tyrion liked that notion not at all. “The black brothers choose their own commander,” he reminded them. “Lord Slynt is new to the Wall. I know, I sent him there. Why should they pick him over a dozen more senior men?”
“Because,” his father said, in a tone that suggested Tyrion was quite the simpleton, “if they do not vote as they are told, their Wall will melt before it sees another man.”
Their Wall, not ours. For me, this is a microcosm of the moral and political contrasts between Stannis and Tywin. For all his faults and sins, the former ultimately lives up to the title of “Protector of the Realm” (and even acknowledges the wildlings as citizens of that realm), whereas the latter simply refuses to see the smallfolk as people who deserve protection regardless of the moves their lords make in the game of thrones.
I've been wondering lately why a man so obsessed with his legacy like Tywin Lannister never remarried? he always wanted and considered Jamie his heir, though it should have been obvious he's not made for it, and he hated Tyrion, so why not remarry?
What a lovely question! GRRM has said that Tywin didn’t ever want to remarry. I think there’s a number of things going into Tywin’s choice to remain a widower:
1) Tywin deeply loved Joanna and GRRM says their marriage was “probably” a love match, a union which is exceedingly rare in ASOIAF. According to TWOIAF, Tywin had known Joanna since they were children together, and she had lived through the decline in Lannister prestige under Tytos, and Aerys’s growing madness, and so many other experiences that shaped Tywin into the man we meet in AGOT. Kevan suggests that Joanna was one of Tywin’s few close confidantes. These shared experiences between Tywin and Joanna, “the love between them,” their closeness, their shared political aspirations for Cersei … these aren’t things that can be replicated or replaced.
2) I don’t think Tywin ever wanted to bring anyone that close to him ever again. I think Tywin deeply fears any vulnerability in himself.
3) I don’t think that Tywin felt like he could ever have a meaningful emotional and psychological connection with a second wife. Indeed, I think Tywin is disdainful of most people, usually considering them to be idiots who are beneath him, while I think he considered Joanna to be his equal, or as near an equal as any woman could be. If Tywin is the sort of man “that comes but once in a thousand years,” then what does that make Joanna? Any other wife is doomed to be a disappointment to Tywin before he even beds her.
4) Respect, imo, is what Tywin is most concerned with. In Westeros, a period of mourning is a way to show respect for the dead. Remarrying too soon after your spouse’s death is considered disrespectful. I think most people among the nobility wait at least a year or so (unless you’re in the middle of a war or other destabilizing event). Well, Tywin takes things to extremes, and he’s decided he’s never going to remarry, as a way to honor Joanna as much as possible, to suggest that she was irreplaceable to him. His refusal to remarry is like a great monument to her.
5) It’s very obvious to us that Jaime has no desire to rule, but it’s not so clear to people like Tywin. “Love is blindness. I don’t want to see.” Tywin doesn’t have the benefit of riding around inside Jaime’s head for pages and pages, and Tywin has a personality type that makes it difficult for him to walk around in other people’s shoes and understand how they feel. Tywin genuinely believes that the Kingsguard is just a phase, and Tywin will eventually pull some strings and get Jaime out of it so that he can take up his duties at Casterly Rock. We know that’s never going to happen, but Tywin doesn’t know that.
6) Jaime is very precious to Tywin. Jaime is the confluence of Tytos and Jason’s bloodlines, a Lannister twice over. Lannister blood ~is more valuable,~ it makes you ~a superior person~. "Do you think [Tywin] would allow you to […do so…] if you were not hisownblood, and Joanna’s?” If you’ll allow me to apply that quote to Jaime, because it’s indicative of Tywin’s mindset toward his children … the conception of Tywin’s heir is like the forging of the One Ring or some shit, you can’t just make another one after your enemy takes it away from you. You simply have to get the One Ring Jaime back.
7) Everything you’re saying is deeply rational and logical. The problem is that Tywin isn’t rational or logical about this. He’s driven by emotions here: love, hatred, fear, greed, anger, pride. He thinks everything will work out the way he envisions it, he cannot imagine people behaving outside of his expectations, he thinks he still has many years of life ahead of him to set his affairs in order.
8) On a meta level, GRRM mostly waits until after Tywin’s death to show us the more human side of Tywin Lannister, and I think that’s deliberate. I think readers are meant to see Tywin as a dead husk of a man, a villain who dehumanizes almost everyone around him. We’re not meant to see him picking himself up and moving on with his life as he destroys everyone else’s. He’s a dead man walking in AGOT.