I love Tywin Lannister as a villain, he is perfect in that regard, but y'alls need to stop hailing him as a political genius/master general. Tywin is actually a HUGE hypocrite and terrible dynastic planner in ways I didn’t realize before.
He spends the whole seroes telling all three of his kids to put their hearts behind their family honour, commitment to the dynasty, make alliances, produce heirs, blah blah blah. He forces Cersei and Tyrion into unwanted marriages and never forgave Jaime for joining the Kingsgaurd, which meant no Lannister babies on that end.
But…he is such a hypocrite? He married his first-cousin Joanna Lannister, who as a fellow Lannister may be a match for him in blood status,but a really poor match in terms of strategic planningas Tywin was frickin’ heir to a Lord Paramount and Joanna was a knight’s daughter. Tywin wouldn't think of marrying Jaime, for ex, to a mere knight’s daughter. Although I suck at configuring the timeline for events like these, weren’t tensions between Lannister and Houses Castamere and Tarbeck really high at this point? If Tywin were the sly, efficient operator like the cult of personality he’s built for himself, why didn’t he minimize damage by offering alliance with himself to them (I can answer that: pride. so much for logical mastermind) or one of the other powerful houses to shore up their defenses, thereby optimizing the chances for victory?)
Although an argument could be made it was an “Only a Lannister is good enough for a Lannister” statement, or a way to tie up the stray roots on the family tree, that hardly seems like good prioritizing. Joanna experts, didn’t Joanna grow up at or near Casterly Rock and also serve the Queen as a lady-in-waiting from a young age just like Tywin served as cupbearer at court? I strongly believe Tywin was close to Joanna all his life, and was dead-set on marrying her from the start. Such idealism is hardly “mastermind-y”.
And the hypocrisy doesn’t end there! He rags on Tyrion for not consummating his marriage to produce an heir to the North, and also takes reproductive choice away from Cersei, insisting she marry and have more kids for the sake of alliances…
so why the fuck didn’t Tywin marry and have more kids after Joanna died, if he was so set on preserving the Lannister line? Ned and Cat were having kids into their mid 30s, and Tywin was almost certainly younger than that when he lost Joanna. 3 kids (one a girl and one a disabled boy) is not enough to 100% secure a dynasty in a misogynistic, abelist feudal system and there were many families willing to align themselves with Lannisters then.
But Tywin is exempt right? He can refuse to marry for personal reasons, to the insecurity of his dynasty, all while sacrificing his children’s emotional autonomy, because haven’t you heard, Tywin is a cold, emotionless mastermind who puts head before heart always lolol no.
I remember the first time my father took me to court, Robert had to hold my hand. I could not have been older than four, which would have made him five or six. We agreed afterward that the king had been as noble as the dragons were fearsome.
Years later, our father told us that Aerys had cut himself on the throne that morning, so his Hand had taken his place. It was Tywin Lannister who’d so impressed us.