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Characters / A Song Of Ice And Fire House Lannister

This is a listing of members of House Lannister that appear in the Fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. Visit here for the main character index.

For the main Westerlands entry, see here.

House Lannister of Casterly Rock


"Hear me Roar"
Lannister House Words

The richest house in Westeros. They control the Westerlands, with its hills and rich gold mines, and claim to descend from Lann the Clever, who is said to have stolen sunlight for his hair and winkled Casterly Rock from House Casterly using only his wits. They are of First Men origin, though they follow neither the Old Gods nor the customs of the heritage anymore since the Andal Invasion. The Lannisters are powerful and controlling, and completely merciless to those they view as weak. They are effectively the royal house and become the nemesis of the Starks early on. They have notable similarities to the historical Borgia dynasty, as well as drawing some inspiration from various members of the Wars of the Roses. They have a second, unofficial motto — "A Lannister always pays his debts" — which is an invitation to Good Samaritans and a warning to Bad ones. Their members are beautiful, with Green Eyes and blonde hair, and their sigil is a golden lion on a red field.

Given that Robert's children are really the bastards of Jaime and Cersei, the Lannisters are the de-facto rulers of the Seven Kingdoms.

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    Tropes related to House Lannister 
  • The Alcoholic: They seem to have a genetic predisposition, with both Tyrion and Cersei being high-functioning alcoholics.
  • Ancestral Weapon: A Valyrian greatsword named Brightroar, which has since been lost when an ancient king went on a voyage and never returned. It's noted that the Lannisters have tried to buy replacements for decades. Gerion Lannister went missing on a search for it.
    • They now have two Valryian swords: Widow's Wail and Oathkeeper, made from Ned Stark's melted down greatsword Ice
  • Animal Motifs: Lions.
  • Badass Family: Despite their glaring flaws, everyone from Tywin's line is this to a degree. The same can be said of his siblings. His dad? Not so much.
  • Battle of Wits: Almost the whole family is all over this trope like a rash, both when it comes to playing the game of thrones... and just being a bunch of snarky, trolling wise-crackers. It is even said to go as far back as their purported founder, the legendary trickster-figure, Lann the Clever. They do manage to provide a lot of the snark for the whole series, each in their own, unique ways and to varying degrees. It's practically a family curse, as it means they aren't as effective as they could be when using those wits against others as a team. However, many funny, manipulative and analytic crowning moments are the trade-off to constantly sharpening your claws on each other.
    • Also comes with the flip-side to knowing you have wits to battle with: Too Clever by Half, You Talk Too Much, the Villain Ball and attacks of Smug Snake Syndrome are enduring traits that crop up whenever a Lannister relies rather too much on being the most cunning person in the room. In both the best and worst of them.
  • The Beautiful Elite: Most Lannisters, though not all, are described as attractive.
  • Beauty, Brains and Brawn: Cersei, Tyrion and Jaime.
    • Initially played straight. Tyrion himself says his intelligence is his best feature, and Jaime is renowned for his fighting skill. Cersei is upset with how her beauty is seen as her defining attribute, and how her brothers are judged for their actions and she isn't. Cersei is a decent manipulator in the game of thrones (early on) and is by no means stupid, but her temper, selfishness, cruelty, and eventually, paranoia is what spoils her own efforts, not just the fact the she is a beautiful woman in a very sexist patriarchal society.
    • Played with later, as the series goes on, Cersei gradually succumbs to her age and loses some of her beauty. Jaime in turn is the only one of the siblings to possess all three of this features, but his brains only reveal itself after he loses his hand and can no longer qualify as brawny.
  • Beauty Is Bad: As a general rule, the prettier a Lannister is, the nastier they are. Kevan is described as unattractive, but he's much less cruel and more reasonable than his older brother. The increasing compassion of Jaime is juxtaposed with his increasing scruffiness. Cersei, who is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful noblewomen in Westeros, is cruel, treacherous, and occasionally murderous, while her tall, handsome son Joffrey is a horrific psychopath. Tyrion, who is actually deformed and considered horrifying due to his dwarfism, is the noblest member of his family and has remained as such.
  • Big Fancy Castle and Elaborate Underground Base: Their ancestral castle, Casterly Rock, is less a castle and more a medieval Mt. Cheyenne.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: Neither Tywin nor his descendants would be called well-adjusted, apart from Myrcella and Tommen.
    • Lannisters who are not in Tywin's line are more down-to-earth and affable.
  • Blue Blood: Former Kings of the Westerlands.
  • The Clan: While Tywin's line gets the most attention, there are several branches of the Lannister family.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Most Lannisters have blonde hair and green eyes; also, most of them favor dressing in Lannisters' red and gold.
  • Color Motif: The colors on their house sigil are red and gold, representing their intense ambition, military power, and wealth.
  • Corrupt Bureaucrat: They'll use anything to get what they want. However low and dirty it can get. And, bribery? Is this Family's go-to, first resort across the board. If that won't work, they bring out the appeals to nepotism and/or authority, blackmail and threats. Or worse.
  • Divided We Fall: Despite coming out on top in the War of the Five Kings, the frictions within Tywin Lannister's family are gradually destroying everything he achieved.
  • Egopolis: The Westerlands' biggest city, Lannisport, is named after the Lannisters.
  • Famous Ancestor:
    • King Loreon I the Lion, the first known Lannister King of the Rock. He made House Reyne his vassals by marrying their lords daughter and defeated Morgon Banefort, the last Hooded King, in a twenty year war.
    • King Tybolt, known as Thunderbolt, who defeated the first Andal warlord who tried to conquer the Westerlands.
    • King Tommen I conquered Fair Isle after building a great fleet, and married the daughter of the last Farman king.
    • King Lancel I, known as Lancel the Lion, conquered as far to the south as Old Oak before dying in battle. His son Loreon III lost all his father had won and was known as Loreon the Limp.
    • King Gerold the Great raided the Iron Islands and captured a hundred highborn hostages, hanging one for every raid the Ironborn carried out in the Westerlands.
    • King Lancel IV wielded the Valyrian steel sword Brightroar, and once beheaded both Ironborn King Harrald Halfdrowned and his heir in one stroke. He died at a battle near Red Lake while trying to conquer the Reach.
    • King Norwin, called Norwan the Niggardly due to his lack of generosity.
    • King Loreon IV was known as Loreon the Lackwit.
    • King Loreon V, the grandson of Loreon the Lackwit, was known as Queen Lorea due to his liking of dressing up as a woman and wandering the docks of Lannisport as a common prostitute. Naturally, the name Loreon was seldom used after those two.
  • Fiction 500: They're the wealthiest of the great houses of Westeros. This is owed to gold mining and money lending, especially to the Crown itself, and trade with Essos.
    • When Tywin Lannister drowned the Reynes in the silver mines of Castamere, he never reopened either their keep or their mines to exploit. The Reynes were one of the most powerful vassal houses of Westeros, which shows just how much wealth the Lannisters have being willing to forego the silver of the Reynes.
  • Foreshadowing: Maester Yandel argues that the Valyrians considered trading with the Rock for gold and resources, but that prophecy drove them away; the prophecy stated that the gold from the Rock would bring them to ruin, turning them away from Westeros altogether. Centuries, or even millenia later, the last Valyrian king of Westeros Aerys Targaryen "The Mad" saw the destruction of his house and his own death for relying on the Lannisters of the Rock when he shouldn't have.
    • In addition, some fan theories speculate that this prophecy is also related to the Doom of Valyria, since the Lannisters used gold from Casterly Rock to purchase their sword Brightroar from the Valyrians. For extra irony, a spinoff theory has the Targaryens be the ones who accepted the payment and made the sword.
  • Fun with Homophones: The Lannisters' song and go-to implied threat, The Rains of Castamere, is about the destruction of House Reyne of Castamere.
  • Generation Xerox: Looked at with Tywin's children. Cersei considers herself a female version of Tywin, but Jaime finds her too mercurial to match their father and so considers himself to be the most like Tywin. When he tells his aunt Genna this, however, she claims he shares a lot of traits with his uncles, but Tyrion is closest to Tywin in terms of personality and political savvy.
  • Incest Is Relative: Jaime and Cersei. For some, Tywin and his cousin Joanna.
  • Kingmaker Scenario: They sided against the Mad King in a blatant power play. Jaime had nothing to do with it, but nobody believes him.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The main branch is House Lannister of Casterly Rock, after the House of Lancaster of the War of the Roses.
    • Also on the vein of real world monarchies, they are also reminiscent of the Kings of Castile in Spain, which are historically among the most powerful and influential monarchies in the world.
    • "Lannister" is also quite close to the Latin word for executioner, lanista. Given the reputation and temperament of many of their vassals and the means they often employ...
  • Metallic Motifs: Gold — they're very proud and ambitious. Justified, since their ancestral seat is built over a gold mine, so they grew very rich as a result.
  • Not So Different: Let’s see, basically the ruling family in Westeros, extremely high opinions of themselves, living off past glories of the more competent members of the house who are already deceased, an absolutely remarkable ability to make very powerful enemies and distancing allies, an inability to see past their own egos and a penchant for incest? House Targaryen says hi.
  • Old Money: All the Great Houses count, but the Lannisters take it Up to Eleven, controlling the richest gold mines in Westeros and known for their wealth since Lann the Clever swindled their ancestral castle from House Casterly.
  • Pride: Lannisters think they are better than everyone. The most incompetent Lannister is put in higher regard than a stranger.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: House Lannister may still be winning the war as of the end of A Dance With Dragons, but it's clear that the foundation of their victory is crumbling. Tyrion is exiled, Jaime is maimed and disillusioned and seemingly being led into a trap, Cersei is discredited, and Kevan and Tywin are dead; Lancel has sworn himself to the Faith Militant, Tyrek has disappeared, Daven has been named Warden of the West, removing him from crown-related matters and Genna is tied to the Freys; for all intents and purposes, the only Lannister still standing in somewhat stable ground is Martyn (son of Kevan) and he's just a kid. Also, the war against Robb Stark cost them much of their military strength, and the Lannisters' allies are either unreliable, alienated, or incompetent. Lady Barbrey Dustin refers to the Lannisters as a spent force.
    Jaime: I've lost a hand, a father, a son, a sister, and a lover, and soon enough I will lose a brother. And yet they keep telling me House Lannister has won this war.
  • Rich Bastard: Though their territory isn't the largest, they control the gold mines that easily make them the richest family.
    Tyrion - "Rich as a Lannister". That is what they say.
  • People of Hair Color: Blond.
  • Realpolitik: Many of them play hard ball when it comes to political maneuvering. Pragmatism usually trumps over such things as ethical concerns or immediate personal feelings — unless they can rationalize it to themselves as something pragmatic, of course. Heck, Tywin can even contemplate burying the hatchet with the Martells and cozying up to the Tyrells in a bid to have fewer headaches to deal with. However, they tend to weight towards the Machiavelli Was Right school of thought — minus the "and be loved" bit. Fear, terror and respect are where its all at for practically all of them. Even the nicer ones.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Jaime and Tyrion get by on Tywin's and Cersei's reputation.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Aside from having married into the royal family, the Lannisters have also loaned huge amounts of money to the crown. That naturally gives them more power than most houses.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Tyrion, Jaime, Cersei, and even Kevan know Cersei's children have no real claim to the throne but still work actively to keep them in power.
  • The Starscream: They've been biding their time to once again become the most powerful family in Westeros ever since they lost in the Targaryen conquest.
    • The Reynes and Tarbecks were this to them.
  • Stealth Pun: Since they're a family of lions, the Lannisters could be called a pride.
  • Theme Naming: Lots of male names beginning with "Ty-" or "Ti-"; the male names usually consist of two syllables ending on either "l" or "n". Most of them are nicknamed either "The Lion" or "The Golden"
    • Names starting in "J" or "L" are incredibly common as well. To name a few: Jaime, Janei, Joanna, Joy, Jason; Lancel, Loreon, Lucion, Lyman, Lelia.
  • Token Evil Teammate: During Robert's Rebellion.
  • The Unfettered: They tend to be remarkably ruthless in playing the Game of Thrones.
  • Villains Never Lie: While they are well-known for their deceitful ways, the main Lannister family often uses the truth about their enemies as weapons against them, especially Tyrion.
  • Virtue Is Weakness: Lannister values state that "honor" is an arbitrary set of laws that produces weakness to be exploited in others.

Tywin's family

     Lord Tywin Lannister 

Lord Tywin Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock and the Westerlands, Warden of the West and Shield of Lannisport

The Lion of Lannister, The Old Lion, The Great Lion of the Rock

"If your enemy defies you, serve him steel and fire. But if he bends the knee, you must help him back to his feet, else no man will ever kneel to you".

Oldest child of Tytos Lannister and his wife Jeyne Marbrand. Was married to his cousin Joanna, with whom he had three children, twins Cersei and Jaime and Tyrion. The patriarch of House Lannister, and former Hand of the King. He is the archetype of the powerful father. Obsessed with control and absolutely ruthless to enemies, he will destroy anyone who stands in his or his children's way. Tywin became cold and hard after spending a lifetime watching his kind and generous Lord Father being constantly manipulated and walked over by his bannermen and mistresses. He only became utterly cold after the death of his beloved wife, who was giving birth to Tyrion. Tywin is an extremely harsh and unforgiving man, terribly efficient at his job, and can't stand it when people laugh at him. It is well known that Tywin has never been seen smiling except on his wedding day and at the birth of Cersei and Jaime. Inspiration for the character likely comes from John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and unofficial regent to Richard II; Duke Richard of York; and Edward I of England, aka 'Longshanks'.
  • Abusive Parents: His cruel treatment of his son Tyrion was unforgivable. When the deformed boy met the only girl who ever loved him, Tywin convinced him she was a paid whore only to break his spirit. Not only that, but he made his entire garrison violently gang-rape the poor 13-year old girl before Tyrion's eyes. And then forces Tyrion to participate as well.
    • He made his other son Jaime participate too, and made him "confess" to Tyrion that he too had slept with the girl. Give how all three of his children turned out (Jaime drops small boys out of windows and he is still more sympathetic than his paranoid, murderous, and Ax-Crazy sister Cersei), he's just a bad father all round. He doesn't hide the fact that he's disappointed in all three of his children; he just hates Tyrion the most.
  • Aloof Older Brother: To Tygett and Gerion apparently, much to their resentment. Somewhat averted with Kevan and Genna, whom he had been closer to, if only because they submitted to his authority early on.
  • Ambition Is Evil: He's ruthless when it comes to the game of thrones, and will do anything to keep his family on top.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: It's general in the books, but Tywin has a thoroughly patriarchal, feudal, hierarchical notion of power and will do anything to ensure that people know their place and that power favors the wealthy and high-born. A great reason for his popularity as a Hand among high lords is the fact that he undid many of the pro-smallfolk reforms of King Aegon V ("Egg") which curbed several aristocratic privileges and has a zero-tolerance policy regarding family-smallfolk relations among his family.
  • Badass: There's a reason he's treated as the Big Bad instead of Joffrey by the Starks.
    • Not content at being a Four-Star Badass, he's also a Badass Bureaucrat with enough ability with speedchess to make an opponent worried. Assurances given key people, a well written message here and there, carrot-and-stick diplomacy... Dark wings can win you things, if you know what you're doing and time things well. And, he's not been a Hand of so many years experience for no reason.
  • Badass Boast: He had "The Rains of Castamere" played whenever he wanted to remind people how dangerous it was to cross him. Listening to the song is often enough to make his enemies reconsider their positions.
  • Badass Grandpa: In spite of being in his fifties, Tywin is a very dangerous man and capable combatant.
  • Battle of Wits: Yes, he can win a ground war using normal means, thank you. Or, by picking up a pen. He actually prefers the pen or any other "softer" option: it's usually cheaper and more effective.
  • Bling of War: An Invoked Trope; his gilded armour and cloak projects an awe-inspiring picture of the wealth and power of House Lannister. Given that he's not a Frontline General, practicality doesn't have to outweigh appearance.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Sees killing the Targaryen children is seen as this.
    Tywin: And Robert's relief was palpable. As stupid as he was even he knew Rhaegar's children had to die if his throne was ever to be secure. Yet he saw himself as a hero and heroes do not kill children.
    • He's also invoked the trope from the other direction: He keeps brutes like Ser Gregor Clegane in his employ, and "delegates" other schemes to men like Walder Frey and Roose Bolton, because their very natures make them the perfect scapegoats should these associations become embarrassing in the long run, despite the fact that they themselves are acting on Tywin's orders or in accordance with his wishes.
  • Bald of Evil: When he started to lose his hair, he had his head shaved completely; Tywin Lannister does not believe in half-measures. He kept his prodigious sideburns, though.
  • Batman Gambit: The Red Wedding. Between the Freys, the Spicers and the Boltons, Tywin has capitalized on a single mistake by Robb Stark and turned it into a victory. Throughout the entire book he is just sitting there waiting for his plan to come together because he has already won and nobody else knows it. Holy. Shit.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: He wanted his son to be a great warrior and his daughter to be a queen - it came true, but the son became a warrior so great that he got accepted into the Kingsguard, meaning that all he would ever be would be a warrior, and the daughter's queenship caused a string of disasters. He desired to see a king with a Lannister blood on the Iron Throne - and he did, with the king (unknowingly to Tywin) having even more Lannister blood than Grandpa would have wished, being the child of the two "model" Lannister children to boot... and The Caligula, undermining every sensible thing his more competent relatives tried to do. And lastly, Tywin longed for a son who would be a suitable heir and a man as competent as politician as Tywin himself - and stubbornly tried to push Jaime into this role, refusing to notice how well his other, hated son, Tyrion, fit in it. It resulted in Tyrion performing the ultimate act of Tywin's "true" son: shooting his father with a crossbow.
  • Berserk Button: Any threat or slight toward his family gets paid back with extreme prejudice, one way or another.
    • He has an even bigger one which involves Lannisters dishonoring the family name by taking smallfolk as lovers. It seems very needlessly cruel what he did to Tyrion and his wife, Tysha, when it is first brought up. Then later it is revealed that he did something similar to his Extreme Doormat father's mistress after Tytos died, having her stripped and made to walk through Lannisport naked and shamed. The fact that he considered Tysha "a whore" who married Tyrion for his money, and Tyrion a fool for not seeing it (even when it wasn't true) is just more proof that this is a bit of a touchy subject for him. In Tywin's mind, lions do not lay with lambs... But if they do, they definitely do not let the world know.
    • Also, do not laugh at him.
  • Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word: Isn't happy when Tyrion uses the word "plotting" when asking how long he and Walder Frey have been plotting the Red Wedding, presumably because the word implies they are co-conspirators with equal moral responsibility, as opposed to Lord Tywin just giving Frey the go-ahead, which is how Tywin likes to portray it.
  • Big Bad: Of the War of the Five Kings. Tywin is the most important antagonist to the Starks for the first few books, and doesn't hesitate to be a cold bastard when he has to. He's also the true muscle and brain behind Cersei and Joffrey's less than stellar rule.
    Jaime Lannister: Every crow in the Seven Kingdoms should pay homage to you, Father. From Castamere to the Blackwater, you fed them well.
  • Big Brother Instinct: To Genna certainly, and Kevan as well, most likely. Genna notes that she loved him for being the only one to protest at their father marrying her off to Walder's Frey's second son.
    Genna Frey: 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. How could I not love him after that? That is not to say I approved of all he did, or much enjoyed the company of the man he became ... but every little girl needs a big brother to protect her. Tywin was big even when he was little.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Tywin's timely arrival during the Battle at Blackwater Bay saw King's Landing saved from Stannis's onslaught just as the tide turned against the Lannisters. Subverted somewhat in that Joffrey's callous regime (which Tywin managed to save) was probably the greater of two evils.
  • Bullying a Dragon: The song Reynes of Castamere may well have the alternative title of Or "Seriously, Don't Bully This Dragon".
  • Burning the Ships: Tywin's sack of King's Landing was deliberately done to evoke this. Tywin was aware that the rebels saw him as a fence-sitter (which he was) during Robert's Rebellion and that they would never be certain if they could trust him or depend on him. So Tywin felt that he had to betray the Targaryens and their enemies in such a way that House Lannister would never make peace with the dragons again, convincing the rebels that House Lannister wouldn't even turn back to the Targaryens even if they wanted to.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: When Tyrion asks him about Tysha, he doesn't even remember her name.
  • Cavalry Betrayal: One of Tywin's infamous acts was professing loyalty to the Mad King then having his army sack the capital after they were let inside.
  • The Chessmaster: One of many, skilled at playing his opponents both in the battlefield and politics.
  • Control Freak: Views his family as chess pieces in his various political gambits, and doesn't like it when they refuse to play along - his two sons and his sister Genna all end up earning Tywin's wrath in this regard. Tywin's only true confidant is his brother Kevan who made the decision early in life to willingly become his unquestioning supporter.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: It must be noted that Tywin has never won a battle without an overwhelming military superiority. As such he generally likes his battles to be quick, brutal and decisive. Indeed, Tywin's main philosophy is to avoid battle whenever possible by means of unconventional warfare. Examples include rerouting a nearby river into the mines of Castamere, a False Flag Operation to brutally sack King's Landing and using leverage over the Spicers, Westerlings, Freys and Boltons to betray Robb Stark at the Red Wedding after failing to beat him militarily.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: "Explain to me why it is more noble to kill ten thousand men in battle than a dozen at dinner."
  • Deadpan Snarker: Emphasis on the "deadpan" far more often than the "snark". But, when he wishes to, he can seriously drop those verbal bombs, though. When he's not being silent about it and using significant looks, actions or gestures, that is.
  • Death Glare: A man once made the joke about him shitting gold in his hearing at a feast. Tywin just stared at him throughout the entire meal until the man couldn't stand it anymore and left the hall.
  • Deconstructed Trope: He will go down as one of the great conquerors; a Four-Star Badass in war and a Reasonable Authority Figure in peace. It doesn't mean that he was a nice person. Or, that extremely Pragmatic Evil has a long shelf-life if you neglect the grassroots.
    • Most of the ones who think well of Tywin tend to be Lannister supporters and the nobility. He isn't popular among the smallfolk as seen A Feast For Crows when Jaime notes how few people attended Tywin's public funeral. He is still hated by several denizens of Kings Landing for his sack during Robert's Rebellion. As The World of Ice and Fire shows, the major reason why Tywin was seen as a Hand who restored order was because he removed all of Aegon V's pro-smallfolk reforms. The knock-on effect of that? Is seen in AFFC: the rise of the Faith Militant in a Westerosi-style, religiously themed peasants' revolt. So... he turned out to be a temporary "fix".
  • Disc One Final Boss: For nearly half of the series he serves as the Big Bad, only to be killed at the end of book three by Tyrion.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Played With but often Justified. It's a bit of an ongoing theme with him.
    • His handling the Tarbecks and the Reynes (see "The Villain Sucks Song" below). It led to their destruction, it also lead to the Westerlands houses being extremely loyal to their overlord. No bannerman even thinks about defying Tywin.
    • His betrayal of Aerys. According to both Jaime's and Cersei's narration, he resigned his Handship not because Aerys was steadily losing his mind, but because of the endless slights he was subjected to, culminating in Aerys's refusal of the offer of Cersei's hand for Prince Rhaegar, claiming Tywin had not earned such an honor. This was a pretty mad thing to say to the man who has been running your kingdom for you for twenty yearsnote , especially when Aerys then turned around and explained that Tywin was his most faithful servant but princes don't marry their servants' children. It's also implied that Aerys did it to spite Tywin for marrying Joanna, who he desired for himselfnote .
    • Implied for what Ser Gregor did to Elia Martell; her brother recounts that their mother, the Princess of Dorne, took them to Casterly Rock as children to try and arrange marriages between the families, him to Cersei and Elia to Jaime. Tywin refused them, explicitly stating that Cersei was to marry prince Rhaegar (see above) and insultingly offering to arrange a marriage between Elia and the newly born Tyrion. In the end, the Martells' mother arranged for Elia to marry Rhaegar instead of Cersei. Her brother Oberyn speculates that Tywin ordered Gregor to rape and murder her as a way of "paying the debt". Tywin himself denies this, claiming to Tyrion that he only ordered the deaths of the children to remove their claim to the throne and that he didn't mention Elia to Gregor at all.
    • Catelyn Tully arrests Tyrion with the help of several Riverlands bannermen. Even though Tyrion is his least favorite son, Lord Tywin invades the Riverlands in a deliberate campaign of atrocity, just to show that nobody messes with House Lannister. The reason he does is to ensure that House Lannister's name remains feared throughout Westeros, as houses that don't protect their honor tend to fall quickly.
    • Basically, if Tywin feels you have slighted him, he will make you pay dearly for it, one way or another.
  • The Dog Bites Back: It took him a rather long while to pay Aerys back for all the slights to him and his wife Joanna, but when he did, it was with interest. See Disproportionate Retribution above.
  • The Dragon: As Hand of the King to Aerys II and to Joffrey.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: To both kings, but especially his grandson.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: To have a king of Lannister blood sitting on the Iron Throne.
  • The Dreaded: Everyone in the Seven Kingdoms fears him for his power and prodigious mind. So much so that his death starts a number of conspirators thinking they can now take on the Lannisters, even though they'd just won the War of the Five Kings.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Neither of his sons can ever remember seeing him smile, though other relatives report Tywin doing so on rare occasions. Because of the way his father was mocked Tywin distrusts laughter and japes; yet another reason for his conflicts with Tyrion, who uses mockery as a defense mechanism.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: When Kevan Lannister speaks earnestly about how Tywin is a stern but just man doing a tough job for decades with little appreciation or reward, Tyrion is dumbfounded to realize that the uncle he dismissed as a mere Yes-Man actually loves (and is loved by) his brother just as Tyrion loves Jaime. Tywin was also truly and deeply in love with his wife Joanna, which is one of the main reasons for his loathing of Tyrion. He also apparently somewhat doted on Cersei when she was younger (Tyrion believes Tywin to never smile but Cersei remembers her father smiling at her often and even sharing some of his plans with her), and while he does not like the fact that his father almost ran his house into the ground, he still loves him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Tywin becomes uncharacteristically troubled and upset when Tyrion notes Joffrey's similarities with the Mad King, considering that Tywin had spent two decades as Hand to said Mad King. Tywin has performed harsh actions many times, but he's worried by the idea of a family member being mindlessly cruel and insane.
    • While he ordered the deaths of Rhaegar Targaryen's children - and displayed the bodies in front of Robert Baratheon to assure everyone of his loyalty - even he appears to have been shocked and disturbed by how violent said deaths were. He was also rather insulted when Tyrion assumes that he ordered Elia Martell's rape and murder, claiming he never mentioned her and assumed she'd be left alonenote . He also reprimanded Amory Lorch for being so stupid as to stab Princess Rhaenys fifty times instead of calming her with sweet words and then use a pillow to smother her.
    • When confronted by Tyrion after he's busted out of prison, he says that he has no intention of executing Tyrion for Joffrey's death, unlike Cersei who would very much love to have him killed. He intends to send Tyrion off to the wall instead. However, his callous response to Tyrion's questions about what really happened with Tysha end up costing him his life anyway.
  • Evil Chancellor: Yes, both this and The Good Chancellor at the same time. As bad as he is, Kings Aerys and Joffrey were even worse, and he's a vastly better administrator than them.
  • Evil Overlord: Downplayed. He is cruel, but only to further his aims... or to avenge a slight. ''Any'' slight.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: His death is considered an End of an Era at least for the Lannisters and the hegemony he builds crumbles in a short span of time in A Feast for Crows as new threats as well as long dormant factions start making their moves — The Golden Company, the Faith Militant and Doran Martell.
  • Expy: To Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick, known as "The Kingmaker".
    • In terms of personality, reputation and physique, Tywin resembles Edward Longshanks - tall, intimidating and ruthless. Longshanks' suppression of the Second Barons' War, which included the defeat of Simon de Monfort (who had a Silver Lion on Red Field sigil) at the Battle of Eversham and his reputation as the Hammer of the Scots (whose national sigil is the Lion Rampant - a Red Lion) both of which are combined in the suppression of House Reyne of Castamere (Red Lion on Silver Field). This is alluded to when Pycelle at Tywin's funeral notes that while Tywin was never King, he was all a King should be.
    • He also resembles King Philip IV "le Bel", the French King famous for his ruthless purge of The Knights Templar. King Philip IV was famous for being icy and unsmiling, for his relative celibacy for a French King. He took France to the cusp of greatness only to die before his time in an undignified fashion and have his children (one of them, Queen Isabella of England, being a Cersei Expy) ruin all his gains and eventually spark The Hundred Years War. The books dealing with Philip IV and his descendents, The Accursed Kings was cited by Word of God as an influence for the whole series.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Say what you will about him, but he doesn't express fear at all before or after he is shot by Tyrion's crossbow. But that's mostly because he didn't really think that Tyrion would kill him after all. What happens after death is not so dignified.
  • Family Values Villain: He does what he does to preserve the honor, dignity, and position of his family... and subverted in that this often includes doing horrible things to individual members of said family.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: How Tyrion remembers him in A Dance with Dragons. When the young Tyrion would do somersaults and earn applause and laughter (even from Cersei), Tywin mocked his son for acting a dwarf. When Tyrion asked his father for permission to visit the Free Cities, his father told him that he won't let his embarrassing son humiliate the family abroad.
    • Tywin also won't stop grooming Jaime as his heir despite him only wanting to be a Kingsguard.
  • Fatal Flaw: Tywin's biggest flaw is that he was unable to see past first impressions and basically being blind to Character Development. In his mind, Tyrion was still just a hedonistic dwarf whose birth lead to his wife's death, rather than the brilliant politician who saved a city. He also Failed a Spot Check when he underestimated how horrible Gregor Clegane was, such as during the Sack of King's Landing. The flip-side of this is that he's also unable to see the faults in his favourite son, Jaime.
    • And following on with his blindness to Character Development, he didn't plan for possibilities like Jaime not inheriting Casterly Rock or Cersei running the crown regency, much less train her accordingly, the lack of which almost certainly influenced her actions in A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons.
    • He's also determined to stamp out any human weakness in himself — such as love, empathy and the need for approval. The result is a Big Screwed-Up Family whose children are well on the way to destroying everything he's built over the years.
    • His refusal to believe that his twins had an incestuous relationship that yielded illegitimate offspring would have meant that otherwise the Lannisters should have been as preoccupied with Jon Arryn's death as the Starks were, letting the family be blamed for a crime they didn't commit and allowing this escalating beyond control. His lack of acknowledging this fact and taking it as seriously as he should only serves as fuel to the rumors against his family, tarnishing his legacy forever.
  • Foreshadowing: There are hints suggesting that Tywin knew Shae from before and was fully aware that she was a whore. Though in AGOT it's not clear that Tywin actually knows Shae, he does know that Tyrion has a whore and tells him not to bring her to King's Landing. Later, when Tyrion finds them in bed, it becomes clear that Tywin knew what whore he was referring to.
  • Frontline General: Averted; the one time we see Tywin in battle he waits with the reserve so he can see the entire battlefield, only going in when victory is already assured.
  • Freudian Excuse: Tywin's own father was a kind, light-hearted man who was thought weak and laughed at by his own bannermen, so Tywin resolved not to let this happen to himself.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Subverted; Tywin's corpse looks like it's smiling peacefully (which is especially significant since he never smiled while alive), but the maesters say it's just the facial muscles contracting as he starts to decompose. Tywin actually died in astonishment that Tyrion actually shot him, and disowning him with his last words.
  • The Gwen Stacy: Tywin was never the same after his wife Joanna died giving birth to Tyrion.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Not as obvious as Tywin keeps such a tight hold on his emotions, but it's said he was a better person when Joanna was alive, and even though a second marriage might be useful politically and provide an alternate heir to Tyrion, he never even mentions the idea. There may be trust issues as well — It's said that "Tywin ruled the Seven Kingdoms, but his wife ruled Tywin." It's likely Tywin simply doesn't trust anyone to get that close to him.
  • Henpecked Husband: It's said that Tywin ruled the Seven Kingdoms but was ruled at home by Joanna.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Aerys, until their falling-out.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: In The World of Ice & Fire Yandel shows him as a man that puts the realm above all else and makes no mention or even a hint of his role in the deaths of Princess Elia Martell and her children.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: So very, very subverted: Because he's usually rather good at reading people in one Sherlock Scan, he has this unexpected blind-spot: once he's assessed and then judged them upon first meeting them, he rarely revises his opinion. Even when he's... made a bit of a mistake, not taken the observation far enough, or they've changed since his last evaluation. OK, so it doesn't happen all that often... but when it does, it goes horribly, badly wrong. Tyrion is just his Too Clever by Half, disappointment of a son, Jaime will come around in time even though he's stubborn with an honour-streak he doesn't admit he's got, Cersei will do as she's told like a daughter should and Sansa is a biddable pawn who won't move on her own even if you go boo: and, Littlefinger is just glad to get away from the Fingers, so will do practically anything interesting to keep from going back there... He's never entirely wrong, but he's just wrong enough.
  • Hypocrite: Oh, where to start...! The most blatant example would be how he has no problem sleeping with whores, in spite of all the hell he gives Tyrion over that same behaviornote . The only difference being that Tywin keeps it in secret while Tyrion boasts about it. There's also his borderline obsession with marrying his children and grandchildren off to other families to create powerful alliances, when he himself married his cousin for lovenote  and he never re-married.
    • It might be that Tywin has no problem with prostitution in itself, but with his son's public association with whores (and his tendencies to fall in love with them), which disgrace House Lannister and remind Tywin of his father's flaws.
    • He tells Tyrion that when soldiers act out of line, the fault always lies with their commander. Yet when his own troops do the same, Tywin insists that he can't possibly be held responsible. For example, he claims that he had nothing to do with the rape and murder of Elia Martell because he didn't specifically order Gregor Clegane to do it.
    • He also acts offended because Tyrion even questions him about the mentioned incident, claiming that Tyrion can't possibly accuse him of ordering a rape... even though he has done it at least once, involving a 14-year old girl and a garrison of soldiers.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: His general defense for all his atrocities and something which a loyal toady like Pycelle readily regurgitates, describing Tywin as a man who who made tough decisions and as such was above the petty judgment of most people. However as we get to know Tywin more closely it becomes increasingly clear that is not the case.
  • Idiot Ball: For all his Chessmastering ability, Tywin carries this from time to time. His disdain for Tyrion causes him to believe what Cersei and others tell him about the defense of King's Landingnote  and only allow that Tyrion's chain across the river was "clever". He also fails to understand the depth of Littlefinger's ambitions, believing that he would be content with marrying Lysa.
  • I Have Many Names: Tyrion introduces his father to the Mountain Clans as "Tywin, Son of Tytos of House Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock, Warden of the West, Shield of Lannisport, and once and future Hand of the King." He's probably the only character with the stones to justify their grandiose title. He's also the Lord Paramount of the Westerlands. Later on he gains the honorific of "Savior of the City".
  • I Have No Son: When Jaime refuses to leave the Kingsguard to inherit Casterly Rock, Tywin tells him that he is "no son of mine". Presumably, the fact that that would only leave Tyrion to inherit the Rock played a big part of that. He scarcely needs to say it to Tyrion, the way he treats him, but he still manages to, late in A Storm of Swords. With his last breath, no less.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: A rare example for a villain. Although he is The Dreaded for Westeros he's neither a great warrior nor an especially great general, but a man who matches his middling and competent military skills (he has never won a battle without an overwhelming numerical advantage) with razor sharp political acumen via Flaw Exploitation of his enemies, opportunism and an unmatched appetite for ruthlessness. Indeed, Tywin's main philosophy is to avoid battle whenever possible by means of unconventional warfare. Examples include rerouting a nearby river into the mines of Castamere, a False Flag Operation to brutally sack King's Landing and using leverage over the Spicers, Westerlings, Freys and Boltons to betray Robb Stark at the Red Wedding after failing to beat him militarily.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The few times that he actually listens to Tyrion's advice, he only does so grudgingly, and even then he never acknowledges that he's actually doing it.
  • Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: Few come as mercilessly and relentlessly hard as Tywin Lannister. For proof, you just need to ask his children what they think of Daddy Dearest. There are hints that he had a heart of gold hiding under there, once. Except, it died with Joanna.
  • Karmic Death:
    • His lifelong stubbornness and disdain for his youngest son kills him; even as Tyrion has him at crossbow-point with his pants down, he keeps badmouthing Tyrion's wife and treating his son like a joke. Tyrion does not take it well. Moreover, Tywin had previously pointed out to Tyrion that his son talks too much, and yet Tywin couldn't keep his own mouth shut when Tyrion had him at crossbow-point.
  • Kick the Dog: MANY times, both in the past and present. The standout examples are his orders to take innocent lives for the sake of his own ambition, and his treatment of Tyrion. Thus, even though everyone speaks of him as an effective administrator, he is NOT a good person.
    • What is far and away his single most cruel action is ordering the gang-rape of Tyrion's wife Tysha, first by slandering her as a whore by forcing Jaime to lie, than also forcing Tyrion to rape her and then dispatching her. Tyrion hated his father for this but upon learning that Tysha truly loved him and wasn't a whore, Tyrion flew into newfound levels of hatred and brutally killed him. He even tells Varys:
    "I never knew what he was."
  • Kill 'em All: His usual method of eliminating his enemies, accurately summarized by Tyrion as, "Heads. Spikes. Walls." He's so famous for this that in A Dance with Dragons Lord Jon Connington, still haunted by the defeat of the Battle of Stoney Sept where he had moved from house-to-house to search for Robert Baratheon, remembers what his friend Myles Toyne told him, vis-a-vis "What Would Tywin Do?" in that situation:
    Myles Toyne: Lord Tywin would not have bothered with a search. He would have burned that town and every living creature in it. Men and boys, babes at the breast, noble knights and holy septons, pigs and whores, rats and rebels, he would have burned them all.
  • Kissing Cousins: Was married to his cousin Joanna Lannister, first-cousin marriage being socially acceptable in Westerosnote .
  • Lack of Empathy: Tywin doesn't let things like empathy, compassion, or emotions affect his judgement. Ever. If you are not a Lannister or in any way useful to furthering the goals of House Lannister (i.e. his goals), you are completely expendable to him. This goes for the rest of his family too; he will look out for them, but he doesn't care about what they want or how they feel.
  • Lucky Bastard: Tywin's victory of the War of the Five Kings ultimately comes down to an amazing stroke of good fortune. The decisive factors for his victory over the Starks and the Baratheons come from Tyrion Lannister sending Littlefinger to form an alliance with the Tyrells after recieving word of Renly's death as well as his innovative and competent siege prepearations and defense of King's Landing. However, even then that would not have been enough as Tywin had ridden west taking Robb Stark's bait of leaving the Riverlands by returning home. Had it not been for Edmure Tully's engagement which Tywin lost, he would have been too far to receive word of Stannis' attack and the Tyrells change of alliances. This created the conditions for his timely intervention at Blackwater, grabbing victory from the jaws of defeat.
  • The Man Behind the Man: He was this to King Aerys in large part, though everyone knew Tywin was in charge and loved him for itnote . He's also this during Joffrey's rule and briefly Tommen's as well.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Is sufficiently powerful and feared to be more domineering and openly bullying than most manipulative bastards, but people do usually end up doing exactly what he wants even if the manipulation is fairly indirect.
  • Marry for Love: As stated above, he married his first cousin Joanna for love, something Cersei and Tyrion both resent him for because of his desire to marry them off to the Lannisters' advantage.
  • Memetic Badass: His destruction of the Reynes and the Tarbecks grants him this status in-universe. A single verse of The Rains of Castamere is often enough to quell any resistance. Even Roose Bolton respects his villainy and agrees to become a middle manager in Tywin's schemes.
  • The Mourning After: He never quite got over his wife's death. He did not remarry, and is said to not have smiled again. This, however, did not prevent him from employing whores.
  • Morality Pet: Apparently he sincerely loved his wife Joanna. Unfortunately, she died years prior to the main events of the series.
  • No Dead Body Poops: "Tywin Lannister did not, in the end, shit gold."
  • Nothing Personal: How he justified betraying the Mad King. Likely not true since Aerys slighted Tywin any way he could.
  • Not So Above It All: Although Tywin indeed is a remarkable figure, he doesn't really always hold himself to the standards he holds other to.
    • He may show contempt for both his father Tytos and his son Tyrion for openly indulging their lusts, but the fact that he has his own implied weakness for prostitutes shows that he's subject to the same weaknesses (if more discreet about it). His own hypersensitivity to any slight, however minor, also demonstrates that even his seemingly-stoic patience has its limits (though he rarely blows up openly).
    • While he has the reputation for being The Dreaded and an aura of invincibility, Tywin never wins a battle without numerical superiority and has indeed suffered famous defeats, being repeatedly outsmarted and outfought by Robb Stark in the field, and in the backstory being humiliated by Euron Greyjoy who torched his fleet at Lannisport, leading the Westerlands to be rescued by Stannis Baratheon at Fair Isle. Not only that, he personally loses a pitched battle against Ser Edmure Tully. With greater numbers.
  • Not So Stoic: When Tyrion demands his rights to Casterly Rock, his father has a rare outburst of temper and tells his son exactly what he thinks of him.
    • When he is confronted by Tyrion while on the privy and held at crossbow-point, Tywin acts like his usual cold, serious, no-nonsense-self in a clear attempt to show no fear or humiliation. We discover just how fake this demeanor is when Tyrion finally makes good on his promise to shoot him and Tywin's reaction is one of wide-eyed shock and horror: "You... you shot me!" As he dies, we're seeing a man overwhelmed with panic and distress, not the unflappable, dignified badass he's presented himself as throughout the series.
  • Odd Friendship: A Dance with Dragons explains why Aerys would pull Tywin (of all people) to Hand for him: they were close friends in their youth.
  • Offing the Offspring: It's heavily implied that he hopes Tyrion will get killed in one of the many dangerous tasks he assigns to him.
  • Oh Crap!: Despite his unflappable nature, Tywin has perhaps one of the greatest in fiction. When Tyrion catches him on the privy and shoots him when Tywin tries to call his bluff. Tywin barely reacts when he's initially ambushed, but he is absolutely shocked once he's struck. He dies freaking out, blood gushing from the crossbow bolt in his groin while his dwarf son taunts him and leaves him in the dark.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: The only time Tywin expresses worry and doubt is when Joffrey makes a foolish outburst that shows he idealizes Robert. Tyrion actually notes how bad it is when Tywin turns away from him and stares out a window.
    • And earlier in AGOT, when he learns that Robb Stark tricked him and used the diversion to capture his son and heir, Jaime. Tywin has a rare explosion of anger in front of Tyrion, Kevan and all of his chief bannermen.
    Tywin: They have my son... (the lords in the tent argue over strategy until...) THEY HAVE MY SON!
  • Out-Gambitted: It doesn't usually happen to him, but a notable one happens at the Battle of the Green Fork. Tywin sets up his force and plans for the left flank to break; he thinks that Robb Stark will be green enough to see this and over-commit, and then Tywin's reserve force can flank him. However, Tywin is Outgambitted on two counts: Roose Bolton is actually the commander of the Northern force, and he doesn't fall for it, and more importantly, Robb isn't even there—the entire attack is a diversion while Jaime's force is destroyed by Robb himself. In a particularly delicious irony, Robb himself uses the same sort of tactic in his own battle to successfully capture Jaime.
  • Papa Wolf: He's very protective towards Jaime and Cersei, even believing the latter's claim that she organised the defense of King's Landing during the siege of Stannis. Never to Tyrion. If he ever does do anything to protect Tyrion, it's only for the sake of defending the honor of the family name.
  • Parental Favoritism: Greatly prefers Jaime and Cersei to Tyrion. The fact that his relationship with Jaime and Cersei is cold at best shows just how badly he mistreats and disregards Tyrion, although generally he favors whichever of his children is most obedient to him. He was thrilled with Jaime until Jaime joined the Kingsguard behind his back (which threw a wrench into most of Tywin's plans, since it meant that he couldn't marry anyone or inherit Casterly Rock). Since then, he's been focused on trying to talk Jaime into quitting the Kingsguard, and disowns him completely when Jaime finally makes it clear that that is never, ever going to happen, despite the fact that that would force Tyrion to the front of the line.
    • Nevertheless, he acknowledges Tyrion's acumen enough to name him acting Hand of the King. Jaime had just been captured and Cersei has proven ineffective in controlling Joffrey, so Tyrion's status rises somewhat. When Tywin takes over the position of Hand, he doesn't hesitate to put both his children in their place.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Tywin is known to almost never smile, his wedding day and when Tarbeck Hall came crashing down being rare exceptions.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: So pragmatic that how "villainous" he is is one of the most debated questions in the fandom. He acts as a very competent Hand to both crazy kings he served under, though he is quite ruthless. His pragmatism shows following the Red Wedding, when he offers pardons to the Northern and Riverlands houses who bend the knee, whereas Joffrey wants all rebellious houses exterminated.
    • Although while pragmatic he has no problem releasing every Psycho for Hire he can get his hands on loose across the land. Sure he he is magnanimous but he knows that people like the Mountain's men or the Brave Companions are gonna bring more than their share of pointless sadism and the Frey and the Boltons are more tyrans than pragmatic rulers like him. It's easy to be reasonable when everyone who is not is in your pocket.
  • Selective Obliviousness:
    • Absolutely cannot, or will not, see Tyrion's full value. Most characters, even those who acknowledge Tyrion's cunning, underestimate him because he's a dwarf. Even so, this is Tywin's one major weakness, and the thing that eventually gets him killed.
    • Generally believed to have been blind to Jaime and Cersei's incest.
    • He regards the lives his children live as failures, not realizing, how his own actions helped to shape them those ways.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: When Tyrion was born, Aerys' toadies and other critics of Tywin called the dwarf baby and the loss of his wife as a lesson from the gods to teaching Tywin humility. Tyrion was even called Tywin's Bane. Years of self-loathing, downright evil abuse later, Tyrion indeed becomes his father's bane when he brutally kills him.
  • Solid Gold Poop: It is joked that he produces this, the Lannisters being as rich as they are. Becomes a Brick Joke later. (Yes, seriously.)
  • The Starscream: He was the Mad King's Hand, but after their relationship became strained due to multiple slights Tywin resigned from his post and finally betrayed him during Robert's Rebellion. The Lannisters remained neutral until the Battle of the Trident, when Tywin's troops marched to King's Landing and Grand Maester Pycelle convinced Aerys that the Lannisters had answered his call to arms and were there to help. After the Mad King opened the gates, Lannister forces began sacking the city.
  • The Stoic: A Tyrion chapter notes that Tywin never, ever smiles. He is perpetually grim, and seems to be immune to surprise. Cersei claims that she and her mother were the only people Tywin ever smiled at.
  • Straight Edge Evil: He is a hardworking man of great dedication and discipline, and the joke about him shitting gold is not only a reference to his vast wealth, but also to him seeming too perfect to defecate like ordinary people. It turns out that, not only does he not shit gold, but he will use whores himself, despite berating Tyrion for it. It is even hinted that the "previous Hand" that used secret passages to visit brothels in secret was Tywin himself.
  • The Strategist: His one mistake of underestimating Robb Stark in their first clash notwithstanding, Tywin is very good at this, and is greatly feared as a battle commander. In some ways, he is the finest example in the series. Unlike Robb, he builds the alliances and conducts the diplomacy to gain any possible advantage. And it works.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: The Mad King ordering Jaime to kill Tywin was the last straw which lead to his infamous kingslaying. Tywin, in turn, had Prince Rhaegar's family murdered. This act still haunts Jaime's dreams.
  • Too Clever by Half: His kids had to get it from somewhere, after all. It's less obvious with Tywin, because he's genuinely very good at playing the game of thrones, to the point where even his backup plans have backup plans of their own. Nevertheless, his downfall comes from the one quarter he never expected: His supposedly spineless, weak-willed dwarven disappointment of a son Tyrion, who he assumes will once again be cowed into submission simply because that's how it's always played out in the past. Except it doesn't this time, and Tyrion pulls the trigger.
  • Undignified Death: Being shot in the groin by your dwarf son with a crossbow while on the crapper (and crapping as you die) is a pretty undignified way to go, especially for someone like Tywin. The dead prostitute found in his bed makes it even worse. His body stinks to high heaven when laid in state and is an ugly sight for everyone.
  • The Unfettered: Ruthless as can be.
  • Unknown Rival: Tywin secretly bedding whores is one thing, but bedding Tyrion's mistress puts a whole new spin on their relationship.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Not 'sweet' as such, but his siblings have fonder memories of Tywin before Joanna's death. His role in restoring the prestige of their House is also respected.
  • Villain Ball: He just had to keep calling Tyrion's wife a whore despite Tyrion holding a crossbow in his face.
  • The Villain Sucks Song: "The Rains of Castamere", narrated from the perspective of the Reynes of Castamere, who along with the Tarbecks of Tarbeck Hall rebelled against his rule. It ends with him killing them all. Tywin loves hearing it. His enemies don't.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Although he is feared, it is widely accepted he was a good Hand under Aerys II, ensuring peace and stability for the Seven Kingdoms. He is also careful not to stain his own hands, letting the shame of besmirching the ancient laws of hospitality during the Red Wedding fall on the Freys, even though he was one of the core orchestrators. However, even this reputation fades as time goes on as many people of King's Landing have never forgiven him for leading the climactic sacking of the city at the conclusion of Robert's Rebellion and Jaime notes at his father's funeral that the number of mourners are very few because people had little love for him.
    • Even this gets deconstructed. A good part of his work was to dismantle Aegon V's pro-smallfolk reforms, which did, indeed, make him popular among the nobility, but few smallfolk ever liked him.
  • We Used to Be Friends: A Dance With Dragons reveals that Tywin and Aerys were once close friends, but fell out once Aerys' jealousy and madness got the best of him. It's further expanded upon in The World of Ice & Fire where Tywin was a page in the Red Keep and grew up with Aerys and Steffon Baratheon as friends.
  • When He Smiles: Played with. As mentioned above, he has not smiled in recent memory, but Tyrion is present on several occasions when Tywin almost smiles, but instead of being a heartwarming moment, the look is described as "terrible", probably because the context suggests it would be a Slasher Smile. The only time a true smile appears on Tywin's face is after he has been killed, and even then the maesters say the smile is not genuine, and is only a tightening of the facial muscles as the body starts to decompose.
  • Worthy Opponent: A villain from the Starks perspective especially, but a very impressive and competent one.
  • Would Hurt a Child: As long as it benefits him. He certainly seemed to have no qualms over the murder of Rhaegar's children.
    • Only Tyrion didn't inherit this quality from Tywin.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Given that this is a medieval fantasy setting where everything, especially communications and troop movements, require several days (at minimum) to happen, it's debatable whether he qualifies for this. However, it is certain that his being outmaneuvered by Robb Stark in their first clash, while a very serious blow, did not stop him from regaining control of the situation. It should also be noted that any decent battle commander would need to be quite good at this to get anywhere, and he is greatly feared and very experienced.
  • Young and in Charge: He was the youngest Hand of the King in the history of Westeros, coming to power at age 20!!!
  • Young Conqueror: He was approximately eighteen or so when he put an end to the Tarbecks and the Reynes.

     Lady Joanna Lannister 

Lady Joanna Lannister


Daughter of Jason Lannister and his second wife Marla Prester. Was Tywin's cousin and wife and mother of Cersei, Jaime, and Tyrion. Died giving birth to her son Tyrion.
  • All There in the Manual: Certain details about her are only found in The World of Ice And Fire.
  • The Consigliere: She was Tywin's chief and most trusted advisor.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: She was one of only two people Tywin ever smiled at (the other being his daughter Cersei) and it's noted that he was never the same after her death.
  • Death by Childbirth: She died giving birth to Tyrion, something Tywin absolutely loathes him for.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Averted, as all of her children are all quite messed up, and the father they have is cold and distant at best to them.
    • Cersei was bitter at her mother for separating hers and Jamie's rooms after she caught them at their "experiment"; while Tyrion was too young to remember her, and didn't reminisce about her.
  • Dream Sequence: Jaime has a nightmare wherein he encounters his mother (implied to be her actual ghost) who laments the terrible state of her family after Tywin's death.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Spent some portion of her life at Court in the company of Rhaella and Aerys Targaryen, the Princess of Dorne (mother of Doran, Elia, and Oberyn), and most likely others.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With the Princess of Dorne when they were the ladies-in-waiting of Princess Rhaella.
  • The High Queen: Although not a Queen (a powerful lady instead), she otherwise seemed to have fit the trope.
  • Lady-in-Waiting: She served as one of Queen Rhaella's ladies for several years, although she was dismissed shortly after her wedding to Tywin, possibly because of the "liberties" Aerys took with her during the bedding ceremony. That, or there is some truth in the rumours about her under the The Mistress entry below.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: She had discovered Cersei and Jaime's "experiments" as children, and separated them in rooms on different ends of Casterly Rock. She told both of them never to do that again. She also never told Tywin about this.
  • The Lost Lenore: To Tywin, as per his brother Kevan and sister Genna.
  • Kick the Dog: She was the "dog" once. When she went to King's Landing to attend the anniversary tourney held to celebrate Aerys' tenth year on the throne, Aerys insulted Joanna by asking her if giving suck had ruined her breasts. Tywin, who was also present, was angered and tried to resign as Hand of the King the next day, but Aerys refused.
  • Kissing Cousins: She was Tywin's first cousin.
  • Missing Mom: Became this upon her death. In-universe (and out), some would wonder What Could Have Been if she had lived to have a say in her children's upbringing.
  • The Mistress: There are rumours about Joanna having given her maidenhead to Prince Aerys the night of Jaehaerys' coronation, and had reigned shortly as Aerys' paramour, after he ascended the throne himself. Grand Maester Pycelle insists these are only rumors, not truths. Then again, since this is Pycelle we're talking about...
    • It should also be noted that Joanna and Tywin were wedded a year after Aerys was crowned (and Tywin appointed Hand of the King).
  • Morality Chain: To Tywin. As noted by many characters, he became more ruthless after her death. The best part of Tywin died with her.
  • Posthumous Character: Long dead by the time the series begins.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Was implied to be this. It's mentioned that Tywin ruled the Seven Kingdoms as Aerys's Hand, but was ruled at home by his lady wife.

     Queen Cersei Lannister* 

     Ser Jaime Lannister* 

     Tyrion Lannister* 

Tyrion Lannister, Acting Hand of the King, Master of Coin

The Imp, Halfman, Demon Monkey, Giant of Lannister, The Boyman, Lord Tywin's Doom, Hugor Hill, Yollo, No-Nose

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge."

The last and least son of Tywin and Joanna Lannister, Tyrion is a deformed dwarf nicknamed "the Imp." Many scorn him for his hideous appearance and his father Tywin considers him an embarrassment to the perfectionist Lannisters. Despite this, Tyrion is the most compassionate and genuinely heroic of his family. He is also extremely smart and cunning like his father Tywin, but his family never appreciates what he does (except for Jaime). Tyrion is a favorite of author George R. R. Martin.
  • 0% Approval Rating: What the commons, particularly in King's Landing, call him (not just behind his back) basically says it all, really. The Imp. The Halfman. The Demon Monkey. Heck, just calling him "The Dwarf" is positivity cheery by comparison. Granted, he wasn't helped by the tax on whorehouses being accounted solely his fault or every last one of his sister's and nephew's mistakes being placed at his door during his time as Hand. Let alone his own acid tongue dumping him in it. Will probably go down in Westerosi folklore as an Evil Uncle, Kinslayer and Kingslayer, as well, just to top things off. One out of three actually being so ain't bad.
    • By the time of The Winds of Winter he's even the subject of a play called The Bloody Hand in which he's depicted as a Card-Carrying Villain in the vein of Richard III
  • Action Survivor: He does take up a weapon at some points (he seems to prefer an axe, which almost certainly is a reference to the kind of dwarfs more commonly found in fantasy novels), but because of his stature he normally does his best to just stay out of the way.
  • Agent Scully: Despite or because of being well versed in ancient lore, Tyrion is shown on several occasions to be extremely skeptical of manifestations of magic returning to the world. It's implied, especially where dragons are concerned, that as in other aspects of his life, he used to believe but had his idealism crushed.
  • The Alcoholic: From the start, Tyrion is well-known for his drunken escapades with outlaws and prostitutes. The alcoholism, which is already standard for the current line of Lannisters, only gets worse as the stress of his situation keeps weighing down on him.
  • Alliterative Name: Hugor Hill, the alias he travels under in Essos.
  • An Axe to Grind: Has never handled an axe before the series starts, but makes good use of one in the Vale and the Battle of the Blackwater.
  • Anti-Hero: Originally a Pragmatic Hero, complete with snark and some darker moments, but ultimately performing good deeds even though bad ones may have suited him better. After discovering the truth about his estranged wife Tysha, he starts becoming darker.
  • Anti-Villain: While very sympathetic on a personal level, many of his actions throughout the first part of the series help further the cause of House Lannister, and therefore tighten Joffrey's grip on the throne.
  • Arc Words: As of A Dance with Dragons, Tyrion is haunted by his father's Famous Last Words: "Wherever whores go."
    • More pertinent for Tyrion's whole storyline is a phrase earlier posed to him by Varys: "A very small man can cast a very large shadow." Moqorro's prophecy similarly mentions Tyrion with a very big shadow, as does the narration in Jon's chapter encountering Tyrion.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When he volunteers to lead a sortie during the Battle of the Blackwater. Most of the soldiers gathered are more disposed to laugh off the idea, but he shuts them all down.
    Tyrion: They say I'm half a man. What does that make the lot of you?
  • Arranged Marriage: With Sansa. While he's uncomfortable with it (not least due to Tywin's demanding that he deflower a barely-pubescent girl) he does initially hold out some hope that perhaps they could eventually have a marriage of at least friendship if not actual love. When he realizes this isn't going to happen either, he descends further into bitterness.
  • Badass Boast: As part of his attempt to manipulate Cersei prior to the battle of King's Landing.
    Tyrion: I have never liked you, Cersei, but you were my own sister, so I never did you harm. You've ended that. I will hurt you for this. I don't know how yet, but give me time. A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you'll know the debt is paid.
  • Badass Bookworm: While not a scholar, he's very intelligent and is fond of reading, and despite his lack of size and training proves very capable whenever he's forced into battle.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: Like father, like son. Hand him any job in administration, however slight it seems... and he will excel at it. From the sewers and drainage in Casterly Rock, to the defence of King's Landing as Hand. And, even when you try shoving him in a position he's not comfortable with, he'll study up and quickly get to grips with it: hello, Master of Coin (it didn't take him long to start twigging that Littlefinger had been up to something bigger than it looked on paper). It's a real pity that his father has a habit of yoinking any position away from him just as he's started to make a real mark on it... Jealousy, much?
  • Battle of Wits: Note to anybody getting into one of these with Tyrion — you'll wind up hurting. Usually much more than he will, no matter how much better you might consider yourself to be at winning the Game. He uses his wits as his main methods of both attack and defence, and you've just engaged him in his natural environment. More fool you.
  • Berserk Button:
    • He has angry — but fairly calm — reactions to anyone talking crap about or attempting to abuse Shae. But he completely loses his shit whenever Joffrey mistreats Sansa, even going so far as to threaten to cut off Joffrey's dick in front of the entire court at Tyrion and Sansa's wedding. It's very clear that he doesn't love Sansa, but given everything that his family has done to hers, he seems to want to at the very least keep her safe.
    • Shae gives false testimony against Tyrion at his trial, claiming he'd boasted of his plans murder King Joffrey, and humiliating him further by claiming Tyrion insisted on being called the "giant of Lannister" (actually Shae's pet name for Tyrion). When Tyrion finds Shae in his father's bed she makes the fatal mistake of using this pet name again — Tyrion responds by choking her to death.
    • When he finds out that his former wife Tysha was not a whore, and that his father tricked him, Tywin referring to her as a whore becomes this to him. It only takes two mentions of her as a whore for Tyrion to kill his father via crossbow bolt to the bowels.
  • Big Brother Worship: Worships his elder brother because he treated him like a brother instead of a Black Sheep, and because Jaime is everything Tyrion is not — handsome, fearless, loved by his father and sister, capable of inspiring loyalty in those under him. This all comes crashing down when Jaime confesses that he lied about Tysha being a whore, although Tyrion still harbours some mixed feelings towards him.
  • Black Sheep: His character is used to play with this and White Sheep. He's initially portrayed as the one decent member of a family of amoral, over-privileged villains, unfairly treated by them as an embarrassing misfit. As we learn more about the other members of his family, and as the plot pushes him toward making uglier and more cynical choices, the picture becomes more complex.
  • Book Worm: His words say it best and are an ode to/ battle-cry for bookworms everywhere:
    Tyrion: My brother has his sword, King Robert has his warhammer and I have my mind... and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge.
  • Butt Monkey: His immediate family all treat him callously, with the exception of Jaime and Uncle Kevan.
  • Byronic Hero: Is getting increasingly mean-spirited as the series goes on.
  • Cadre of Foreign Bodyguards: Sort of. While the clansmen of the Mountains of the Moon who make up Tyrion's own personal guard are from the Vale, they've never acknowledged the rule of the Iron Throne.
  • Characterization Marches On: He's introduced doing an acrobatic leap off a gargoyle, which Martin has said is an artifact of his original ideas for the character. Soon afterward, he's firmly established as someone with few physical strengths, who must rely almost purely on his wits. Although interestingly, in the fifth book we learn that he has some tumbling skills learned when he was younger, and could walk on his hands along the length of a table—until Tywin found out about it.
    • It's also stated that Jaime was the only member of his family who treated him decently. Later comments show that Tyrion liked all of his uncles (though only Kevan is now alive) because they were kind to him, though this attitude could be justified by his father's attitude casting such a large shadow.
  • The Chessmaster: In most works of fiction, he'd count as a full-fledged Magnificent Bastard. The standards of Westeros, however, are much higher, although Tyrion still has his shining moments.
  • Convicted by Public Opinion: When Tyrion is accused of murdering Joffrey, it doesn't take much evidence to convince the majority of people of his guilt due to his hideous appearance and evil reputation.
  • Cyanide Pill: He steals some poisonous mushrooms from Illyrio's gardens in case of capture or suicidal impulse. Its implied he used one of these mushrooms to poison Nurse, the slave overseer of Yezzan zo Qaggaz.
  • The Cynic: While he's hardly an optimist early in the series, he becomes this more and more after murdering his father.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Tyrion can't stop snarking, even when it's not very appropriate, and it lands him in serious trouble. On the occasions he does manage to exert enough self-control to vaguely bottle it in, he's a premier First-Person Smartass to make up for it.
  • Depraved Dwarf: Subverted. Though this is what he is widely believed to be, he is actually a generally decent and honorable person (despite a few moments of cruelty and a penchant for boozing and whoring).
  • Despair Event Horizon: Learning that Tysha really did love him, after years of thinking she was paid whore. He is crushed to realize that Jaime kept this from him for so long and has a falling out with the only member of his immediate family that he really loved. Then, still reeling from this revelation, Tyrion murders both his father and ex-lover. In exile Tyrion sinks to new lows, becoming nihilistic, callous, and depressed; endlessly brooding about his misfortunes and how much he wants to hurt the people who hurt him. At one point he even contemplates suicide. Part of his arc in A Dance With Dragons is about trying to get himself out of this emotional abyss.
  • Deuteragonist: In a series of novels with more than a thousand named characters and more than thirty POV characters, Tyrion, Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen are the closest thing to main protagonists available in the books.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Tyrion heads to Tywin after his demotion from Hand to demand his birthright from him, not taking into consideration that he certainly did not accomplish what Tywin sent him to King's Landing for in the first place; he brought Shae to the capital even when Tywin expressly told him not to; he got into petty squabbles with Cersei instead of placating her like he was supposed to, causing the city to be utterly unprepared for the battle that Tywin had to later salvage because, as a matter of fact, they were losing it. Then, even after almost losing King's Landing to Stannis, Tyrion comes to Tywin to claim Casterly Rock even when he failed on Tywin's eyes. Even though it wasn't entirely Tyrion's fault (as Cersei did little more than sit on her hands), Tywin indeed had put the task on Tyrion and he fell short (no pun intended).
  • The Dog Bites Back: His murder of Tywin, which was payback for years of abuse, as well as arranging the rape of Tysha.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: He's genuinely fond of Sansa and tries to protect her after they're married, even striking idle conversation with her to make her feel more comfortable. Sansa, however, is mistrustful and cold towards him since he's a Lannister.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Feels this after the Battle of Blackwater. He was largely responsible for helping the Lannisters to defeat Stannis yet doesn't receive as much gratitude as he would like.
  • Enemy Mine: In Dance with Dragons, he intentionally seeks out an alliance of this sort with Daenerys Targaryen, united only by a common hatred of his family.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: When he finds out that Jaime knew the truth about Tysha.
  • Every Man Has His Price: Tyrion uses gold and his family name to buy loyalty (and sex), as he assumes no one will follow him or like him for any other reason. We discover in the course of the series that he can inspire loyalty and affection, but at this stage he seems unaware of it.
  • Evil Uncle: Subverted - everyone thinks he's this, but he's actually one of the more decent and honorable members of his family. Ironically, the two people who seem most capable of seeing his true character are his niece and nephew Tommen and Myrcella. In this aspect, he is very much like his own uncle Gerion (another subversion), though unlike him, he carries a great burden of spite and abuse.
  • Expy:
    • Disfigured, ugly, and a master-class player of the Game of Thrones despite those deficiencies, Tyrion is the (sorta) good guy version of Richard III.
    • He also has a lot in common with Jeanne "le Boiteuse" de Bourgogne, Philip VI's queen who ran the country while her husband was fighting in the Hundred Years' War. Both are very intelligent, love books, and are capable rulers, but due to their deformities, they get no thanks for it and are often Misblamed for things completely out of their control.
    • Also of the Emperor Claudius, specifically as portrayed in I, Claudius, who made up for being the runt of the litter in a powerful family by exercising his intellect through study — though Tyrion is far more personally involved in the game of thrones than Claudius ever was.
  • Facial Horror: He spends most of the books without his nose
  • Failed a Spot Check: during his second trial, Tyrion notes that there are six members of the Kingsguard helping with crowd control. Unless Lord Commander Jaime Lannister was demoted (unlikely, given Lannister nepotism) or Ser Arys Oakheart magically got home from Dorne, this sixth member must be Jaime, but Tyrion never makes this connection.
  • Famed In-Story: Well notorious more like. But not even two years after his exile from Westeros, he's become notorious in Westeros and parts of Essos. A play on his adventures and misdeeds, "The Bloody Hand", in the style of Richard III, is performed in Braavos many of the dialogues quote his speeches from his trial.
  • Foreshadowing: Having been told that he shouldn't bring the whore with him to King's Landing should have clued Tyrion that Tywin probably knew of Shae and was aware that she was a whore; this was somewhat confirmed when Tyrion found Tywin and Shae sharing a bed, and suggests that they knew each other from before.
  • The Four Loves: What he is deficient of. He is consistently broken by the fact that nearly everyone who he thought would stand by him desert him to pursue their own interests. It finally came to a head in book 3 when he rejected his brother Jaime, the last person who truly loves him.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Tyrion is one of the few characters in this world of Medieval Stasis who tries to invent anything new. Among his inventions are saddle for paraplegic people and an anti-ship defense in the form of a great chain.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: During the Battle of the Blackwater, Tyrion gets a massive scar across his face and even loses most of his nose. Despite being the nicest and among the most heroic of all the Lannisters, most people in the setting believe Beauty Equals Goodness, so the disfigurement only serves to make them distrust and hate him even more.
  • The Grotesque: Even his own descriptions paint him as incredibly ugly, with mismatched eyes and stunted limbs. He becomes even more deformed after the Battle of the Blackwater, where he receives a hideous scar and loses half his nose.
  • Guile Hero: He's a Chess Master, with no physical prowess but plenty of brains to keep himself going, and one of the least villainous Lannisters.
  • He's Back: After wallowing in self-pity and learned helplessness in ASOS, and drunken self-loathing in the first half of ADWD, Tyrion masterminds their escape from a slave camp, talks a sellsword company over to his cause, and is last seen plotting their defection to Daenarys.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Like most of the characters in the series he's pretty morally ambiguous, but thanks to the beliefs of everyone around him he never gets any credit for his heroic actions while being frequently blamed for crimes he didn't commit. For instance, while being acting Hand of the King, he's blamed for Joffrey's unpopular edicts while getting no credit for his actions for the benefit of the city. This only becomes worse after being falsely accused Joffrey's death. After being sentenced to die, he gets released from prison but before escaping, he decides to commit a real crime and kills two people on his way out, one of them is his father. This makes him the most wanted man in Westeros and permanently tarnishes his reputation.
  • Honest Advisor: In a world of hedge knights, Tyrion may as well get called a hedge half-maester. He fulfils the role, despite his lack of a chain, both officially (as Hand and Master of Coin) and unofficially (to anybody, anywhere at any time). If there's a problem, he's likely to spot it and point it out... as well as give a list of possible solutions — sometimes, with diagrams (Bran's modified saddle). He has wide knowledge-base with which to bolster his opinion and accuracy — and, tends to be upfront and on the level (more or less), even if he dislikes the person he's trying to make see reason (he might withhold aspects, but he doesn't tend to outright warp what he sees as the truth into downright lies — agenda or not). However, his cutting humour, tendency to act The Jester when faced with towering idiocy and the often unwanted nature of his advice comes back to repeatedly bite him.
  • In-Series Nickname: The Imp. Also "Halfman" and "Demon Monkey". He has many nicknames.
  • Hypocrite: While genuinely sympathetic and mistreated (and a good mate to any he commits himself to), the fact is Tyrion wants gorgeous young women like Shae and Sansa to look past his undesirable appearance to appreciate him as a mate, while Tyrion himself won't tolerate an unattractive mate. It's implied that he only chooses attractive prostitutes when he goes out whoring, specifically orders Bronn to bring him an attractive whore when he first gets Shae (and Tyrion scrutinizes her appearance when he first sees her, prepared to send her back if she isn't pretty enough), and shudders at the idea of marrying Lollys, who isn't ugly so much as plump, plain, and "soft in the head."
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tyrion isn't the nicest guy around, but he tries to keep his family and bride happy.
  • Kill It with Fire: How Tyrion destroys Stannis' fleet during the Battle of the Blackwater.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: The cold-blooded killing of his father is pretty brutal, but his victim is such an unlikable character that it's hard not for many readers to cheer him on.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Though Tywin would rather die than admit it. Lampshaded by Tywin's sister Genna, when Jaime attempts to offer reassurances by casting himself as his father's son. His aunt replies that Jaime is many things, but Tywin's true son is Tyrion. True to the above statement, when she told Tywin that, he refused to speak to her for six months. This itself is a Meaningful Echo of one of Tyrion's first lines: "All dwarfs are bastards" (illegitimate) "in their father's eyes."
  • Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Subverted, then double subverted. He had actually found it with Tysha, the first girl he loved. He was lead to believe this wasn't the case however thanks to Lord Tywin. He then tries to recreate the experience with Camp Follower Shae; as she's Only in It for the Money, she betrays him once it's in her interest to do so.
  • The Lost Lenore: His first wife Tysha, even when he thought she was a whore, the revelation that she was an innocent who genuinely loved him made her even moreso for Tyrion, who is haunted by her horrific fate and the possibility that she is still alive someplace out of reach.
  • Lovable Rogue: Tyrion might be an oversexed alcoholic who's not above manipulating or inflicting pain, but he's shrewd, educated, and has great sympathy for fellow outcasts and mistreated, making him one of the most popular characters of the series.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Became infamous in Westeros for seemingly knowing every brothel possible. Then again, this sex drive all started because of what happened with Tysha.
  • Love Hurts: He's had some horrific romantic experiences.
  • Made a Slave: In A Dance With Dragons, though he eventually manipulates his circumstances so that he ends up freed... with a sellsword company at his back, to boot.
  • Morality Pet: When Tyrion appears to be going off the rails in A Dance with Dragons, his need to protect the life and feelings of fellow dwarf, Penny, stops him from doing so. Go on, pick on her: he'll make you pay.
  • My Greatest Failure: How he regards his betrayal of his wife, Tysha, who truly loved him. He hates himself for listening to the lies of Jaime and his Father and participating in her gang rape which Tywin ordered but which he blames himself for as well.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: As revealed in The World of Ice and Fire, Tyrion II "the Tormentor" was a king of the pre-conquest westerlands who "enjoyed making women bleed". Tywin likely named Tyrion after him out of spite for killing Joanna in childbirth.
  • Noble Fugitive: Forced to go on the run in Essos after being convicted for killing Joffrey, escaping the Red Keep, and killing his father.
  • No Respect Guy: Tyrion is simply one of the most talented people on the Lannister side, a superb administrator, a cunning player of the Game of Thrones and even an outright Bad Ass in battle. Yet no-one save for a few people, least of all their father, gives him any credit for anything. During his time as Hand he does much to try to improve the situation in King's Landing, but winds up getting the blame for the problems he's trying to fix instead, and none of the credit for things he does get to fix, just because he's a dwarf. His practically saves King's Landing single-handed at the Battle of the Blackwater, but only receives any credit for coming up with the strategy to block the river with a giant chain.
  • No True Scotsman: Fellow dwarf Penny points out that Tyrion doesn't behave like a real dwarf in that where most dwarfs have to be careful around "the big people" and avoid antagonizing them, Tyrion has too much Pride and speaks and acts like one of them. Tyrion for his part concedes that his father refused to allow him to interact with other dwarfs growing up:
    "It seems I have much to learn about being a dwarf".
  • The Noseless: Tyrion gets his nose hacked off during the Battle of the Blackwater.
  • Not Helping Your Case: His lack of tact is one of his major weaknesses, and his inability to resist making snarky jibes at inopportune times costs him, most notably when he is on trial for murdering Joffrey.
    Tywin: You have a certain cunning, Tyrion, but the plain truth is you talk too much.
    • For the first time in his life, Tyrion's father puts him in a position of power and responsibility. Tyrion does well, but gets so caught up in his conflict with Cersei that he threatens her son to protect a whore she's holding hostage, thus hitting one of Tywin's Berserk Buttons.
  • Not So Above It All:
    • Killing his own father brought him enormous pain and he dedicates most of the time henceforth getting plastered silly until necessity and the blunt force of the reality around him forces him to climb out of the funk.
    • He falsely confesses to Jaime that he indeed killed Joffrey just out of sheer spite and even deems him to have sunk at the level of Cersei; he later comes to regret this.
  • N-Word Privileges: Tyrion doesn't like being called "Halfman" or "The Imp", but accepts it from Bronn and Shagga as they're the closest things he has for friends.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: In spite of being a human with a medical condition rather than a fantasy dwarf, he manages to nail most of the traits perfectly. Short, drinks heavily, wears a beard (at least on occasion), prefers axes and crossbows, obsesses over gold and legacy (his claim to Casterly Rock), likes technology, short-tempered, holds grudges like no-one's business and, in what must be a deliberate Shout-Out to The Hobbit, at one point gets smuggled past a guard in a barrel.
    • Needless to say each of this trait, is justified, Played With and deconstructed. His preference of axe and crossbows comes in as a result of Combat Pragmatism due to his short height, his obsession over his legacy to Casterly Rock is sorely because it is his by birthright but not recognized by society and family, his sense of self-loathing and ableist prejudice means that it is only his wealth that gives him any kind of leverage, as for holding grudges, he is on a personal level generous but people keep stabbing him and mistreating him all his life, and he wouldn't be human if it didn't get to him eventually.
  • Patricide: Not that most readers would get on his case for it. Most of Westeros is a different matter.
  • The Peter Principle: When not outright trying to get him killed as indirectly as possible while still being fairly obvious about it, his father is less than subtle in trying to invoke this trope on him by throwing him in dangerous (or just really tedious) positions. So far, it hasn't worked as planned for Tywin; again and again Tyrion proves he has managerial skills. Leaving Tywin having to fall back on exaggerating perceived failures as an excuse to prove him incompetent.
  • Portent of Doom: Tyrion's birth was regarded as a punishment from the gods for Tywin's arrogance in regarding himself as greater than a king, portending the doom of the realm and the fall of Lord Tywin. Tywin being the upstanding kind father that he is, ensures that this becomes a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, culminating in Patricide.
    • Later while travelling on a ship together, Tyrion meets the Red Priest Moqorro who gives Tyrion a hint of what awaits him in the coming books:
    Moqorro: Dragons old and young, true and false, bright and dark. And you. A small man with a big shadow, snarling in the midst of it all.
  • Prank Date: Horrifyingly subverted, when Tywin had the whole garrison gang-rape Tyrion's date Tysha. Except it wasn't a Prank Date at all. Tywin was angry at his son's actions and wanted to punish him so he forced Jaime to lie that Tysha was a whore. Jaime's admitting this seems to shatter their bond, as Tyrion realizes that the one person he's always trusted has also lied to him.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Given his considerable wit and morally ambiguous nature, he's rather fond of delivering these.
    • During the Battle of the Green Fork, he is nearly killed by a soldier who keeps screaming "Die!" but is luckily able to put his axe through the man's skull:
    "You die." Tyrion told him, and he did.
    • This gem from The Battle of the Blackwater:
    "Those are brave men. Let's go kill them."
    • When he kills Tywin.
    Tywin: "You are no son of mine."
    Tyrion: Now that's where you're wrong, father. Why, I believe I'm you writ small. Do me a kindness now, and die quickly. I have a ship to catch.
    • After he grows tired of the abusive and cold-blooded Nurse, Tyrion slips him some poison mushrooms in his food. As he dies, the slavedriver gets this bit of wisdom.
    "A Lannister always pays his debts."
  • Pride: Whatever else you might say of him, Tyrion is very much a Lannister in this regard.
  • Put on a Bus: He's one of the characters who doesn't appear at all in A Feast For Crows, which given his popularity resulted in some unhappy readers.
  • Replacement Goldfish: After being told the girl he'd fallen for was a prostitute, Tyrion spends the next few years losing himself in hedonism, convinced that a woman would only love him for his gold. He falls in love with Camp Follower Shae with tragic consequences as the amoral Shae turns against Tyrion the moment it's in her interest to do so. Then it turns out that Tysha, his first love was never a prostitute to begin with.
  • Sanity Slippage: Starts going into this after the Trauma Conga Line at the end of A Storm of Swords. In A Dance with Dragons he is in serious depression and contemplates suicide with considerable interest.
  • The Scapegoat: His tenure as Hand was not well-received despite all his efforts that saved King's Landing. He got blamed for the famine in the city caused by the Tyrells.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Eventually, Jaime admitted that poor Tysha was not a prostitute, but rather everything she seemed and cared for him genuinely. Tyrion, as you can see, was not amused and confronted Tywin on it. With a crossbow. And found a naked Shae in Tywin's chambers.
  • Shaming the Mob: He does this during the Battle of the Blackwater when his soldiers are reluctant to charge into the wildfire-strewn battlefield:
    Tyrion: They say I'm half a man. What does that make the lot of you?
    • Also in the Eyrie, when he demands if this is how justice is done there, and argues his right to a trial.
  • Sherlock Scan: Starts exhibiting this in A Dance With Dragons. Upon meeting Griff, he instantly has suspicions about the man, whom it should be pointed out, Tyrion has probably never met in his life, as he was nine the last time Griff was famous. It could just be Tyrion being suspicious of anyone associated with Illyrio and Varys, but then again he's dropping veiled hints about "winged lions" within a couple of pages. He doesn't piece everything together until he gets some information out of Haldon during a game of cyvasse. Also seen with sellsword commander Ben Plumm; Daenerys trusts his friendly face and so is shocked by Plumm's later betrayal. Tyrion instantly sees through it, but his familiarity with Bronn probably helped.
  • Shout-Out: Tyrion has mismatched eyes, one green one black, as does Satan in The Master and Margarita.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Or, smart people play the people game while playing several games of cyvasse. Take your pick.
  • Talking Your Way Out: Since he's not fit for battle, Tyrion utilizes wit and a silver tongue to survive and get what he wants.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: After all the crap he goes through just because of what he looks like, this is probably forgivable. Subverted, at least when he says it. He claims to Jaime that he is "the monster they all say I am," and that he murdered Joffrey, but the latter isn't true, and while he has been lashing out at the people who have hurt him, his fundamentally decent nature hasn't changed. Thank you, Penny.
  • Too Clever by Half: There are times his scathing mouth ends up backfiring on him, such as when he's auctioned in a slave bazaar.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Progressively so, but most prominently in A Dance with Dragons especially in his treatment of prostitutes he engages, taking out his cruelty and self-loathing out on them, where he was earlier respectful to Alayaya.
  • Tragic Hero: And, happy to meander the whole scale rather than stick to just one section of it: both in anti-heroism and tragedy-comedy.
  • The Trickster: Ask anybody who has tried to box him in: it's a lot of hard work that rarely pays off as he will find a way to sneak out or otherwise turn the tables on them. Even if it bites him in some way to do so. Isn't that right, Catelyn Stark and Lysa Arryn? If you cross a line and hurt others needlessly in front of him, though, he will do his best to break out the full-scale Karmic Trickster schtick on you rather than just keeping his tricksome ways genial, low-key, reflexive and/or for personal survival, only. Just ask his sister. Or, Joffrey. Or, his dad.
  • Troll: Like Jaime, a lot of his problems are down to failures to control the impulse to verbal baiting.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Though not for the usual reasons.
  • The Un Favourite: Being an incredibly ugly dwarf along with his mother's death while birthing him has made Tyrion the last of the least to his father.
  • Unwanted Spouse: Largely to Sansa, who understandably despises him for being a Lannister, the main source of her family's fall from grace.
  • Villain Ball Magnet: There is no way anyone will see Tyrion as an okay person. His good deeds are either kept behind the scenes, attributed to others or swept under the rug.
  • Younger Than They Look: He's somewhere in his 20s, but looks considerably older.
  • You Talk Too Much: Lampshaded by his own father, who says it will be Tyrion's undoing. Sure enough at Tyrion's trial every snarky insult he made to King Joffrey is used as proof of his malign intent to murder the King. Joffrey pointing an accusing finger at Tyrion as he's dying doesn't help either — Tyrion had earlier hinted that he knew Joffrey had sent the hired dagger to kill Bran Stark. Joffrey presumably thought he was being poisoned out of revenge.

Kevan's Family

     Ser Kevan Lannister* 

Ser Kevan Lannister, Regent and Protector of the Realm

"When a dog goes bad, the fault lies with its master."

Second child of Tytos Lannister and Jeyne Marbrand. Married to Dorna Swyft, with whom he had four children (Lancel, twins Willem and Martyn, and Janei). Tywin's younger brother and right-hand man for many years, Kevan has, by choice, mostly lived his life in Tywin's shadow. He is known to be stolid and reliable, as opposed to coming across as particularly villainous, and in later books is revealed to be a pretty decent man. At the start of the series, he and Tywin are the only two remaining sons of Tytos Lannister, their younger brothers Tygett and Gerion both having predeceased them. They also have a sister, Genna, who married Emmon Frey, second son of Lord Walder.
  • Adult Fear: His son Willem is taken hostage and eventually murdered, which shakes him to the core.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: His POV chapter make him more sympathetic and show him trying to hold the realm together. Then Varys cruelly kills him and throws the fact that he's dying and dragging the realm down with him in his face.
  • Almighty Janitor: As a mere household knight, Kevan is lesser than a landed knight or a minor lord. As Tywin's dragon, however, he's one of the most powerful and influential men on the continent. And even on his own, years of service to a generous and rich brother has made him both very wealthy and given him the sort of connections that would let him be a serious thorn in anyone's side, if he felt like it.
  • Badass: Not seen in the series, but The World of Ice & Fire reveals he fought in the War of the Ninepenny Kings, and won his knighthood during the fighting in the Stepstones.
  • Big Brother Worship: No one in the entire series saw as much good in Tywin as Kevan.
    Tyrion: *Dumbfounded* ... You love him.
    Kevan: He is my brother.
  • Brutal Honesty: When it suits him. He outright tells Cersei she's a terrible ruler and an even worse mother, and he doesn't sugarcoat his conversations with Jaime, either. His POV shows him struggling to hide this trait while sitting in council with Mace Tyrell and Randyll Tarly, lest he piss either of them off.
  • The Con Within A Con: Varys kills him with a crossbow partly to make it seem like Tyrion killed him like he did with Tywin, and making it seem like the fugitive dwarf is still at Westeros when he's actually half a world away.
  • The Creon: Tyrion observes that he's too humble to ever take power of his own volition and is quite happy to do his brother's bidding. He realized early on he was a follower and could never match Tywin's leadership ability, but when he does get power thrust onto him and can't refuse it, he turns out to be quite competent in his own right.
  • The Dragon: To Tywin, along with the Mountain and Jaime.
  • Dragon Ascendant: After Tywin's death and Cersei's later disgrace he's made Lord Regent by Pycelle and Ser Harys Swyft.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: As Regent to Tommen.
  • Foil: He represents everything that Cersei doesn't respect and doesn't have. Common sense, loyalty, reliability, prudence, the actual ability to rule, kindness, humility and understanding how power actually works.
  • The Good Chancellor: When he takes over the Regency from Cersei, he immediately starts making progress towards fixing the mess she created. This does not end well for him.
  • Happily Married: He adores his wife. The only reason why the reader never encounters Dorna is not because Kevan has shut her away, but because he believes that she would hate the Royal Court due to her quiet and sensitive nature, and so they've arranged for her to stay at home with their younger children.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Tywin.
  • Heroic BSOD: When he learns that his son Willem has died. Tywin actually has to turn to Tyrion for counsel for a little while.
  • Irony: Upon Tywin's assassination, Kevan is summoned by Grand Maester Pycelle to become Lord Regent and Protector of the Realm for the child king Tommen I. This is a higher position than Tywin had ever accomplished for all his years of trouble and ambition. However, this power lasts Kevan about five minutes before Varys fills him with crossbow bolts.
  • Karmic Death: Kevan accepts Tywin's atrocities because he believes they are done for the good of the family/realm. Varys kills Kevan "for the children".
  • Knighting: He was knighted by his mentor, Ser Roger Reyne, after showing his worth on the battlefield during the War of the Ninepenny Kings.
  • A Match Made in Stockholm: The World of Ice & Fire reveals that this is how he met Dorna. Ser Harys Swyft could not pay back what he owed to House Lannister when Tywin sent Kevan to collect the debts of the Westerlands lords, so he had to give him Dorna as a hostage. Kevan and Dorna ended up falling in love and getting married.
  • Mentor Archetype: To make amends with House Reyne due to the ire at Genna's betrothed to the Freys, Tytos sent Kevan to Castamere to become Roger Reyne's squire; Reyne eventually knighted Kevan during the War of the Ninepenny Kings, though they found themselves in opposite sides when the Reynes and the Tarbecks rebelled against House Lannister.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: For all his decency shown in later books, Kevan doesn't object to his brother's command to Rape, Pillage, and Burn the Riverlands. "They will burn, my lord."
  • Nice to the Waiter: Nice to everybody, actually. Including Tyrion and other "undesirables". He actually shows surprise and concern when Tyrion suddenly shows up when everyone thought he was still Catelyn Stark's prisoner, while Tywin reacted as if he had just seen Tyrion an hour before. His last such act is to tell a boy who brought him a message to take shelter from the cold.
  • Noble Top Enforcer: Considerably more honorable and less ruthless than Tywin.
  • Not So Above It All: To Cersei's surprise.
    • What he sought on King's Landing was his deserved reward and he is right in challenge Cersei's capacity to rule. He had largely remained quiet due to Tywin's presence, but argued that his brother's intention had been always to send Cersei back to Casterly Rock. Cersei in response names Daven as Warden of the West just to spite him.
    • He is certainly not happy when he finds out that Cersei slept with Lancel.
  • Number Two: To Tywin, which is how he likes it.
  • Only Sane Man: He's picked up most of Tywin's wisdom but is not as ruthless as his brother. He's also one of the first people to call Cersei on her idiocy, demanding she give up her regency for the good of the realm. In A Dance with Dragons Varys invokes this trope, killing him because he is the only man left who can keep the Lannister regime from collapsing.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Several members of the Lannister family note his cold demeanor in AFFC when he realises just how much Tywin's offspring (and his own son) have screwed everything up.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: He is devastated after he learns of his son Willem's death at the hands of Rickard Karstark and his men.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Invoked by Kevan himself.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Kevan is a decent ruler and leader, who takes into account the problems of the realm and is more of a people person than his brother.
  • The Reliable One: Tywin's best source of counsel.
  • The Snark Knight: Cersei found this out the hard way. He pulled her up quite sharply and effectively on a number of her screw-ups, thanks. And, disabused her of the notion that he was blind to the whole incest thing quite backhandedly, if fairly politely.
  • The Squire: In his youth, he squired for Lord Roger Reyne, the Red Lion of Castamere.
  • Token Good Teammate: Even more than Tyrion.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Kevan just wants peace for the realm and for House Lannister to remain stable. After Tywin dies, Kevan is shown to take less extreme action.
  • Yes-Man: Subverted. Cersei thought he qualified because he followed his older brother, and believed she could easily push him around. To her surprise, it turned out that he followed Tywin because he thought Tywin was right most of the time, and was much more vocally critical towards Cersei. Averted in regards to Tyrion, like his sister Genna he fully understands that Tywin is wrong in his opinions of Tyrion and outright complimented him for his actions in the Battle of the Blackwater.

     Dorna Lannister 

Dorna Lannister (neé Swyft)

The daughter of Ser Harys Swyft, wife of Kevan and mother of Lancel, Martyn, Willem, and Janei. By Kevan's description of her she's the incarnation of Acceptable Feminine Goals and Traits.
  • A Match Made in Stockholm: The World of Ice & Fire reveals that is how Dorna met Kevan. Ser Harys Swyft could not pay back what he owed to House Lannister when Tywin sent Kevan to collect the debts of the Westerlands lords, so he had to give him Dorna as a hostage. Kevan and Dorna ended up falling in love and getting married.
  • The Ghost: She never appears in the series because she stays at home and would be out of place in King's Landing.
  • Innocent Flower Girl: Kevan mentions she loves flowers and that she would be miserable in the Deadly Decadent Court of King's Landing.
  • Proper Lady: She's the ideal Westerosi wife.

     Ser Lancel Lannister 

Ser/Lord Lancel Lannister

See the Faith of the Seven character page.

     Willem Lannister 

Willem Lannister

Second son of Kevan Lannister and Dorna Swyft, and twin to Martyn. A squire in host commanded by Jaime Lannister.
  • Arranged Marriage: Averted. Gawen Westerling tried to arrange a marriage between Willem - or Martyn - to Jeyne Westerling. Kevan refused because of Jeyne's mother lineage being nothing more than upjumped merchants.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Rickard Karstark kills him in his cell after Catelyn releases the Kingslayer for being the only Lannister nearby.
  • I Have Your Wife: Captured in the Whispering Wood and taken hostage to Riverrun along with his cousin Tion Frey.
  • The Squire

     Martyn Lannister 

Martyn Lannister

Third son of Kevan Lannister and Dorna Swyft, and twin to Willem. A squire in host commanded by Stafford Lannister.
  • Arranged Marriage: Averted. Gawen Westerling tried to arrange a marriage between Martyn - or Willem - to Jeyne Westerling. Kevan refused because of Jeyne's mother lineage being nothing more than upjumped merchants.
    • The trope might end up being played straight with him, as after his brother Lancel left his wife to join the Warrior's Sons, there was talk of having Martyn marry her and become the new Lord of Darry.
  • I Have Your Wife: Captured at the Battle of Oxcross.
  • Prisoner Exchange: Released by Rolph Spicer at Golden Tooth in exchange for the liberation of Robett Glover at Duskendale.

Tygett's Family

     Ser Tygett Lannister 

Ser Tygett Lannister


Fourth child of Tytos Lannister and Jeyne Marbrand. Was married to Darlessa Marbrand, with whom he had a son, Tyrek. He strived to escape his older brother's shadow by proving himself as a warrior, but never succeeded at surpassing him. Nevertheless, Tygett had a good relationship with his nephews Jaime and Tyrion. He died of a pox sometime before the events of the series.
  • Always Someone Better: He lived his whole life in Tywin's shadow, but was never able to surpass him in any respect. Their sister Genna notes that this "just made him angrier as the years went on."
  • Badass: Helped Tywin ruthlessly annihilate House Reyne and House Tarbeck. According to Genna Lannister, his skill with a sword is comparable to Jaime's.

     Tyrek Lannister 

Tyrek Lannister

Wet Nurse

Only child of Tygett Lannister and Darlessa Marbrand, he serves as a squire to King Robert Baratheon alongside his cousin Lancel.
  • Arranged Marriage: To Ermesande Hayford, who is only a baby but is the last member of House Hayford, which gives the Lannisters a claim to her houses lands. (No, there's no consummation, thank the gods. Though Tyrek does have to live with being called "Wet Nurse.")
  • In-Series Nickname: Other squires mock him as "Wet Nurse" for his marriage to Ermesande Hayford.
  • Never Found the Body: He was last seen during the riot in King's Landing, but unlike the other victims of the rioters, his body was never found, and the only trace of him was his riderless horse. Instantly Lady Ermesande became the woman who was widowed before she was weaned.
  • Regal Ringlets: Has long golden curls in his hair.
  • The Squire: The other Lannister cousin who serves as Robert's squire.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In-Universe and out. The other characters comment several times about how odd it is that his body never turned up, since the other victims of the riot were left where they were killed. The gold cloaks spend two books searching for him, and Ser Addam Marbrand wonders if he might be being held hostage, but dismisses the idea when no demands are made. Jaime at first thinks Tyrek is dead, reasoning that when Tyrek's killers realised who he was, they probably dumped him in the river to keep anyone from finding out, but later ponders if Varys might have something to do with his disappearance, since he didn't accompany the royal party that day, never warned anyone about the possibility of the riot even though he would have surely heard something through his spies, and that it would be easy for him to have arranged a riot to snatch a Lannister for some unknown purpose. The Fandom is similarly stumped because one fate has means but no motive, the other motive but no means. The reveal that Varys is supporting the Golden Company might mean that he is planning to use Tyrek to help "Aegon" gain control of Casterly Rock. Also Tyrek may be a witness to how Robert's bastards looked like him, but his "children" don't, which would further discredit the Lannister regime.

Gerion's family

     Gerion Lannister 

Gerion Lannister

Youngest child and fourth son of Tytos Lannister and Jeyne Marbrand. Had a bastard daughter, Joy Hill, by a woman named Briony. He rejected the game his brothers Kevan and Tygett played with comparing themselves to Tywin. Gerion was known for his laughter and daring attitude. Like his brothers Kevan and Tygett, he loved and appreciated the worth of his nephew Tyrion. He disappeared on a journey to the ruins of Valyria to recover the Lannister ancient Valyrian-steel sword Brightroar.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Likely served this role for Tywin.
  • Black Sheep: Of the offspring of Lord Tytos. He was witty, yet he was neither politically savvy nor warlike.
  • Cool Uncle: Tyrion and Jaime's favorite uncle.
  • Foil: The kids' more adventurous, youngest uncle that disappeared but might as well be alive for all we know? Hello again, Benjen Stark!
  • Never Found the Body: Well, not that looking on another continent with a blighted crater of doom would be at all easy...
  • Nice Guy: He somewhat doted on Tyrion. One of his nephew's favorite memories of him is Gerion placing Tyrion on a table and asking him to recite the Wonders of the World, then honestly praising his intelligence.
  • Parental Substitute: Judging from Tyrion's memory of his uncle, Gerion seems to have been more of a father to him than Tywin.
  • Posthumous Character: Officially dead for a good decade and no one knows what happened to him after sailing to Valyria, though it's fair to point out that he did sail to a literal Hell on Earth and that is about as close to dead as anyone can measure in the world of ASOIAF.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: He was this among his family. Impressive, given his eldest brother's extreme hatred of jokes and laughter.
  • The Smart Guy: Maybe a touch Too Clever by Half, too. He could have done with a touch more preparation (and, human psychology) when trying to pull a Walk into Mordor.
  • Walk into Mordor: Attempted but failed.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The last news of him while alive was of a desperate man trying to buy slaves in Volantis to replace half of his crew, who abandoned him when he prepared to sail through the Smoking Sea. Gerion was never heard from again.

     Joy Hill 

Joy Hill

Gerion's bastard daughter, her mother being a woman named Briony. She's eleven years old.
  • Arranged Marriage: Tywin arranges for her to marry a natural son of Lord Walder as part of their alliance in exchange for the betrayal of Robb Stark. However, Tywin also promised Joy to marry Ser Raynald Westerling as par of his deal with Sybell Spicer.
    • That might actually be a misunderstanding. Spicer said that Tywin promised her son would have joy in his marriage and Jaime assumed she was referring to Joy Hill. Tywin is dead by then so is not available to clear things up.
  • The Ghost: She is mentioned a few times, but hasn't been seen yet.
  • Nice Girl: According to Jaime.
  • Shrinking Violet: Due to her father's disappearance.
  • The Unfavorite: Apparently she was the apple of her father's eye, but her uncle Tywin has a simmering dislike for her just a few steps above that what he has for Tyrion. Not for any deformity or any personal failing on her part, but because she is a bastard in the most powerful and respected family in the Seven Kingdoms. She is sheltered, educated, and cared for, but never allowed to forget that she doesn't "really" belong to her family; in a sense, her situation is very similar to that of Jon Snow.

Genna's family

     Lady Genna Frey 

Stafford's Family

     Ser Stafford Lannister 

Ser Stafford Lannister

Uncle Dolt

Oldest son of Jason Lannister and Marla Prester. Brother of Joanna Lannister and uncle to Cersei, Jaime, and Tyrion. Married Myranda Lefford, with whom he had a son, Daven, and two daughters, Cerenna and Myrielle. During the War of the Five Kings he was tasked with raising a third Lannister force at the village of Oxcross, near Lannisport.
  • General Failure: His failure to set up sentries around his camp allowed his army to be taken completely unaware and get routed. This is apparently a running theme with him, as Jaime says that Cersei's nickname for Stafford was "Uncle Dolt."
  • The Ghost: He is frequently mentioned, but dies before being seen.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: By Lord Rickard Karstark at the Battle of Oxcross while trying to reach his horse.

     Ser Daven Lannister 

Ser Daven Lannister, the Warden of the West

"You know the best thing about heroes, Jaime? They all die young and leave more women for the rest of us."

Oldest child and only son of Stafford Lannister and his wife Myranda Lefford; cousin to Tywin, Kevan and Genna and cousin once removed to Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion. Much more competent than his father. He took command of the his father's remaining forces and later laid siege to Riverrun. After Tywin Lannister's death, he is named Warden of the West.
  • Arranged Marriage: To one of Walder Frey's daughters. He is rather annoyed, since Tywin set it up without even consulting him. He still plans to go ahead with the wedding, given that he doesn't want to end up like Robb Stark.
  • Badass: Yup — isn't a knight for nothing.
  • Badass Beard: Has a huge beard that makes him look like a lion, which he swore not to shave until he avenged his father's death, but that was denied to him after Robb Stark executed Rickard Karstark for treason. He decided he liked it and kept it.
  • Badass Cape: Wears a fox-fur cloak.
  • Bling of War: Wears a suit of gilded ringmail.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Comes across like this when we meet him; he spends part of his time yelling and drinking.
    Daven: You a Piper, boy? You have a runty look to you.
    Lewys: I'm Lewys Piper, if it please my lord.
    Daven: I beat your brother bloody in a melee once. The runty little fool took offense when I asked him if that was his sister dancing naked on his shield.
    Lewys: She's the sigil of our House. We don't have a sister.
    Daven: More's the pity. Your sigil has nice teats. What sort of man hides behind a naked woman, though? Every time I thumped your brother's shield, I felt unchivalrous.
  • Brutal Honesty: Frequently insults his idiotic allies to their faces and actively wishes for the death of some of the Freys serving with him.
  • Childhood Friend: With Jaime. Notable for their interactions being one of the only times the reader gets to see Jaime let his guard down completely and just be Jaime, not "The Kingslayer" or "The Lord Commander of The Kingsguard" or even a knight; just a guy.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Like most Lannisters.
  • Foil: To Robert Baratheon. An affable, boisterous man of a warrior that drinks a lot, swears a lot, doesn't care much for politics and is decidedly different from his family. Had Robert met him in his own glory days, they would have been drinking buddies. Other than that, Daven is actually loved by his family; the Baratheons didn't care much for each other.
  • Hot-Blooded: Does have a rather fulsome character, yes.
  • Large Ham: Should he start climbing mountains, you could nickname him "Blond BRIAN BLESSED" quite easily.
  • Misblamed: He finds out that his cousin Kevan is not very happy at him for being named Warden of the West. Daven tells him he doesn't even want the job and if he had a say in the matter he would give it away. Kevan leaves, but remains cold towards Daven.
  • The Reliable One: Up until Jaime's arrival, Daven was practically the highest authority on the Riverlands, though he acted mainly as the middleman between the Crown, the Freys and the Riverlords alongside Lady Genna. He's practically the whole reason they're all not killing each other, though the Freys are at an odds end when Jaime reveals that the POWs will be transported to King's Landing, leaving them with their asses on the air.
  • Spiteful Spit: Does one when Jaime mentions Vargo Hoat and reveals that Hoat was the one who cut off his hand.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: When besieging Riverrun, he has to contend with multiple incompetent Freys.
  • Troll: He has a blast trolling Jaime's squires... and, just loves baiting Freys. Nice to see the smart mouth is not just restricted to the main House.
  • Unexpected Successor: Despite being a cousin far down the line of succession, Daven is appointed Warden of the West by Cersei after Tywin is killed. He thinks it should have gone to Kevan, but accepted the position out of duty. This becomes a moot point later when Kevan himself dies.

Tytos' generation

     Lord Tytos Lannister 

Lord Tytos Lannister

The Toothless Lion, The Laughing Lion


Third son of Gerold Lannister and Rohanne Webber. Married to Jeyne Marbrand, with whom he had five children: Tywin, Kevan, Genna, Tygett and Gerion. Known under the mocking alias "The Toothless Lion", he was a kind but weak man that brought House Lannister to near ruin, as he loaned money to lords that never bothered to repay him and allowed his vassals to mock him at court or ignore his orders. The character is likely inspired by Henry III of England.
  • Bumbling Dad: He almost brought down his old house.
  • Happily Married: He and Jeyne had a very loving relationship, and he was never the same after she died.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Considered Walder Frey a good man. Need we say more?
  • The Load: You get the distinct impression that Tywin breathed a huge sigh of relief when his dad finally died, even though he loved him.
  • Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Following the death of Jeyne, he tried to fill the void with a number of women. Tyrion might get it from somewhere, after all. Which is also one reason why Tywin is less than happy about it.
  • Massively Numbered Siblings: His children, Tywin, Kevan, Genna, Tygett and Gerion.
  • Nice Guy: Too nice for his own good, according to both children of his we hear from. He would hand out money and laugh off excuses for not repaying it, making House Lannister seem like a massive pushover and easily exploitable.
  • Non-Action Guy: He was never knighted.
  • Posthumous Character: Long dead by the time of the books.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Took a candlemaker's daughter as his Hot Consort, dressing her in his wife's jewels and deferring to her in the running of his House. This so humiliated his family that any indication that Tyrion is going the same way is Lord Tywin's Berserk Button.
    • He himself was one for his two elder brothers Tywald and Tion.
  • Unexpected Successor: He was Gerold Lannister's third son, only becoming his heir after Tywald died during the Peake Uprising and Tion during the Fourth Blackfyre Rebellion.
  • Unfit for Greatness: In the higher echelons of Westerosian society, where underhanded politics and backstabbing is the norm, being a kind, but weak-willed man isn't going to go over well.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Genna mentions he was actually the third son of the previous Lord Lannister, Gerold Lannister, which is why he craved approval from older men.

     Lady Jeyne Lannister 

Lady Jeyne Lannister (nee Marbrand)


Daughter of Lord Alyn Marbrand, Lady Jeyne married Tytos Lannister in 235 AC. She is the mother of Twyin, Kevan, Genna, Tygett and Gerion.
  • Death by Childbirth: Giving birth to Gerion took a toll on her, and she died within a month of the birth.
  • Happily Married: To Tytos.
  • The Lost Lenore: Her death took much of the joy from Tytos' life, and he was never called the Laughing Lion afterwards.
  • The Rival: Of Ellyn Reyne/Tarbeck. They warred both at the court of Casterly Rock, which Jeyne got Ellyn expelled from after exposing her efforts to seduce Tytos, and in the marriage bed, with each trying to have more children with their husband than the other woman.

     Ser Jason Lannister 

Ser Jason Lannister

The youngest son of Gerold Lannister and Rohanne Webber (so Tytos' younger brother). He was married twice, firstly to Alys Stackspear (with whom he had a son, Damon), and secondly to Marla Prester (with whom he had five children, including Stafford and Joanna). He also had a bastard daughter, Lynora Hill, by an unnamed serving girl.
  • Arranged Marriage: To Marla Prester.
  • Character Death: Killed during the War of the Ninepenny Kings while fighting on Bloodstone.
  • Frontline General: During the War of the Ninepenny Kings, he commanded eleven hundred men and fought on the front lines.
  • Likes Older Women: At 15, he's married to Marla Prester, who is 30 at the time.
  • Massively Numbered Siblings: Six trueborn children (Damon by Alys Stackspear, and Stafford, Joanna and four unnamed children by Marla Prester) and at least one bastard (Lynora Hill, by an unnamed serving girl).
  • Really Gets Around: At 13 he fathered a bastard on a servant girl. At 15 he deflowered Alys Stackspear, whom he was forced to marry, though she died in childbirth. Two weeks after Alys' death, he was married to Marla Prester, who gave him five children.
  • Shotgun Wedding: To Alys Stackspear, and later, to Marla Prester.

Historical Lannisters

     King Tyrion II Lannister 

King Tyrion Lannister, the Second of His Name, King of the Rock

The Tormentor

A King of the Rock known for his battle-prowess and cruelty.

     King Lancel V Lannister 

King Lancel Lannister, the Fifth of His Name, King of the Rock

A King of the Rock, the Fifth of His Name.
  • Mutual Kill: King Lancel defeated Ser Wilbert Osgrey, but as the latter lay dying, he drove his dagger in Lancel's armor and killed him.

     King Tommen II Lannister 

King Tommen Lannister, the Second of His Name, King of the Rock

A King of the Rock after the Doom of Valyria, he sought to plunder the ruins of the devastated nation but disappeared on his voyage.
  • Cool Sword: Wielded Brightroar, which was lost along with him.
  • Famous Ancestor: Not exactly a positive one, as the Lannisters, particularly Tywin, are disgruntled over the fact they lost their Valyrian steel sword due to him.
  • Never Found the Body: No trace of his fate was ever discovered by the Triarchs of Volantis, who dispatched a fleet to search for him a year after he left their city for the Doom.

     King/Lord Loren Lannister 

King Loren I Lannister, the First of His Name

Loren the Last

The last King of the Rock. He joined forces with King Mern IX of the Reach against Aegon the Conqueror, but after Mern and the joint armies were devastated at the Field of Fire, Loren bent the knee and was made Lord Paramount of the Westerlands.
  • The Alliance: With King Mern IX against Aegon the Conqueror.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: When he saw Aegon and his sisters dragons burning the Reachmen during the Field of Fire, he knew the battle was lost and rode through a wall of flame to reach safety, although he was captured the next day.
  • Last of His Kind: He was the last King of the Rock.
  • Les Collaborateurs: After being captured, he swore loyalty to Aegon and assisted him in his conquests.

     Ser Tyland Lannister 

Ser Tyland Lannister

Twin brother of Lord Jason Lannister. He was Master of Ships during the reign of King Viserys I, and Master of Coin for Aegon II. He supported the Greens during the Dance of the Dragons, but later served as Hand of the King of Aegon III for two years before dying.
  • Character Death: He died during the Winter Fever in 133 AC.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Endured heavy torture by the Blacks after being captured in the fall of King's Landing, with them demanding to know where he had hidden the money from the royal treasury. He was blinded, mutilated and gelded by the end of it.
  • Eye Scream: He was blinded while tortured.
  • Groin Attack: He was gelded by the Blacks during his torture.
  • Number Two: Following the death of Aegon II he became Hand of the King for the child-king Aegon III.
  • Put on a Bus: He missed the end of the Dance of the Dragons when he was dispatched to Essos to recruit sellswords for Aegon II. When he returned, he was pardoned and served as Hand of the King.
  • Undying Loyalty: His staunch refusal to give up the royal treasury to the Blacks despite heavy torture earned him much respect for how much he valued loyalty.

     Lady Johanna Lannister 

Lady Johanna Lannister (nee Westerling)

The widow of Lord Jason Lannister, she ruled House Lannister following his death in the Dance of the Dragons.
  • Crusading Widow: Due to Jason's death leaving Casterly Rock in disarray.
  • Groin Attack: When she was delivered one of the captive bastards of Lord Dalton Greyjoy, she gelded him and turned him into her son's fool.
  • Lady of War: Leads the fight against the Red Kraken and the Greyjoys.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Restores the dwindling glory of House Lannister and in the meantime aids in the reconstruction of King's Landing following the civil war.

     Lord Damon Lannister 

Lord Damon Lannister

The Grey Lion

Lord of Casterly Rock during the reign of Daeron II Targaryen. Was married to Cerissa Brax, with whom he had two sons, Tybolt and Gerold.
  • Character Death: Perished during the Great Spring Sickness.
  • In-Series Nickname: The Grey Lion.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: During the Ashford Tourney he yields to Leo "Longthorn" Tyrell after the latter rips his helm off with a well placed lance.
  • Non-Action Guy: All mentions of him jousting or fighting end up in his defeat: unhorsed by Ser Arlan of Pennytree, by Black Tom Heddle. During the Blackfyre Rebellion he was defeated by Ser Quentyn Ball.

     Lady Cerelle Lannister 

Lady Cerelle Lannister

The only child of Lord Tybolt by his marriage to Teora Kyndall, and her father's heir.

     Lord Gerold Lannister 

Lord Gerold Lannister

Gerold the Golden

Second son of Damon Lannister and Cerissa Brax. Younger brother of Tybolt and his advisor. Ruled as Regent for Cerelle and became Lord of Casterly Rock after her death. Was married twice, his first wife being Alysanne Farman (there being no children from that marriage) and his second Rohanne Webber, with whom he had four sons (twins Tywald and Tion, Tytos and Jason).
  • 0% Approval Rating: Despite being an excellent ruler, he was never loved because of the rumors he had killed his brother and niece.
  • Cain and Abel: If the rumours about him being responsible for Tybolt's death were true.
  • Evil Uncle: Likewise, if he was indeed involved in Cerelle's death.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Tywald and Tion both predeceased him, which led to his third son Tytos becoming his heir.
  • The Lost Lenore: His wife Rohanne, who mysteriously disappeared in 230 AL.

    Lady Rohanne Lannister 

Lady Rohanne Lannister (née Webber)

The Red Widow

See the House Webber section in the Reach Houses character page




"My mother called me Shae. Men call me...often."

A beautiful prostitute that Bronn finds for Tyrion before the Battle of the Green Fork on the Riverlands. He ends up taking her to King's Landing despite the express command of his father; unfortunately this means Tyrion has to conceal her existence from his enemies.
  • Abusive Parents: Was molested by her own father.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Shae enjoys calling Tyrion her "Giant of Lannister". She later humiliates Tyrion at his trial by claiming he insisted on being called by this name. The next time she calls Tyrion this, he strangles her to death.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Tyrion to Cersei to Tywin.
  • Camp Follower: How Tyrion originally meets her; she's a prostitute with the Lannister army in the Riverlands.
  • Character Death: Tyrion strangles Shae after finding her in his father's bed.
  • Foil: To Daario Naharis. They are both the lovers of two of the most influencing people in the books (Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen), both against their lovers' better judgement. Both Tyrion and Daenerys admit that they are better off without them, but still keep them close out of lust.
  • Foreshadowing: There are hints showing that Shae and Tywin knew each other from before.
  • Girl Next Door: Isn't one in her mannerisms, but Tyrion finds it appealing that she looks like one.
  • It's Personal: When Bronn sells out to Cersei for a kick up the social ladder, Tyrion accepts it with cynical resignation. When Shae gives testimony at his trial, Tyrion is driven to fury.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: She has no real reason to be loyal to Tyrion. While lying at the trial was a dick move he had at that point taken back most of her payment and appeared doomed regardless, requiring her to seek a new sponsor. And when the Queen Regent tells you to do something, it's usually a smart thing to do it.
    • For all she knew Tyrion and Sansa did conspire to assassinate Joffrey, leaving her in the air with nothing to grasp; due to this, she returned to her trade, a trade that brought her to King's Landing to court the most powerful men available.
  • Lady Macbeth: Can't understand why Tyrion doesn't just kill the sister he hates. This is ironic given the script Cersei gives her for Tyrion's trial, in which he's plotting to kill all his relatives and make himself King.
  • Rape as Backstory: Molested by her father.
  • Second Love: Shae is Tyrion's Replacement Goldfish for Tysha, or what he believes anyway, it turns out that he was wrong about Tysha and that she was not a prostitute while Shae definitely is.
  • Secret Relationship: Tywin forbids that Tyrion take Shae to court, when Tyrion has to serve as Hand of the King. Tyrion takes her anyway.
    • It's implied that she had a relationship with Tywin too. Whether it was personal or professional is up for grabs.
  • Scullery Maid: Is not impressed when Tyrion suggests this as her cover, as she'd run away to become a whore to avoid it.
  • Spanner in the Works: Things might have turned out better if Tyrion had just obeyed his father this once...
  • Spot The Thread: Isn't fooled by Varys' disguise; she indicates prostitutes need to be able to recognize a man regardless of how he's disguised if they're to survive.
  • Surprise Witness: The final witness at Tyrion's trial, she claims that Sansa and Tyrion conspired to kill Joffrey and seize power after killing the rest of Cersei's children too.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: At Tyrion's trial she pretends he had her fiancé killed then took her as a Sex Slave in order to gain the court's sympathy.



"Pia was often seeing things in the buttery. Usually they were men."
—Arya's narration

Pia was a servant at Harrenhal before joining Jaime Lannister's party in A Feast For Crows.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: A tragic example. Pia has had a crush on Jaime Lannister since girlhood when she saw him knighted at Harrenhal, and even used this to cope with being raped. He lets her down gently, and feels terrible about it.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. Gregor Clegane punched her in the face, breaking her nose and half her teeth.
  • Break the Cutie: She was abused and raped by the soldiers in Tywin's army while he occupied Harrenhal. Later, Roose Bolton puts her in the dungeons for any man to use.
  • Broken Bird: The result, after she's released.
  • Character Tics: Covering her mouth with her hand when she speaks, to hide her ruined teeth.
  • The Chick: Of Jaime's group.
  • The Ditz: Sweet, but not very bright.
  • Ethical Slut: What she apparently used to be until Crapsack World reality kicked in. Still has some shades of this, giving the squire who has a crush on her the time of the day.
  • Lie Back and Think of England: She admits that when the soldiers were raping her, she would try to pretend they were Jaime Lannister.
  • Man Child: Jaime describes her as a five year old girl in a woman's body.
  • Morality Pet: One of the people taken under Jaime's wings since he's started improving his morals, and definitely the one who owes him the most.
  • Really Gets Around: Sometimes consensually, sometimes not.
  • Slut-Shaming: Bonifer Hasty more or less kicks her out of Harrenhal because he thinks she'll corrupt his men. Averted with Jaime, who not only is kind to her, but also tells Peck to treat her the way he would treat his wife.
  • Surprise Pregnancy: Inverted. Everyone is surprised that she didn't get pregnant considering she "spread her legs for half of [Tywin's] army". Jaime concludes that she must be barren and encourages Peck to get together with her, since he's unlikely to sire a bastard on her.


A crofter's daughter in the Westerlands, Tysha became the first wife of Tyrion Lannister.

See the Westerlands Smallfolk section of the Other Westerosi character page

House Lannister of Lannisport

A Cadet house of the Lannisters, who are seated at Lannisport. They share the blonde hair and green eyes of their Casterly Rock liege lords. Their coat of arms and their words are not known

    Tropes Related to House Lannister of Lannisport 

  • The Clan: They were created because at one point in history there were too many Lannisters in Casterly Rock, so they settled nearby and formed the town of Lannisport.
  • Foil:
    • To the Karstarks, who are a cadet house of the Starks of Winterfell. Unlike the Karstarks, the Lannisters of Lannisport are significantly less prominent in comparison, but they are said to be fiercely loyal to the Lannisters, have more intermarriage and more in common with them than what the Karstarks have with the Starks.
    • To the Velaryons, who functioned as a cadet house for the Targaryen Kings because of their Valyrian traits. Their intermarriage was very prominent during the first two centuries of the dynasty, but weaned during the last because the Targaryens started to look down on incest and married with houses outside the Valyrian descent until the reign of Jaehaerys II, who reinstated the practice of incest. Like the Velaryons, the Lannisters of Lannisport are not particularly wealthy compared to their liege lords, and unlike them, they remained loyal to the Lannisters of Casterly Rock.
    • To the Blackfyres. The Lannisters of Lannisport do not have pretensions beyond their level like the Blackfyres had and are recognized as Lannisters in spite of not being in the main line; the Blackfyres are Targaryens proper but are not recognized as such because of their hostility to the Targaryens. In summary, the Blackfyres would have turned out like the Lannisters of Lannisport and given lands and recognition if they had bent the knee to the Targaryen Kings.
  • Single Line of Descent: Subverted. They were set apart precisely to achieve a single line of descent to inherit Casterly Rock, so they have little to no claim on it unless they marry with the main line.
  • Tangled Family Tree: Created to simplify the inheritance chain of House Lannister. However, they have dozens of offshoots of their own, various petty nobles with last names starting with "Lan": Lannys, Lantells, Lansters etc. are found in abundance in Lannisport.

    Rosamund Lannister 

Rosamund Lannister

A handmaiden to Princess Myrcella Baratheon when the princess went to Dorne.
  • Bit Character: Aside from her name and presence, she's just there to function as a decoy. She has no spoken lines in the books.
  • Distinguishing Mark: She has straight hair, unlike Myrcella.
  • Doppelgänger: Chosen by Tyrion to accompany Myrcella to Dorne because they look very much alike in order to protect the princess.
  • Identity Impersonator: Arianne Martell does try to pass off Rosamund as Myrcella in order to storm the princess away.
  • Playing Sick: Arianne dresses her up like Myrcella and convinces everyone that she has redspots so that they keep away from her.
  • Regal Ringlets: Subverted. Her hair is straight, unlike Myrcella.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: She can easily pass off as Myrcella.

    Maester Theomore 

Theomore Lannister

A Maester of the Citadel in service to House Manderly. See their character page here.