Characters: A Song Of Ice And Fire House Lannister
This is a listing of member 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.
"Hear me Roar"
— Lannister House Wordsnote
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. 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
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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.
- 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.
- The Beautiful Elite: Most Lannisters, though not all, are described as attractive.
- Beauty, Brains and Brawn: Played with. 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.
- Beauty Is Bad: Kevan is also 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.
- Big Screwed-Up Family: Neither Tywin nor his descendants would be called well-adjusted, apart from Myrcella and Tommen.
- Blondes are Evil: Subverted: most members of House Lannister are not evil, but many people view them all by the actions of Tywin, Cersei, and Jaime.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. Tywin and his cousin Joanna, which explains Tyrion's stunted birth.
- 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.
- 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: Lets see, basically the ruling family in Westeros, extremely high opinions of themselves 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, Cersei is discredited, and Kevan and Tywin are dead. Also, the war against Robb Stark cost them much of their military strength, and the Lannisters' allies are either unreliable or incompetent. Lady Barbrey Dustin refers to the Lannisters as a spent force.
Jaime: Iíve 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stealth Pun: Since they're a family of lions, the Lannisters could be called a pride.
- Theme Naming: Lots of male names beggining with "Ty-" or "Ti-"
- Token Evil Teammate: During Robert's Rebellion.
- The Unfettered: They tend to be remarkably ruthless in playing the Game of Thrones.
- Villain Protagonist
- 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.
- World of Snark: The Lannisters 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.
Lord Tywin Lannister
Lord Tywin Lannister, Warden of the West
The Lion of Lannister
"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".
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Four-Star Badass: He leads his forces personally in spite of his relatively advanced age.
- Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: His orders to kill the Targaryen children is seen as this, and he even points it out when talking about it.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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's well have the alternative title of Or "Seriously, Don't Bully This Dragon".
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: When Tyrion asks him about Tysha, he doesn't even remember her name.
- The Chessmaster: One of many, skilled at playing his opponents both in the battlefield and politics.
- Control Freak: Views his family as chesspieces 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.
- 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.
- 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 Westerland 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 because Aerys refused 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 years, especially when he then turned around and said 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 himself. Also Aerys had completely lost his mind at this point and Tywin figured that following him would be a bad idea.
- Possibly what Ser Gregor did to Elia Martell; her brother recounts that their mother took them to Casterly Rock as children to try and arrange marriages between the family, 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, he simply hadn't realized what Gregor was at the time.
- Catelyn Stark 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 Dragon: As Hand of the King to Aerys II and to Joffrey.
- 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 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. 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 alone. He also reprimanded Amory Lorch for being so stupid as to stab Princess Rhaenys half a hundred times instead of calming her with sweet words and then use a pillow to smother her.
- Evil Chancellor/The Good Chancellor: Played with. While Kings Aerys and Joffrey were busy being insane, Tywin was an extraordinarily competent Hand, precisely because he was willing to take "evil" actions. Also, he betrayed King Aerys during the war, preferring to win than be loyal. So we've either got a Deconstruction or a World Half Empty.
- Evil Overlord: A played down example, he resorts to Kick the Dog only as a result of Pragmatic Villainy.
- 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.
- The Extremist Was Right: As much of a heartless bastard as Tywin is, and as ruthless as he can be, he was an extremely capable leader and administrator when he served as King's hand; Westeros enjoyed peace and prosperity under his leadership, as did his home province. Similarly, he makes considerable progress to restoring order to Westeros after his victories over Stannis and Robb Stark. Unfortunately for the Seven Kingdoms, Tyrion kills him and leaves the significantly less competent Cersei in charge.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Frontline General: Averted; the one time we see Tywin in battle he waits with the reserve so he can see the entire battlefield, waiting for just the right moment to throw himself into the battle for maximum effect. This foreshadows how Lord Tywin handles the war strategically.
- 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.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Aerys, until their falling-out.
- 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 or not taken the observation far enough. 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 behavior. 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 love and 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.
- 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.
- 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 Landing (which was pretty much all Tyrion) and only say that his 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Earned a second way, in that he had previously pointed out to Tyrion that his son talks too much. And yet he 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 ruler, he is NOT a good guy.
- 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:
"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 is socially acceptable in Westeros but brother-sister isn't, Targaryens aside).
- 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 it. 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.
- 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."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. Generally, he favors whatever children are 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.
- 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.
- Rags to Riches: Part of his back story is how he singlehandedly returned House Lannister to its former glory.
- 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.
- Solid Gold Poop: It is rumored 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 so he 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 Pyrcelle 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.
- Undignified Death: Being shot in the groin by your midget 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", which details how two of his bannermen, the Tarbecks of Tarbeck Hall and the Reynes of Castamere, 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 Kings Landing have never forgiven him for leading a sack to the city during 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Conqueror: He was approximately eighteen or so when he put an end to the Tarbecks and the Reynes.
Lady Joanna Lannister
Lady Joanna Lannister
Tywin's deceased cousin and wife and mother of Cersei, Jaime, and Tyrion.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Kissing Cousins: She was Tywin's first cousin.
- Morality Chain: To Tywin.
- 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 / Hugor Hill / Yollo
The Imp, Halfman
"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge."
The last and least son of Tywin 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.
- 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 is a phrase earlier posed to him by Varys: "A very small man can cast a very large shadow."
- 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 all 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?
- 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.
- Because You Were Nice to Me/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 / White Sheep: His character is used to play with both of these tropes. 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.
- 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 Cyvassemaster: 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 Yezzan, the slaveowner who buys him at the auction.
- 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 control to 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Four Loves: What he is deficient of. He is consistenly 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.
- 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.
- In-Series Nickname: The Imp. Also "Halfman" and "Demon Monkey". He has many nicknames.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Patricide: Not that most readers would get on his case for it. Most of Westeros is a different matter.
- 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:
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.
- 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.
- 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 call me 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 Cyvasse
- 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.
- 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 Anti-Hero: And, happy to meander the whole scale rather than stick to just one section of it: both in anti-heroism and tragedy-comedy.
- Trickster Archetype: 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 you. Even if it bites him in some way to do so. If you cross a line and hurt others in front of him, though... he does his best to break out the full-scale Karmic Trickster schtick on you rather than just keeping his tricksome ways genial, low-key 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.
Ser Kevan Lannister*
Ser Kevan Lannister
Tywin's 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. He married Lady Dorna Swyft and sired four children, amongst them Lancel Lannister. 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.
Ser Lancel Lannister
Ser/Lord Lancel Lannister
The teenaged eldest son of Kevan Lannister and younger cousin to Jaime, Cersei and Tyrion. One of Robert Baratheon's squires. Initially described as something of a wannabe Jaime, he becomes more religious over the course of the series, and begins to become at odds with some members of his family.
- Alliterative Name
- Arranged Marriage: In A Feast For Crows, the Lannisters marry him off to Amerei Frey, a female line descendant of House Darry, all the male members of which died during the War of the Five Kings, so the Lannisters can claim the Darry lands for themselves. This causes problems with the now devoutly religious Lancel, and the fact that Ami has a reputation as being very promiscuous does not help matters.
- The Atoner: Ends up becoming The Fundamentalist in an attempt to make up for his earlier behavior.
- Break the Haughty: The Battle of the Blackwater finishes what Tyrion started. During his recovery, he develops a Heel-Faith Turn.
- Butt Monkey: Robert mocks and dislikes him. Cersei manipulates him. Tyrion blackmails him. He's nearly killed during the battle for King's Landing. Then he's forced into an Arranged Marriage so that the Lannisters can get their paws on a castle whose male heirs got killed off during the war. Finally, he just gives up and becomes a member of the Faith Militant, making his father practically disown him.
- Disease Bleach: His wounds during the Battle of the Blackwater did a real number on his health.
- Deadpan Snark-- : No. A very rare Lannister beastie, this boy: hence worth noting. Insipid, servile and emotional whiner, more like. When he eventually does try attacking? with words, it... decidedly lacks by most standards (heck, it's hard to make out if it's merely a complaint, a winge, a dig or even remotely funny: forget simply aiming for dry). Compare and contrast with the high bar the rest of the family has.
- The Dog Bites Back: Given Robert's abusive treatment of him, it probably didn't take much for Cersei to convince him to help kill Robert. It's inverted however, Lancel totally regrets his action and feels very guilty about it.
- Dumb Blonde: Gets sent on a Snipe Hunt for a breastplate stretcher by Robert, never realizing it isn't real.
- The Fundamentalist: Becomes this in A Feast for Crows.
- Heel-Faith Turn: Totally and genuinely so (and tooth-grindingly so, as far as his family is concerned). But, it's not really changed him much, otherwise.
- I Just Want to Be You: Greatly admires his cousin Jaime and wants to emulate him (ironically he appears unaware that Jaime is sleeping with Cersei too). He later realizes his own kingslaying is nothing to be proud off. "The brave man kills with a sword, the coward a wineskin."
- Kissing Cousins: During a period in which she is separated from Jaime, Cersei uses Lancel as a replacement.
- The Mole: Forced to spy on Cersei by Tyrion, who blackmails him with knowledge of Lancel sleeping with her.
- Pretty Boy: Described as very fair-haired and looking slightly like a younger, less manly Jaime. The TV series picked this description up and ran with it, making him look positively girly. However, during the battle of blackwater and his recovery afterwards, he loses quite a bit of his looks and even has early gray hair.
- Replacement Goldfish: He essentially becomes this to Cersei after she's separated from Jaime, and he's explicitly said to resemble Jaime in his youth.
- Shout-Out: Lancel sounds like Lancelot. In The Mists of Avalon, Lancelot is Arthur and Morgaine's cousin. Arthur and Morgaine are siblings who end up engaging in incestuous intercourse just like Jaime and Cersei.
- Smug Snake: Gets a little too big for his britches after doing his part in Robert's death, not to mention replacing Jaime in Cersei's bed. Tyrion rapidly shows him otherwise and battle cures him even further.
- The Squire: One of two Lannisters who serve Robert as squires, putting him in an ideal position to give Robert extra-strength alcohol while hunting in order to cause an "accident". He is knighted for this service.
Another son of Kevan, and twin to Martyn Lannister. 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.
- Child Soldier
- Revenge by Proxy: Rickard Karstark kills him in his cell after Catelyn releases the Kingslayer for being the only Lannister nearby.
- The Squire
- I Have Your Son: Captured in the Whispering Wood and taken hostage to Riverrun along with his cousin Tion Frey.
Another son of Kevan, and twin to Willem Lannister. A squire in host commanded by Stafford Lannister.
Ser Tygett Lannister
Ser Tygett Lannister
Tywin's second brother, 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 was married to Darlessa Marbrand and had one child, Tyrek. He died of a pox sometime before the events of the series.
Only child of Tygett and Darlessa, 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.
- 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, 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.
Tywin's third and youngest brother. 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.
- Cool Uncle: Tyrion and Jaime's favorite uncle.
- 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
- Plucky Comic Relief: He was this among his family. Impressive, given his eldest brother's extreme hatred of jokes and laughter.
- The Rebel: Gerion apparently never cared about surpassing Tywin or gaining his appreciation, or even his strict obsession with controlling his family's future. Genna said of him that he thought it was "better to mock the game than play and lose."
- 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.
Gerion's bastard daughter. 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.
Lady Genna Frey
Ser Stafford Lannister
Ser Stafford Lannister
Brother of Joanna Lannister and uncle to Cersei, Jamie, and Tyrion. He has two daughters, Cerenna and Myrielle, and a son, Daven. 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."
Son of Stafford Lannister, he is 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Lord Tytos Lannister
Lord Tytos Lannister
The Toothless Lion
The father of Tywin, Kevan, Tygett, Gerion, and Genna Lannister. 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.
- 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.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Considered Walder Frey a good man.
- Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Tyrion might get it from somewhere, after all. Which is also one reason why Tywin is less than happy about it.
- Non-Action Guy: He wasn't knighted.
- Nice Guy: Too nice for his own good, according to both children of his we hear from.
- 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 Tybald and Tion
- "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.
Tytos' younger brother. Father of Stafford and Joanna Lannister
- Cake Eater: At 15, he's married to Marla Prester, who is 30 at the time.
- Character Death: Either of a flux of the bowels or killed by Maelys the Monstruous.
- Really Gets Around: At 13 he fathered a bastard on a servant girl. At 15 he deflowered a Stackspear girl, whom he was forced to marry, though she died in childbirth. Then they married him to Marla Prester, who gave him five children.
- Shotgun Wedding: To the Stackspear girl and, two weeks later, to Marla Prester
- Massively Numbered Siblings: Six trueborn children and at least one bastard.
King Lancel V Lannister
Lancel of House Lannister, the Fifth of His Name, King of the Rock
A King of the Rock, the Fifth of His Name.
- Alliterative Name
- Cool Sword: Brightroar.
- Duel to the Death: With Ser Wilbert Osgrey, "the Little Lion".
- Genre Savvy: While Gyles III Gardener, King of the Reach, was battling the Storm King in the east, King Lancel invaded from the north.
- 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/Lord Loren Lannister
King Loren I Lannister
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.
Ser Tyland Lannister
Ser Tyland Lannister
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.
- 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.
- Number Two: Following the death of Aegon II he became Hand of the King for the child-king Aegon III.
- Genre Savvy: The first thing he did as Master of Coin was divide up the treasury, just in case King's Landing ever fell to Blacks. He sent parts of it to the Iron Bank, Casterly Rock, and Oldtown for safekeeping, with the remainder used to bribe lords and hire sellswords.
Lady Johanna Westerling
Lady Johanna Westerling
The widow of Lord Jason Lannister.
- Crusading Widower: Due to Jason's death leaving Casterly Rock in disarray.
- Lady of War: Leads the fight against the Red Kraken and the Greyjous.
- 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. Father of Tybolt and Gerold Lannister. Grandfather of Tytos Lannister.
- 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 Sarelle Lannister
Lady Sarelle Lannister
The only child and heir of Lord Tybolt.
Lord Gerold Lannister
Lord Gerold Lannister
Gerold the Golden
The younger brother of Tybolt and his advisor. Ruled as Regent for Sarelle and became Lord of Casterly Rock after her death.