Characters / Game of Thrones - House Lannister

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House Lannister
"A Lannister always pays his debts."

"Fools look at the Westerlands and see gold. Fools see our wealth and call it strength. Gold is just another rock. The Westerlands are strong because of House Lannister. From strong leadership comes unity. From unity comes power."
Tywin Lannister

House Lannister of Casterly Rock is renowned across Westeros and all of the known world as the wealthiest and most powerful single family in the Seven Kingdoms. They are also the real power behind the Iron Throne, despite the throne nominally being occupied by House Baratheon of King's Landing. Its lord has the title of Warden of the West, Lord Paramount of the Westerlands, and Lord of Casterly Rock.

    In General 
  • Adaptational Heroism: While Cersei or Tywin never exactly make it to 'heroic', Tyrion arguably was there even in the books and Jaime is... Jaime, all of them get somehow polished, or at least made to appear more humane in the show. After all, we get to see them so often that is better if we care about the characters for some degree. To balance it out, Joffrey is made even nastier in the show than he was in the book.
  • Aerith and Bob: The mainline branch has Tywin, Cersei and Tyrion as fantastic names. Jaime, Kevan, Willem, Martyn and Lord Tytos are unusually spelt variations of familiar names. While Canon Foreigner like Reginald and Orson have real world common names.
  • Age Lift: Tywin is stated to be sixty seven years old in the fourth season, while he was a decade younger in the books. Jaime and Cersei are aged from early thirties to later ones (and explicitly 40 in Season 4), and Tyrion from being about twenty five years old to a thirty-something (who looks even older). Cersei's kids are aged accordingly, as Joffrey is explicitly stated to be seventeen years old is Season 2 (as opposed to being thirteen in the corresponding book), while Myrcella and Tommen were given about 2-3 years apiece.
  • Animal Motifs: Their sigil is a lion, which they are often called. Cersei outright uses a parable about lions to comfort her son Tommen during the Siege of King's Landing. More subtly, Jaime even starts to physically resemble a shaggy old lion when he gains a full Beard of Sorrow.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • To House Stark. At the beginning of the series the two houses can barely stand to be in the same room together without getting drunk. Joffrey quickly manages to turn the Starks into sworn enemies of the Lannisters. Their differences were initially ideological, since Ned considered them Johnny-come-latelys to Robert's Rebellion with Tywin making a ruthless and opportunistic power grab (True), and Jaime being The Quisling who never protested the Mad King's injustices until it was convenient (Plausible, but ultimately false). The Lannisters for the most part regard the Starks as humorless bores sulking about honor. (Cersei's years-long grudge over King Robert Baratheon's preference of the long-deceased Lyanna Stark over her probably doesn't help matters here, either.)) It breaks into civil war, thanks to mistakes and Hot-Blooded actions on both sides; with the conflict becoming extremely personal and bitter.
    • They are also this to House Martell, at least as far as Oberyn Martell is concerned. The reasons for this is that Tywin made it personal during the Sack of King's Landing by ordering Gregor Clegane to kill the children of Rhaegar Targaryen and Elia Martell, with Clegane going the distance and raping and murdering Elia For the Evulz. Tyrion being the Token Good Teammate, manages to secure a marriage alliance between Myrcella Baratheon (Cersei's daughter) and the Martells; but this doesn't smooth things over one bit. Oberyn Martell in "Histories and Lore: House Martell" states that despite supporting the Targaryens, the Martells understood that the Rebellion had good reasons to fight against Aerys and that he accepts that Tywin's sack of King's Landing is something that happens in all wars but even accepting all that, brutally killing Elia and her children was beyond the pale.
  • Beauty, Brains and Brawn: Cersei, Tyrion and Jaime. While Jaime does possess beauty as well (and brains, when he actually wants to use them, as is displayed during the siege of Riverrun) and Cersei shows some brains (though half of the time she would be better off in mediocrity), the things each is renowned for is being one of the most beautiful women in Westeros for Cersei, being THE Master Swordsman for Jaime and being a world-class Chessmaster for Tyrion.
  • Beauty Is Bad: The most kind-hearted adult Lannister is Tyrion, the least attractive. The increasing compassion of Jaime is relative to his increasing filthiness and wretchedness, and back in King's Landing his clean, boyish good looks and hubris never quite return. Cersei, who is considered to be one of the most beautiful women in Westeros, is cruel, treacherous and occasionally murderous, while her handsome son Joffrey is a horrific psychopath.
    • Tommen and Myrcella would appear to avert this. Tommen is a decent boy, if easily swayed by others, and Myrcella is by all accounts a normal, well-adjusted girl.
  • Big Bad: They're the faction most commonly identified as the villainous antagonist of the series outside of the White Walkers.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Neither Tywin nor his descendants would be called well-adjusted, apart from Myrcella and Tommen. A general rule of thumb is that out of the four primary Lannister characters (Tywin and this three children), each of them loathes all of the others — except for Jaime, who gets along well with all of them.
    Tyrion: Let's raise a toast to the proud Lannister children! The Cripple, the Dwarf, and the Mother of Madness.
    • To put this in perspective, the family that has killed the most Lannisters in the series, are Lannisters themselves, Jaime kills his Cousin Alton, Cersei murders her Uncle Kevan and Cousin Lancel, and Tyrion murders his father, Tywin.
  • Bling of War: Tywin, Tyrion, Jaime and Joffrey all wear very elaborate battle armor, with golden lions everywhere. Even the regular soldiers' armor is flaunting the Lannisters' wealth, with red enamelled plates and richly decorated helms. This makes them stand out among the other houses, especially the Starks, whose soldiers and even lords wear utilitarian armor.
  • Boring, but Practical: The Lannisters don't have warging powers like the Stark children, or dragons like the Targaryens, or even the power of a god like the Lord of Light. What the Lannisters do have, however, is gold. Gold that they parlay into tremendous military and political power to support their family legacy. Indeed, the Lannisters tend be serious skeptics about all things magical and are not easily intimidated by news of dragons rising in the east. Of course, the problem with gold is that you can only mine so much of it. In Season 4, Tywin reveals that their last mine went dry just before the War of the Five Kings, meaning their primary source of income is gone.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • "A Lannister always pays his debts". It's more quoted in universe than their actual family motto, "Hear me roar".
    • "As rich as a Lannister" is another common saying about the family. A more derogative saying is, "The Lannisters shit gold".
  • Cool Sword: Lord Tywin destroys House Stark's own ancestral Valyrian steel Cool Sword, Ice, to create two more for House Lannister, which has no Valyrian sword. Though probably less because he wants two really cool swords and more because he wants to show how completely House Stark has been crushed, and to manufacture legitimacy for Lannister rule of the Seven Kingdoms, since the Targaryens are the only other family known to have possessed more than one Valyrian steel weaponFrom the books... .
  • Deadpan Snarker: Tyrion and Jaime, almost to a fault. Tywin and Cersei also get in on the action occasionally.
  • Decapitated Army:
    • Killing Robb Stark is Tywin's winning move in the War of the Five Kings. Given Stannis' determination, it's not as decisive as he expects.
    • The family owe most of their power and influence to Tywin alone. Ser Davos and Lord Baelish remark that with Tywin and the sheer power of his will gone, all that remains is Jaime, a one-handed, untrustworthy and isolated man, Tommen, a soft King, and Cersei, an unpopular former Queen whose power diminishes every day in favour of Margaery's.
  • Dysfunctional Family: All of the Lannisters have wildly different personalities and separate range of issues. Tywin is a conservative, cruel and domineering man who reduces all his children to resentment to seek his approval, Jaime is a Jaded Washout burdened with Conflicting Loyalty, Cersei is resentful of the low status of being a woman despite her high ambitions and Tyrion gets grief from both family and Westerosi society for being a dwarf. About the only thing keeping them together is enemies attacking their family and power forcing them into Teeth-Clenched Teamwork. Naturally, things fall apart when their enemies have apparently all been defeated. Tywin and Cersei also blame Tyrion for their wife/mother dying while giving birth to him.
  • The Empire: Sort of. They want to bring all the regions under Lannister control or at least influence by marrying into each of the Great Houses or, when not possible, by placing men loyal to them. They come close to pulling this off after winning the War of Five Kings but after Tywin dies their control falls apart very quickly.
  • False Reassurance: The unofficial motto "A Lannister always pays his debts" is used both as a genuine reassurance ("We will always reward those who help us") as well as an implied threat ("We will also always get payback on those who wrong us").
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
    • To the House of York and medieval English nobility in general and, to some extent, the infamous Borgia family of the Italian Renaissance. Game of Thrones has often been compared to the Borgias and their schemes, mainly because of the Lannister characters. Martin openly said that the story is loosely inspired by the real life War of the Roses in England, which was between the Yorks and Lancasters — his story is a conflict between Starks and Lannisters. Their general personalities, however, were switched: the Lancasters are generally depicted as the "honorable" faction which got deposed by the cunning and ruthless Yorks; unlike their real-life namesakes, it's the Starks who are honorable, and the Lannisters who are ruthless and cunning.
    • The HBO show's version of Lannister armor combines features from The Renaissance, Feudal Japan, the Teutonic Knights, and the German men-at-arms of the Russian film Alexander Nevsky, which in turn were a reference to Nazi Germany, as is Tywin's dream about a thousand-year dynasty. The Medieval Japanese style to their armor was to make them look distinct, and is loosely implied to be a holdover from when they were close allies of the Targaryens — who, being from the eastern continent, also dress in very "foreign" looking Asian styles.
  • Fatal Flaw: One trait common to each member of this house is the basic inability to just shut up when they really, really should, and it costs each of them dearly.
    • Cersei's constant barrage of spite and hostility towards those around her immediately set Ned against her and help set in motion events which lead to war, and continually sabotage her other political schemes.
    • Jaime's continued snarky attempts to bribe his way out of Locke's custody end up causing him to lose a hand.
    • Tyrion's repeated calling out of Joffrey and the endless stream of insults he hurls in his direction end up making him the prime suspect when the latter is murdered, and him finally snapping at his trial and hurling insults at everyone in the court seals his fate.
    • Tywin repeatedly dismissing the dead Shae as a "whore" when a very angry and crossbow toting Tyrion has very clearly told him not to ends up leading to his thoroughly undignified death.
  • Fiction 500: They are the wealthiest family in Westeros by far. Or used to be the wealthiest family, until their gold mines ran dry. The second season briefly mentions that House Lannister trades with the Free Cities and as far as Qarth.
  • Fun with Homophones: The Lannisters' song and go-to implied threat, The Rains of Castamere, is about the destruction of House Reyne of Castamere.
  • A House Divided: There has always been tension and dislike between the members of the Lannister family. Once the war is all but won they quickly fall into this with the events of the Purple Wedding being the spark that sets them off against each other.
  • Implied Death Threat: Their creed of "a Lannister always pays his debts" is both a declaration that those who help the Lannisters will be repaid, and a warning that they will have vengeance on those who wrong them. Characters are well-aware that the saying goes both ways and use it as such.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Turns out the Lannister's gold mines ran dry long ago and financing the War of the Five Kings had drained the coffers of what was left. They have to keep it quiet though, as one of the reasons the Lannisters are so feared is because of their wealth. Even then, this is played to the Lannister's advantage when they leave their seat in Casterly Rock unguarded for Daenerys' Unsullied to take it which has no strategic value due to the lack of valuable resources, so they can be trapped by their Greyjoy allies.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: Tywin's major political failure is his inability to secure his legacy via a stable heir. Many observers outside the family, note that after Tywin, an undisputed master of the game of thrones, none of his children or grandchildren are near his level to hold onto his gains while the best option, Tyrion Lannister, is repeatedly discredited. This is the main flaw exploited by his enemies. Ser Davos uses it to secure a loan from the Iron Bank of Braavos, noting how Lannister credit is entirely depended on a 67 year old-man, convincing the Braavosi to back Stannis, to better safeguard the return of the loans.
  • Leitmotif: The instrumental for The Rains of Castamere is played when a Lannister does something particularly amazing or nefarious, such as Cersei threatening Littlefinger, Tyrion blackmailing Lancel, Tywin executing his men in Harrenhal following Ser Amory's assassination, Tyrion's speech at the Battle of Blackwater, Tywin's cavalry crushing Stannis' force, and Jaime saving Brienne from the bear pit. In the eponymous episode, its diegetic use preludes The Red Wedding. It also plays at the end of Tyrion's trial, when he demands a trial by combat. And finally, for irony points it plays when Tyrion kills Tywin and again when Cersei is crowned queen and sits on the Iron Throne, signaling the now inevitable and final collapse of the Lannisters.
  • Massively Numbered Siblings:
    • In sharp contrast to the Starks and the Baratheons, the Lannisters have several siblings, relatives with cousins and nephews aplenty, with multiple lines to inherit and keep their land and titles. Though Tywin is obsessed with ensuring the main line represented by him remains at the top of the succession ladder.
    • By Season 7, however, it's implied that the Lannister line is coming to an end due to the massive amounts of casualties they've suffered over the years, as Cersei describes herself and Jaime as: "the last Lannisters left. The last ones that matter" (not including Tyrion).
  • Nay-Theist: One thing Tywin and his children all agree on is that the Gods (whose existence they don't deny), in Tyrion's words, are vicious cunts. Except Jaime, who's more of a Hollywood Atheist.
  • Not Me This Time: The Lannisters never wanted the War of the Five Kings or to outright destroy the Starks and the Tullys. They were framed by Littlefinger in the eyes of the Starks for the murder of Jon Arryn, and a series of other misunderstandings he facilitated to stretch their general dislike for each others' values into a bloody vendetta.
  • People of Hair Color: The only blondes in the series. This also tips off Ned about Joffrey's parentage.
  • Pride: The recurring theme of House Lannister.
  • Pyrrhic Victory:
    • While the Lannisters may have won the War of the Five Kings, it came at great cost: the family is bankrupt and in massive debt to the Iron Bank of Braavos, their military might has been exhausted, and the Tyrells have stepped in to fill the void that the Lannisters no longer can. It's only their ability to hide just how badly they're hurt that keeps them in power at all. The dire situation becomes unmanageable after the demise of Tywin, the only one able to clean up the mess.
    • At the end of Season 6, House Lannister becomes the current ruling house of Westeros after Cersei blows up the Great Sept of Baelor using wildfire with all of her political rivals inside it. While this action places her on the Iron Throne, it turns what is left of the country against her. The Reach and Dorne have joined forces with Daenerys and her invading armies. The North and Vale have declared independence under the new King in the North, Jon Snow. With the elimination of House Frey, the Riverlands can't be counted on for support. Even the Westerlands are suspicious since one of the people she killed was her uncle Kevan, the ruler of the Westerlands. Come Season 7, even Jaime acknowledges that Daenerys will likely win the coming war, and Jon treats her attempt to cow him into submission as transparent posturing by someone without the means to back it up.
  • Realpolitik:
    • Tywin's guiding principle is extended to the rest of the family whether they like it or not.
      Lord Tywin: The house that puts family first will always defeat the house that puts the whims and wishes of its sons and daughters first. A good man does everything in his power to better his family's position regardless of his own selfish desires.
    • He further explains this reasoning to Cersei after winning the war, noting that there's only so much the Lannisters can bully and push people around and the space for that is even less when they are broke and in debt. So Tywin has to curry favor with the Tyrells with marriage alliances even if he doesn't trust them at all:
      Tywin: You don't form alliances with people you trust.
  • Redshirt Army: Whilst they start of winning a few series of victories against the Tullys when led by Jaime, the Lannister army starts to lose battles and suffers staggering losses in each engagement once Robb Stark enters the fray. For example, that huge force Tywin musters to pillage the Riverlands? Precisely half of it is destroyed when Robb defeats and captures Jaime. The replacement army at Oxcross? Robb destroys that one, too. By the end of Season 3, Tywin has given up trying to beat Robb conventionally, and does so by playing to his own strengths: politics and intrigue.
  • Royally Screwed Up: Kevan is the only Lannister mentioned that doesn't have issues. Tytos had a desire to please that made him a doormat, Tywin see people as tools for his work, the twins are self destructive hedonists (on a good day), Tyrion is an alcoholic dwarf with terrible family relation, Lancel is a zealot and there is one who just smashes beetles while screaming crunk.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Jaime and Tyrion get by on Tywin's and Cersei's reputation as well as their family's gold.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: This is a basic family survival strategy. Virtually all the gold mines in Westeros are in the Westerlands, making the Lannisters (and many of their vassals, to boot) obscenely rich. However, it can and has backfired spectacularly when the target decides that they're insulted by the idea of being bought by some rich snot. See Jaime Lannister below. Come Season 4 though, they're running on the idea that they're still rich...
    • Exaggerated in Season 7, with Cersei's buying the use of the Golden Company. There's a slim chance they'd be effective against Danaerys if she wins the War of Dawn and loses both her remaining dragons and the majority of her forces... yet she seems to think they'll work just fine as a defense against the Night King, trying to buy her own way out of humanity's extinction.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Pride. Lannisters clearly think the universe of themselves and believe they must stomp out any form of resistance or insults to their name, especially Tywin and Cersei.
  • Spanner in the Works: When Tyrion is captured, Jaime leads a punitive action against the Starks that ends with Ned incapacitated and unable to meet The Mountain in the Riverlands, which would have likely led to Ned captured or killed by a third-party, the outcome favored by Tywin Lannister. Instead, Ned stays in the capital and the political development leads to a strong casus belli and the insurrection of the North after Ned is executed.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: In Season 4. With the Starks essentially wiped out, Tyrion, Cersei, and Jaime receive the largest amount of screen time. "The Laws of Gods and Men", the sixth episode of Season 4, marks the first episode in the show's history that none of the Starks, not even Jon Snow, have appeared. While prior to this season, they were the Big Bad, but they've increasingly received POV scenes. This can even be seen in the title sequence. In the first three seasons, the top billings were generally mixed between the Starks, Lannisters, and Daenerys. In Season 4, the top three billings are all Lannisters (Tyrion, Jaime, and Cersei).
  • Tangled Family Tree: It's not touched on much, but the Lannister family's inbreeding produced such a situation:
    • Joffrey, Tommen, and Myrcella are Cersei's and Jaime's sons/daughter and nephews/niece, Tyrion's double nephews/niece, Tywin's double grandsons/granddaughter, and each others' brother/sister and cousin... and it only gets more complicated when marriages are arranged with the Tyrells.
    • Tywin's marriage to his first cousin Joanna makes him both father and cousin to Jaime, Cersei, and Tyrion.
  • The Unfettered: They tend to be remarkably ruthless in playing the game of thrones.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Like the Starks, they were this to Littlefinger. Despite comprising of schemers and chess-masters, the Lannisters' sense of power and arrogance made it easy for Littlefinger to make them fight an expensive war with the Starks, inherit a debt-ridden Kingdom, and then turn on each other when their Puppet King dies and Tyrion is accused by his own sister with his father's acquiescence.
  • Villain Ball: While many events were beyond their control, there were more than a few times that the Lannisters and friends screwed themselves over. (MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD) Highlights include:
    • Lord Tywin Lannister's and Queen Regent Cersei Lannister's spiteful and, often, rather petty abuse they give to their very competent relative (son and brother, respectively) Tyrion Lannister for the crimes of "murder" and being a supposed Depraved Dwarf. The latter of which is slightly true, but nonetheless exaggerated by the pair (the effect of Tyrion constantly being ostracized and mocked while his often stunning successes are downplayed and dismissed leads to him striking out against the Ungrateful Bastards. This directly leads to the family's downfall.
    • Tywin revealing to Tyrion, for no other reason than to be an asshole, that Tyrion's first wife is actually a former whore who Tywin then gives to his men to be raped/paid for sex while Tyrion watches (leading to Tyrion's eventual cynicism and bitterness, his aforementioned outcast status, and to some very long-term bad blood).
    • Tywin giving Tyrion a Kangaroo Court trial after Cersei accuses him of killing Joffrey because he was at the scene of the crime, which was a blatantly obvious Frame-Up job by some unknown third party (leading to Tyrion's breakdown and setting him up for execution).
    • And finally, Tywin's actions when Tyrion goes to confront him after being set free by his brother, Ser Jaime Lannister, and his friend, Lord "Master of Whisperers" Varys: Upon stumbling across Tyrion's ex-girlfriend Shae (another prostitute), in his father's bed she freaks out and attacks him with a knife which forces him to kill her. Tywin (while taking a shit on the toilet) decides to mock Tyrion (after the aforementioned ex's death) even as Tyrion is pointing a crossbow at his chest. Yeah...
  • Villain Protagonist: See Spotlight-Stealing Squad. House Lannister has gradually became the most prominent one in the story with Tyrion and Cersei ranking the first and the second in terms of speaking lines over the course of four seasons (and Jaime placing within the top 5). And despite the existence of its more sympathetic members, like Tyrion, Tywin and Jaime, it still serves as the Big Bad of the families of Westeros, with even those characters technically supporting the villainous side. Until Tyrion's exile, anyway.
  • We Have Reserves: They muster 60,000 men when the hostilities begin and every time the Starks and the Tullys shatter a Lannister host (which happens in several battles), they just raise another. When the Tyrells come into the war on the Lannisters' side this is literally true, since the Reach is (in terms of area) the largest region of Westeros after the sparsely-populated North, as well as the most fertile and densely populated. Best summed up by the opposition in Season 3: Edmure Tully tells Robb Stark that they've been inflicting more Lannister casualties than they've taken, but the angry retort is "WE NEED OUR MEN MORE THAN TYWIN NEEDS HIS!" Of course, even though they've won the war, the heavy casualties ended up being proportionately high enough to leave them tapped for manpower and weakened for garrisoning Westeros.
  • Won the War, Lost the Peace:
    • The Lannisters came out on top in the War of the Five Kings and they rule Westeros, but they are weaker than ever in the aftermath and have to rely heavily on the Tyrells. The king whose rule they fought to cement has been assassinated and the next king is just an untrained boy. The Crown is millions in debt to the Iron Bank of Braavos, casting serious doubt on the Lannisters' reputation for repayment. The Riverlands are in ruins and the North is not pacified. Stannis is back in the fight thanks to a loan from the Iron Bank — another result of the Lannisters' mounting debts. Other forces are working to undermine the Lannisters; Littlefinger controls the Vale, the Reach is maneuvering to control the new king, and the Martells hate the Lannisters more then ever after the demise of Oberyn. Their armies are decimated from all the fighting, the gold mines have run dry for years, and most of their money was spent in the war. Making things worse, Tywin, their very capable leader, is killed by Tyrion, who flees to Essos, while Cersei and Jaime are prone to infighting.
  • You Are What You Hate: The two Lannisters who hate each other the most (Tywin and Tyrion) also have the most in common, down to their names.

    Lord Tywin Lannister
Played By: Charles Dance

"It's the family name that lives on. That's all that lives on. Not your personal glory, not your honor, but family."

Father (and paternal first cousin once removed) of the three Lannister siblings, and grandfather to Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen. Lord of Casterly Rock and Warden of the West, Tywin Lannister is perhaps the most feared Lord in the Realm, and is certainly the richest. Calculating, harsh, and ruthless, he is famed as a brilliant administrator, who managed the Realm masterfully during his twenty years as Hand of the King to Aerys Targaryen and is a capable battle commander. He resumes the post under his grandson, King Joffrey and he leads the fight against Robb Stark in the War of the Five Kings, gaining the title "Protector of the Realm," traditionally one of the King's four titles, upon Tommen's coronation. Tywin's driving motive is in securing House Lannister's hold as the most powerful dynasty in Westeros, no matter the cost, which eventually gets Tywin killed by his son Tyrion after one confrontation too many. A remarkable individual acknowledged as the real power in King's Landing, when people talk of him it often sounds more like he's a force of Nature rather than a high lord. Even posthumously, the ones who knew Tywin speak highly of him, and his foes are greatly relieved once such a formidable adversary is no longer in the game.
  • Abusive Parents: Not physically abusive, but psychologically and emotionally abusive to horrific levels. There's no positive reinforcement and constant Disappointed in You speeches all around. He's especially vindictive to Tyrion, going out of his way to make his life a living hell. It's safe to say that his poor parenting is his most prominent negative quality, especially since fucking his cousin was indirectly responsible for Tyrion's birth defects.
  • The Ace: A darker than usual example, but he is the Lannister that sets the standard for all the others. He is ruthless and a better schemer than Cersei, he is a more renowned commander than Jaime and because he is willing to cross lines that Tyrion won't (such as say, violating guest right) he is a more effective war-time politician. He is The Dreaded for a very good reason.
  • Action Dad: He's still a fearsome fighter even by the time Cersei, Jaime, and Tyrion are already adults.
  • Adaptational Badass: A Frontline General unlike the books as shown in Battle of the Blackwater.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Tywin is given some Pet the Dog moments to show a softer side whereas in the books, he never lets his guard down:
    • His 'disowning' of Jaime is not as harsh as in the book, either and instead he uses Tyrion's trial to con him into following in his original plan. He also tries to indulge in flattery to Cersei on occassion and even Tyrion in the moments before his death.
    • A major change which softens Tywin considerably is the excising of the crucial conversation about Tyrion's first wife Tysha in the moment before his death. This was Adapted Out of the show, and being perhaps Tywin's most despicable moment he comes off a lot nicer without it.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: When Arya poses as his cup-bearer, she brings out a softer and paternal side to him that's absent in the books.
  • Adaptational Villainy: He is a huge jerk in the books as well, but in the show his treatment to Tyrion is largely unjustified. In the books, Tyrion has many more negative traits, including a willingness to some degree to harm his own relatives and use them in his schemes, which Tywin loathes since family is everything in his eyes. With such aspects of Tyrion toned down for the show, Tywin's hatred of him is more personal and spiteful.
  • Affably Evil: Shows traces of this towards Arya when she was a noble fugitive incognito, where he drops his guard in a rare moment, and without abandoning his statesman persona, he's grandfatherly towards Tommen. Averted otherwise, as he puts on a cold, unsmiling, and stern front when dealing with everyone else, or Faux Affably Evil with Lady Olenna and becomes openly cruel in front of his son Tyrion.
  • Age Lift: While many characters were made older for the show, Tywin deserves special mention, as in the books, at this point he is 57 years old, yet in The Laws of Gods and Men, his age is listed as 67, a full 10 years older, versus Jaime, who was aged by less than a decade.
    • Also his age when he massacred House Reyne of Castamere, the inspiration of the Lannister's Theme-song. In the books, the DVD's history of the great houses featured and hinted in the lyrics of the song ("Who are you, the proud Lord said, that I must bow so low?") claims that Tywin started to repair his weak father's blunders once he came of age at around 16. But in the show, Cersei remembers the dead Reyne's corpses hanging in Casterly Rock for the whole summer, meaning it must have taken place at max 35ish years ago, or when Tywin was at the lowest 32 years old.
  • Ambition Is Evil:
    • He is ruthless when it comes to playing the game of thrones and will do anything to keep his house on top. In his own words, his dream is to "establish a [Lannister] dynasty that will last a thousand years". Robert is even more generous, summing Tywin's goal up as "wanting to own the world". As the ruling patriarch of the house which he nearly saw destroyed by his weak father, Tywin will do anything to maintain his family's greatness, no matter how vicious.
    • His ambition is also the main reason the Lannisters are a Big, Screwed-Up Family — in his eyes, his children have done nothing worthwhile with their lives and needed his help or name to achieve what little they did do. Jaime is a Master Swordsman and becomes Commander of the Kingsguard, but Tywin sneers that he's just a glorified bodyguard, first to a mad king and then a drunk one. Cersei is Queen, but Tywin points out she didn't do much with her power other than raise her children, poorly. For Tyrion, he plain never trusted Tyrion with any power or authority and thus Tyrion never had a chance to prove himself, thus Tywin sees him as nothing more than a lecherous drunk. While he eventually realizes Tyrion's true worth and appoints him acting Hand of the King, and later Master of Coin, Tywin still sweeps his accomplishments in under the rug, claiming Tyrion did little more than what was expected of him and otherwise is still a lecherous drunk.
  • Archnemesis Dad: To his son Tyrion, to almost absurd levels. They completely and totally hate each other. Tywin hates his son for killing his beloved wife in childbirth and being a whoremongering dwarf, while Tyrion hates his father for always treating him with contempt, and in particular for taking his first love Tysha from him and later sleeping with the woman he loved after hypocritically abusing him for his whoremongering all his life.
  • Asshole Victim: His murder at Tyrion's hands was definitely a long time coming.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Tywin is a two-time Hand of the King, and the Warden of the West (a position only equal to three others and only inferior to the King himself and his Hand). Hand in hand with his titles, Tywin is a ruthless yet highly effective commander who struck the killing blow to King's Landing and the Targaryen royal family in Robert's Rebellion.
  • Badass Baritone: His deep voice suits well with his commanding demeanor.
  • Badass Beard: He sports a trimmed beard, thin on the sides and a bit thicker on the goatee.
  • Badass Boast:
    • "The Rains of Castamere" is a famous song about a young lord who annihilated an entire family of vassals who crossed him, and its protagonist is still walking around and death-staring everyone in his presence.
    • When Cersei dares him to rein Joffrey in, Tywin simply responds with "I will". Tywin once again walks the walk, and is able to control Joffrey with lines such as "I'll make sure you understand that when I've won your war for you."
  • Badass Bureaucrat: Was previously Hand of the King to Aerys II. He becomes Hand of the King once again after King Robert dies. His true genius lies in the craft of political intrigue and public administration within his capacity as a statesman.
  • Badass Grandpa: His Establishing Character Moment has him skinning a stag he just hunted, showing him as quite fit and healthy for his age and even his sadistic grandchild who doubles as king cowers before him. The blood splatter on his face during Blackwater also shows that he fought alongside his men.
  • Badass Longcoat: A black leather one in Season 3 and there is a reason he's considered as the Big Bad by the Starks instead of Joffrey or Cersei.
  • Bad Boss: Justifed in most cases, as he's Surrounded by Idiots. He's actually rather friendly with Arya, as he recognizes her as intelligent and competent. That is until he hands her over to the service of Ser Gregor Clegane.
  • Bait the Dog:
    • After saving Arya from the Mountain's prison pen, and spending a few weeks with Arya as his cupbearer, mentioning how she reminds him of his own daughter at that age, and generally making the audience smile at their father-daughter interactions, he leaves and specifically gives her to the Mountain, with strict orders to stop him from ever getting drunk no less, his less than stellar record with children and females notwithstanding.
    • Initially, it seems that Tywin has changed his mind, he wonders if he was wrong about Tyrion being a stunted fool. He then appoints Tyrion Acting Hand and this drives Tyrion to do a magnificent job, personally saving King's Landing and thus allowing the Lannisters to keep fighting the war, despite having all the odds against him and almost everyone else trying to sabotage him out of idiocy or spite (or both). When Tyrion asks for his reward (which is actually his birthright), Tywin proves that he hasn't changed one bit, bringing up his whoremongering, dismissing his successes and stating that Tyrion is a worthless freak who killed his mother and will never be more than the family embarrassment.
  • Batman Gambit: He's quite good at setting up these:
    • The Red Wedding is a result of his astute Flaw Exploitation of the fallout of the breakup of the Stark-Frey Marriage Alliance and the defection of the Karstarks after Lord Rickard's execution.
    • Tyrion's trial for regicide is another one. He decides to use Jaime's Big Brother Instinct at seeing Tyrion humiliated before the court to force him to bargain leaving the Kingsguard for Casterly Rock, and at the same time force a False Confession from Tyrion and use that to send him to the Wall. It almost works.
  • Berserk Button: Tywin does not tolerate the slightest insubordination from his children or any slights on the family name, real or imagined.
  • Big Bad: In Seasons 3 and 4, he occupies this for the other War of the Five Kings factions, especially the Starks and Baratheons. Tywin is the real muscle of the Iron Throne, and responsible for the worst atrocities of the war, such as sending Gregor Clegane to make the Riverlands a blasted wasteland and turning Harrenhal into a nightmare garrison and then the Red Wedding. That said, Tywin only did this because Catelyn kidnapped Tyrion and as the story unravels it's revealed that Tywin was not the primary cause of the whole conflict.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • At Harrenhal, when he stops the wanton torturing and killing of prisoners through Pragmatic Villainy, enslaving them instead and later in Season 2, when he and the Tyrells save King's Landing from being overtaken by Stannis' troops in "Blackwater", a straight example of The Cavalry, complete with triumphant Rains of Castamere over the credits.
    • Podrick Payne was almost hanged for the actions of his master, but Tywin heard his family name in time, commuted the sentence and sent him to squire for Tyrion as punishment for the two of them. Though the two saw it as Cool and Unusual Punishment.
  • Blatant Lies: When Oberyn asks him if he denies involvement in Elia Martell's murder, Tywin answers, "Categorically", but the uncharacteristic, deflective tone of his voice hints he's at least uneasy with the assertion. From the books... 
    • His claims that he wouldn't let Tyrion be executed (while Tyrion was aiming a crossbow at him), despite Tywin ordering the execution himself. Charles Dance's delivery is so good and there's just enough of a kernel of truth to that speech that it's just possible to believe Tywin was telling the truth.
  • Break the Haughty: In "The Children", Cersei manages to hurt Tywin about the one thing he cares about — the family legacy — by simply revealing to him that the rumors about the incest were true all along. Tywin is shocked and in denial, and then later Tyrion finds out that Father was a hypocrite whoremonger himself, permanently destroying his credibility and removing any ability to bargain for his life with Tyrion.
  • Brutal Honesty: Lord Tywin makes no bones about anything. Probably his most noteworthy example is when he tells Tommen that his older brother was a horrible King. Right after he died. When his body was in the same room as them. And Tommen and his older brother's mother next to him.
  • Cavalry Betrayal: During the last days of the Mad King, his army entered King's Landing as royalist allies and then proceeded to attack and pillage the city in Robert's name.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Slightly touched upon. He has Seven Kingdoms to run during an open rebellion and the ship of fools and schemers that he governs does not make it any easier. When Tyrion casually asks him if he's enjoying the position, Tywin finds the query outlandish and repeats back the question in disbelief From the books... .
  • Character Tics: When he's nervous or enraged, he may keep a straight face, but watch as his hands squeeze and flex around a small object.
  • The Chessmaster: Tywin is one of the most prolific in the series along with Varys and Littlefinger. His money, his army, his name, and his ability to verbally and physically dominate anyone he speaks to, make him one of the most powerful men in the kingdoms, and he's well-aware of it. Some examples of this are the calculated way he sacks kings landing and the way he orchestrates the red wedding. A smart-in theory but ultimately failed example is his plan to use Gregor Clegane to raid the riverlands so as to provoke Ned Stark into striking back so as to capture Ned and get a speedy resolution to the brewing conflict, unfortunately Jaime Lannister threw a Spanner in the Works.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Tywin's main hat is his prioritizing maximum victory with minimum losses and he'll use every trick he can think of to achieve his political and military goals.
    • What makes him a chessmaster here instead of an idiot that violated every principle of diplomacy and Sacred Hospitality in the worst way possible, however, is that he didn't take any active role in the matter — he simply made some assurances to an already traitorous, ambitious, selfish ally of Robb Stark's, giving the betrayal a guaranteed reward if actually carried out; the actual betrayal, its nature, and all of the extreme diplomatic and cultural taboos involved were not Tywin's idea or something he had a direct hand in.
      Tywin: Explain to me why it is more noble to kill ten thousand men in battle than a dozen at dinner.note 
    • In the History and Lore videos, he justifies the Sacking of King's Landing as this; in his mind it decisively ended the war in one fell swoop of bloody violence rather than prolong it indefinitely and prevent additional casualties.
  • Comically Serious: Seen with interactions with Tyrion during his wedding, as Tywin unexpectedly slip in to the role of straight man to his son. Other incidents include giving a version of The Talk to Tommen in the Sept of Baelor, and trying to talk with Oberyn Martell in a brothel... with Oberyn offering him a seat right where a male prostitute had been laying with Oberyn.
  • Composite Character: His intro of butchering a stag is actually from Randyll Tarly, Sam's father. And his use of Arya as a cupbearer is taken from Roose Bolton.
  • Control Freak: Of the highest, most unhealthy order, in that he wants to control everything and everyone. Justified in that his father being the complete polar opposite and too laid back (Laughing Lion for a reason) caused House Lannister to be in the mess it was until Tywin restored them to power during his times as Hand of the King at least.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: His audiences are completely one-sided and anyone who dares to argue with him gets verbally demolished. The only exceptions have been Olenna Tyrell and Oberyn Martell. In literal military terms, his utter annihilation of House Reyne of Castamere could be seen as this. The same goes for the Red Wedding, in which he all but annihilates the enemy forces in a single night, destroying their leadership and (to the best of his and everyone else's knowledge) male family line.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: After Tywin's death, Loras has to give his condolences to Cersei and he painfully struggles to say something nice about her father. He finally calls the deceased lord 'a force to be reckoned with', then pauses for a moment, then rephrases it, then pauses again and finally repeats the original phrase. While the moment is awkward, the departed would find the words highly praising because that's precisely the image Tywin cultivated and relished.
  • Dead Guy on Display: As noted by Oberyn Martell, after Clegane murdered Elia and her children, Tywin ordered their bodies to be brought to the Throne Room and wrapped in Lannister banners, and presented before Robert Baratheon as a token of fealtyFrom the books .
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Although not to the level of, say, his sons, and placing particular emphasis on deadpan. This is most evident during his dealings with his subordinates. For example:
      Polliver: (to Arya, while dressed as a boy) What are you looking at?! Kneel! Kneel or I'll take your lungs out, boy!
      Tywin: You'll do no such thing. This one's a girl, you idiot.
    • And again in "The Old Gods and the New":
      Tywin: (to Amory Lorch) My cupbearer can read better than you.
  • Death by Irony: Goes by the motto of "a Lannister always pays his debts"... then gets killed by a Lannister who is most certainly paying his debt.
  • Death Glare: The non-verbal part of his imposing stance when someone antagonizes or displeases him. If looks could kill, his probably will. Special notice goes to his expression when Joffrey insults him at a Small Council meeting in "Mhysa" and the look he gives the crowd at Tyrion's wedding after they laugh when Joffrey humiliates Tyrion.
    • And even that pales in comparison to the look he sends to Tyrion in "The Laws of of Gods and Men" at the end of Tyrion's trial. Tyrion returns it in kind.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: He will go down as one of the great conquerors; a Four-Star Badass in war-time and a Reasonable Authority Figure in peace. It doesn't make him a nice person. Or mean that extremely Pragmatic Villainy has a long shelf-life if you neglect the grassroots in the form of Tyrion, Cersei and Jaime.
  • Defiant to the End: "You're no son of mine!". Whatever else you think of him, Tywin's decision to denounce the man who just mortally wounded him rather than whimper or plead is worthy of respect.
  • Dirty Coward: Not in the series, where he's willing to fight along side his troops but Joffrey accuses him of being this during Robert's Rebellion, hiding at Casterly Rock and only joining once victory was all but guaranteed much like Walder Frey. Considering Tywin's reaction, it's heavily implied that Joffrey struck a nerve.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Any slight against House Lannister is met with extreme prejudice. His establishing moment in the backstory was wiping out the entirety of the Lannister vassal House Reyne for daring to think that they could stand up to the Lannisters. When he gives his speech about family reputation and fear, he really, really means it. He responds to Catelyn Stark taking Tyrion as a hostage by launching a Rape, Pillage, and Burn campaign on the Riverlands to show everyone that you do not mess with the Lannisters, even if it's the most worthless-in-his-eyes of Lannisters.
  • Dragon-in-Chief:
    • Hierarchically, Joffrey is the King of Westeros; Tywin is only his Hand, and not even that until Season 3. Yet Joffry is an incompetent fool of a ruler, and everyone on all sides of the war knows that Tywin is the real power behind the throne. This trope is lampshaded in "Mhysa".
      Tyrion: You just sent the most powerful man [Joffrey] in Westeros to bed without his supper.
      Tywin: You're a fool if you believe he is the most powerful man in Westeros.
      Tyrion: A treasonous statement. Joffrey is king.
      Tywin: You really think a crown gives you power?
    • He was also The Dragon as Hand to King Aerys until he resigned. When Robert's Rebellion tilted in favor of the rebels, Tywin became The Starscream and slaughtered Aerys' grandkids.
    • This is further cemented when Tommen names him Protector of the Realm, which is a title reserved for the King; the kid knows who really runs things.
  • The Dreaded: The most feared person in the series during his life, someone who keeps Petyr Baelish, Varys, Tyrion, Olenna and even Joffrey intimidated from openly crossing him, Robb Stark likewise sees Tywin as his enemy. Tyrion defines Westeros as "Seven Kingdoms united in fear of Tywin Lannister".
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: He has this attitude towards Tyrion, feeling that he should be more grateful as he wanted to just murder him when he was born but chose to raise him anyway. The fact that he expects the son he's treated like shit his entire life to be grateful for not murdering him as an infant speaks volumes about Pride Tywin's character.
  • Enraged by Idiocy: He's perpetually unamused, given that his standards are inhumanly high, has no tolerance for incompetence and Joffrey's reign has been a long parade of follies and disasters.
    Tywin: Madness, madness and stupidity! (regarding Ned Stark's execution)
  • Establishing Character Moment: His aloof, stern patriarchy over the Lannister family is laid bare in his very first scene, a conversation in his war camp with Jaime, which produces many of his defining quotes. While he's butchering a stag, no less.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Missing the bigger picture, Tywin can hardly fathom it when Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion are successfully rebelling against the head of house Lannister. The line "You shot me", even shares the feeling of disbelief ("why, this is violence"); like that of which Julius Caesar expressed during his own assassination.
  • Evil Is Petty: For all of his magnificence, the lord of Casterly Rock has done some extremely petty things:
    • When he discovered Tyrion had married Tysha he had the marriage annulled. This is reasonable and it serves as a message to his son. However, afterwards he had his garrison rape her while making Tyrion watch, which was completely unnecessary and only showed where Cersei got her pettiness fromFrom the books... .
    • When Tyrion asks him about inheriting Casterly Rock — being at this point the rightful heir — Tywin lashes out at him, blaming him for his wife's death, calling him stupid despite his brief and successful tenure as Hand of the King, and claiming he would rather die than make Tyrion his heir, despite Tyrion being the only one of his three children nearly as capable as himself.
    • Cersei points out that Tywin is obsessed with the idea of a great family line, at the expense of the next generation thereof.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Jaime is frequently the only evidence of Tywin Lannister being capable of feeling empathy for another living human being. Tywin even shows physical affection in the only scene they share before the war and is very anguished later by the captivity of his son. He is genuinely compassionate towards Jaime losing his hand and asks him to finally become his heir and leave the Kingsguard but Jaime's unexpected refusal makes him into a cold hard-ass again, mocking Jaime for not doing anything during the war, wasting his life as a glorified bodyguard and telling him that he can no longer count Tywin as his family.
    • He genuinely loved his late wife, and holds Tyrion in such high contempt partly for causing his wife's death.
    • He seems to like his brother Kevan, at least treating him as a good lieutenant and advisor, even though Tywin may have the final word.
    • Tywin also showed some outward paternal concern for Tommen and becomes The Svengali to him.
    • He also admits that he loved his father Tytos even if Tywin despised his weakness.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: It comes out of Pragmatic Villainy, but Tywin generally has little patience for the more vulgar form of evil indulged by Cersei, Amory Lorch and Joffrey.
    • He regarded Ned Stark's execution as a moronically stupid move on the part of Cersei and Joffrey, and specifically sent Tyrion to the capital to do crisis management. Likewise, he dresses down Cersei for her constant backbiting against the Tyrells and criticized her decision to fire Ser Barristan Selmy saying it was "as insulting as it was stupid" pointing out that despite his age, it was not on his watch that Joffrey died.
    Tywin: Madness, madness, and stupidity.
    • Tywin does have a code about family honor, even if Tyrion, "the least of the Lannisters" (in his words) is kidnapped, Tywin will go Papa Bear though barely conceal his disappointment that Tyrion is alive. He repeatedly sends Tyrion on Uriah Gambit hoping he would die, because he can't kill him himself. He tells Tyrion that he didn't kill Tyrion the day he was born, even though he badly wanted to, because it would mean killing a Lannister.
    • Even Tywin doesn't approve of Joffrey's treatment of Tyrion during the Purple Wedding as can be seen on the look of his face. Likewise, he is unwilling to see Tyrion (or rather, another Lannister) publicly humiliated and demonstrates this with a withering death glare when the crowd laughs at Joffrey's attempt to humiliate Tyrion at Tyrion's wedding to Sansa.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Shows shades of this:
    • In "Kissed by Fire", he expresses confusion and annoyance over Tyrion's protests over his reward of a forced marriage to Sansa Stark, remarking that she's both beautiful and the remaining heir to Winterfell once Robb's dealt with. Thus, in Tywin's eyes Tyrion is ungratefully complaining about becoming one of the most powerful men in Westeros, rather than forcing a child who's suffered at Joffrey's hands to have to marry him and essentially ordered to exert Marital Rape License.
    • In "Mhysa", they once again have a clash of opinions over the Red Wedding. Tywin attempts to point out that it's no different than a victory on the battlefield, even sparing lives in the long run. However, Tyrion, despite not being adverse to cheating in war, believes that such an action crosses a line that will never be forgotten and may only serve to fuel a future conflict.
    • Even when Tyrion has him at crossbowpoint on the privy and has made it very evident how he felt for Shae, Tywin continually dismisses her as "just a whore" when trying to compliment and reassure Tyrion of his esteem for him, not thinking Tyrion would be offended by such a callous dismissal of the woman he loved. Tyrion proves him dead wrong.
    • This also plays into the Red Wedding. Tywin believes that it was enough to crush the Northern Rebellion once and for all and that They will see Robb as a cautionary tale of why They shouldn't march against the crown, believing that [[Pride because he says it's finished, it's finished]]. Tyrion however can see how the act will just embolden Them further and increase Their rage towards the crown and desire for independence. As we see later on, Tyrion was right that They wouldn't go down so easily and Robb ends up being seen as a martyr.
    • He tends to dismiss the Starks as weak due in part to their noble nature. It's clear that Honor Before Reason is a completely foreign principle to Tywin. House Lannister ends up paying dearly for this miscalculation in Season 6.
  • Evil Chancellor: Relatively speaking; after back-to-back runs at being The Good Chancellor to a pair of evil kings in Aerys II and Joffrey. With Joffrey is dead and Tommen is king, the alignment switches back to Good King/Evil Chancellor. He was only technically a Good Chancellor in the first place by managing to be only slightly less evil and insane than the two kings he served under.
  • Evil Genius: Even by the high standards of Westeros' top schemers, Tywin is regarded as The Ace. Littlefinger, Varys and Olenna Tyrell all have high respect for his intelligence and ruthlessness. His son Tyrion even allows that "father has a good mind for strategy".
  • Evil Gloating: Generally, he's not that vulgar in public but there are exceptions:
    • In a private moment, he enjoys a smug satisfied expression watching Ned Stark's sword 'Ice' melted into two Valyrian swords and then throws the sword's wolf pelt sheath in the flames, celebrating the Lannisters triumph over the Starks.
    • In the History and Lore videos, on King's Landing, he is positively proud of his cold and brutal betrayal of Aerys Targaryen, noting how the King "thought he was being clever" by keeping Jaime as a hostage against him. He also considers "The Rains of Castamere" as a quaint song and sends it as his go-to death threat to anyone who so much as thinks of resisting the Lannisters.
  • Evil Old Folks: He's in his sixties and one of the most ruthless characters in the show.
  • Evil Overlord: Deconstructed Character Archetype. He only resorts to Kick the Dog and Disproportionate Retribution to ensure that his family name is respected and feared (unless the target happens to be Tyrion). He's also completely aware of his limitations, noting that his family is deeply mired in debt to the Iron Bank of Braavos and they need a firm marital alliance with the Tyrells to meet their obligations. He's downright reverential to the Iron Bank, calling it "a temple", so he's not going to consider bribing them or getting in their bad books, that's way more foresight than most overlords ever show.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: His death creates one in Westeros. The hegemony he built crumbles almost overnight, with Lannister puppets like the Boltons going rogue and renegade religious factions like the Sparrows slowly take over the city and Cersei sabotaging his alliance with the Tyrells.
  • Exact Words: Near the beginning of Season 3, Tyrion insisted he be rewarded for saving King's Landing. Tywin's promise, among various vague assurances, was that he would be given a proper wife. In "Kissed By Fire", Tywin points out this demand when ordering Tyrion to marry Sansa Stark.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Despite being killed while in the privy, Tywin remains as belligerent and arrogant as ever. Though he initially tries to talk his way out of death, he grimly accepts his fate after Tyrion fatally wounds him but not without cursing his son one last time, though Tyrion gets the last word in:
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: For one nameday, Tyrion asked for a dragon, quickly becoming the family laughingstock. Tywin quickly beat it into his head that dragons are extinct.
  • Fatal Flaw: His obsession with the Lannister family glory results in a lack of emotional intelligence and in his utter inability to give a shit about his children as individuals. This turns into a literal fatal flaw, as his abuse of his son Tyrion earns him a terminal case of crossbow-to-gut.
  • Fiction 500: Is often called the richest man in the Seven Kingdoms; King Robert (through the Iron Throne) owed him around three million gold dragons, and he has no trouble forking over eighty thousand more to provide prize money for a tourney. A common saying is that Tywin Lannister is so rich that he "shits gold." According to Forbes magazine, he is worth 2.1 billion American dollars in the books. That makes him exceedingly wealthy even by the standards of a modern economy. Due to massive war debts, however, he doesn't stay that rich forever, the Lannister's gold mines having dried up and most of the Lannisters' wealth spent financing Joffrey's time on the throne during the War of the Five Kings; it's the reason why he ends up allying with House Tyrell.
  • First-Name Basis: Strangely, unlike most other lords in the series he is usually referred to as "Lord Tywin" rather than "Lord Lannister".
  • Foil: Tywin is essentially what his son Tyrion would be if he had fewer morals and was more focused on preserving the family name. Both are intelligent and cunning strategists, as much on the battlefield as when it comes to political intrigue. They have also served as Hands of the King, with both of them being competent in the position. Not only that, but they also have no problem with hiring prostitutes, not that Tywin would admit to ever doing so.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Has shades of this in his negotiations with Olenna, he puts on a polite facade but it's not enough to hide his fury over how the Tyrells tried to marry Sansa behind his back (from his perspective).
  • Four-Star Badass: Has never lost a war, as he proudly remarks to Arya and is a cunning and gifted military strategist. Also a Frontline General unlike his book counterpart.
  • Freudian Excuse: The reason why he's such an hardass is because his father's magnanimity nearly led to the bankruptcy and ruination of his house. Despite this, he still has very fond memories of the man. The loss of his wife while giving birth to Tyrion is also a factor in his cold attitude toward life.
  • The Good Chancellor: Surprisingly for his horrible personality, he seems this way for many people who aren't personally affected by him. His twenty-year reign as Hand to the Mad King was considered the most stable and prosperous period Westeros had experienced in recent memory. Under Joffrey (Mad King 2.0), he once again brings his competence to the table, making him the Puppet King, chewing out Cersei and actually running Westeros. When the main part of the war is officially over, he turns to consolidating the Kingdom with new alliances with the Tyrells and Martells, as well as focusing on solving the crown's debts. He's still a huge asshole but someone with a day-to-day grasp of administration.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Has a fondness for black leather outfits.
  • Hidden Depths: A deleted Season 3 scene reveals Tywin likes to fish. Together with his stag-skinning, it suggests Tywin, in his spare time, does prefer eating fresh food he prepared himself.
  • Humiliation Conga: Season 4 starts with him at the height of his power but it proves to be Pride Before a Fall. Throughout the season, he is gradually weakened. He is forced to concede to the Tyrells in order to avoid bankruptcy after the war drained his house's finances. Due to the looming threat of Dany and her army he has to make amends with the Martells who despise his family with a passion. Then Joffrey dies on his wedding day and his plan of getting Jaime to renounce the Kingsguard fails. His alliance with the Martells ends, and he even loses the services of Ser Gregor as The Brute. Then, Cersei confirms that her children were the product of incest with Jaime, to Tywin's shock and disbelief. And finally, Tywin gets offed by Tyrion, after finally being revealed as a hypocrite whoremonger much like his son.
  • Hyper Awareness:
    • Sees through Arya's disguise at first glance, and is obviously aware that she's not a commoner.
      Tywin: This one's a girl, you idiot.
    • In a deleted scene, Tywin wonders if he's the only one who sees through Pycelle's act.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: He is much, much capable as a ruler than the Kings he has served as Hand.
  • Hypocrite:
    • The man who constantly preaches the importance of family destroys the bonds he has with his kids by psychologically abusing them. Tywin often wastes no time reminding his children of their shortcomings, all whilst ignoring his poor parenting as a huge reason why they are so flawed.
    • The majority of his actions which are considered "best for the family" often boil down to what will most benefit himself first. Tyrion even calls him out on how Tywin never makes any personal sacrifices for the sake of the Lannisters, but expects his kids to do so in return... to which Tywin answers that his sacrifice was to let Tyrion survive childbirth.
    • Case in point, at one point or another Tywin has tried to force all three of his children into political marriages for the sake of the family legacy, and expects Cersei to remarry after Robert's death because she's still young and eligable. Tywin married his first cousin Joanna out of love, and as a Lannister herself she brought him no new wealth, lands, or armies. When she died, Tywin was in his prime at just over the age of 30, but never remarried.
    • Likewise, he constantly condemns Tyrion for sleeping with prostitutes, but is revealed in his final episode to have no problem bedding them himself. Namely, Tyrion's former lover Shae.
    • When Tyrion complains that his hill tribes in Season 1 are unruly Tywin is quick to preach that the responsibility of bad behavior from soldiers lies with their commander, but when Oberyn confronts him about Gregor Clegane however Tywin simply replies that men at war commit all kind of crimes without their superior's knowledge'From the novels... .
    • He is very disappointed that he has no suitable heir and criticizes Jaime for remaining on the Kingsguard and Tyrion for being a deviant. He also arranges for Cersei to marry Loras and have his children while she is still fertile. Not once does he ever consider remarrying, even though as a man his reproductive system has no expiry date and he could have more children. Not to mention that by the time of the series he has been widowed for over thirty years so there could have been several more adult Lannister children by now to make new alliances and maybe make up for the "disappointments" of his first three children.
    • Also, his justification for the Red Wedding is that it's more noble to kill dozens at a dinner rather than thousands in battle.....which conveniently leaves out the fact that not only were Robb and his court slaughtered, but also his entire army, in a very cowardly way.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: For entirely selfish reasons, Tywin is not thrilled when somebody else mistreats Tyrion, as no one messes with a Lannister publicly:
    Tywin: He's a Lannister! Maybe the lowest of the Lannisters, but he's one of us. And everyday that he remains a prisoner, the less our name commands respect.
    Tyrion (lukewarmly): Kind of you to go to war for me.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: They reflect his cold personality quite well.
  • I Have No Son: He disowns Jaime in "Two Swords" for refusing to leave the Kingsguard and become eligible to inherit Casterly Rock. Also his Famous Last Words after Tyrion mortally wounds him are that "you're no son of mine", for which Tyrion shoots him again.
  • Irony:
    • On account of You Are What You Hate and a great deal of self-aggrandizement, Tywin's end goal of the Lannisters becoming the new Targaryens falls flat since he's only obsessed with the idea of his family line dominating Westeros but all his actions to make it work fail. He has no stable and fixed heir, partially because he refuses to accept Tyrion. His bad parenting, willful blindness, and outright abuse and neglect means that his children and his brother Kevan are left in almost the same precarious situation Lord Tytos left it.
    • Tywin's insistence on being The Man Behind the Man has led to him never actually teaching his family on how to effectively rule. This has left his heirs woefully unprepared with the reality of trying to run King's Landing. Jaime is completely disinterested, Cersei prides herself on being smarter than she actually is, Tyrion is constantly undermined by a family that hates him, Joffrey is sociopathic and incompetent, and Tommen is completely ineffective.
      • He does make an effort to teach Tommen, but he runs out of time.
    • Tywin hates Tyrion for being a dwarf whose complicated pregnancy killed his mother/Tywin's wife Joanna, who was his first love. This was ironic on two counts:
      • Tywin and Joanna were first cousins. Children born of people that closely related have an ever-so-slightly increased risk of birth defects. For what it's worth, Tywin's decision to take up with a first cousin (which was for love and not the purely politically advantageous marriage he desires for his children) may have contributed to Tyrion's condition.
      • Tywin doesn't seem to understand, even on his deathbed (death toilet?), why Tyrion's so pissed off at him for taking away Tyrion's first love - despite Tywin hating Tyrion his whole life for that exact thing.
    • He continually emphasizes the importance of putting family first and claims that's what will keep the Lannisters in power. However, his treatment of his children and fixation on using them to further the Lannister name, turns the them into the most divided noble house and ultimately leads to their downfall. His relentless abuse of Tyrion leads to Tyrion killing him and fleeing to join Daenerys, his encouragement of Cersei's cruelty leads her to raising Joffrey in a similar manner and is murdered because he gets so out of hand. Even the marriages Twyin forces upon them don't help much, as Cersei's hatred of Robert leads to her killing him and ensuring she doesn't have any of his children. In contrast, families who he writes off as weak but genuinely care about each other manage to stay strong because of it. The Tyrells are a threat because they have good interpersonal relationships as well as cunning and the Starks — against all odds and expectations — are hanging in there and on the rise, thanks to their close ties and love for each other. And in fact the Starks take out the two dysfunctional families Tywin favoured — the Boltons and Freys — because they were such a mess.
  • It's All About Me:
    • Tyrion calls him out on this, noting that Tywin automatically equates his personal ambitions with that of his family and that he makes his children compromise and face consequences that he himself has never done and will never do. Tywin's reply to that was that the great personal sacrifice he made was not killing Tyrion as a baby.
    • Likewise, Tywin could have resolved the seeming unfittingness of his children by naming his brother Kevan as heir but then Tywin couldn't well claim that it was his great family line. Likewise, Kevan himself has a Sketchy Successor in the soon to become Brother Lancel.
  • I Want Grandkids: ... as long as they're male grandkids from his eldest son. Ironically, he already has two of these but they're less than ideal, being officially Baratheons rather than Lannisters, and rather more importantly bastards born of incest between his son and daughter.
  • Jerkass: It is revealed in "Baelor" that Tyrion once made the mistake of falling in love with and marrying a whore his brother had secretly hired to sleep with him. So when Tywin found out, he ordered his entire garrison to rape her (each soldier paying, of course) and forced Tyrion to watch from beginning to end and then be the final participant — then paying her more because a Lannister is worth moreFrom the books... .
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Some of Tywin's insults often hit the mark. Whether it is calling Jaime a glorified bodyguard lacking ambition, Cersei not nearly as smart as she thinks she is, or Tyrion a fool for his drinking and whoring. In the case of the latter two, those prove to be Fatal Flaw for them.
    • When Tommen is about to become king, Tywin gives him a talk about how everything he does must be dictated by wisdom, and wise people listen to their advisors for wisdom and expertise. It's entirely self-serving (he, himself, being Tommen's chief advisor) and horribly insensitive (he derides Joffrey's lack of wisdom, next to Joffrey's dead body). Still, every point he makes is entirely reasonable.
    • His statement about how the House that places the family's needs first over it's members is hypocritical, self-serving, and in the context of encouraging Tyrion to engage in Marital Rape License, absolutely repugnant, but in the long run, he's shown to be right. The Baratheons and the Boltons are both extinct precisely because their individual members would not get along, and ultimately ended up killing one another. House Lannister themselves are in dire straits by Season 7 due to Tyrion aiding Daenerys in overthrowing his hated sister, all as a result of the family's internal frictions and feuds. Meanwhile, the Starks are Back from the Brink precisely because it's members love one another unconditionally, and are willing to put their House and family before their own ambitions and desires, with Sansa willing to sidestep her own claim on the North to support her half-brother Jon being a good example.
      • The latter is also a case of Evil Cannot Comprehend Good. Although Tywin is right about the need for families to stick together he fails to comprehend that it only works if there is genuine affection between family members.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: He occasionally says something that might indicate that he's not as bad as people think but he usually tells them in no uncertain terms his entirely pragmatic reasons for saying it if he's questioned about it.
  • Just a Kid: The Rains of Castamere suggest that Tywin's own enemies once thought this of him. Ironic that Tywin then makes a similar underestimation of Robb Stark.
  • Karmic Death: The proud lord of House Lannister is killed in the most humiliating spot possible by the son who he has emotionally abused and treated like dirt for almost his entire life. Better yet, he died the same way most of the people at the Red Wedding were killed: feathered with crossbow bolts by someone they least suspected would have the nerve to kill them.
    • It's also rather fitting as Tywin made a point of being absolutely ruthless and pragmatic, striking when least expected, with the Red Wedding being the best example. In the end, he gets literally caught with his pants down and murdered while unarmed and in a compromised position, similar to how Robb died.
  • Knight Templar: Believes anything is justified it means House Lannister can keep on top.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • MANY times, both in the past and present. Thus proving that for all his effectiveness at stabilising the realm, he is NOT a good person.
    • He manages to zigzag between this and Pet the Dog with his treatment of Tyrion (more in Season 1 than later). On the one hand, he never hesitates to tell Tyrion he considers him a drunken, lecherous freak who killed his mother and dreams of killing him without any stain on his conscience. On the other hand, he sometimes acknowledges Tyrion's talents, speaks to him as an equal when he isn't insulting his lifestyle, and in contrast to Cersei and Joffrey, he trusts Tyrion with power and authority.
      Tywin: [to Tyrion] I always thought you were a stunted fool. Perhaps I was wrong.
    • He also manages to zigzag it with Jaime: He can insult and disown him in a scene and still help him sheathe a Valyrian sword or let his son keep said sword:
      Tywin: [to Jaime] Keep it. A one handed man with no family needs all the help he can get.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • When he chastises Gregor Clegane and Amory Lorch for making very obvious mistakes.
    • He chooses to give a lecture to Tommen (a full on Pet the Dog moment by itself) right next to Joffrey's body (albeit a dead body that ordered Ned Stark's death and started an expensive, bloody war) as Cersei is grieving for her son. He even mentions what a terrible king Joffrey was and coldly ignores Cersei's "this is not the time or place" feeble complaint. Although its insensitive it doesn't change the fact Joffrey still was a terrible king and Cersei did do a poor job at raising him.
  • Lack of Empathy: If you wondered where Cersei and Joffrey got it from, it's Tywin. He will let the North and Riverlands be ruled by psychotic monsters if it means his family can win the war. But to be fair, the Starks started it by capturing Tyrion.
  • Large and in Charge: Tywin is 6'3", all but runs Westeros and is usually both the tallest and most intimidating person in any room he's in, unless it's The Mountain he's talking to.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Being a nearly professional dog-kicker for all his life, Tywin finally gets bitten back by each of his children with suitably ascending level: his "golden son" Jaime doesn't try to harm him but ignores his orders by refusing to carry a family name and then releasing his sentenced brother Tyrion from prison behind Tywin's back, the daughter he thought nothing more of beside selling her off for the sake of family legacy crushes his illusions about said legacy with a few simple words, and his horribly mistreated youngest son, whom he always wished dead, ends up killing Tywin in a rather humiliating manner.
  • Lean and Mean: He has a fairly slender frame, accentuated by his height, and he really lives up to the mean part.
  • Like Father Like Children: As an Ace, Tywin has unrelenting ambition, martial skill, a brilliant mind, and forceful charisma. His children, while they surpass him in their own ways, unfortunately don't inherit all of his talents, to their detriment.
    • Cersei is more ruthless in her ambition, but not only lacks her father's mind, she is also petty, selfish, and thoughtless to the consequences of her actions.
    • Jaime is a fighter with skill several leagues higher than Tywin and has his (smaller) brand of cunning, but lacks the ambition to exercise his full potential.
    • Tyrion is as brilliant and charismatic as his father, pulling off impossible tasks often while seriously disadvantaged, but the dwarf has no grand desires other than debauchery and recognition, and his deformity always means that people hate him, but don't fear him.
  • Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair!: Three seasons after his death and all of Tywin's gains for his house have fallen apart entirely. Cersei's disastrous attempts at playing politics culminates with her openly murdering thousands of people and crowning herself queen in a short-sighted play at saving her own skin. House Tyrell and Dorne both side firmly against the Lannisters and are ally with Daenarys' invading army to take them down. His greatest victory of eradicating the noble Stark family is undone thanks to the rise of the overlooked Stark children, who take down the very families he raised to power. Jon Snow and Sansa Stark retake the North and destroy the Boltons who Tywin installed as Wardens of the North, while Arya Stark kills Walder Frey, sending the Frey and Lannister's shaky hold on the Riverlands into chaos. To top it off, the Lannister family itself is in complete shambles, with Tommen, Kevan, and Lancel dead, Jaime leaving Cersei, and Tyrion actively aiding Daenerys' war efforts as Hand of the Queen.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Towards his own children and both grandsons.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Twice has served as Hand of the King: first to Aerys Targaryen and secondly to his grandson Joffrey. His reign as Hand is seen (in-verse) as a time of prosperity, despite "The Mad King". He was also the true architect of the Red Wedding, by guaranteeing the Freys protection from retribution.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: The History and Lore videos cites this as his reason for betraying Aerys, largely due to the King refusing to allow Prince Rhaegar to marry Cersei, thus spurning the man who was running the kingdom for Aerys and insulting a vassal of one of the oldest houses of the kingdom, to say nothing of ordering Jaime into the Kingsguard to block him from being Tywin's heir. Tywin even Lampshades this, stating that if Aerys had been nicer to him and accepted his match, he would have remained loyal to the Crown.
    • And then of course there's Tyrion, who despite the impossibility of the thing went far and beyond for the sake of House Lannister in order to please his father... up until Tywin pushes him one time too many, causing Tyrion to snap and leave King's Landing and his family behind... with two fatal crossbow bolts in Tywin's chest.
  • Mock Millionaire: Tywin reveals to Cersei that the Lannisters are no longer as wealthy as they used to be, with the Lannisters' gold mines having dried up three years before and most of the Lannisters' wealth spent backing Joffrey in the War of the Five Kings. Worse yet, a lot of the debt that they're owed is held by the Iron Throne, which itself is heavily financed by debts owed to the Iron Bank of Braavos.
  • Money Is Not Power: Tywin swears by this, calling gold "just another rock." While their (formerly) outrageous wealth certainly helped, the Lord of Casterly Rock believes that true power comes from strong leadership. He was even able to maintain the illusion that all was well with their finances for some time.
  • Narcissist: While a brilliant statesman and a highly skilled military strategist, he is also extremely vain, unrepentantly cruel, and morbidly self-absorbed. In addition to having nothing but contempt for those less talented or of lower birth than himself, Tywin harbors no compassion or loyalty to anyone outside his family. By his own admission, he views anyone who is not a Lannister as either enemies or pawns to be exploited. Despite professing to do everything for his family's benefit, he regularly rides roughshod over its individual members' welfare to advance his own interests (which he selfishly equates with his entire household). Even when his own children protest his tyrannical grip over their lives, he coldly dismisses them or ruthlessly browbeats them into submission . Furthermore, he is pathologically obsessed with projecting an image of invincibility and infallibility as evidenced by his deep-rooted inclination to wipe out all who challenge his authority with extreme prejudice and his grandiose plan to establish a dynasty that will rule Westoros for a thousand years.
  • Nay-Theist: Cersei quotes him in "Blackwater" as saying "The gods have no mercy, that's why they are gods", and notes that Tywin does believe in the gods — he just doesn't like them. Along the lines of a typical Hollywood Atheist backstory, he developed this attitude after the death of his beloved wife. Tywin also views his son Tyrion, whom he intensely dislikes, as a cruel lesson by the Gods to teach him humility because Tyrion can still fly Lannister colors despite Tywin's disapproval of him.
  • New Era Speech: Gives one, masquerading as an exercise in the Socratic Method, to Tommen after Joffrey's death, indicating Tywin's vision of the future.
  • Nerves of Steel: Is very nonchalant of Tyrion threatening to kill him, even after finally being shot down with a crossbow.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Treats Arya, who is working as his cupbearer, with a surprising amount of respect, largely because he is amused by her and obviously enjoys the company of a bright youngster more than that of his rather pedestrian retainers and warlords. Of course, this doesn't stop him casually giving her over to the monstrous Gregor Clegane once he has to leave.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed:
    • Tywin is based in part on Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, known as the "Kingmaker" and The Man Behind the Man during the Wars of the Roses (along with Roose Bolton)note .
    • Some aspects of King Edward I Longshanks and King Philip le Bel are also at play. King Edward was tall, intimidating, ruthless and has very little respect for his offspringnote , while King Philip was cold, unsmiling and icy. Edward won a famous victory in the Battle of Eversham against Simon de Montfort (whose sigil inspired that of House Reyne). King Philip ruthlessly purged The Knights Templar and introduced administrative efficiency only to have all his work wasted by his descendants who would start The Hundred Years War. The Accursed Kings which deals with King Philip was an acknowledged influence on the books.
    • His being an competent bureaucrat holding the realm together for problematic sovereigns note  may also take its inspiration from John of Gaunt, patriarch of the House of Lancasternote , who held England together during the problematic tenure of Richard IInote . Tywin's personality, however, borrows more from Shakespeare's fictionalization of his son, the elderly Henry IV (at least in his eponymous plays): an active leader and administrator disappointed with the incompetence of their more outgoing, personable offspring (Prince Hal for Henry IV, Jaime and Tyrion for Tywin).
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Tywin likes things concise and to the point and wastes no time when an opportunity is at hand. He dislikes beating around the bush, and is very vocal about the unnecessary behavior he regularly encounters, be it lavish, humorous, erroneous or plain foolish.
  • No-Sell: After four seasons of Tywin cowing his children with a mere Death Glare and "The Reason You Suck" Speech, Cersei and Tyrion finally reject his efforts to dominate and manipulate them in "The Children": Cersei confirms that her children are bastards born of incest and therefore his legitimate bloodline is cut short, and Tyrion straight-up shoots him dead.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Done intentionally as an intimidation tactic to psyche out Joffrey: As he not-so-subtly explains just how little concern he has for Joffrey as a person compared to his concern for the realm, he steps closer and closer up to the Iron Throne until he's looming over the little shit.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: When Tywin approaches Oberyn in a whorehouse to talk, there are several naked whores on the bed, and they walk past Tywin. In the entire scene, Tywin never ogles any of them, remaining with his undisturbed icy glare at face-level. (Given that one of the first things we find out about Tywin is his public distaste for whores, this is probably very justified.)
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Robert used to rub him the wrong way by patting him on the back.
  • Offing the Offspring: He would never outright do it to Tyrion but he dreams about it and if he sees a chance to make it happen with a clean hand and guilt-free conscience, he'll make it happen.
    • In Season 1, Tyrion speculates that his father is putting him on the vanguard of a battle to invoke this, and Tywin is not amused to see his son still alive in the aftermath.
    • He reveals to Tyrion that he intended to kill him on the day he was born but Tywin could not bring himself to do it because Tyrion was ultimately still a Lannister.
    • In Season 4, Tywin tells Jaime that he intends to declare Tyrion guilty in his trial for regicide, normally an instant death sentence, but provide Tyrion the chance to go to the Wall to join the Night's Watch, which itself puts his odds on surviving, what with the taint of regicide and the bitter cold of the North, at great risk. There's also the Wildling army that's approaching the Wall, as he admitted to Oberyn Martell.
    • After the Trial by Combat, Tywin finally has the legal mandate to officially sentence Tyrion to death and he does it without a second thought. When Tyrion confronts him after the prison escape, Tywin says that he wasn't going to do it but it's impossible to know if he was telling the truth.
  • Old Soldier: Tywin has fought in at least two country-wide wars and the annihilation of rebel bannermen before that:
    Tywin: 'The War of Five Kings' they're calling it. This will be my last war. The one I'll be remembered for.
  • Only Sane Man: Tywin sees himself as this more often than not, much to his own chagrin. As a result, Tywin has some small affection for anyone who proves to be more intelligent than his usual company.
    • Inverted in relation to Jaime and Cersei's relationship. Despite it and Joffrey's true heritage being an open secret among characters, Tywin is genuinely shocked when Cersei confirms it, indicating that he either had no idea or just refused to believe it.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: Joffrey himself points it out during Robert's rebellion where Tywin effectively hid underneath Casterly Rock and only supported King Robert when all was decided. He effectively pulled a Walder Frey.
  • Not So Above It All: Even though Tywin has little patience for Joffrey's antics, he's shown suppressing a grin during Joffrey's "War of the Five Kings" reenactment-by-dwarf, which mocks his former rivals. Despite his aura of invincibility, he has never won a battle without overwhelming numerical superiority and once lost a battle to Edmure Tully, with greater numbers to boot.
  • Number Two: Has served as Hand of the King twice in his life, with the first one lasting twenty years.
  • Papa Wolf: To Jaime at least. When Amory Lorch accidentally sends a letter bearing valuable information to a House allied with the Starks, Tywin goes (by his standards) berserk and tells him that should any more harm befall Jaime as a result of this, Amory will be in a world of hurt. He intentionally defies it with Tyrion, admitting that he only went to war after Tyrion's capture to defend House Lannister's reputation and being annoyed when Tyrion turns out to still be alive.
  • The Patriarch: His very first appearance has him giving Jaime an impassioned speech about the importance of the family legacy while skinning a deer. He orders his children around all he wants, and even his psychopathic boss and grandson King Joffrey (who outright threatens to kill his own mother and tried to assassinate his uncle) is scared of him.
    Tywin: Your mother's dead, before long I'll be dead, and you...and your brother, and your sister, and all of her children. All of us dead, all of us rotting in the ground. It's the family name that lives on. It's all that lives on. Not your honor, not your personal glory, family.
  • Patricide: His final fate, at the hands of Tyrion.
  • The Perfectionist: A defining feature. Tywin is obsessed with House Lannister's reputation, never misses an opportunity to point out his children's flaws and disrespects anyone that does not live up to his standards... which is everyone else but himself. On the other hand, his perfectionism is one of the major reasons he is aware of everything that goes on around him and what makes him a deadly strategist.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Tywin's face is always a window to his discontent, or worse, and he rarely smiles. From the books... 
  • Pet the Dog: To those who show some modicum of competence in the sea of idiots he regularly deals with:
    • While he may treat Tyrion with contempt most of the time, he does occasionally acknowledge him, such as appointing him as the (acting) Hand of the King. Granted, it was for pragmatic reasons, but it was still a big sign of respect and trust, especially when there were other male Lannisters about... too bad that Tywin seemed to feel that he had to dial up the insulting afterward as if to balance that out.
    • Also, to Arya while she's his cupbearer. He shares with her personal anecdotes that Tywin would likely never share with anyone else, and she even manages to get a genuine laugh out of him with a joke she makes. He later tells her directly that he's taken a liking to her, though when she oversteps her bounds as his servant he sternly rebukes her.
    • He also mentions that when Jaime was young, he couldn't read because of being dyslexic, so he sat down with his son for four hours every night and struggled through the arduous process of teaching his son how to read:
      Tywin: I taught my son Jaime to read. The Maester came to me one day, told me he wasn't learning. He couldn't make sense of the letters. He reversed them in his head. The Maester said that he had heard of this affliction, and said that we must just accept it. HA! After that I sat Jaime down for four hours every day until he learned. He hated me for it. For a time. For a long time. But he learned.
    • In "The Lion and the Rose", Tywin immediately rushes to shield Tommen from having to watch Joffrey's nightmarish death. In the next episode, he lectures Tommen on what it means to be a good king, gently coaxing him to tell Tywin what he thinks that means and Tywin carefully explaining why his suggestions are incorrect. He assures Tommen "I'm not trying to trick you", he wants to be sure Tommen understands what he's getting into so that he doesn't end up like his brother. Outside of his moments with Arya, it's about the only time we've seen Tywin actually act in a paternal manner.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Played with.
    • He refers to the Northerners as "unwashed", but would treat women and savages with fairness according to their competence.
    • He knows Ser Loras is gay and considers him to be mentally ill. Despite his personal feelings on the matter, he is nevertheless okay with the idea of Loras guarding Joffrey as he recognizes the knight's worth as a warrior. His views are also less intense in comparison to Joffrey's, who wants all homosexuals put to death. All in all, Tywin's opinion on gay men border on Condescending Compassion.
    • In terms of his own family, Cersei assumes he doesn't let her 'contribute' because she's a woman, but he (quite correctly) states that she isn't as smart as she thinks she is. He names The Unfavorite Tyrion as Hand of the King in his stead after Joffrey kills Ned Stark because he wants Tyrion to do damage control, something he rightly assumes Cersei isn't capable of doing. However, despite Tywin's opinion of her intelligence, it becomes clear that he sees Cersei as a brood mare to be married off to make connections and babies precisely because she's a woman. As for Tyrion, though he's willing to put Tyrion to work and doesn't deny his skills, he still hates Tyrion because he's a dwarf and thus 'not a presentable Lannister', refusing to name Tyrion as his heir so long as Jaime, the Golden Boy of the family, may potentially take up that role. Though Jaime's vows to the Kingsguard disqualify him from serving that role, Tywin is convinced he can talk/bribe/extort Jaime into quitting somehow, coming awfully close in Season 4.
    • He's also an avowed classist and makes it clear he thinks little of the smallfolk.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: One of his defining features, as Tywin saw his house nearly destroyed by his good-hearted and gentle father. As a result, Tywin is brutal and vicious, but (he believes) only when there is a profit to be gained from it; for example, he stops the torture of prisoners in Harrenhal upon arrival, because exploiting their skills for free is more useful. But when he suspects an assassin attempting to kill him, he immediately orders a decimation of the garrison, along with torture and interrogation of anyone suspected of aiding or knowing about the assassin. He is also fair and generous to his enemies after they surrender to him, not because he cares about them in any way... but because, as he points out to Joffrey, if you crush people who submit then no one will be willing to surrender in the future. From the books...  He also grudgingly respects Tyrion's political acumen and adaptability, putting his skills to use instead of just ignoring him altogether. Even naming Tyrion the Master of Coin, a job Tyrion himself balks at because he's never managed wealth in his life, seems to be because he believes Tyrion will do a good job.
    • Bizarrely averted during the Harrenhall arc. He recognizes Arya as a highborn girl and instead of doing what we would expect from his character (or from any sensible person in that situation) — determining her identity to see if she can be used as a hostage or bargaining material with someone — he decides to... uh, chat with her. And then leave her with Ser Gregor's crew.
  • Pride: His most defining trait. While this trope is precisely what drove Tywin to make House Lannister the most powerful one in Westeros, it also drove him to make it the most hated as well.
    Tywin: The lion doesn't concern himself with the opinions of the sheep.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Has a larger screen-presence in Season 2.
  • Pulling The Thread: He casually begins picking apart Arya's deception over time, noting small things like addressing him as "my lord" instead of "milord" to figure out that she's actually nobleborn instead of a commoner like she's pretending. However, he seems more amused by how clever Arya is than upset at the deception.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: He never engages in it directly but he insists on Tyrion getting Sansa pregnant by any means necessary. When Tyrion says he won't rape her, Tywin is annoyed as it's clear he sees no issue with forcing his son to rape a teenage girl whose family he just had murdered and fails to see why Tyrion objects.
    • Can be considered a case of Values Dissonance because he lives in a world were sex within marriage cannot legally qualify as rape.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: If ever there were a grand master at this, it is Tywin Lannister. He's given at least one to each of his children — telling Jaime that his personal glory is ultimately worthless, Tyrion that he'll never honor any claim Tyrion has to Casterly Rock because of his irresponsible and lecherous behavior (also because he's a dwarf who killed his mother during childbirth), and Cersei that his lack of confidence in her is not because she's a woman but because she's not as smart as she thinks she is. He always has one on hand for moronic subordinates as well and has no problem with summarizing the flaws of past rulers, Joffrey included, while the guy is lying in state with his mother by his side, and over her feeble and rather pathetic protests no less.
    • In the last episode of Season 4, he suddenly becomes on the receiving end, first from Cersei who interrupts his speech to her to inform her father about her and Jaime's relationship, consequently ruining the former's delusions about the family legacy and becoming the first person in the series to shut Tywin up. After that comes Tyrion's turn... who brings a crossbow for the conversation and after giving a piece of his mind to Tywin shuts him up forever.
  • Realpolitik: Tywin's political philosophy is largely seizing any opportunity for success and doing whatever must be done to see it through. To wit, the continued success of the Lannisters — beyond military might, and the sheer amount of gold the family rests upon — is due largely to Tywin's cold, critical knack for impersonal politicking. He'll ally with the enemy houses of the Boltons and Freys to betray the Starks, he'll marry his own grandsons into the rival Tyrell family, and (as much as he'd prefer not to) he'll even sell out his own attack dog Ser Gregor Clegane to the Martells if it means solidifying the Lannister power base.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He'll push through his ultimate decision at the end of every dispute, but he's willing to listen to reason if it genuinely suits his purposes. He was a very capable Hand to the Mad King for nearly two decades, for a reason.
    • Despite his relationships with his children, he continues to practice Pragmatic Villainy with them. While he loathes Tyrion, he trusts him as Hand until Tywin himself arrives to fill the role, and preludes a brutal "The Reason You Suck" Speech in Season 3 by telling Tyrion he will be given quarters and a position more suitable for his talents and standing, and keeps his word by naming him Master of Coin. Cersei, on the other hand, is told outright that she is "not as clever as she thinks she is" and kept out of important decisions to the best of his ability.
    • He is disgusted by Loras Tyrell's homosexuality, but still respects the young man's fighting skills and wishes to use them — Tywin did allow Loras to command the vanguard at the Battle of Blackwater, after all, and even to do so wearing his late lover's armor.
    • He thinks Ser Gregor's torture of prisoners is a waste of time and stops it.
    • He recognizes Arya as a girl very quickly. Later, he deduces (correctly) that she is i) a Northerner and ii) highborn, but realises that she is alone in the world and her actions are to protect herself.
    • Despite his behavior before Joffrey, he is fully aware that Daenaerys will eventually bring her three dragons to Westeros; Tywin knows Dorne was the only country to withstand Aegon I and his dragons, so he is willing to bargain with Oberyn Martell.
  • Replacement Goldfish: He tells Arya that she reminds him of Cersei when she was young, and something in his voice makes it sound like he regrets how things went. From the books... 
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: He's absolutely correct about the importance of strong family ties as we see with the Starks. However, Tywin doesn't see any difference between what is best for the family and what will benefit him personally.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: A very hard-working and able administrator. Revealed as a character trait in his very first scene when he has a conversation with Jaime while skinning a deer, work he could easily have left to servants.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Implied to be a philosophy of his in particular, and the Lannisters in general.
  • Selective Obliviousness: He genuinely never believed the "rumors" about Cersei's children all being Jaime's, despite what should have been obvious and indeed was deduced by Ned Starknote , and Tywin only finds out because Cersei told him point-blank to his face to spite him... and he still claims not to believe her right after mumbling "nonononoNO"!
  • The Stoic: Though he is very often contemptuous and snarky, he has little emotional range beyond this. However he does show more emotion than in the novels, where he only loses his icy cold demeanor once, when Tyrion asks him to acknowledge his rights to Casterly Rock. TV!Tywin loses his temper (though never his control) in several episodes, either because he's Surrounded by Idiots or putting his children in line, and once even gives a genuine (albeit short) laugh.
  • The Strategist: Very much so, both as a military commander and a diplomat. What makes this combination deadly is that when Robb Stark outmatches him as a battlefield commander, Tywin can fall back on his secondary skills while Robb is still a raw youth in the case of politics and diplomacy.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: He considers his eldest two children to be stupid in their ways, and he makes it clear when he notices Arya that he considers everyone else in the fortress to be the equivalent of blind cattle in terms of intellect, both for wasting good talent and for not noticing a girl dressed as a boy. The only subordinates that he considers remotely competent on a mental level are Tyrion and, ironically, Arya... then again, most of the Lannister army is made up of psychopaths and dumb thugs. His reaction to Amory Lorch's death is less "Guard! There's an assassin loose in the castle!" and more "Guard! Ugh, now I have to replace this moron with some other moron...."
    • In a deleted scene on the Season 3 DVD, Tywin reveals in a private meeting that he knows full well that Pycelle's appearance of a doddering old man is all an act and asks "am I really the only one who sees through this performance? Is it possible so many have been so stupid for so long?" (Pycelle admits even he can't believe it works so well).
  • The Svengali: To Tommen, the new king due to Joffrey's death, and who Tywin clearly intends to mold into a vehicle for Lannister dominance of the Seven Kingdoms, with the side effect that Tommen could probably have become one of Westeros' better kings, whereas Joffrey was already a lost cause before he came under Tywin's influence. Remember that Tywin was Hand of the King to Aerys Targaryen II for 20 years, and despite that king's madness those years are regarded as some of the best in living memory thanks to Tywin's administration.
  • Tranquil Fury: Very calmly establishes his power by sending Joffrey to his room. All without raising his voice.
  • Technician vs. Performer: His leadership of the royalist forces against Robb Stark, essentially. Lord Tywin is a good soldier and strategist due to hard and careful work, while Robb is a born conqueror. Ultimately, Tywin's exploitation of the strategic imbalance between the Iron Throne and the Stark kingdom and plus Robb's personal missteps proves decisive in the Riverlands theater. Robb, on the other hand, had bet the whole war on winning enough battles.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: As much as he hates it, he does respect Tyrion as the most capable (or at least most trustworthy) of the lords in King's Landing. While he is harsh and abusive towards Tyrion, he does also speak to him as somewhat of an equal.
  • Thousand Year Reign: His aim for the Lannister legacy.
  • Tempting Fate: He sarcastically asks if Tyrion is going to kill his own father, which he does.
  • Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: Lord of Casterly Rock, Warden of the West, Lord Paramount of the Westerlands, Hand of the King and Savior of the City, which is ironic considering the previous time he led an army to King's Landing was to sack it. From the books... 
  • Too Dumb to Live: He really drops the ball when calling Shae a whore when his son at crosspoint clearly told him not to.
  • Troll: Doesn't show up very often but it comes up in his negotiations with Lady Olenna, "The uncertainty makes you uncomfortable".
  • Übermensch: He has a grand vision for the Lannister family, values competence and intelligence over titles and dominates every room he enters with his presence.
  • Underestimating Badassery: His arrogance and successful record often leads him to assume that his foes are incompetent more often than they actually are, which sometimes comes to bite him:
    • He totally underestimates Robb's skill as a commander in their early battles, especially glaring given 1: who his father was, and 2: the fact that Tywin himself was treated the same way as a youth. However, he quickly learns from his previous mistake and successfully conspires with Walder Frey and Roose Bolton to have Robb brutally assassinated.
    • More subtly, on the diplomatic field it happens with Olenna Tyrell. While negotiating marriage arrangements between the family he acts willfully and blackmails the Queens of Thorns into accepting his ultimatum... Olenna relents and then goes the way around to protect her family's interests — by murdering Tywin's grandson, the king, right under Tywin's nose. The best part? Tywin doesn't even know.
    • And, of course, he underestimated Tyrion's ability to survive time and time again... until Tyrion held him at crossbowpoint.
  • Undignified Death: Dies by getting shot by his abused and loathed son Tyrion with two crossbow bolts whilst he was in the privy with his pants downFrom the books... . While he even lampshades it, thanks to Tywin being Tywin, he is still able to bring forth ''some'' gravitas during the whole debacle.
  • The Unfettered: His ruthlessness is only hampered by pragmatic concerns.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Tyrion not only carried out his father's orders in Kings Landing in reigning in Joffrey and Cersei, but he personally planned the city's defense, fatally weakened Stannis' forces, and personally led the fight against the remaining attackers despite Cersei and Joffrey's idiocy and spitefulness hampering him at every turn, including trying to assassinate him on the battlefield. Without these efforts Tywin's relief force would have been facing a far larger, better organised, and untouched army, who by the time he arrived would have likely killed both his grandson and daughter, as well as have taken the city and thus making his attempted counter attack both pointless and nigh suicidal. Tywin thanks Tyrion by ignoring him for several weeks as he was wounded, and when Tyrion brings up his grievances, he gives his son a few concessions such as a larger room "more suited to your name", a position where he can continue serving his family, and a suitable wife in due time... then he flatly refuses to officially make Tyrion his heir, unleashes a spiteful tirade about how much he hates Tyrion, and threatens to kill the next whore he catches him with.
    • Taken Up to 11 in Season 4. Joffrey was Tywin admits in front of his dead body no less, that Joffrey was not a wise king. So even if Tyrion was guilty which of course he wasn't, Tywin and company should really be thanking him for the getting the millstone out of the way but instead he lets him take the fall for Joffrey's oh so terrible murder. Its the equivalent of a wife and husband having a domestic argument and the husband grounding the child for daring to speak out against the horrible wife causing problems, "How dare you disrespect her, even though she's been a pyscho towards me and I should really be thanking you.", never have the words No Good Deed Goes Unpunished been more appropriate as far as Tyrion's concerned.
  • Unwitting Pawn: For all his intelligence, experience and ruthlessness, Tywin Lannister falls prey to the same mistake Ned Stark did; he trusted Littlefinger and raised him to a position of supremacy in the Riverlands and allowed him to marry the widowed lady of the Vale, making him arguably the second most powerful man in Westeros besides Tywin himself. In return, Littlefinger killed Joffrey with the Tyrells, in part because Tywin got Catelyn killed and partially because it would plunge the Seven Kingdoms into yet more chaos, which was a goal he stated aloud to Tywin and kidnapped Sansa Stark from Kings' Landing, giving Littlefinger an avenue for control of yet another of the Seven Kingdoms... and Tyrion discovers that his predecessor's supposed "magic" at financing the Iron Throne was really heavy borrowing from the Iron Bank of Braavos, an entity which even Tywin doesn't dare cross.
  • Villainous B.S.O.D.: When Cersei directly confronts him with her and Jaime's incest Tywin's trademark stoicism cracks, as he finally comes to realize that his family's claim to ultimate power — and hence his legacy — is predicated on a fiction that had been obvious to everyone but himself.
  • Villainous Breakdown: A downplayed example at the beginning of the war, "They have my SON!". When Cersei reveals the truth about the "family legacy" he'd been so obsessed over, he is overcome by enraged silence, unable and unwilling to process what she tells him.
  • Villain Has a Point: Tywin is absolutely correct about Joffrey neither being a wise or a good king.
  • Villainous Widow's Peak: A sharp blonde one. In the books 
  • Visionary Villain: His speech to Jaime and his discussions with his cupbearer Arya reveals that he aspires to the legacy of Aegon the Conqueror and wants to create with gold and sheer will what Aegon had done with three dragons: a dynasty of Lannister hegemony that would rival and even surpass the Targaryens.
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: When asked by Tyrion when has he ever done something that was for the family and not for his own interests, he angrily reveals that he wanted to kill Tyrion at birth but refused to do so since Tyrion was still a Lannister; Tywin considered it going above and beyond that he didn't kill his son but instead raised and acknowledged him as such.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: His children regularly seek his validation, but Tywin ignores their virtues just as often and is instead quick to highlight their shortcomings, much to their chagrin
    Tywin: [to Jaime] You are blessed with many abilities few men possess...and what have you done with these blessings, eh? You served as a glorified bodyguard to two kings. One a madman, the other a drunk.
    [to Tyrion] You are a low-born, ill-made, spiteful little creature filled with envy, lust, and low cunning.
    [to Cersei] I don't distrust you because you are a woman. I distrust you because you are not as smart as you think you are.
  • We Used to Be Friends: The Histoy and Lore videos indicate that he and King Aerys were tight as nails until the latter's madness and jealousy kicks in. Though it's not till it becomes absolutely clear that Aerys is doomed for deposal at Robert's hand that he fully turns on him.
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: Tywin is highly resentful at Tyrion for his malformations (which caused Tywin's wife to die giving birth) and whoring ways. What's worse from his point of view is that Jaime chose to join the Kingsguard and thereby be ineligible to inherit the titles and lands of House Lannister, and despite Tywin's exhortations to ask him to abandon the post Jaime is determined to reclaim his honor, something which Tywin regards as pointless.
    • All three of his children only possess one of the qualities he values in a potential perfect heir: Cersei is ruthless, Jaime is strong, and Tyrion is clever. All three posses touches of the others' defining qualities, but none of them have that perfect balance Tywin seeks and seems to see in himself.
  • Wicked Cultured: As one would expect of a massively rich upper-class patriarch, Tywin is very well-read, particularly when it comes to history.
  • Worthy Opponent: Few people manage to hold their own against him, and he shows a certain respect for each of them in return:
    • He considers Lady Olenna to be his intellectual equal and recognizes that she's the true head of House Tyrell, as he deals with her directly when arranging a marriage between their two families, and not with her son Mace, who is technically the Lord of Highgarden. She respects Tywin and considers him a quality rival.
    • Tywin gains respect for Robb Stark, seeing him as an excellent battlefield tactician and an incredibly popular leader who is not going to lose through conventional means.
    • While his hatred and contempt for Tyrion son is very evident, he still (ever so grudgingly) is aware of his son's intelligence, perception, and cunning, which is why he was willing to name him Hand in his stead and give him power during crucial times.
    • He views his cup bearer at Harrenhal as more competent than all his advisers and she's one of the few people to get away with snarking at him, because Tywin enjoys that she's sharp and gutsy enough to match him. Of course ironies of ironies, what he doesn't know is that she's actually Arya Stark, the daughter of his archenemy. Whether he would have been more impressed with her if he'd known she was the runaway Stark daughter and managed to survive right under his nose, or just angered at her brazenness was never explored.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Infamously so, as discussed by Lady Stark who was dead worried about Sansa and Arya because the Targaryen children were butchered in their sleep on the orders of Tywin Lannister. The children of House Reyne weren't spared either, as Cersei boasts to Margaery.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: Rage is ultimately the source of Tywin's ruthlessness. With both the Red Wedding, and the rebellion of House Reyne, he has proven that anyone who even considers attacking or resisting him will be terminated with extreme prejudice. When one considers how his father's kindness and benevolence was abused and mocked while Tywin himself grew up this makes some sense.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: States so regarding Tyrion when his son is pointing a crossbow at him. Tywin really doesn't believe that Tyrion has it in him to kill his father. When Tyrion does shoot him, it's obviously partly to prove that he can, damn you — and it takes Tywin quite a bit of time to comprehend that it in fact happened.
  • Zerg Rush: His method for fighting Robb's forces is to continue to send wave after wave of enemies at him as opposed to actually use legitimate tactics or rely on skill. Although Robb wins every battle, Tywin has a greater number of forces. Naturally, this comes back to bite him in the ass when the losses finally pile up so that House Lannister is forced to band with House Tyrell for security.

     Queen Cersei Lannister
"When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground."
Played By: Lena Headey (adult), Nell Williams (young)

"Everyone who is not us is an enemy."

Elder twin sister of Jaime and older sister of Tyrion. Mother of Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen. Wife of King Robert Baratheon and Queen of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros by marriage at the beginning of the series. However unbeknownst to her husband their children are in fact the by-product of an incestuous affair with her brother Jamie. Ned Stark's discovery of this fact becomes one of the main instigators that leads to the War of the Five Kings. She becomes Queen Mother to Joffrey, then to Tommen after Robert's "accidental" death. After blowing up the Great Sept of Baelor in order to remove her political enemies within King's Landing, an event so horrifying that it led to Tommen's suicide, Cersei crowns herself Queen of the Seven Kingdoms and the first of her name after all her children are dead, and seeks to solidify power within the Seven Kingdoms to create a new dynasty for herself.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the books, when Cersei's hair is cut off by the Faith they shave her completely bald. In the show, they leave her with Boyish Short Hair that isn't completely unattractive. She also has a perfect physique, while in the corresponding part of the book her body is described as having lost part of its beauty due to Cersei's age and pregnancies. That said, the series makes little effort to polish Lena Headey's natural minor blemishes as Cersei, so the general idea of "beauty somewhat weathered by age" still gets across, particularly when she's paired in scenes with the blossoming Sansa Stark and the young, in-her-prime Margeary Tyrell.
  • Adaptational Nice Lady: Although still one of the villains, Cersei is far more sympathetic here than she is in the books. Not that this is particularly difficult:
    • In the show, she and Robert had a child at one point; but it died of a fever shortly after being born. In the books, Robert got her pregnant once, after which she had the child aborted behind his back.
    • Season 1 also implies that she genuinely loved this child by Robert, and their private conversation together suggests that she still had feelings for Robert himself at the time the child was born (saying she loved him "For quite a while, actually."), despite knowing he didn't love her back. These changes introduce a much more tragic and human side to her character, whereas in the corresponding book there's no real indication that she wasn't a cruel, contemptuous and hateful person from the start. In the books, Cersei already despises Robert before they marry because he killed Rhaegar, her lifetime crush, and she has no problem having sex with Jaime the morning of her wedding day.
    • Her promiscuity is toned down in the TV series. Aside from Lancel and Jaime, in the books she has "affairs" with at least three other men (the Kettleblack brothers) and also beds another woman (Lady Taena), all of which are Adapted Out in the show.
    • In the books, Cersei's love for Jaime is a twisted form of narcissism, as she sees Jaime as what she could have been were she a man (something she does wish), and when he returns from the war he's so changed that she no longer finds him appealing, so their relationship pretty much ends. In the show there is more genuine love between them, and their relationship continues after his return.
    • In the books, Cersei finds little wrong in Joffrey, passing off his cruelty as "willfulness". In the show, she's aware that he's a monster and grieves about that, but as his mother she loves him regardless, which makes her a more tragic character. To be fair, Joffrey is also nicer to her in the books.
    • In the books she has no problem having sex next to Joffrey's corpse. In the show she clearly wants nothing to do with it.
    • Kicking Tyrion about is nothing heroic, but in the show it's clear that she loved her late mother and mourned her death. In the books, it's mentioned that lady Joanna once found out about her twin children's affair and separated them for a time, but soon died. The tone of Cersei's narration makes clear that it was one obstacle out of the way for her.
    • She has much better reasons to be wary of Margaery than in the books and despite getting Loras arrested by the Faith Militant was an underhanded move, well, at least this time she didn't frame anyone (and she has gone after him in the books as well for far more petty reasons, albeit in a different fashion).
    • Subverted come the Season 6 finale, when Cersei's remaining sympathetic qualities go out the window and she reveals herself to be even more petty, cruel, ruthless, destructive, and dangerous than her book counterpart ever had a chance to become, with the Green Trial. Although since the adaptation's overtaken the books at this point, it remains to be seen if her book counterpart (who's already displayed a knack for killing innocents and burning things) catches up.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Some of her petty and idiotic schemes from the books are instead done by Joffrey in the show, which makes her less Stupid Evil, and she actually tries to renegotiate the terms with the Iron Bank instead of just telling to screw themselves and have the kingdom falling into debt and bad credit. Lots of her smarts come from being all around less narcissistic and hateful so she can actually think instead of assuming she knows everything. She took over King's Landing in a tour de main and while she isn't in a great posture she has already made herself an ally in the Greyjoys, the strongest naval power in Westeros, to keep Daenerys at bay.
  • Adaptational Modesty: Her book counterpart is described as a Ms. Fanservice character. Here, she's only seen nude once and it's far from titillating.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • In the books, her hatred of Tyrion is in part because of a prophecy that her younger brother will be the cause of her downfall. From the Books...  The show removes that part of the prophecy and instead implies that Cersei blames Tyrion for the death of their mother.
    • Cersei's motivation for empowering the High Sparrow also changes in the show. In the book, she makes him the High Septon in order to have the protection of the Faith Militant. She didn't try to have them to target the Tyrells until after she became suspicious that they were in cahoots with Tyrion. In the show, she empowers the High Sparrow and his followers solely to get back at Margaery.
    • She is the one to tell on the Tyrells' plan to marry Sansa off to the heir of Highgarden (Willas in the books and Loras in the show) in the show and then gloats when Tywin decides to marry Sansa to Tyrion instead, to their both misery. The reveal that Cersei herself is going to be married to Loras for her trouble comes off like a well-deserved kick of Karma on her face. In the books she had nothing to do with that scheme, Tyrion agreed to marry Sansa out of his free will, Cersei came off as a genuine victim when her father decided to marry her off without her consent and it was Tyrion who gloated on his sister's misery, not the other way around.
    • Come the Season 6 finale, Cersei's Adaptational Heroism is completely gone when she blows up a large majority of the nobles in King's Landing (including Margaery Tyrell and most her family) during The Green Trial, something the showrunners claim to have come up with on their own. For all of Book Cersei's many, many, MANY faults, not even she has come close to what is the equivalent of dropping a nuclear bomb on her own city to kill a bunch of people with no attention whatsoever paid to the massive collateral damage.
  • Admiring the Abomination:
    • She is quite impressed with the killing power of Gregor Clegane and is quite keen to ensure that he retains the same killing power after his poisoning. She's also highly curious about Qyburn's experiments, giving him the patronage that no reasonable or sane institution like the Citadel or Pycelle would touch with a ten foot pole.
    • Seems quite disappointed during a flashback to her teens when Maggy the Frog is an ordinary-looking woman and not a terrifying monster as described.
  • Age Lift: Like Jaime. She's 40 here, putting several years between her and her book counterpart.
  • Agony of the Feet: Her Walk of Shame through King's Landing has her leaving bloodied footprints in her wake by the end of it. Luckily for Cersei, she has Qyburn to attend to them.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: After Tywin forces her to marry Ser Loras, she is reduced to tearfully begging her father not to make her do it. It doesn't work.
  • Ax-Crazy: Cersei's behaviour over Season 6 becomes more and more unstable until eventually she nukes the Sept of Baelor with wildfire, uncaring of collateral damage. Come Season 7 everyone is treading lightly around her as she has become incredibly unpredictable and irrational, and when Jaime calls her out on lying about her allying with Jon and Daenerys against the Night's King and leaves to help, she contemplates having him killed on the spot out of spiteful rage. Jaime is lucky to get out alive.
  • The Alcoholic: Season 2 sees an increasing number of scenes where she has a cup close to hand. During the attack of Stannis Baratheon on King's Landing, she's drunk throughout. By Season 5, she has a Lady Drunk reputation. Between Cersei and Tyrion, it seems like a safe bet that the Lannisters are genetically predisposed to alcoholism. From the Books... 
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Cersei has a black and white view of friends and enemies (with nearly everyone falling under the latter), is prone to risky behaviors such as her incest and alcoholism, has a poor control of her emotions, and difficulty empathizing with anyone who's not her kids. It's widely theorized by the fan base that she has Borderline Personality Disorder.
  • Ambition Is Evil: The only trait she inherit from her Lord father and her brothers didn't. Never satisfied with her station in life, she is by far the most power-hungry of the Lannister siblings, always equating power with victory, no matter the cost.
  • Analogy Backfire:
    • When Ned confronts her on her incestuous relationship with Jaime, she responds that the Targaryens did the same thing for centuries. The same Targaryens that produced the "Mad King" Aerys... even more of a backfire when Joffrey turns out to be more like Aerys than anyone thought. She even directly lampshades this in the second season when she confesses to Tyrion how sad she is that Joffrey turned out like he did. But, as Tyrion points out, she may have actually beaten the odds the Targaryens confronted (that every other Targaryen goes mad), in that two of her three children by incest are actually extremely decent people.
    • During "Blackwater", she tries to comfort Tommen with the fable of the lion who was meant to be king and was in a forest filled with evil things such as stags. Tommen points out that stags aren't evil creatures, they only eat grass.
  • Arch-Enemy: She's never short of foes thanks to her "everybody who is not us is an enemy" line of thinking, but there are some who stand out:
    • Her despised brother Tyrion is this to her in Season 2, mostly because their father has seen fit to trust the outcast of the family with greater authority than her. What should be a straightforward defense of King's Landing is hampered by Cersei constantly working behind his back out of spite. This carries on to Season 3 but fades somewhat as both become marginalized from power by Tywin, and even become mildly conciliatory towards each other due to their similar predicaments. Season 4, however, cements Tyrion as her most despised enemy when she decides with no evidence he murdered Joffrey and dedicates her life to having him humiliated and executed.
    • With Tyrion's fall from power, her eventual daughter-in-law Margaery Tyrell is increasingly regarded as this, mostly because Cersei sees her for the overly ambitious two-faced social climber that she is and Cersei wants nothing less than absolute control over her sons Joffrey and Tommen. To compound things, Cersei has been warned about an arch-rival since childhood, and someone like Margaery fits the description as far as Cersei is concerned.
      Maggy the Frog: Queen you shall be, till there comes another. Younger and more beautiful. To cast you down and take all that you hold dear.
    • The High Sparrow becomes this to her in a much more conventional way, since she's a major obstacle in establishing the theocracy he wants.
    • Daenerys Targaryen becomes to Cersei this after Cersei takes the Iron Throne.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: In Season 6, when Kevan initially is reluctant to go along with her plan to seize control from the Faith Militant, Cersei asks him, "Do you want Lancel back? Or have you given him up for good?"
  • Arranged Marriage:
  • Authority in Name Only: Cersei's title as Queen Mother only holds weight before Joffrey, and later Tommen, were officially wed. Despite sitting in on Small Council Meetings, Cersei technically has no real authority. Her title as Queen Cersei, first of her name, also counts as this since she only gained this position after killing most of her political enemies and usurping the position for herself and she has no allies to speak of apart from Jaime and those at King's Landing. And even those are under extreme question at this point. In the Season 7 premiere, Jaime even brings this up.
    Cersei: I'm the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.
    Jaime: Three kingdoms, at best. I'm not sure you understand how much danger we're in.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Her marriage to Robert was a long, bitter failure as she confesses to Ned and Sansa. Her only source of happiness and comfort was her affair with Jaime (which is sad in itself) and their children.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Season 6 ends with her on the Iron Throne and her most immediate enemies dead, though it's rather clear she has more, and few allies.
  • Badass Boast: Cersei's declaration that "House Lannister has no rival" definitely sounds badass, even if she is the only one who believes it. And then she backs it up by removing her rivals in Season 6 and then doubling down on the Martells and Tyrells in Season 7.
  • Battle Ballgown: She sports one of these in the last half of "Blackwater", though as the next entry down makes it abundantly clear it's just all for show.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Inverted. Renowned as one of the most beautiful women in Westeros, she's also one of the most spiteful and sinister, whereas her brother Tyrion (a dwarf considered to be highly repulsive in-universe) is one of the few Lannisters who can be considered heroic and caring.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: She has a tendency to do this and even use it to her advantage. Prince Oberyn discusses Cersei trying to gain sympathy from him by discussing Myrcella in a blatant attempt to turn him against Tyrion; he notes that she might have even been sincere or started believing it while she was lying.
    Tyrion: Making honest feelings do dishonest work is one of her many gifts.
  • Berserk Button: Mocking her about her incestuous relationship with Jaime is a quick way of pissing her off — she responded to Littlefinger doing so by nearly having her Kingsguard slit his throat, gives a cruel retort to Tyrion when he jokes about it and is seen giving Ellaria Sand a Death Glare when she indirectly mentions it.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: In "Blackwater", she obtains nightshade from Maester Pycelle and angrily retorts that she knows what 10 drops of it does (kill you) and also has Ilyn Payne stand guard over the women taking shelter for the purposes of killing them if the Red Keep is breached. And at the climax of the battle she opts to sit on the Iron Throne with Tommen and is just about to give them both poison when her father bursts in. She believes that Stannis's men would gang-rape her multiple times before killing her, and torture Tommen to death as a false pretender to the throne.
  • Big Bad: Although there's a plethora of villains, in Season 1 Cersei serves most clearly as the main antagonist. She's a threat to the Starks, the Crown and the Realm in general due to her scheming. She subsequently becomes a Big Bad Wannabe, with the more competent and intelligent Tywin falling into place. In Season 5, she temporarily manage to take this position, only to be put back as a Big Bad Wannabe by the High Sparrow. She regains her position as Big Bad with a vengeance after killing the Sparrows and Tyrells and taking the crown for herself.
  • Big Bad Wannabe:
    • Cersei plays the game well during Robert's reign, but this is only because she's playing it against the Starks, who are too honorable for their own good. Once her crazy son is on the throne, she loses control in short order. Her plan to be the Woman Behind The Throne fails spectacularly when Joffrey orders Ned Stark executed and she's powerless to stop him. In Season 2, Tyrion constantly manages to out plan her with ease, and in Season 3, her father is clearly running things despite Cersei outranking him as Queen Regent, and outright says to her face that she isn't as smart as she think she really is.
    • This becomes painfully obvious in Season 5; with Tywin dead and Tyrion on the run, she is now the highest ranking member of her family ruling the capital and she still can't get anything done right. Her attempted manipulation of Tommen is undermined by Margaery and, instead of trying to properly rule the kingdom like her father would have done, she instead spends her time trying to humiliate and undermine Margaery despite there being literally no benefit in doing so. In order to get things done she turns the Sparrows into the Faith Militant and makes them do all of her dirty work which seemingly turns out well for her... until it's revealed that the Faith where merely biding their time until they had enough power to hold her accountable for her own actions. In short, despite trying to set herself up as a Chessmaster she ultimately gets used as a pawn instead.
    • As mentioned above, she ditches the "Wannabe" part with a vengeance by burning all of her rivals to death with wildfire in the Season 6 finale and assuming the Iron Throne. With Joffrey and the Boltons dead, this makes her the most powerful and antagonistic of all the human characters and firmly the Big Bad. Played with at the beginning of Season 7, however, as the ramifications of her rash act are made apparent by Jamie: she's alienated almost all of her allies, poses no immediate threat to her enemies, and anyone with half a brain can see Daenerys is favored to win any potential war. When she tries to threaten Jon Snow into submission with a letter, he doesn't take her seriously, since the Night King is a far greater threat and Cersei is out of range.
  • Big "NO!": When Tyrion arranges for Myrcella to be taken away.
  • Big Sister Bully: Was always unpleasant and cruel to her little brother Tyrion. As noted by Oberyn, she called him "a monster" to strangers and presented him as a freak and openly abused him when he was a baby.
  • Break the Haughty: In her imprisonment in the Faith, she resorts to sipping water from the floor of her filthy cell. Her walk of atonement is specifically designed to do this, and by the end Cersei is sobbing.
  • Break Them by Talking: After forty years of emotional torment from her father, she finally gets her own back by revealing the truth of her and Jaime's relationship, leaving him stammering that it can't be true.
    Cersei: Your legacy is a LIE!
  • Broken Bird: Her conversations with Sansa during the siege of Blackwater and her own descriptions of how she once loved Robert reveal her to be this. She had hoped for real happiness from her marriage, from being the Queen, but is appalled at what a sham it had become and has lost any ideals she once had.
  • Broken Masquerade: After her takeover in Season 7, she abandons any pretense of her relationship with Jaime being secret. She's in charge now, so why care what others think of it?
  • Brother–Sister Incest: With Jaime. It's a huge part of her character and Bran Stark's discovery of this dark secret is one of the catalysts of the series.
  • The Bully: Cersei gets a kick out of throwing her weight around and making underlings squirm. Pycelle is probably her favorite punching bag.
  • Bullying a Dragon: She also tends to antagonise powerful people against her own interests, as with Margaery and the Tyrells when they arrive to the King's Landing. Ultimately subverted in Season 7 when the Tyrell army turns out to be a Paper Tiger as Jaime finds out.
  • The Caligula: Seizes the Iron Throne after murdering hundreds in a wildfire plot that causes her son, King Tommen, to commit suicide. Cersei is a tyrannical ruler who takes pleasure in the pain and suffering she causes.
  • Can't Catch Up: She can play speed chess well against her somewhat dim-witted husband and the honorable-to-a-fault Ned Stark, but after removing these two and moving a rank up she quickly finds herself out of depth. The fact that she doesn't have any control over her psychotic son whom she has made a king doesn't help a bit. Even after he's dead and her far kinder and gullible second son is on the throne, she's still outplayed by those around her. Her only advantage is that she is willing to do things others consider downright stupid, which leaves them unprepared as they assume she would never try it. And even this begins to fade as players like Margaery Tyrell figure out how Cersei plays the game.
  • Can't Take Criticism: Any attempt to call Cersei out on her poor decisions or dysfunctional plans will result in her brushing it off or entering a state of cold rage.
    Cersei: I've done nothing.
    Tyrion: Quite right, you did nothing...when your son called for Lord Stark's head!
    Cersei: I tried to stop him...
    Tyrion: Did you? You failed! That bit of theatre will haunt our family for a generation! Now the entire North has risen up against us...
    Cersei: Robb Stark is a child...
    Tyrion: Who's won every battle he's fought!
  • The Chains of Commanding: She has moments of fragility and self-pity where she laments the hardships of the regency that have fallen on her. Given her pettiness and dismal management, nobody really empathizes with Cersei.
  • Character Tics: And beyond, Cersei is constantly smirking when she's too pleased with herself, which happens all the time when nobody puts her in her place. Her brows usually go in sync too.
  • Consummate Liar: Of all the liars in King's Landing she is one of the best, as Tyrion points out she is good at using her honest feelings to fulfill her dishonest goals and even he falls for it at times.
  • Cornered Rattlesnake: If her back is to the wall she will do things that while not safe for her in the long run will make her enemies regret pushing her as reviving the Faith militant and exploding the sept shows.
  • Corrupt Politician: Cersei has all the makings of a crooked politician (dishonesty, underhandedness, a sleazy private life, disregard for the law, self-entitlement, paranoia, etc) and very few of the attached Evil Virtues beyond ambition and determination. She's also occasionally murderous, but much less so than other courtiers or her book counterpart, until she goes genocidal and blows up the Great Sept of Baelor with wildfire, killing hundreds, if not thousands.
    Cersei: When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die.
  • Create Your Own Villain:
    • Even she finally catches on the fact that her methods of raising Joffrey didn't pan out so well. Not to mention applying a little bit of incest in his actual creation.
    • Blaming Tyrion for Joffrey's murder with no evidence and doing everything in her power to see him convicted drove him into the service of Daenerys. They may not have liked each other prior, but at least Tyrion didn't have any intentions of removing her from power.
    • She learned in a hard way that giving power to religious fanatics is not a pragmatic thing to do, especially if you were bedding your brother and cousin.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has her moments of this, especially in Season 2.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • Although she doesn't become a monster, after she and Robert have a conversation where it initially looks like they're going to reconcile and improve their relationship, she is then rejected by Robert. This scene ends with Robert asking her how she feels, and her responding that she doesn't feel anything. Her subsequent actions make a lot more sense in light of this.
    • If she hadn't crossed it before, she certainly does when Joffrey dies in her arms in "The Lion and the Rose".
    • When she hears that a Dornish ship is sailing in, she immediately lights up and runs excitedly to the harbor to finally be reunited with her beloved daughter Myrcella...and then as she sees Jaime's expression and realizes what it means, all the happiness drains from her face.
    • Turns out there was still some sanity for her to lose, which she finally does when Tommen abandons her to her fate in the hands of the Sparrows, which prompts Cersei to mass murder all of her enemies she can at once — along with a good chunk of bystanders — and even give up on her son himself.
  • The Determinator: She's relentless in her never-ending hatred.
    Sansa Stark: If you're her enemy, she'll never stop until she's destroyed you. Everyone who's ever crossed her, she's found a way to murder.
  • Did Not Think This Through:
    • When Tyrion demands Trial by Combat when accused of killing Joffrey, Cersei rather shrewdly chooses The Mountain as her champion, believing no-one would fight against him on Tyrion's behalf. However, she fails to consider Oberyn Martell, the only man in King's Landing who wants to fight Ser Gregor, declaring himself Tyrion's champion. Worse still, her daughter, Myrcella Baratheon, was currently residing with the Martells in Dorne. When the Red Viper is slain, Myrcella's life is essentially forfeit.
    • In Season 5, she fails miserably at her father's level of scheming, trying to manipulate the extremist Sparrow sect into doing her dirty work. Pity she overlooked that her cousin Lancel, who had been privy to all her own dirty dealings, was one of their number. There's also her lack of concern for antagonizing House Tyrell, who the royal family are now wholly dependent on for their food supply.
    • At the end of Season 7, she goes back in her word about helping either Jon and Daenerys in fighting the Night King and disregards the menace he represents, as she is actively hoping they wipe each other out while she stands back, fortifies her position and replenishes her forces with the Golden Company. She doesn't seem to grasp that in the worst case scenario pointed out by Jaime, should the Night King prevail, the Starks and Targaryens will be absorbed into the fold and she won't be able to outfight them, or should they win, they'll come back north and kill them for their betrayal.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Her son Joffrey's wedding feast happens in a bright morning and everything seems fine until Joffrey's Incurable Cough of Death at which point Jaime and Cersei rush to his side only for him to gasp his final breaths in his mother's arms.
  • Dissonant Serenity:
    • A particularly disturbing one happens in Season 4: at the end of Tyrion's trial by combat, her champion the Mountain crushes Prince Oberyn's head into a bloody pulp all the while boasting how he raped and murdered his sister before killing her children. Pan to Cersei, who looks as happy she ever does.
    • After Tommen's body — in a rare moment of Gory Discretion Shot, to boot — is shown to her, she doesn't show much reaction, making it one of her most disturbing moments in the series.
  • Domestic Abuse: Robert strikes her, although unlike in the books, there's no indication that he ever did so before. For Cersei, it's very much the final straw.
  • Dramatic Irony: She never figures out that the real culprit for Joffrey's death is Olenna and not Tyrion as she believes. By murdering Olenna's entire family and effectively extinguinshing her entire House, Cersei unknowingly avenges her son's death by taking away everything his killer held precious. When she actually learns that it was Olenna who poisoned Joffrey, she laments that she didn't went far enough and made her suffer before dying.
  • The Dreaded: In a brutish way that lacks the somewhat rational manner of her father, she gains this reputation after she openly shows the Realm her unhingedness in the pursuit of her goals and gets to hold the power of the crown directly.
    Olenna Tyrell: Your sister has done things... I was incapable of imagining [...] She's a monster, you do know that?
  • Dumb Blonde: While Cersei isn't a complete moron, Tywin perfectly assesses her when he says that she is nowhere near as intelligent as she thinks she is. Her main flaw is that she continually underestimates people, and her level of misguided arrogance about her supposed political brilliance prevents her from seeing that she is wrong. She loses control of Joffrey almost immediately after he becomes king, and most of her attempts to dispose of Tyrion are laughable failures. In Season 7, she thinks that she will be able to plot her way to victory despite Jaime outright telling her they're fighting a Hopeless War and she's just delaying the inevitable.
  • Enfant Terrible: Was no more charming when she was younger.s
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Implied that, unlike in the books, Cersei loved her mother.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • In a twisted, narcissistic way because she mainly views them as an extension of herself, Cersei deeply loves her children and twin brother... but not enough not to manipulate her sons for her powerplays or not hop into bed with Lancel while Jaime's away. However, she seems to be more in love with the idea of having children to act as smaller versions of herself than them being her children as individuals.
      Tyrion: Say what you will of Cersei, she loves her children. She is the only one I'm certain had nothing to do with this murder, which makes it unique as King's Landing murders go.
    • Throughout the entire show, Cersei never attempts to manipulate or use Myrcella; she acknowledges that Myrcella is pure and good and innocent, and wonders aloud how such a child could have been born to her. Even with all the horrible things Cersei has done up to that point, it's really hard not to feel for her as she mourns her daughter's death.
    • Subverted in "The Winds of Winter", as although she makes sure that Tommen is not in the Sept when she blows it up with wildfire, he's not put under any security afterwards and he commits suicide over the death of his wife (whom he actually did love) and his people. Cersei doesn't even bother to give him a proper burial, she just tells Qyburn to burn his body and throw the ashes on the ruins of the sept where his siblings and grandfather were interred, then has herself crowned the Queen. Come next season, in her twisted mind he somehow betrayed her by committing suicide.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: She does not approve several of Joffrey's actions, such as ordering Ned Stark's execution and ordering a massacre of children.
    Cersei: Robert was a drunken fool, but he didn't enjoy cruelty.
    • She also despises Pycelle for his lechery towards young women and his general sycophantic tendencies.
    Pycelle: [ranting about Qyburn] He brought shame to the Citadel with his repugnant experiments-
    Cersei: More repugnant than your gnarled fingers on that girl's thigh?
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: In the seventh season, when Daenerys requests a brief alliance in order to face off against the larger threat, the White Walkers, all Cersei can consider is how to best use this to her advantage. Even when given proof of their existence, Cersei chooses to ignore the impending threat because she'd rather Daenerys deplete her own forces. Even prior to this, when Jaime, who barely survived her overwhelming forces, pleaded with Cersei to consider surrendering, Cersei balked at the idea because she doesn't believe Daenerys would spare her because Cersei wouldn't if the roles were reversed.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Trades her dresses for an all-black wardrobe (which invokes the late Tywin's casual outfit very closely) in "The Winds of Winter", just in time to massacre the Sparrows, the Tyrells and usurp the throne.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Catelyn. Both are Mama Bear types who can be utterly ruthless, hold grudges hard, have difficulty controlling their newly-crowned sons and deal with the loss of children. However, Catelyn is Happily Married, is comfortable in her station in life and is good to most people, while Cersei is trapped in an Arranged Marriage, yearns for even more power and is mean and petty.
  • Evil Eyebrows: Along with her constant smirking, Cersei also usually has one or both eyebrows raised. They don't match her hair colour, which by contrast makes them all the more sinister.
  • Evil Feels Good: "Confesses" in the Season 6 finale that she really enjoyed every evil thing she ever did in her life. Murder, incest, and even the act of confessing all of this to a helpless captive brought her joy. Not to mention, she got away with lying to the High Sparrow about her affair with Jaime.
  • Evil Is Petty: Cersei won't miss an opportunity to make someone miserable, assuming she can get away with it. Best typified in "The Lion and the Rose", in which to make herself feel better at her son's wedding, she walks around looking for people to be a jerk to — first making Brienne feel awful about herself, then telling Pycelle to feed the wedding feast leftovers to the dogs instead of the poor (as Margaery had commanded). When Tywin asks her why she's smiling, she tells him it's just the little pleasures in life. Finally, Cersei is noticeably smiling during the ultra-humiliating play of the War of Five Kings, when even Tywin is forcing himself to suppress one — after all, they're sitting alongside the bereaved of two of the titular kings! This plays into her Stupid Evil tendencies, as she'll act to hurt someone who's wronged her in the short term without regard to the long-term consequences.
  • Evil Matriarch: A deconstruction of one for the Lannisters-Baratheons. While she genuinely loves her children (despite being an abusive mother) and would do anything to protect or avenge them, some of her actions prove to be a greater threat to the safety of her children than those of her enemies (who are often far more intelligent and competent than she is). In the end, her last remaining child commits suicide because of her, but by that time Cersei is too far gone to even care.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: The haircut she receives at the end of Season 5 makes her bear an absolutely terrifying resemblance to Joffrey. By the end of Season 6, we now know that Joffrey didn't just get his insanity and penchant for irredeemable cruelty from incest. Most of it was from her.
  • Eye Scream: Seems to be a favourite method of punishment of Cersei's — Tyrion recounts she had a servant girl beaten until she lost an eye when she was nine, and in 'The Wars To Come', she threatens to have Maggy's eyes gouged out if Maggy wouldn't tell Cersei her future.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Hubris. Cersei thinks she's way better than she really is and better than anybody else, which makes her think nothing about hurting people, and in her arrogance, she is reckless, deaf to council and unable to evaluate herself or make any kind of amends.
    • Additionally, her complete inability to play any sort of long game. Cersei only ever seems to plan for the moment, and this almost always blows up in her face later. To get back at Margaery, she empowers the Faith Militant with no consideration as to how this would affect King's Landing, only caring that Margaery would suffer. They turn on her as soon as it's convenient, and King's Landing comes within a hair's breadth of becoming a theocracy.
    • Her "Everyone who is not us is an enemy" policy doesn't help either. Cersei is good at manipulation, but negotiation and compromise is anathema to her. She desires the absolute authority of her father, but fails to understand that House Lannister is no longer as wealthy and powerful as it was before the war, and therefore the Tyrell alliance is a necessity. And the "us" quickly becomes "me" where her own family is concerned.
  • Faux Affably Evil: She can pretend, and at rare moments her beauty and charm allows her to come across as decent. It's what fools Sansa for so long.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: She considers herself the responsible one. She's actually the most foolish out of all three.
    Cersei: [to Tyrion]] I don't care what you think! You've never taken it seriously; you haven't, Jaime hasn't! It's all fallen on me.
    • Actually a case of Jerkass Has a Point. Although Cersei is far from bright, when it came to supporting her father's schemes, she was the one who had to do all the work.
  • For the Evulz: By the finale of Season 6, she has more or less embraced this. She admits to a captive whom she is about to have slowly tortured to death that her main motivation for the evil things she's done in her life was that it all made her feel so damn good.
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • Her hatred for Robert stems from him using her as a Replacement Goldfish for Lyanna, to say nothing of his other ugly traits.
    • It's easy to see why she spoiled Joffrey so much when you take into account that she lost her own mother at a young age.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: She is not a pleasant person and groomed Joffrey to follow in her footsteps. In "You Win or You Die", she fully metamorphoses into this trope when she orchestrates a Hunting "Accident" for Robert. She shows snobbish disdain for the people of King's Landing and Lack of Empathy for her subjects. Tyrion initially assumes it was her who gave the order for the purge of Robert's bastard children, and she doesn't admit that it was something Joffrey really shouldn't have done.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: During Cersei's brief chat with Brienne at Joffrey and Margaery's wedding, she can't help but let slip a note of jealousy towards the strong, independant lady knight. Cersei also hates Margaery because she gains influence after marrying Cersei's sons, while Cersei's power wanes, and also because the Tyrell Queen is far more popular in King's Landing than Cersei is and ever will be.
  • Hate Sink: A complex villain and not entirely unsympathetic all the time at first, she grows into this in later seasons and fully develops it in Season 7. While she my claim otherwise, when it comes right down to it Cersei cares about nothing and no one but herself. Combined with high levels of hypocrisy, foolishness, stupidity, and pettiness, and it's pretty clear Cersei is not intended to be sympathized with by viewers.
  • The Heavy: In Season 1. In the series' first story arc, Tywin entrusts her with the task of seizing the throne on behalf of the Lannister clan and ruling King's Landing while he crushes all contesting forces to their family's claim in the field; she performs well at first until her son Joffrey becomes king...
    • After Joffrey and Tywin's deaths in Season 4, Cersei is back to being main villainous force in King's Landing in Season 5, until she gives the High Sparrow too much power, who subsequently turns on her. In the Season 6 finale, she kills the High Sparrow and claims the Iron Throne. In Season 6, Cersei presents a more immediate threat than the more distant Night King. Overall, Cersei is the show's most recurring villain.
  • Hidden Depths: Doubly so when Stannis's invasion approaches; she quotes Tywin on the subject of war and surprisingly she's the one who thinks up a defense via wildfire. She orders its mass-production and keeps this plan hidden from Tyrion. Her actual implementation is fraught with potential problems, however (shooting it from the city could easily burn the city down), so when Tyrion finds out he hijacks the plan and goes his own way with it.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • In Season 2, Cersei urges Joffrey to call off his betrothal to Sansa in favor of Margaery Tyrell, making her partially responsible for most of the troubles she suffers over the next three seasons.
    • In Season 3, jealous of Margaery's influence over Joffrey, Cersei enlists Littlefinger to find anything that she can use against the Tyrells. Littlefinger discovers that they plan to betroth Loras to Sansa, so Littlefinger tells Cersei, Cersei tells Tywin, and Tywin decides to take the initiative by marrying Tyrion to Sansa, and Cersei to Loras, with the consent of none of them.
    • Cersei's stupidity and half-assed schemes catch up to her in Season 5 when the Sparrows she empowered finally arrest her for her lack of piety, namely her incestuous relationships.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: To a fair extent, yes. Like her father, she'll never see anything positive about Tyrion, even if it's dancing in front of her, which often make her vastly underestimate him, even as she fears him by distorting what he's capable of, as well. She started to wise-up about Joffrey, but had been in denial for years about how unstable he actually was (answer: VERY) — this very denial caused soooooo many problems, it's unreal. And, then there's her tendency to belittle anybody who has faith in anything other than power or gold, which caused her to to massively misread the High Sparrow, for one. Listen to her tone when she says she has nothing to fear from him because "he's a religious man". It screams "an idiot I can use because he's religious" in subtext. Rather badly judged, there, Queenie. Almost as bad as deciding that you've managed to cow a tail-tucked Lady Olenna Tyrell...
  • Humiliation Conga:
    • Much like her brothers, Season 3 is one long demonstration of Cersei getting knocked down a peg. Joffrey begins to disregard her. Margery proves to be far better at wrapping Joffrey around her fingers, and it becomes apparent to her that any power she had at King's Landing was quickly fading. And the icing on the cake was that despite being Tywin's favorite, he treats even her as an Unwitting Pawn and plans to ship her off to marry Loras so that he can have more power.
    • It only gets worse from there. By the penultimate episode of Season 6, Cersei has been completely outplayed by everyone in King's Landing, leaving her a powerless joke to everyone who knows her. Two of her children are dead, she's banned from the Small Council meetings or any prominent position in the royal court, her third child has completely turned on her, she was stripped naked and walked through the streets of King's Landing, she's been formally charged with incest and treason and is facing a trial she cannot hope to win, and all of it is entirely her fault. Even Olenna rubs it in Cersei's face that she's lost.
    • The Season 6 finale then demonstrates why humiliating and antagonizing an unstable and vicious individual who has a Mad Scientist and a Frankenstein's Monster knight on her side is a bad idea.
  • Hypocrite:
    • She calls Margaery a harlot and a whore, despite herself having committed adulterous incest with her brother. She also despises Margaery for manipulating the king and trying to become a power behind the throne... which, unlike Cersei, Margaery would prove seemingly successful at.
    • So, Cersei's cheating on Robert with Jaime was presented by herself as somehow justified by "true love" and her and Jaime "belonging together", adding that to her husband being an Unwanted Spouse who was whoring around himself, anyways? Fine... until Jaime is gone and Cersei starts shagging a cousin behind her "true love's" back, as part of manipulating him to help kill her husband Robert.
    • Cersei is deeply offended that Tywin played favorites with his children, favouring the gifted Jaime. Cersei has no problem playing favorites by focusing on her firstborn son Joffrey. Myrcella and Tommen are pretty much ignored unless there is some setback on the horizon.
    • She looks down on and tries to insult Ellaria Sand for being a bastard, but all three of her children are illegitimate and pretenders to both the throne and to her own House.
    • She deeply loves Tommen because he is her son, but shows little respect and concern for the actual individual, not thinking twice before undermining and manipulating him or before hurting the woman he loves because Cersei's powerplays come first. At most, she views herself as a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
    • She on season 4 accuses Tywin that once she is gone that he and Margaery would dig their claws into Tommen and fight over him until he would be ripped apart. Comes Season 5, after Tywin's death, she constantly struggles with Margaery to manipulate Tommen, until he ends up killing himself after realizing that his mother's schemes ruined his chances of becoming a good king.
  • If Only You Knew: She threatens Tyrion that one day he'll love one woman and she will take her away just to spite him. That's precisely what happened to Tyrion's first love Tysha. Tyrion's response is to stare at her with utter disdain and leave without saying a word.
  • Ignored Epiphany: There were moments in earlier seasons where Cersei tries to be nice to people: Sansa, Tyrion, her son Tommen, and Myrcella. She also understands that doing everything in her power to protect and prop up Joffrey isn't such a good idea. Then Joffrey dies, she immediately forgets her past kindness, and goes on a petty revenge binge that ultimately leads to her unleashing the biggest atrocity in recent Westerosi history just so she can be queen.
  • I Just Want to Be You: According to Lena Headey, this is Cersei's Freudian Excuse for her incest with Jaime. There's subtle hints of it in the show too, such as Cersei discussing what she would do in Jaime's place, lamenting the fact that she was born a woman, and even doning an armored dress when the Battle of the Blackwater looks to be turning in Stannis's favor. In Season 3, it is implied that she prefers metallic accoutrements to her dresses because she associates it with armor. This in turn may something to do with her spitefulness at Brienne at the Purple Wedding, Brienne having seemingly defied her supposed station far more successfully than Cersei and being noticeably close(r) to Jaime.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: Immediately after torturing Ellaria and giving Tyene Sand the kiss of death, she goes off to have sex with Jaime.
  • I Reject Your Reality: Despite seeing a zombie with her own eyes, she still underestimates the threat the Night King represents and hopes that the Starks and the Targaryens exhaust themselves fighting against them just so she can remain on the Iron Throne.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: No. When Tommen turns on her and sides with Margaery and the High Sparrow, Cersei opts to bomb the Sept of Baleor and kill all of his chosen allies. She spares Tommen himself, but her reaction after he commits suicide because of her actions pretty much confirms that she's already given up on him.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. She mentions to Catelyn and later discusses with Robert how their first child died shortly after birth due to a fever.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: After Tywin is killed by Tyrion, Cersei is left to fill her daddy's shoes as the real power behind throne and as a political intrigue mastermind in Season 5. Having no foresight nor grasp of realpolitik, she fails on an epic scale when her attempts to sabotage Margaery backfires. It shows that Cersei is no Tywin, by a long shot. Even taking the throne for herself by killing everyone else that had a claim to it is likely to lead to her getting deposed in short order, given how many enemies she makes doing it.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Just because Cersei correctly guesses that Daenerys' dragons can be killed after all, she believes she can win against her enemy and it will be just that easy by hiring a company of sellswords to replace her exhausted Lannister armies. She doesn't realize that her scorpion balista failed to critically injure Drogon one bit, let alone kill him and that something powerful enough to kill a dragon like a White Walker should be a massive concern itself.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Cersei is widely praised as one of the most beautiful noblewomen of Westeros, albeit Olenna notes that she's growing old.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Tywin breaking the door in "Blackwater" stops her from proceeding with her son Tommen, because she was convinced the city would fall to the unflappable Stannis.
  • Ironic Echo: She begins shrieking, "I am the Queen!", exactly the same way Margaery did when she was arrested by the Faith Militant. It's also not dissimilar to what her beloved son said previously, "I am the KING!"
  • It's All About Me: To the point of possible textbook narcissism.
    • She regards Jaime as a poor sight at the start of Season 4, complaining about her being left alone to suffer a siege in the capital despite being surrounded by servants and with several bodyguards, which she obviously thinks is so much worse than Jaime being a prisoner dragged from camp to camp, losing his hand, and being humiliated and despised.
    • Her main reason for accusing Tyrion for Joffrey's murder amounts to her believing that Tyrion did it to hurt her personally. It doesn't matter that Tyrion might had have much more legitimate motives for killing Joffrey; to Cersei, the motive must have been that he wanted to get back at her specifically and Joffrey just happened to be collateral damage.
    • In "The Children", she tells Tywin that she's be willing to burn House Lannister to the ground so long as she remains Queen and gets to have her children. In the Season 6 finale, we see this wasn't an idle threat when she literally burns down a good chunk of the city's skyline to take out the Faith Militant, Margaery, and everyone else that opposes her to make sure she stays in power.
    • In Season 7, she ignores the threat the Night King represents despite seeing a wight pouncing towards her and pulls out her war effort because she expects her political rivals to exhaust each other fighting the Army of the Dead. She doesn't care about the realm as long as she remains on the throne.
  • Jerkass: Unfriendly or hostile by default, petty, vindictive, and an overall unpleasant person to be around. It goes without saying that she Hates Small Talk.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • It might be mainly because she's a bitch who revels in seeing others suffer, but what she says to Sansa during the Battle of Blackwater about marrying Joffrey is pretty accurate. Likewise, her assessment of Queen Margaery is mostly motivated by jealousy, but that doesn't mean she isn't right in seeing Margaery as a two-faced social climber.
    • While still hiding the fact of Brother–Sister Incest and giving birth to bastards, during her "confession" about adultery, Cersei angrily calls out the High Sparrow on Double Standard, reminding him what kind of a man she had been cheating on. Unfortunately for her, her conversation partner is unfazed, as he thinks All Crimes Are Equal and the king is now dead and out of reach anyway.
    • Although her decision to falsely agree to a truce to fight the White Walkers, while really using the time to consolidate her own position is a real dick move, she's probably right that the Lannister armies wouldn't really be of any help anyway if the armies already committed to the fight - which have dragons in support - can't win. And if the Stark-Targaryen alliance does win, they're going to go right back to fighting against her for the throne.
  • Kick the Dog: As she walks.
    • An almost literal incident, when she has Sansa's direwolf killed because Arya's direwolf — who attacked Joffrey to defend her mistress — is unavailable. It's also probably her purest example of this trope in the show: it's her first, showing what kind of a human being she is, involves an actual dog and is completely unprovoked — she knows full well that Lady wasn't involved with Joffrey's accident and Sansa, Lady's owner actually sides with him and Cersei.
    • In general, her treatment of Sansa when the latter is a hostage of the Lannisters in King's Landing, though this is strangely mixed with occasional Pet the Dog moments (like when Sansa starts menstruating).
    • Denounces Tyrion's relationship with Shae to their Lord Father, knowing full well how Tywin deals with Tyrion's ladies of company.
    • Tyrion's trial is a prolonged Humiliation Conga orchestrated by her to inflict as much psychological pain as possible (though in her view it's Kick the Son of a Bitch, as she mistakenly thinks that Tyrion murdered her son).
    • After her last son Tommen commits suicide due to Cersei's actions, she claims that he betrayed her... directly to his father in the Season 7 premiere.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: In Season 6's finale, she finally gets back at Septa Unella, by throwing several goblets of wine at her face, chanting 'Confess! Confess!', calling her out of her hypocrisy, and gloating about the truth of the crimes Cersei herself has been accused of. It quickly morphs into Disproportionate Retribution though, as she subjects the septa to death by torture in hands of Ser Gregor.
    • She also likely orchestrated Grand Maester Pycelle being stabbed to death by various harlots and Qyburn's child spies.
    • Her torture of Ellaria and the sand snakes is not exactly her greatest of sins.
  • Kissing Cousins: With Lancel while Jaime is being held captive.
  • Lady Drunk: Cersei's trusty goblet is never far from her hand.
  • Lady Macbeth: She's behind some of Robert and Jaime's callous or outright evil decisions.
  • Large Ham: Especially when drunk.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • She once gloated over having Ned Stark in the Black Cells. In Season 5, she is tossed into one of the cells by the Faith Militant and the High Sparrow begins to collapse her house of cards, hard.
    • She also visits Margaery in her cells, specifically to rub it in. Then in the very same episode, she gets thrown into an even worse one.
    • She gloats over Tyrion being forced into an Arranged Marriage, only to find that her father has the same fate in mind for her.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Cersei would like to believe that she is the female version of her father, but she has all of his worst qualities and none of his talents. All she manages to achieve is a lacklustre imitation of Lord Tywin.
  • Love Is a Weakness: She believes this, because Love Makes You Dumb and compels you to do things you know you shouldn't to keep them happy and safe. The only people Cersei advises Sansa to love are her children since a mother has no choice in that.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Apparently, she used to have feelings for Robert when they married, but Domestic Abuse and Robert's love for Lyanna Stark brutally changed that. Her relationship with Jaime doesn't seem to bring out the best in her either.
  • Mad Bomber: Cersei outdoes the Mad King and actually manages to "burn them all" when she blows her King's Landing enemies in a wildfire plot.
  • Mama Bear: She goes to extremes when it concerns protecting her children:
    • When it looks like Stannis Baratheon will sack King's Landing, she even prepares to poison her youngest to spare him from getting murdered by the victorious enemy troops... albeit because such a massacre is exactly how her father came to renewed power and influence.
    • She is willing to "burn House Lannister to the ground" in order to stay at King's Landing protecting Tommen, according to her. But in reality, her lust for power is also a big factor, if not bigger.
    • When she receives Myrcella's necklace from the Dornish as an implied threat, Cersei is furious and declares she will have Dorne burnt down if they dare hurt her.
    • Her determination to have Tyrion executed after the poisoning of Joffrey also falls under this trope. As opposed to Tywin, who is just glad to have The Millstone out of the way and is willing to use a convenient scapegoat, Cersei genuinely believes that the accused person is guilty and seeks to avenge her child.
    • However, ultimately she cares more about herself and her power than any of her offspring. In Season 7, she becomes pregnant once again. Jon and Daenerys make it clear what kind of threat the White Walkers present and Cersei still decides to stab them in the back, rather than sending troops to help win the war. All this even after Jaime tells her that their child will not even be born if the White Walkers win.
  • Manipulative Bitch: She's able to manipulate the likes of Ned, Jaime, Lancel, Sansa and a few others... but sharper characters like Tywin, Tyrion, Varys and such aren't fooled by her machinations.
  • Meaningful Name: Cersei is likely named in tribute to Circe (pronounced the same way) — the beautiful, duplicitous sorceress from The Odyssey.
  • Mood Whiplash: Due to Tywin's Wham Line. Just before that, she had been shamelessly gloating over the fact that Tywin was going to force Tyrion to marry Sansa... and then Tywin tells her of his plans for her, and she's brought nearly to tears.
    Tywin: You're still fertile. You need to marry again and breed.
    Cersei: I am Queen Regent, not some broodmare!
    Tywin: You are my daughter! You will do as I command and you will marry Loras Tyrell!
  • Motive Decay: A big part of her character at the start was that she loved her children and wanted them on the throne but as they die one by one she decides to take the throne for herself and grow distant of Tommen as time goes on. It reaches the point where she's downright callous when she coldly orders Tommen's body burnt after his suicide.
  • Moral Event Horizon: In-universe, her decision to break her pledge to aid the North and allow Westeros to hang as long as she can keep power, is seen as this by the previously loyal-to-a-fault Jaime, who is so disgusted that he leaves her for good to fulfill the vow.
  • Moral Myopia: She has a tendency to view things as heinous when being done to her or her children, and as okay when done to other people. See also Hypocrite.
    • She is greatly angered when Tyrion arranges for a marriage between Myrcella and House Martell, but has no problem mocking Sansa about beheading more of her family members before her wedding to Joffrey.
    • In Season 3, she smugly smiles when Tywin orders Tyrion to marry Sansa, and nearly breaks into tears when he orders her to marry Loras in turn.
  • Mrs. Robinson: In addition to being Lancel's cousin, she's also old enough to be his mother. The same would apply to her relationship with Loras Tyrell, if not the fact that both of them are equally repulsed by their engagement to each other.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Non-romantic variety. Cersei has Pycelle killed because he was the only other one Tommen was willing to listen to.
  • My Beloved Smother: She tried to be this for her children but has so far failed at it, rather spectacularly with Joffrey becoming an uncontrollable monster, Myrcella being spirited off to Dorne specifically to get her out of Cersei's clutches, and with Tommen being virtually a non-entity to her — so it's far too late to start anew when he becomes King.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: As Joffrey rises to ever new heights of cruelty and perversion, she finally acknowledges that having three inbred children with her twin brother wasn't such a great idea — considering what it did to the Targaryens — to say nothing of putting the most unstable of them on the Iron Throne itself. She breaks down in tears from the sheer knowledge that the son she loves (despite everything) is a psychopath. Nevertheless, in later episodes she undergoes a mild Selective Obliviousness.
  • Narcissist: Cersei, much like her father, has a pronounced sense of self-worth. She is also practically a textbook case. Cersei sees herself as far more intelligent and powerful than she actually is. Her love for her brother Jaime is because she sees him as a reflection of herself if she were a man (which is also why she is notably distraught over his missing hand rather than any impact that it could ever have on his life). She loves her children, but moreso as extensions of herself than as human beings. She takes any perceived (real or not) slight extremely seriously and will often come up with forms of Disproportionate Retribution for it, even when she has absolutely nothing to gain by doing so. She also often tends to devalue and ruthlessly criticize and tear down those who come into contact with her. So, truly, due to the way Cersei's mind works, she is almost fundamentally incapable of not thinking everything is about her and ties back to her. So even on a more general level, Cersei is truly incapable of placing anyone's interest before her own.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: She feels like she is suffering under this in the male dominated Westerosi society, but Tywin bluntly tells her the real reason for her lack of power and influence beyond her family name is that she isn't as capable as she thinks she is; it can also be surmised that at least some of her apparent jealousy at Brienne of Tarth is how Brienne is by all appearances a relatively self-made woman whose family name isn't nearly as important to who Brienne became and what she achieved.
  • Never My Fault: Rare is the moment where Cersei ever considers her own fault in any situation, and even then it's fleeting. A shining example is the premiere of Season 7 when she declares that everyone currently rebelling against her rule is a traitor. She doesn't seem to understand that the major reason they're all rebelling against her is because she's a terrible queen who murdered hundreds of people, including members of her own family, to take power. Later in the season, she declares that the fall of House Lannister, including the deaths of Myrcella and Tommen, are Tyrion's fault for killing Tywin because no one would have dared harm the family while Tywin lived. She seems to either not remember or not care that Tommen committed suicide as a direct consequence of something Cersei did.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Cersei is based on several queens with poor reputations — Queen Isabella, She-Wolf of France, Queen Catherine De'Medici of France, and from the War Of The Roses — Margaret d'Anjou and Elizabeth Woodville.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: After about six seasons of being sidelined, outmaneuvered, and humiliated by the other players of the Game, Cersei snaps and has all of her rivals in King's Landing wiped out with wildfire before usurping the Iron Throne as Queen. She is directly responsible for killing as many or more major characters than anyone else has over all six seasons. Goes further with this when she has Euron Greyjoy working for her and is able to wipe out most of Danaerys' westerosi-based allied teams.
  • Oh, Crap!: It's very cathartic to see this on her face when the wight Jon and Daenerys have brought to show the greater threat, already pissed off at being roused from its crate, goes straight for Cersei with seemingly every intention of wrapping its fingers round her neck.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: A prophecy implies (states in the books) that this tragedy would befall her. Her first child with Robert died because of fever and Joffrey and Myrcella begin to fulfill it when they were poisoned in Seasons 4 and 5. It's completed in the finale of Season 6 when her brutal machinations drive Tommen to commit suicide.
  • Power Hair: A full season after her Traumatic Haircut, she ascends as the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.
  • Parental Favoritism: She gives much more love and attention to Joffrey than to Tommen and Myrcella. Considering the effects, the younger children probably have benefited from that. Ironically, she later claims that Myrcella was her favorite child.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Her very prominent brows emanate hatred even during her rare moments of levity.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • She comforts Catelyn after Bran "falls" from the window. Despite the incident happening because of her (though she wasn't the perpetrator) Cersei's sympathy for Catelyn as a fellow mother who had her child hurt seems actually honest.
    • She convinces Joffrey to do something nice for Sansa during "Lord Snow", referencing her own unhappy arranged marriage.
    • On the event of Sansa's first menses, she counsels her on how best to survive a marriage to Joffrey.
    • During Tyrion's wedding, she tries to divert a lecherous Joffrey away from Sansa. A somewhat weak and quickly abandoned effort but well-intentioned nevertheless.
    • Briefly comforts a nervous Melara during the flashback of her as a teenager.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Despite generally being Stupid Evil, there are a few moments when even Cersei realizes that petty revenge is a bad idea.
    • Knows full well that a tame wolf is better than a dead one, so she plans to have Ned stripped of titles and lands and sent to the Night's Watch, though her plan fails when her son instead orders Ned's death. There is an element of Even Evil Has Standards here, albeit expressed in a cruel Ironic Echo: since Ned planned to exile her rather than allowing her and her children to be murdered, it is sort of "fair" to "only" plan to exile the Starks rather than killing them.
    • In the second season, even she seems taken aback by Joffrey's order to kill Robert's bastard children, not necessarily because of personal standards, but because something like murdering children and babies draws the wrong type of attention. She even seems offended that Tyrion initially thinks she was the one who ordered it.From the books...  However, she's also too prideful to admit he was wrong to do so.
  • Pride: A theme for the Lannisters. They all have a slightly different take on it.
    Cersei: He's attacked one of my brothers, and abducted the other. I should wear the armor, and you the gown. [Robert strikes her] I shall wear this like a badge of honor.
  • Properly Paranoid: In a stark contrast to her book self, towards Margaery. Although Cersei started some of the antagonism herself, she's correct in her assumption that the younger queen is a shrewd politician with her eyes on being the power behind the throne; which goal requires removing Cersei from her position.
  • Pyrrhic Villainy:
    • Cersei's smirking victory over Tyrion and later the Tyrells become meaningless as it comes with a high price. Her champion Ser Gregor Clegane winning over Oberyn Martell in Tyrion's trial on Joffrey's murder breaks new tensions from Dorne and leads to Myrcella's death. Jaime, out of sympathy for Tyrion, helps him escape only for Tyrion to kill Tywin on the way out, leaving the kingdom in her less-than-capable hands. Her reinstatement of the Faith Militant as a means to get back at the Tyrells backfires when she herself gets arrested and punished for her own crimes which also leads her own son Tommen to accept the Faith as part of their alliance to the Iron Throne.
      Olenna: You have no support, not anymore. Your brother is gone; the High Sparrow saw through that. The rest of your family abandoned you. The people despised you. You're surrounded by enemies, thousands of them. You're going to kill them all by yourself? You've lost, Cersei. It's the only joy that I've find in this misery.
    • The Season 6 finale she wipes out all of her enemies in one fell swoop using wildfire beneath the Sept of Baelor, but in doing so she drives her son Tommen over the edge, both figuratively and literally. Killing the Tyrells adds the plentiful Reach to the list of enemies of the increasingly powerless crown.
    • In Season 7, she gets to remain in power despite her armies being beaten by her enemies due to the White Walker threat looming from the horizon it must be dealt with before Cersei. She makes a truce with them which she doesn't intend to honor, just to see her rivals weaken themselves fighting the dead just so she can replenish her forces. However, this leads to Jaime, the only man who ever loved her to abandon her and who makes painfully clear that she won't be able to hold the throne in the aftermath of the new war with the dead.
  • The Dark Chick: The pretty one of the family, who Tywin plans to marry into House Tyrell.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Gives a nasty one to Tyrion in Season 2 after he makes a crack about her and Jaime's "relationship":
      Cersei: You're funny. You've always been funny. But no joke will match the first one, will they? You remember—back when you ripped my mother open on your way out of her and she bled to death.
      Tyrion: ...She was my mother too.
      Cersei: Mother gone. For the sake of you. There's no bigger joke in the world than that.
    • She tries to give one to her father midway through Season 4 (about how he's so self-centred about his family legacy he neglects his real family) but Lord Tywin turns it round on her in his ignominiable style. At the end of the season though she succeeds, thanks to dropping the bombshell of her twincest.
  • Regent for Life: One of the reasons she's turning progressively against Joffrey with each passing episode is that he ruined her plan to become his Regent for Life. It's her own damn fault for being a moron, but still. After all of her children die, she actually steps up and takes the crown for herself.
  • The Resenter: Especially for Jaime, but also for her father, husband and even Tyrion due to their respective positions of power which she believes came from the fact that they're men. While the society of Westeros is very sexist and she may have had a point back then, she's filled about twenty years since with exactly resenting others and doing nothing constructive with her own position of power as the damn queen, which has led to the present situation where Cersei's completely justifiably being denied power due to her incompetence. Visibly so towards Brienne of Tarth, who by her achievements and not being nearly as reliant on being a Tarth as Cersei is on being a Lannister, much less on being beautiful, pokes a sharp hole in Cersei's worldview.
  • Revenge Before Reason:
    • She tends to focus on harming her enemies — real or imaginary — first, and thinking about the consequences... uh, sometime later. Maybe. A shining example is her ploy to undermine the Tyrells in Season 5. Not only does Cersei's claim to power rely on the Lannister-Tyrell alliance (meaning that, if the Tyrells are undermined, she is undermined), Cersei's scheme directly results in her own imprisonment, public humiliation, and complete loss of political power and control. Most halfway intelligent people would realize they've lost and do their best to mitigate the damage and avoid future misery. Cersei is not one of these people, and actually proceeds to she tops herself in Season 6's finale when she blows up the Sept of Baelor during the Green Trial, destroying all of her opponents in Kings Landing, along with a good part of the city. It's one of the very few plans she actually executes successfully, but it leaves her as the target of pretty much every remaining faction in Westeros. Of course, by that time her sanity is so long gone it's hard to even speak of "reason". And this time she may have been genuinely more interested in just making her enemies suffer than in gaining anything for herself.
    • A perfect example is also her willingness to have Sansa dead because she suspects that the latter poisoned Joffrey (she didn't). But she does not take it into a consideration one bit that Joffrey caused so many misfortunes to Sansa including the execution of her father as well wanting to give her the head of her brother.
  • Royal Inbreeding: Her first three children Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen were already inbred due to her affairs with Jaime, but he wasn't a member of the royal family. When she becomes Queen of Westeros and Jaime essentially her consort in all but name, she tells him that she's pregnant again and won't bother hiding that he's the father from her subjects. When Jaime says that the people won't like it, she just shrugs it off with a "whatever I say goes".
  • Sanity Slippage: She is much more calm, collected, and rational in the first season than she is in the second. Her loss of Jaime and Joffrey's increasingly out of control attitude, complemented by her father's suddenly dismissive attitude towards her don't seem to be doing well for her mental faculties. Her despair over her daughter Myrcella's impending Arranged Marriage can't help, either. She comes within inches of poisoning Tommen during "Blackwater" when she thinks that Stannis is about to break down the door. In "The Lion and the Rose", she's outright screaming with rage at Tyrion, as she believes he poisoned Joffrey, and by Season 5 she's noticeably resorting to alcohol continuously, further worsening her condition. By the end of Season 6, she's clearly gone off the deep end. She not only blows up the Sept of Baelor and dozens of nobles within, including her uncle Kevan and three of the four Tyrells, but she doesn't care at all that Tommen kills himself in the aftermath. She still believes she can create a great dynasty with her children dead and surrounded by enemies. In the Season 7 premiere, Jaime actually calls her out on this last point.
    Cersei:I understand whoever wins could launch a dynasty that lasts a thousand years.
    Jaime: A dynasty for whom? Our children are dead. We're the last of us.
    Cersei: A dynasty for us, then.
  • Screw Yourself: Her incest with Jaime is, according to the cast and crew and in consonance with her thoughts in the books, her attempt to get as close as she can to making this a reality. She sees Jaime as what she was actually meant to be and denied the privilege of being by being born a woman. Thus by having sexual intercourse with Jaime, she is, in her own mind, not engaging in incest but rather incredibly metaphorical masturbation.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Maggy the Frog told her that all three of her children would die. Cersei's own actions, in various ways, lead to this outcome. Joffrey dies because Cersei coddled him and then couldn't control him when he was made king, which led to him being poisoned because he was out of control. Myrcella died because the Mountain killed Oberyn, which in turn only happened because Cersei was determined to punish Tyrion for killing Joffrey without any proof that he was responsible. Finally, Tommen kills himself after Cersei detonates the wildfire under the Great Sept of Baelor, killing Margaery among many others.
  • Shadow Archetype: Cersei is the picture of what could have gone wrong with several other female characters who shared some characteristics with her:
    • To Sansa. They were both sheltered daddy's girls from noble families, living a fantasy of marrying a Prince Charming, which in both cases has gone horribly wrong, leaving them both disillusioned. Sansa's kinder nature and not actually spending years in a horrible marriage have left her in a better mental shape than Cersei, for now at least.
    • Tywin notes a similarity between a young Cersei and Arya in their spirited and rebellious natures. However, Cersei was forced by Tywin to conform to the standard submissive role for a Westerosi woman, and put her energy into becoming an evil queen.
    • Both Tyrell women, Margaery and Olenna, share many traits with Cersei — they're manipulative, willing to use seduction (in Olenna's case, in the past) to further their goals and were "blessed" with not particularly politically competent husbands. Olenna and Cersei also share ruthlessness and and similarities in their acts go as far as committing a regicide and letting an innocent man take the fall. However, by growing (at least in Margaery's case) in a household where the female role was valued and taught — instead of being reduced to a property of a man and a piece to haggle — and being sane and having an oucne of common sense, they get out of their roles everything Cersei couldn't: Margaery is a popular queen and gets to manipulate even Joffrey, and Olenna is the real head of her family who has raised a capable heiress and is the closest thing the series has to a female Tywin.
  • A Shared Suffering: Shows a short-lived sisterly attitude towards Tyrion after Tywin reminds them both of the joy of living under his domineering thumb.
  • Shed the Family Name: Inverted Trope. Cersei again takes up the Lannister name as Queen regnant instead of Baratheon.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Displays an open animosity towards Tyrion, which gets incensed when their father entrusts him with power. She has wished the death of Tyrion since the day he was born. Tyrion doesn't reciprocate beyond the occasional quip because intellectually and humanely, he's way above her level. She also harbors some resentment over Tywin favouring Jaime.
  • Smart Ball: She gets a lot more cunning in Season 7, managing to turn around a war in which she was hopelessly outmatched to one that she has a very slim chance of actually winning. Some of this can be attributed to Jaime, but not all of it. It doesn't completely erase her shortsighted behavior and her It's All About Me attitude gets exponentially worse, but it's a step up nonetheless.
  • Smug Smiler: There probably isn't a character from any medium ever, to compete with that contemptible, irritating smirk that she wears constantly.
  • Smug Snake:
    • While she is indeed a somewhat competent/lucky schemer, she is not as brilliant as she thinks herself to be and her self-entitlement, pettiness, and overconfidence often renders her blindsided, and she always struggles to grasp that she's in over her head when she has been outplayed. Her own father even points out that she overestimates her own intelligence.
      Lord Tywin: I don't distrust you because you're a woman. I distrust you because you're not as smart as you think you are. You've allowed that boy to ride roughshod over you and everyone else in this city.
    • During her dinner with Tyrion in "The Prince of Winterfell", she gloats over the fact that she's holding Tyrion's whore hostage, while both Tyrion and the viewers know she's got the wrong woman altogether. Not that that makes Tyrion any less pissed at her contemptible behavior.
    • Despite considering herself a keen player in the game of thrones, none of her plans ever truly succeed. Indeed, in most cases, her actions end up backfiring on her horribly, particularly her plan to rule Westeros behind the scenes while Joffrey sat on the throne. The most Cersei ever appears to achieve are very small, petty victories over people much less powerful than her, and that desire for short-lived sense of satisfaction irrespective of whether it actually improves her position or accomplishes anything in the long run is textbook Smug Snake.
    • At the end of Season 6, while she does eventually manage to outmanoeuvre her enemies to become crowned Queen, the rather extensive point made under Pyrrhic Victory above mean that this isn't exactly the glorious triumph it might otherwise seem to be, and that she probably shouldn't be trading in this trope for a Magnificent Bastard crown just yet.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: In her monstrous actions during "The Winds of Winter," she keeps a very soft tone of voice. This is especially apparent in her treatment of Sister Unella.
  • Spanner in the Works: To Tywin and Jaime in "The Laws of Gods and Men" when she calls Shae to the stand at Tyrion's trial. Tywin and Jaime had originally planned on sending Tyrion to the Wall, but Cersei have Shae falsely testify prompts an enraged Tyrion to demand a Trial by Combat.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: She has no qualms posthumously calling Renly Baratheon a "degenerate" in "Dark Wings, Dark Words". This is coming from a woman who had three children with her twin brother.
    • She takes it to the next level in Season 7 when she says that her own son, Tommen (who was Driven to Suicide over her actions) betrayed her by dying (even though this provided the power vacuum that allowed her to rule in her own right). To his father's face, no less. Ouch.
  • Strong Family Resemblance:
    • Young Cersei looks strikingly similar to her daughter, Myrcella. The fact that Myrcella's a product of Cersei's incest with her own twin brother might have something to do with this.note 
    • With her hair cut off by the Faith Militant, she bears an unsettling resemblance to Joffrey. (Ditto with the incest thing.)
  • Stupid Evil:
    • Tyrion and Tywin separately note this about her. Her vile and foolish tendencies are always present, to the point where Tywin is quick to empower his much disparaged son Tyrion to mitigate Cersei's calamities.
    • She cares nothing about public sentiment and doesn't realize that throwing people out of her city will draw their ire and how the ire of the mob is dangerous for kings and queens.
      Tyrion: Listen to me, 'queen regent'. You're in danger of losing the people.
      Cersei: The people? Heh. You think I care?
      Tyrion: You may find it difficult to rule over millions who want you dead.
    • Her understanding on the actual military threats posed by Stannis Baratheon and Robb Stark is likewise tenuous at best, to the point that Tyrion's victory at Blackwater is almost in spite of her efforts, rather than because of it (her only contribution is getting the wildfire made, a plan Tyrion co-opted because she likely would have burned King's Landing to the ground by accident). Of course, a lot of these may be due to her rapidly becoming a not very functioning addict.
    • Once the sensible influences or restraints of Tyrion and Tywin are gone, Cersei goes one step further and engages in one petty, short-sighted scheme after another, culminating in her empowering the Faith Militant as a petty revenge scheme against the Tyrells with zero regards for the potential blowback. She's called out on this one multiple times.
  • Surprise Pregnancy:Halfway through Season 7, it's revealed that she's pregnant with a fifth child, despite the obvious inferral in seasons past that everybody, including Cersei herself, figured she was past her childbearing years.
  • Thicker Than Water: She spoiled her first son Joffrey from day one, but was horrified when he became increasingly psychopathic and insane, starting to indulge in regular cruelties and atrocities. She later acknowledges to Margaery that even at his most evil she still loves Joffrey out of some sense of maternal care and loses it completely when he dies in her arms.
  • Too Clever by Half: She is indeed well-versed in the games of subterfuge and underhanded politics amongst the Westeros' nobles, but she fancies herself to be better than she actually is, causing her to often severely underestimate her opponents. Ironically, this also works in her favor, since her opponents often assume she's too rational to do something stupid, only to be blindsided when she does it anyway.
  • Took a Level in Badass: While Cersei's faults and weaknesses are many, by the end of Season 7 it's clear that she has gotten much better at managing them. Following her walk of shame Cersei has shown much more patience, cunning, and ability to plan ahead then she ever did before. She manages to wipe out all her enemies in the capital in one move and makes herself Queen. When faced with Daenery's invasion she manages to gain new allies in House Greyjoy and House Tarly while at the same time eliminating all of Daenerys' Westeros-based allies. She uses gold stolen from Highgarden to pay off the Iron Bank and get a new loan. When offered a truce by her enemies so they can face the Army of the Dead and the White Walkers she makes a big production of agreeing and pledging to fight with our heroes but only after very difficult negotiations. This ends up being a ruse and her real plan is to let her enemies kill each other fighting in the North while she uses her new loan to hire a mercenary army 20,000 strong to regain control of the south and wipe out whoever is left after the fighting in the North is done. Despite being surrounded by smarter players in the game, Cersei has managed to take advantage of her opportunities to kill almost all of her enemies and take the Iron Throne and become the most dangerous of the shows human villains.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Episodes 2 and 3 of Season 4 are nothing but this for Cersei. First, Joffrey is assassinated using a horribly painful poison, and then her father totally ignores her when she asks him not to lecture Tommen about how bad a king Joffrey was before taking Tommen away, and then she has a...rather uncomfortable sexual encounter with Jaime next to her son's corpse while she's mourning.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Has her precious golden locks cut off by the Faith Militant.
  • Troubled Abuser: Between her experiences with her abusive husband, controlling, emotionally abusive father and uncontrollable, psychopathic son, Cersei takes it out on whom she has a chance at the moment. Sometimes it's Tyrion (though it tends to backfire on her). More often it's Sansa.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour:
    • She proudly recalls the time she had a 9 year old servant girl beaten to blindness for stealing a necklace, when she was of the same age.
    • "Mockingbird" reveals that during a visit Oberyn and Elia had at Casterly Rock when they were children, Cersei freely tormented a baby Tyrion in front of them by pinching his penis and talking about how she wished he had died. She only stopped tormenting Tyrion because Jaime made her stop.
    • We finally get a glimpse of teen Cersei in Season 5, she's about as charming as you would think. When Maggy the Frog refuses to tell her fortune, a teenage Cersei threatens to have her eyes gouged out.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: In the Season 6 finale, after killing most of her political enemies in a wildfire explosion and Tommen's suicide, Cersei forcibly takes the Iron Throne and names herself Queen.
  • The Unfavourite: In Season 3, her father makes it clear that due to her failure to control Joffrey, he regards her as little better than Tyrion. Also note that while Tywin may not like Tyrion, he does respect Tyrion's intelligence and in this respect treats him as an equal. The same can't be said for Cersei.
  • The Unfettered: Cersei is committed to her own power and status above all else, and will go to any lengths necessary to achieve it, regardless of how abhorrent it may be. In Season 7, Olenna acknowledges this about her:
    Olenna Tyrell: I did unspeakable things to protect my family, or watched them being done on my orders. I never lost a night's sleep over them; they were necessary and whatever I imagined necessary for the safety of House Tyrell, I did. But your sister has done things I wasn't capable of imagining.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Never has anything good to say about Tyrion or Loras, despite both of them being vital in saving her and Tommen's lives at the battle of Blackwater. Tywin even calls her out on her ingratitude for the Tyrells. Probably the most blatant example of this was her framing Ned Stark as a traitor after he warned her to save herself and her children; though it was mixed with Pragmatic Villainy, since they would be forced to go into exile if she accepted Ned's scenario.
  • Unwitting Pawn: After transforming the Sparrows into the Faith Militant and giving them free rain to imprison any deviants towards the Gods, which ends up getting both Loras and Margaery captured, she confidently assumes that she is controlling them like puppets. It never occurs to her until it's too late that the now all powerful fundamentalist organisation would imprison her for her own deviant lifestyle once they no longer needed her.
  • The Usurper: Although it's her sons who get to sit on the Iron Throne, not herself, it's her actions which usurp said throne to her family. And as "The Winds of Winter" she finally seizes it for herself.
  • Villain Protagonist: She is clearly the viewpoint character during the Faith in King's Landing storyline in Season 6.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • She angrily loses her cool when Tyrion shows up in a meeting of the Small Council, and much to her chagrin reveals that he's acting Hand of the King.
    • She's in this mode for the entire episode "Blackwater", although it's a less hammy example then usual.
    • In "The Lion and the Rose". Cersei visibly shatters as Joffrey dies helplessly in her arms.
    • In "The Gift", she goes from being a Smug Smiler for the majority of Season 5 to screaming "I am the queen!" as she is dragged away to the Black Cells by the High Sparrow's Faith Militant.
    • Her sanity worsens as her situation does throughout Season 6. This ends up being the dangerous version, since she's desperate and crazy enough in the finale to use the wildfire caches in King's Landing to simply kill all of her rivals at once.
  • Villainous Friendship: With Qyburn, who is the only person to visit her during her imprisonment by the Faith, and the first person to cover her after her walk of shame.
  • Villain Has a Point: Cersei is absolutely right that Tywin is more concerned about idea of the family than its actual members.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Like all of Tywin's children, she craves his appreciation. Like all of Tywin's children, she doesn't get it, because a) she screws up, b) daddy doesn't do appreciation to begin with.
  • Wham Line: She reveals the truth to Tywin in "The Children":
    Cersei: Everything they say about Jaime and me is true... your legacy is a lie!
  • While Rome Burns: She smiles and triumphantly sips a glass of wine as she watches the wildfire cache burn down the Great Sept of Baelor, along with all of her rivals in it, in the distance. She's clearly enjoying the awful spectacle.
  • With Us or Against Us: "Everyone who is not us is an enemy."
  • Woman Scorned: After Robert makes clear that he never loved her and their marriage didn't have a chance to work, and strikes her (in a different scene), he doesn't live for long. Years of cheating and humiliating her probably didn't help his case, either.
  • Women Are Wiser: At times.
    • She is completely right about Margaery Tyrell not being as harmless as she seems. Joffrey ignores her.
    • Cersei herself believes this trope to be true, in tandem with All Men Are Perverts; during her pathetic attempt to blackmail Tyrion she says that thinking with their penises is a Fatal Flaw present in all men. Again, playing into her Hypocrite character. She considers men's uncontrollable sexual desires to be their biggest weakness, and yet her own sexual desires for Jaime that she either couldn't or wouldn't control despite the knowledge that the whole affair could backfire horribly is what ultimately leads to all of the events in the series.
  • The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: As Joffrey is only 16, she's technically the ruling sovereign of the Seven Kingdoms; her official title is even "Queen Regent". She even tries to assert her authority as such early on, but Joffrey takes a shotgun to that notion with six little words: "Ser Ilyn, bring me his head!" She still attempts to rule while Joffrey spends his time performing various cruelties, but Tyrion compromises much of her power and repeatedly outmanoeuvres her when she tries to take it back, Tywin wastes no time controlling everyone once he comes back from fighting the war, and then the Tyrells join in by marrying Margaery to both of Cersei's sons, making Margaery the would-be reigning Queen.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: Lampshaded by Euron Greyjoy, though he's laying it on thick and she is not his first choice.
    Euron: Ever since I was a little boy, I wanted to grow up and marry the most beautiful woman in the world.
  • Wicked Cultured: As could be expected of a rich young woman from a noble house, Cersei recieved an excellent education.
  • You Are What You Hate: Not so much as in the books, but in the end of the day Cersei is a philanderer, a drunkard and an incompetent ruler, not unlike her hated late hubby (albeit in a different style and more malicious compared to his apathy).
  • Your Cheating Heart: First cheats on Robert with Jaime, then on Jaime with Lancel. While Robert is her Unwanted Spouse, she has proclaimed Jaime tto be her One True Love, making cheating on him the ultimate proof that she isn't loyal to any man.
  • You Should Have Died Instead: Strongly implied to be a factor in hating Tyrion. Leads to what is probably her best comeback.
    Cersei: Mother gone. All for the sake of you. There's no bigger joke in the world than that.
  • 0% Approval Rating:
    • While not as hated as her son Joffrey, the common folk of King's Landing don't like her much at all. Her haughty, crappy treatment of the subjects and the rumors of incest certainly don't do a lot to change that.
    • Her destruction of the Sept of Baelor which killed hundreds if not thousands of people, including Margery, Loras, Mace, and Kevan, and her grab for the Iron Throne after Tommen's subsequent suicide cemented her position as the most hated person in Westeros.

    Ser Jaime Lannister
"There it is. There's the look. I've seen it for seventeen years on face after face. You all despise me. Kingslayer. Oathbreaker. A man without honor."

Twin brother of Cersei, and older brother of Tyrion. A member of the Kingsguard, and known across the lands as one of the finest swordsmen who ever lived, Jamie served under the "Mad King" Aerys II Targaryen for many years. Jamie quickly became infamous amongst the Seven Kingdoms however for murdering the Mad King near the end of Robert's Rebellion an action that led to him becoming known as The Kingslayer. While Jamie initially seems arrogant and aloof about his infamous action the truth is that, unbeknownst to the rest of the world, Jamie was saving the rest of King's Landing from the Mad King who intended to destroy the city with hidden cashes of Wildfire. After losing his sword hand Jamie becomes humble and is now trying to live his life for his own sense of honour even if the rest of the world continues to despise him. After the forced retirement of Ser Barristan from the Kingsguard Jamie is named the Lord Commander of the brotherhood. He later becomes the commander-in-chief of the Lannister armies once Cersei becomes the Queen Regent of the Seven Kingdoms. Unfortunately for Jamie, once Cersei becomes Queen, he is left torn in his loyalties between the sister that he loves and his own sense of right and wrong.
  • Abled in the Adaptation: In the books, Jaime had difficulty of using the left hand as his sword hand after his right hand was chopped off and despite his efforts to learn in using his left hand, it actually takes a lot of time to get use to it because he was right-handed in his lifetime. In the show, he initially had difficulty of using his left hand and while he is able to fight with his left hand, he used his golden right hand for pragmatic means.
  • The Ace: Generally considered to be one of the greatest swordsmen in Westeros, if not the greatest. Subtly combined with Brilliant, but Lazy: When he tries he's almost as cunning, charismatic, and socially dominating as his father and little brother, but he's personally unambitious and is only ever recognized in-universe for his sublime swordsmanship and pretty face.
    Littlefinger: I bet on Ser Jaime in the jousting, as any sane man would...
  • Action Dad: The biological father of Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella and is a renowned badass.
  • Adapted Out:
    • His confession to Tyrion about Tysha at the end of A Storm of Swords, which caused them to part on a very sour note. Instead, since Jaime doesn't tell him this, their parting is much more heartwarming.
    • His arc in the books after Tywin's death involves reforming the Kingsguard, beefing up security, trying and failing to offer Cersei good advice, this is instead traded for a trip to show!Dorne.
  • Adaptational Badass: While it takes a lot of training to adapt, Jaime becomes a somewhat able swordsman with his left hand following losing the right. Not so much in the books. On the other hand, in the books Jaime compensated by becoming more of a general and politician; Jaime does this in the show as well, but it's downplayed.
  • Adaptation Distillation: His arc in Season 4 has him taking over for Kevan Lannister as Tyrion's quasi-lawyer and Go-Between between him and Tywin. In the books he comes far too late to King's Landing, well after Joffrey's death, and doesn't get much chance to interact with his little brother, though the crucial climactic conversation between them, despite additional time to be built up in the season, is Adapted Out.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Jaime in the books even after the beginning of his Redemption Quest is quite blunt and jerkish, and after the loss of his hand tries to cultivate a more distant and intimidating demeanour, whereas Jaime in Season 4 barring one or two interactions is often quite nice. The scene where he asks Tywin to spare his brother for instance is quite far apart from Book!Jaime at least in levels of earnestness and sincerity.
    • His interactions with Brienne (with whom he already has a fair bit of Ship Tease in the novels) tend to be warmer in the show than in the books, especially later on.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • In the book when Bran is spotted watching Jaime and Cersei having sex he falls from the window and is saved by Jaime, and when Jaime shoves him he says "the things I do for love" with loathing, indicating that he is still decent enough not only to save a child's life but to hate himself for killing him. In the show the moment where he rescues Bran is cut and he says his line with glibness rather than loathing, painting Jaime to be a truly callous person.
    • He murders his young cousin Alton Lannister, who idolised him, as part of an escape attempt, which incidentally makes him a kinslayer, the only thing worse than a kingslayer.
    • In the book, the sex scene with Cersei in front of Joffrey's corpse was consensual; in "Breaker Of Chains", it is at best grudging, at worst forced by Jaime. The context change doesn't help either: In the books, Jaime has only just returned to King's Landing after spending most of the war a prisoner and losing his hand and son and is so starved for intimacy that he ignores Cersei's initial protestations. In the show, he's been around for a few weeks, making his actions a lot less seemingly impulsive.
    • In Season 7 following Cersei's coup to take the throne, he still supports her as her field commander and remains her lover. This is a sharp contrast to the books where following his Character Development he realizes how terrible Cersei is and begins to turn his back to her. In the Season 7 finale, after realizing that she never intended to make good on her promise of support for Jon and Dany, and failing to convince her otherwise, he leaves King's Landing ostensibly for Winterfell.
  • Age Lift: Is 40 in "Two Swords", making him older than his book counterpart at the same point in the story (though also three years younger than his actor).
  • Affably Evil: It's kind of hard to remember to hate the guy when he's joking with Tyrion or trading war stories with Jory Cassel... and then he brutally stabs the latter through the eye. Quite the turnaround to further remind the audience of the "evil" part.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Locke chops off his hand out of spite.
  • Anti-Hero: In the third season, the reveal of his heroic Hidden Depths and the selfless deeds he commits establish him firmly in this category. As it stands, he's somewhere between a Pragmatic Hero and an Unscrupulous Hero by virtue of the murkier things he's done in the name of family.
  • Anti-Villain: His characterization in the first two seasons. A man who doesn't hesitate to kill a child or a kin for his own benefit but who possesses some sympathetic traits and standards.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • To Brienne.
      Jaime: Tell me, if your precious Renly commanded you to kill your own father and stand by while thousands of men, women, and children burned alive, would you have done it? Would you have kept your oath then?
    • Delivers one to Walder Frey in "The Winds of Winter".
      Jaime: We gave you the Riverlands to hold the Riverlands. If we have to ride North and take them back every time you lose them...why do we need you?
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: A gifted man full of hubris because he's one of the best swordsmen in the Seven Kingdoms and a Lannister. His smugness starts to wear off in Season 3, slowly at first, what with getting his ass kicked by Brienne, and dramatically after "Walk of Punishment", a turning point where most of the arrogance is well and truly gone. While he still tries to reassure his lord father that not being as good with his left hand doesn't matter as long as he's better than anyone else, an honest conversation with Tyrion shows that most of his self-confidence is gone.
  • Artificial Limbs: He is fitted with a golden hand in Season 4 when he returns to King's Landing. Subverted in that it doesn't function as anything but a display and Jaime remarks that a hook would be more practical, but much to his luck, he does manages to use it as a life-saving improvised shield. It's also an effective tool for slapping, As the Freys learned the hard way during Season 6.
  • The Atoner: Jaime is trying his best to reform. He saved Brienne, sent her on a quest to try and save the Stark girls in order to fulfill Catelyn's vow, saved Tyrion from death, and once again aspires to be a dutiful Kingsguard no matter how soiled his reputation... and after Tywin's death and Tyrion's abandoning the city, Jaime sails to Dorne in an attempt to protect his 'niece' Myrcella from retaliation for the death of Oberyn Martell.
  • Badass Boast
    [To Jory] I'm going to open your lord up from balls to brains and see what Starks are made of.
    [To Lady Stark] There are no men like me. Only me.
  • Badass Decay: Goes through this in-universe as from the beginning of the series onwards as we see him captured, beaten by a woman, and finally having his hand cut off and with it all of his prodigious prowess as a swordsman. He is regarded as this in Season 4, with his own father and Cersei regarding his career as a Knight as over and Joffrey essentially calling him a has-been.
  • Badass in Charge: As Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and one of the best fighters in the show, prior to losing his sword fight he only struggled against Ned Stark due to the latter being an Adaptational Badass whilst he's pretty average in the books.
  • Badass Longcoat: He attires while not in his Kingsguard armor are mostly this.
  • Bait the Dog: Two humanizing scenes have him bonding with Jory and his young cousin, Alton. Jory gets a callous answer in the end and before long, both of them are rather casually killed by Jaime.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: In Season 5, he discovers the one real advantage a fake hand gives him in a sword fight.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: With Cersei in Season 1. The two of them are the seasons primary threats and antagonists.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Towards Tyrion. Cersei notes that he was always the one to defend his little brother from the abuses of his father, sister, and society. This even extended to setting up the Meet Cute with Tysha, which is part of why the two of them get along so well (in the book, Tyrion explicitly narrates that his Undying Loyalty to Jaime is in thanks for giving him a taste of love). In Season 4, he's probably the only major figure to publicly support Tyrion's innocence and it's implied that he would have dueled on his behalf if he had both hands. He finally defies both his father and sister and arranges with Varys to break Tyrion out of prison, giving one final, loving hug before they part ways.
  • Big Damn Heroes: He returns to Harrenhal just in time to rescue Brienne from a live bear.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: The source of his infamous nickname Kingslayer. Even worse for him, in that it was Aerys that he killed, and while almost everyone is happy for such a monstrous man to be dead, they still dislike Jaime for having broken his oath to protect the king, and it has no small part in his resentment towards Ned Stark. Somewhat justified by the high premium that is (at least publicly) placed on honorFrom the books... .
  • Blood Knight: Loves a good fight, but is also courageous and (in most cases) honorable, as demonstrated by him sparing Ned after one of his men "taints" the victory by stabbing Ned in the leg.
  • Brass Balls: You require a pair of them to charge head on to the dragon that has been burning alive half of your army minutes ago.
  • Break the Haughty: Despite numerous forces attempting to break him down (see Humiliation Conga), Jaime remains as smug and arrogant as ever right up until the moment where he loses his hand.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy:
    • Shows no greater ambition than to be a member of the Kingsguard. This contrasts with his father who remade the Lannisters as the strongest house (and seems to consider Jaime a Jaded Washout), his sister who tried to make herself the power behind the throne, and his brother who ruled King's Landing (and wants Casterly Rock). Jaime displays cunning with his manipulation of Steelshanks and Locke, but rarely uses it.
      Lord Tywin: You're blessed with abilities that few men possess. You're blessed to belong to the most powerful family in the Kingdoms, and you're still blessed with youth. And what have you done with these blessings? You've served as a glorified bodyguard for two kings, one a madman, the other a drunk [...] I need you to become the man you were always meant to be. Not next year, not
    • It's also a deconstruction in that Jaime's laziness leads to him having few real accomplishments. Moreover, in the book describing the achievements of each member of the Kingsguard, his page is ridiculously small and the only notability compared to other members is his killing of Aerys... so as a swordsman he's practically a Living Legend, but as a member of the Kingsguard he is a Butt-Monkey.
    • Come Season 6 and he is growing out of it. Jaime confronts the High Sparrow, immediately tries to approach the small council to do something about the situation in Dorne and then when it's clear that unity is needed to take on the Faith Militant he not only convinces Kevan and Olenna to work with Cersei again, but its clear from Olenna's face that she's thinking "This boy knows his shit".
  • Broken Ace: It is shown that he is incredibly bitter about his reputation as the 'Kingslayer', and that no matter what he does, he'll always be remembered as someone who will change sides at the drop of a hat.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: With Cersei.
  • Butt-Monkey: By Season 4, he has this status among his family, having sat out of the war as a captive and Noble Fugitive, getting his hand chopped off in the process while the war was won without him doing anything significant. His relationship with Cersei is cold, his father is disappointed in his continual insistence to serve in the Kingsguard, and even his "nephew" King Joffrey mocks him for being a Failure Hero. Not as much as Tyrion, but a drastic comedown from being his father's favourite. Even Loras, his future brother-in-law, easily defeats him in Passive-Aggressive Kombat which Jaime himself had initiated.
  • Byronic Hero: The darker end of this trope. Killing the Mad King was the best thing he ever did, but doing so cost him his integrity and everyone hates Jaime for it. This has made him an outcast in Westeros society. He continues to be haunted by the Mad King's last words (the king came very close to torching all of King's Landing), and his true reasons for Kingslaying are a closely-guarded secret very few other people know. As a consequence, Jaime decided to embrace his amoral image by doing dark things in the name of self-preservation — such as pushing Bran off the tower and killing his cousin — although he is trying his best to reform. Jaime is also handsome, a prodigy with a sword, both proud and self-loathing, cynical, and has a very sharp wit. Oh, and he's had an incestuous affair with his own sister for several years.
  • Child Prodigy: On the one hand, his dyslexia made him a slow learner in some aspects, but on the other hand, he was already a brilliant swordsman during his childhood. He tells Bronn that he hasn't used sparring swords since he was nine. He became the youngest Kingsguard in history, joining the order at the age of 16.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Zigzagged trope. This is his reputation. In reality, his killing of King Aerys is far more complex: Aerys told him to kill his own father and was also planning on burning down and killing everyone in King's Landing. Unfortunately, Jaime's pride and pessimism discouraged him from revealing that true reason for killing Aerys. On the other hand, if word were to ever get out that Jaime had brutally killed his younger cousin, Alton Lannister, then he would be known as a kinslayer, the only thing worse than being a kingslayer in Westeros, as well.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Jaime is oblivious to the attention he gets from women because he's only interested in Cersei (or Brienne), which Bronn points out with considerable irritation.
  • Composite Character: Jaime takes over for Balon Swann, a Kingsguard knight sent by Cersei to return Myrcella to the Capital. Jaime did not go to Dorne in the books.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: A recurring theme for him all through the series:
    • The Kingslayer delivers a trope-defining remark to Lady Catelyn Stark pointing out that the oaths about honoring your family and honoring your King are forced to be helplessly contradictory sooner or later.
      Jaime: So many vows. They make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Obey your father. Defend the innocent. Protect the weak. But what if your father despises the king? What if the king massacres the innocent? It's too much. No matter what, you're forsaking one vow or the other."
    • As he revealed to Brienne, Jaime broke his oath and killed the Mad King when he decided to explode huge quantities of wildfire hidden beneath King's Landing. This action saved 500,000 lives but came at the price of his honor and universal contempt for soiling his office.
    • On his return to King's Landing, Jaime is once again torn between family and duty. His oath to Catelyn Stark to safeguard Sansa and Arya are complicated by her death and changed political landscape. When Joffrey dies and Tyrion is arrested and Sansa is suspected, Jaime is caught between his father, sister and his little brother, his promise to Catelyn Stark and his decision to honor his vows to the Kingsguard as best as possible. No easy task. He eventually decides to go against his family in secret, giving Brienne help to rescue Sansa, and working with Varys to rescue Tyrion.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back: He was willing to leave Brienne to her fate at first, but couldn't go through with it and managed to convince his escorts to go back to Harrenhal for her. Although to be fair he did initially think she was going to be ransomed and went back to force the issue at once when he heard that Locke had refused the ransom offer.
  • Cool Big Bro: Undoubtedly to Tyrion — he's even seen bringing him some extra prostitutes before the feast in the first episode!
  • Cool Sword: Oathkeeper, the Valyrian steel sword Lord Tywin gives him, made from House Stark's Ice, at the beginning of Season 4. It lacks some of the more spectacular elements of its book counterpart (namely its highly distinctive rippling red-and-black blade), but its handle is still ludicrously baroque. Eventually, he gives it to Brienne, who names it. Following the death of Tommen in the aftermath of the Green Trial, he takes up the other Valyrian sword reforged from Ice, Widow's Wail.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: While he's perfectly cunning and intelligent for a warrior, Jaime has built his entire life, career, reputation, and self-respect around being one of the best swordsmen in the kingdom... who then loses his sword hand early in Season 3.
    Jaime: It's a good thing I am who I am. I'd have been useless at anything else.
  • Cuckold: Jaime is completely oblivious that Cersei slept with their cousin Lancel even when he returned to King's Landing after Cersei was arrested and punished by the Faith Militant. Granted that Cersei never told him the true reason why she got arrested as it would open more skeletons in the closet. From the books 
  • Cynicism Catalyst: The death of the Mad King Aerys Targaryen II at his hands: Turns out that instead of switching sides at the last minute like his father did, the real reason he killed Aerys was to prevent Aerys from using wildfire to annihilate everyone in King's Landing. One of his most truly noble and selfless acts resulted in everyone derisively referring to him as "Kingslayer". That's part of the reason he's become so bitter and lacking in empathy towards others.
  • The Dragon:
    • He's trusted by Lord Tywin with half of the Lannister forces and attains some glory in the field, but his war days are quickly ended when he gets ensnared by Robb Stark.
    • Tries to be this for Cersei in Seasons 5 and 6 when aiming to rescue Myrcella, taking on the High Sparrow and then sorting out the Riverlands.
    • After Cersei becomes Queen, Jaime and Euron become her Co-Dragons, in terms of military, with Euron leading the navy and Jaime the armies of the crown.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Confesses this problem to Tyrion, noting that his instincts with his left hand are nowhere near the skills of his perfectly-trained right hand.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He tends to slip at least one of these into every conversation he makes. But of particular note:
    Jaime: King in the North! You know, I expect you to leave me at one castle or another for safekeeping but you just drag me along camp to camp. Have you grown fond of me Stark, is that it? I've never seen you with a girl.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Towards Brienne.
  • Determinator: Makes no less than five escape attempts throughout his captivity. At one point, gasping for breath in the mud after having one of his hands chopped off, he still disarms a Bolton soldier with his left and tries to fight a group of others.
  • Did Not Think This Through: Jaime is incredibly impulsive. The problem being that many of his spur-of-the-moment actions either don't further his cause or outright make his problems worse. To wit:
    • Attacking Ned Stark and his men did nothing to free Tyrion from Catelyn Stark.
    • His murder of Rickard Karstark's son in a poorly thought out escape attempt only made many Stark bannerman all too eager to kill him.
    • He freed Tyrion, only for the latter to use the newfound freedom to murder their father.
    • His attempt to bring Myrcella back from Dorne wasn't well thought through either, and ends in failure.
    • He's called out on his impulsiveness In-Universe more than once. Noteably by Cersei and Bronn.
      Cersei: You're a man of action, aren't you? When it occurs to you to do something you do it. Never mind the consequences.
      Jaime: I like to improvise.
      Bronn: That explains the golden hand.
    • He charges at Daenerys, who is protected by an actual dragon.
    Tyrion: Flee, you idiot.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight:
    • Tells Bronn he wants to go out in the arms of the woman he loves.
    • Myrcella collapses and dies in Jaime's arms after they have a first and sweet father-daughter conversation.
  • The Dog Bites Back: It's been implied that his murder of Aerys was a case of this. From the books... 
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Not his first scene, but being able to shove a child out a window with only a flippant little comment about "The things I do for love" is a pretty big moment.
    • Gets a second one in "The Kingsroad" while talking to Jon Snow.
    • His first scene where he gets a significant number of lines to himself, onscreen, in fact, is the scene where he's joking around with Tyrion in the brothel. That episode is Jaime in a nutshell, really — dangerous, doesn't mind killing children, loves his family.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • He and Cersei are clearly very much in love, and he's very protective of his brother Tyrion, not to mention he's the only member of his immediate family who doesn't blame Tyrion for the death of their mother Joanna Lannister.
    • Despite not approving of Joffrey's rudeness and general attitude, he loves him enough to shove several people out of his way and rush to his side, desperately trying to help him. Tragically (sort of), it doesn't work.
    • Though he's not really close to them (as he had to pretend to be their 'uncle' for most of their lives), he does care about Myrcella and Tommen.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Knocks down a soldier who unceremoniously stabs Ned in the leg during his duel with the latter. When talking with his father in "You Win or You Die", he comments that this act made him spare Ned's life as killing him in this situation wouldn't be "clean."
    • He also feels contempt for rapists. So what the fuck was that in "Breaker of Chains"?
    • The reason he killed Aerys — he wanted to burn down King's Landing with wildfire.
    • Unlike his father, sister, and his son, he has no problem with homosexuality and even sympathises with them, given his own affection.
    • Defies Cersei's wishes by having Brienne find Sansa and take her to safety so that Cersei can't harm her, and giving up his sword Oathkeeper to her for that purpose.
    • The Season 6 finale implies he's horrified to see the mass murder and destruction Cersei has wreaked upon King's Landing and their own family.
    • The Season 7 finale shows that he's not a fan of Cersei's wish to sacrifice everyone in Westeros to the White Walkers just so she can hold onto her power for a bit longer, choosing to storm out of King's Landing and head up to the North to join up with Daenerys' and Jon's forces to prepare for the counteroffensive against the Army of the Dead.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Ser Loras Tyrell. They're both arrogant, highly-skilled warriors, Lords Commander of a family member's Kingsguard, brothers to a queen, and have a socially unacceptable romantic relationship, but the Knight of Flowers has yet to do anything as heinous as pushing a kid out of a window or murdering his own cousin in cold blood. Loras and Margaery are a Brother–Sister Team, whereas Jaime and Cersei are engaged in Brother–Sister Incest. Although Loras is jealous of Brienne, he doesn't actually want to harm her, and even comes to her defense when Margaery accuses her of murdering Renly, whereas Jaime attempts to kill Brienne (who was merely trying to escort him safely to King's Landing, albeit in chains) in "Dark Wings, Dark Words". Loras tries to engage in polite small talk with Jaime in "The Lion and the Rose", and the older knight suddenly escalates it to a verbal confrontation by threatening his life.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Grows an appropriately leonine one while in Northern captivity in Season 2 and keeps it thick into the rest of Season 3. He chops it all off in Season 4, wearing his hair short again once he returns to the luxury of King's Landing.
  • Facial Dialogue: After losing his hand, whenever someone starts to bring up the subject of his incest and parenthood, even if indirectly, Jaime usually produces a begging "Please don't." wounded gaze.
  • Failure Hero: How the Lannisters see him after he returns; King Joffrey and Cersei both note that they survived a siege without him and the war was won without him playing a major role and he for his part, sat out of it as a captive and returned as a cripple. This is amplified furthermore when Joffrey gets poisoned at his own wedding in full view of everyone, with Jaime not able to do nothing but watch. It's worse in the TV show because his book counterpart wasn't even present at King's Landing at the time. And then his actions directly lead to Tywin's death. Harshly, but accurately summed up by Cersei:
    Cersei: Tyrion may be a monster, but at least he killed our father on purpose. You killed him by mistake.
  • Fatal Flaw: Whilst he has his own brand of cunning like his father and brother, his impulsive behaviour makes him say 'fuck you' to patience and gets him captured by Robb Stark.
  • A Father to His Men: For all his flaws, Jaime cares for the soldiers under his command, and tries to offer emotional support to Dickon after he has seen his first true battle. When Daenerys starts raining fire on his army, he is horrified at the sight of his soldiers being burned alive.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Brienne, eventually.
  • Foil: To Ned and, later, Brienne; his code of flexible morality contrasts their strict adherence to their own code of honor. The insults and disrespect he gets when returning to his family, are very similar to what Theon experienced when returning to Pyke.
    • He relentlessly mocks the laws of gods and men. Is known for being a pretty bad guy but has a far more cruel older sibling (Cersei is the older twin). Is a very skilled swordsman and while he claims to not care about others he risks his life for a female companion. Jaime Lannister or Sandor 'The Hound' Clegane? Oddly they've never interacted on screen apart from being in the same room when Robert comes to Winterfell.
    • Jaime has everything Tyrion lacks. Handsome, tall, a dashing duelist adored by the smallfolk and by his family and even treated with some consideration by his father. Jaime could commit all kinds of follies and still be the golden son. And then the twist comes in with that Tyrion craves many of these things and spends most of the series trying to get them, while Jaime takes his blessings for granted.
  • Front Line General: A bold field commander with the spirit and élan of a rank soldier. It's clear he revels in the front line aspects rather than in the generalship per-se, putting himself In Harm's Way without a second thought.
  • Gaydar: He claims to have known that Renly was a "tulip" from the moment the boy first arrived at court.
  • Glorified Sperm Donor: He sired all of Cersei's children, but wasn't a father figure to them from fear that people might get suspicious about their paternity. As of Season 5, he begins to regret this. Cersei tells him he has no right to call Myrcella his daughter, and Myrcella herself says he doesn't really know her.
  • Glove Slap: He gets a rough version of this during his training, when Bronn yanks his golden hand off and then slaps him to the ground with it.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Even though he is fully aware that Tywin had arranged the forced betrothal between Cersei and Loras, and that the latter is a gay man, he is very jealous that Loras will marry Cersei while he himself cannot. Jaime threatens Loras' life over this issue when they meet at the Purple Wedding (although it backfires spectacularly).
  • Guile Hero: After losing his sword hand, he's forced to rely on his wits and cunning to accomplish tasks, such as playing on Steelshanks' sense of self-preservation to help him save Brienne from the bear pit.
  • Handicapped Badass: Deconstructed Character Archetype. He still manages to be a fairly competent fighter after having his right hand cut off, but he's understandably perturbed about losing most of his physical prowess, his only noticeable trait to the outside world (he is the Kingslayer after all) and skilled fighters like Bronn can easily knock him down, forcing Jaime to learn how to improvise. Though he does take out a Dornishman with the help of his golden hand, so there's that.
  • The Heart: Subtle, but there. He's the only Lannister who likes all the other Lannisters, and the only Lannister all the other Lannisters like. When he's captured by Robb and imprisoned for a season and a half, the rest of his family start tearing each other to pieces. Indeed in Season 4, during the course of Tyrion's trial, he's become the go-between between Tywin, Cersei and Tyrion, though his public support for Tyrion rankles his father and Cersei. And once he's forced to choose loyalties between different family members, things really fall apart.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Jaime's morality has been a roller-coaster over the course of the series. He finally settles on face in the Season 7 finale when he abandons Cersei to go assist Jon and Dany in fighting the Night King's invasion.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: He considers himself this. Shown to be at least partially true in Season 3, when he reveals that he assassinated Aerys Targaryen to prevent him burning King's Landing to the ground.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: After losing his hand, he completely shuts off from the world and refuses to eat until Brienne snaps him out of it.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • On rare occasions, he has demonstrated considerable empathy with others, much like Tyrion. He sympathises with Renly and Brienne for suffering for their love, and is genuinely distraught that he is so hated and held in contempt by the entire realm, including by men he admires and likes, for what he (with good reason) considers to have been a selfless and noble act.
    • He demonstrates that he can come up with decent plots if he really needs to, such as his attempt to deal with the High Sparrow in Season 6. That plan fell through, but in fairness even Lady Olenna was blindsided by the High Sparrow's scheming in that instance.
  • Hollywood Atheist: He seems to hold no faith for the Old Gods nor the New and seems to be disdainful of religious people, if his exchange with Catelyn is an indication. He even uses the old 'Problem of Evil' thing.
    Jaime: If your gods are real, and if they're just, why is the world so full of injustice?
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • Why he spared Ned Stark, as defeating him after being stabbed from behind "wouldn't have been clean."
    • He finds Bronn's Combat Pragmatist tactics in poor taste.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: After he loses his hand, this happens to him both figuratively and literally.
  • History Repeats: Jaime was a minion of Aerys II who was obedient to his king right up until he planned to cross the Moral Event Horizon in the form of nuking King's Landing, at which point Jaime turns on him. Fast forward to Season 7's finale, and Jaime turns against Cersei after she outright speaks her plan on crossing the line via selling everyone in Westeros out to die to the White Walkers.
  • Humiliation Conga: After his fight with Eddard Stark, he's berated by his father for being rash and stupid, and then subsequently defeated in the field and captured by Robb Stark. He then spends the next year or so as a prisoner trotted from camp to camp and kept in a grubby pen, covered in his own filth. When he's finally freed from captivity, he's escorted, in chains, by a stoic woman whom he's constantly at odds with. His attempted escape ends with him losing a sword fight to said woman, being recaptured by the enemy, and, finally, losing his sword hand. This continues when he returns to King's Landing where his family openly mocks him for sitting out for most of the war as a captive and losing his hand in the process, his own sister turns him away from her because of his loss of limb.
  • Hypocrite:
    • He remembering Randyll Tarly that he had sworn an oath to the crown is kind of this considering that Jaime killed the king he sworn to defend (while he was right to do it, it doesn't change the fact he betrayed his oath) and is persuading him to serve a woman that murdered a king (Robert) and a queen (Margaery) and is responsible for the death of another (Tommen).
    • Claims to Brienne that he was proud of killing the Mad King before he unleashed wildfire on the people of King's Landing; come Season 7, he serves Cersei a Queen who unleashed wildfire on the people of King's Landing and willingly follows her around like a minion. That is, until she decides to sit out the war with the White Walkers so as to regain the Seven Kingdoms while her opponents are too weakened to resist.
  • I Did What I Had to Do:
    • His rationale for killing Aerys.
    • He also justifies this as his reason for throwing Bran out the window, since it risked exposing him and Cersei, which could lead to their deaths and that of their children. (Given that that his failure to do so kicked off the War of Five Kings, he may have had a point!)
  • I Have Your Wife: Has been captured by the Starks, who plan to use him as a hostage against Cersei. From the books... 
  • Ignored Expert: Jaime repeatedly tells Cersei why the Lannisters can't win the war, whatever the scenario. Cersei ignores him all the same.
  • In-Series Nickname: The Kingslayer. He really doesn't like it. He assassinated Aerys, the last Targaryen king, which emptied the throne for Robert. However, it also gave him a really bad reputation because he was a member of the Kingsguard, who were supposed to defend the king with their lives. This has made the people see him as a man who will quickly change his loyalty when it suits him. From the books... 
  • Insult Backfire: He underestimates Loras in "The Lion and the Rose", believing that the young man would be an easy victim for his snark and threats, but the Knight of Flowers can fight with words just as well as he fights with swords. Jaime is even a little stunned by how easily Loras is able to hurt his feelings with a single, biting line.
    Jaime: Luckily for you, none of this will happen, because you will never marry her [Cersei].
    Loras: (smiles smugly) And neither will you. (pats Jaime on the arm)
  • Interservice Rivalry: Jaime has nothing but contempt for the Night's Watch. He subtly mocks Jon Snow's decision to join it in the first episode. Then there's this quote from the Season 5 Blu-ray lore.
    Jaime: (The Kingsguard) holds no lands, take no wives and father no children like the Night's Watch except with a real job to do.
  • Irony: He killed one insane, inbred king rather than let him burn the capital of Westeros to the ground with Wildfire. He and his twin sister produced the insane idiot whose earliest acts upon taking the Iron Throne started the War of Five Kings. And now said sister has become just as insane and murderous as the king Jaime killed twenty years ago.
  • Jerk Jock: A relatively smooth talking version though he mellows out by Season 3.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Consistently arrogant, and has a knack for causing the audience to want to see him killed. Not necessarily all that far from being completely unsympathetic, although he is saved from this by having some standards. He's also appalled by Cersei's plan to pretty much sell out every living thing in Westeros just to maintain her power and abandons her.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • When Catelyn tries to insult him by calling him 'Kingslayer', Jaime points out that the king in question was an insane monster. Catelyn calls him out on taking vows as a knight and Jaime counters by saying that several of his vows clashed. Then Jaime points out that Ned Stark, while honourable, was not without his flaws either and Catelyn herself hardly fulfills the ideals of "Family, Duty, Honor" either, since she was never able to love Jon Snow, her husband's illegitimate son and an innocent child, and resented him. Of course, this loses effect once it turned out that Ned never broke his vows.
    • When Robb confronts Jaime about Stannis' accusations that "Robert's" children with Cersei are bastards born of her incest with Jaime, Jaime notes that if such an accusation were true, that would make Stannis the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, "how convenient for him." He also notes Robb has no proof of this, nor does Stannis, so it might as well just be gossip.
    • When Robert demands to know what the Mad King's last words where when Jaime betrayed him, Jaime responds, "He said the same thing he'd been saying for hours. Burn them all.," which tells the viewers that the death of this King was by no means a tragedy.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: In the third season, right after performing a more-or-less selfless act of good, he resumes being cocky and overconfident and karma catches up with him in the form of having his right hand chopped off.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • A small moment when Brienne acts as The Conscience and asks him to safeguard Sansa, Jaime who has been receiving "The Reason You Suck" Speech from nearly everyone after returning to King's Landing calls her ugly.
      Jaime: Are you sure we are not related? Ever since I've returned, every Lannister has been a miserable pain in my arse. Maybe you are a Lannister too, you've got the hair for it, not the looks.
    • His murder of Alton Lannister is rather cruel.
    • Him threatening to kill Edmure's son and every Tully in Riverrun to make him comply is pretty cruel, too.
      • This stands out especially because, in the book, Jaime admitted to himself that he wouldn't go through with it. In the show, no such confession was made.
  • Kick the Morality Pet: On his return to King's Landing, he goes so far low as to to force himself on Cersei, when they are right next to their son's corpse in the sept.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: A literal knight in literally shining armor, he certainly looks the part. His actions, on the other hand....
  • Knight in Sour Armor: He's much closer to this as of Season 4. For a long time, he was scornful of the double standards of chivalry as far as how Westeros regards his "kingslaying" and how in their eyes, he's dishonored himself for all time. Despite this, Jaime does value the Kingsguard and does aspire to the example of the likes of Ser Barristan. He tells his father, Tywin, that while he has soured his honor for killing a king, he won't sour it by abandoning the Kingsguard altogether.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother:
    • He seems to be one of the very few people who genuinely loves and cares for Tyrion, and he thus reacts badly when Tyrion's safety is threatened. Cersei also mentions that he would have killed Robert if he found out about the Domestic Abuse in "You Win or You Die". He also refuses to kill Tyrion when Cersei asks him to after Joffrey's death.
      Jaime: He's my brother. He's our brother.
    • It doesn't appear to apply to anyone who's not his immediate blood relative, for his younger, (and admittedly distant) cousin, the worshipful and friendly Alton Lannister, was cruelly killed by Jaime, so in order to escape captivity.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": He admits to having made a fool out of himself as a boy when he got to be the squire of his hero Ser Barristan Selmy for a day.
    • His facial expressions indicate he's quite impressed by Oberyn's fighting skills when he duels the Mountain.
  • "L" Is for "Dyslexia": When he was a boy. Lord Tywin was undeterred, however, by the Maester's diagnosis and sat him down for four hours every day until he learned. For this, Jaime resented his father for a long time.
    • If you listen closely enough in "You Win or You Die", Jaime has a slight bit of trouble reading Ned Stark's letter to Tywin summoning him to court; he pauses at certain words and sounds out every syllable as a child would, an interesting and realistic contrast to his spoken eloquence. As he points out to Locke, he learned a lot of fancy words during those sessions with his father, but it doesn't mean reading's necessarily easy.
  • Lack of Empathy: Aside from his immediate family, Jaime has a lot of trouble understanding the emotional state of other people. Or at least taking such into account when thinking. This is either because he's genuinely an idiot in regards to this, or much like his brother, he can't resist a snark.
    • Though it turns out he does have a Hidden Heart of Gold, the same thing which led him to make his life-defining choice of killing Aerys. It was hidden so well, even he's forgotten about it. Brienne brings it out in him and he has trouble adjusting to his post-douchebag life in King's Landing, populated as it is by his family.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The first action committed by him is throwing Bran Stark off the Tower, crippling him for life and shattering the little boy's dreams of being a knight. In the course of the war which this action triggers, he's captured and kept inactive, doing very little heavy fighting and then when he mouths off too much, becomes a cripple himself by losing his hand, shortening his future as a knight and damaging any dreams he might have had of being mentioned alongside the likes of Ser Barristan, Ser Arthur Dayne, and Ser Duncan the Tall.
  • Last of His Kind: With the death of Ser Barristan Selma in Season 5, Jaime is now the last remaining member of the Kingsguard of Aerys II.
  • The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort: Can be seen in his sword-fighting strategies, before and after his maiming. Before his sudden limb removal, Jaimie fought very aggressively, always putting his opponent on the defensive and never letting them even consider attacking him. After he loses the ability to kill most men with a flick of his wrist, he fights completely defensively, relying on his still-perfect footwork and maneuvers where his lackluster hand can't win.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: His interaction with Brienne, particularly near the end of Season 3.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Come Season 6 and he sounds exactly like Tywin, what with his new mentality of exacting retribution, taking back everything that is theirs and only the Lannisters being important. As head of the Lannister armies, he shows some of the ruthless competence and cunning of his Lord father, taking Riverrun by threatening to execute the Tully hostages and convincing Lord Tarly to support the crown against his immediate liege lords.
  • Love Makes You Evil: He throws Bran out of a window to conceal his forbidden affair with Cersei, and later assures her that he would kill everyone in the world if that's what it took for them to be together.
  • Love Martyr: For Cersei at her cruelest. Even when she emulates Aerys by blowing people up with wildfire, he still loves her and remains by her side, which he was called out by Olenna during their last meeting when she says Cersei will be the end of him. Jaime eventually wakes up when he sees how insanely selfish his sister has become that she is willing to let the land be consumed by darkness so long as she gets to watch her enemies die from her throne, that he decides to walk out on her and do the right thing.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Admits to Myrcella he is her father, embracing her properly for the first time. She then almost immediately dies of poison.
  • Manipulative Bastard:
    • Tries his hand at this with Locke and loses it. Afterwards, he edges more towards Guile Hero territory.
    • He goads Randyll Tarly to go against Olenna Tyrell by pointing out that she is siding Daenerys, who has a Dothraki horde in her army, and promises Tarly the Wardenship of the South if he remains loyal to the Crown. Of course, Jaime omits the real reason of Olenna's decision to join Daenerys: avenging her family who had been burned to death by Cersei.
  • Master Swordsman: Ironically, one of the few remaining knights of the Kingsguard who actually earned that position and isn't just a Lannister political appointee. However, after the loss of his hand, he's no longer as competent a swordsman as he once was.
  • Meaningful Name: J'aime is a French expression for 'I love'. Considering he is the only Lannister to be on good terms with all the others and that he is motivated by his genuine love for his family (each as individuals, unlike Tywin), this is probably not a coincidence.
    • Also, "Jaime" comes from the Hebrew "Jacob," meaning "one who supplants," referencing how Tywin still considered him his true heir despite his other children being more suitable. Interestingly, the Biblical Jacob (literally, "one who holds the heel") came into the world holding his twin's heel, which is exactly what Jaime did.
  • Memetic Badass: In-universe; everyone knows he's an accomplished fighter on the same level as Barristan Selmy more or less.
  • Misery Builds Character: His period of suffering after losing his hand, what Brienne calls "one taste of the real world where people have important things taken from them", has made him far more introspective, kinder and restrained for the most part.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Seen naked quite a few times. Although on some of those occasions, he's screwing Cersei or suffering from debilitating injuries.
  • Morality Pet:
    • He isn't nice at all on his return to King's Landing, as evident when he forces himself on Cersei but Tyrion and Brienne bring out the best in him, and he's incredibly nice and generous to them.
    • Myrcella is his in Season 5, going all the way to Dorne with only Bronn for backup specifically to rescue her, showing subtle disapproval at seeing her kissing Trystane and generally worrying a lot about her wellbeing. Sadly, she dies just after he admits he's her real father.
  • Never Live It Down: Derogatorily known and addressed as "Kingslayer" by everyone in-universe, even his allies. Even those who rebelled against the Mad King and knew that he was insane criticize Jaime for it and are very wary of him. Jaime insists that people should be grateful for it. And, once we learn the rest of the story, it turns out he's right. Still, people despise him less because he killed the king and more because he broke his oath as a member of the Kingsguard. So, properly, he should simply be known as Oathbreaker, but that's not as punchy or specific as Kingslayer, so he's stuck with the latter.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • In his youth, Jaime engineered a Rescue Sex scenario in the benefit of Tyrion. His younger brother, unaccustomed to kindness, fell in love and married the girl, who was actually a sex worker. Tywin put an end to it; he pimped her out to his whole guard and forced Tyrion to watch, leaving him mentally scarred for life.
    • On the way back to King's Landing, he hears that Locke rejected Brienne's father's offer of a ransom, since he found a mere 300 gold dragons an insult coming from an island full of sapphires. Now where did he get that idea? Oh Wait!. (In fairness, he then turns right around and rescues her.)
  • Noble Top Enforcer: He tries to serve as this while serving his sister as the new Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, making attempts to find more reasonable middle ground to her more bloodthirsty tendencies. Her decision to not provide any aid to The North, even after seeing a wight and pledging her forces to them, disgusts him enough that he decides to leave her for good.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Anytime Jaime tries to do something good, it only causes him trouble:
    • His first truly selfless act, convincing Locke to not rape Brienne, eventually results in his hand being chopped off.
    • His murder of The Mad King when he was about to burn King's Landing and all its people in his backstory got him a reputation for Chronic Backstabbing Disorder that haunts him to this day.
    • Buying a whore to give his little brother some experience ended with her being gang raped on his father's orders to psychologically torture Tyrion.
    • Turns out this led to the fight between Brienne and Sandor Clegane, if Jaime hadn't given her that Oathkeeper sword which screams 'VALYRIAN STEEL', the Hound wouldn't have freaked out and picked a fight with Brienne to protect Arya.
    • Freeing his little brother who was falsely accused of a crime he didn't commit. Problem is Tyrion has become so embittered by betrayal from his friends and family that after being released, he takes a detour and kills his father, making Jaime an unwitting accomplice in said crime.
    • Jaime insistence on leading an army to kill the High Sparrow for retribution of Cersei's torture at his hands. Because Tommen ended up pledging his allegance to him, Jaime ends up getting his title stripped and exiled from King's Landing.
    • Prior to the attack on Highgarden in Season 7, Cersei apparently had several ideas about torturing and murdering Olenna Tyrell; Jaime talks her out of it and instead suggests poison. When he actually gives it to Olenna, she confirms that the poison will be painless, downs it in one long drink, and then calmly tells him that she was the one who murdered Joffrey, and to make sure that Cersei knows the truth.
  • Not What It Looks Like: The other reason his killing of Aerys ruined his reputation is the fact that not only did he break his vows to protect him, but he did so when his father's army was in King's Landing. As a result, everyone thinks he did it to help Daddy and/or save his own skin. This is decidedly not the case.
  • The Oath-Breaker: Breaking the oath of the Kingsguard makes many see him as the lowest of the low, it being a literal backstabbing made it even worse. He makes it clear that his oaths were inherently contradictory, but few people pay heed to his side of the story. His refusal to go public with the depths of Aerys' madness didn't help matters much.
  • Odd Friendship: Seems to be slowly developing one with Bronn from Season 4 onwards.
  • Only Sane Man: In Season 7, he's the only Lannister in King's Landing that pays the threat of the Night's King and his forces the attention deserving of such a threat, and when Cersei makes it just how clear she is on letting the rest of Westeros hang just to maintain her grip on power, he walks out on her and sets to the North himself.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When Robb interrogates him and brings out Grey Wind, where he's literally seeming as if he's about to piss himself. So much for 'not fearing death'.
    • When Brienne curbstomps the three Northmen, he's open-mouthed, having twigged that, yeah, she probably could beat him. A suspicion that's confirmed when he actually does fight her and she damn near ruins him.
    • When Locke presses his knife right into his eyeball, he starts crying. Then, after a second or two of pure shock, he screams his guts out when Locke cuts off his hand with a giant "OH FUCK!" look on his face.
    • Perhaps the biggest one yet appears in "The Spoils of War" when Jaime hears a monstrous roar and then sees Drogon flying straight towards his army with a swarm of Dothraki beneath him.
    • He gets three in "The Dragon and the Wolf": first when the wight bursts out of its crate and heads straight for Cersei, a second when Daenerys tells him an army of more such monsters numbering at least 100,000 strong is heading south and thirdly when Gregor Clegane blocks his path to stop him leaving after Cersei threatens him with treason.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In Season 3, after losing his hand there are subtle signs that Jaime is changing, as he rants about why he hates being called Kingslayer after years of silence and shows hints of sexual attraction to a woman other than Cersei.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Two of his children, Joffrey and Myrcella, die by his side, poisoned, with poor Jaime being powerless to do anything about it. His last child, Tommen, was Driven to Suicide by Cersei's actions while Jaime was out of King's Landing.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • In "The Lion and the Rose", he shows these tendencies for the first time in the series. When Joffrey is poisoned and dying, Jaime shoves several people out of the way and runs right to his side in order to try and save him, shouting his first name. Somewhat tragically, it's no use. He also has a small but quite sweet moment with Tommen when he crosses paths with him in Joffrey's crypt, telling him he'll make sure he's all right. Of course, Tommen is unaware Jaime is his father, but still.
    • Perhaps his biggest Papa Wolf moment has come in Season 5 when Jaime personally travels to Dorne with only Bronn for backup to rescue Myrcella from the wrathful Sand Snakes, even if he is doing it partly to appease Cersei and is still calling himself Myrcella's "uncle", it's obvious he'll do whatever it takes to get his daughter back.
  • Parental Favoritism: Jaime is the Lannister sibling who receives the least disdainful treatment from Tywin, who trusts him with half of his army, praises him on occasion and considers him his heir even though by law Jaime cannot inherit as a member of the Kingsguard. Cersei and Tyrion, who both love Jaime, are still resentful of this blatant favoritism. Tyrion in particular points out that he will never be recognized for all his accomplishments even though he's by far Tywin's most capable descendant, while Jaime is still Tywin's designated heir even after forfeiting his inheritance, murdering a king, losing his sword hand and screwing his own sister, which caused a countrywide scandal and a Succession Crisis that almost destroyed the Lannister bid for the Iron Throne.
    Tyrion: You're the golden son. You could kill a king, lose a hand, fuck your own sister, you'll always be the golden son.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: He stabbed the Mad King in the back.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Despite the clear animosity between them, he tells Ned that his father and brother were very brave and genuinely means it.
      Jaime: He was very brave, your brother. And your father too. They didn't deserve to die like that.
    • Even though he was quite happy to mock Renly's sexual orientation just to get a rise out of Brienne, he shortly afterward expresses some very genuine empathy for them, with a subtle implication that he had his own relationship with Cersei in mind.
      Jaime: I don't blame him. And I don't blame you. We don't get to choose who we love.
    • After he and Brienne are captured by Locke, he warns her that they most likely intend to rape her and then attempts to persuade her not to fight back so she doesn't get herself killed as well. When that fails, he ends up saving her himself by persuading Locke that she'd be much more valuable to him if she's alive and un-raped. Later, he jumps into a freaking bear pit, unarmed, to try and save her.
    • In "The Lion and the Rose", he gets an odd one in the sense that the dog is an utter asshole. When Joffrey is poisoned and dying, Jaime shoves several people out of the way and runs right to his side in order to try and save him. Somewhat tragically, it's no use. Granted, he's a member of the Kingsguard, so it could just as easily have been a matter of duty.
    • In Season 5, he sticks his neck out to prevent Bronn from being executed for striking Prince Trystane while they were trying to secretly rescue Myrcella, insisting that he, being Bronn's superior, was at fault and should be the one punished.
    • In Season 6, his first action upon arriving at the Riverlands (after taking Black Walder down a peg) is to order Edmure Tully bathed and fed. In the next episode, when Brienne offers him back the sword that he gave her, Oathkeeper; he gently declines, affirming that it's hers and always will be.
    • In Season 7, he has the decency to give Olenna Tyrell a vial of poison to kill herself instead of bringing her to Cersei to suffer a Fate Worse Than Death. Desconstructed when she reveals with her last words she was the one who killed his son and not Tyrion, making Jaime regret giving her a merciful death to begin with.
  • Pretty Boy: In the very first episode, Ser Jaime Lannister, queen's twin, is introduced as the most handsome man in the Seven Kingdoms. Jaime's younger brother Tyrion, a dwarf, says that the queen has two brothers, the pretty one and the clever one (himself). As Jaime gets older, his looks get considerably rougher, but his mercenary Bronn says all the ladies still look at him with lust, and Bronn snarks that in that regard, he preferred tagging along with the dwarf.
  • Pride: Often comes across as very arrogant and uncaring of others. However his father Tywin points out this is merely how he wants to be viewed.
    Jaime: I could care less what anyone thinks of me.
    Tywin: No, that's what you want people to think of you.
  • Quizzical Tilt: Jaime's reaction after seeing Brienne slay three soldiers without any effort.
  • Reality Ensues: After snatching a sword from Brienne and freeing himself, Jaime challenges her to a sword fight. Being malnourished and weakened from his time as a prisoner of war, the battle goes decidedly in Brienne's favour.
  • Red Baron: The Kingslayer.
  • Redemption Quest: After returning to King's Landing, he's making more of an effort to live up to his vows and duties as a Knight, telling people who consider him a failure and has-been that he still has time left.
    • More specifically, while Catelyn didn't intend for it to be his redemption quest, seeing him as beyond redemption, after losing his hand and growing close with Brienne, Jaime shows a sincere desire to want to return Catelyn's daughters back to her. After Catelyn's death, he sends Brienne to keep them protected from Cersei and anyone who might hurt them.
  • The Rival: He is Ned's constant antagonist for much of Season 1. Their animosity stems from Ned being vocal against the Lannisters' Sack of King's Landing and Jaime stabbing King Aerys In the Back.
  • Smug Snake: Until losing his sword hand, he is smug and arrogant about his sword abilities. To be fair, he has more to be smug about than Cersei and Joffrey.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Breaks Tyrion out of the dungeons and helps him escape being executed for a crime he did not commit. In Season 7, he walks out on the Queen that he loves and pledged to serve after she decides to leave Westeros to die in order to go aid the North.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: At the end of Season 7, after learning that Cersei has no intention to help the Starks and Targaryens fight off the Night King's army and is planning to let them destroy each other while she uses the Golden Company to reassert the Lannisters control over the Seven Kingdoms, Jaime finally has enough and leaves her to go north and assist Jon and Dany.
  • Ship Tease: Between him and Brienne in Seasons 3 and 4. It's much less subtle than in the books.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: His Season 5 story arc. After spending most of the season traveling to Dorne and infiltrating the city to rescue Myrcella, he fails to save her and she dies in his arms.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: In Season 6, he gives one to Walder Frey in the season finale about how Walder Frey is no conqueror and would amount to nothing without relying on the Lannisters. Walder can only splutter in response.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: Gives two of these to Catelyn when she tries to give him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech. First when she calls him out for being the "Kingslayer", he retorts that Aerys was a terrible king and the oaths he took were contradictory. Then, when she confronts him for being a man without honour, he points out Ned wasn't entirely honourable by fathering an illegitimate son out of wedlock and then explains she failed to uphold the Tully words because of her resentment of her husband's illegitimate son, Jon Snow.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: His casual outfit during his command of the Second Siege of Riverrun in Season 6 is a curious composite of Tyrion and Tywin's outfits (the color scheme mostly harkening Tyrion's suit as Acting Hand of the King, while the design of the upper garment is more Tywin's). Quite appropriate, considering his turn into the capable commander and politician Tywin and Tyrion probably wanted him to be. He does this again in the finale of season 7. He no longer wears Lannister armour when he goes off to help fight the White Walkers.
  • Sincerity Mode: Seems to go into this as he's trying to explain what's going to happen to Brienne when they are captured by Stark bannermen. One of his heart of gold moments.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: He tells Catelyn Stark that he has only ever been with Cersei and no-one else. Before using that little fact to point out her husband Ned did not show her any such loyalty when he fathered a bastard. Subverted ever so slightly in the episode "Kissed By Fire", where he checks out Brienne in the bath for a second when feverish.
  • The Southpaw: A situational variation, out of necessity after he loses his dominant (right) hand.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: Upon his return to King's Landing, he immediately feels out of place after everything he's been through. On top of that, while his return would have been huge news, no one even recognizes him due to how different he looks. Cersei almost immediately notices his less cocky, more contemplative demeanor (along with his missing hand).
  • Sympathetic Murderer: He killed King Aerys, thereby damning him as dishonourable scum in the eyes of the whole kingdom, in order to save the whole of King's Landing and his father from a wildfire trap that the Mad King had laid beneath the city.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: The focus on his character in Season 3 got him a large number of sympathy points, painting him as a Tragic Villain and showing off his heroic Hidden Depths.
  • Sympathy for the Hero: Shows some for Ned, as well as Ned's father and brother.
  • Talk to the Fist: Jaime's way of shutting up the obnoxious Black Walder Rivers when he scoffs at his accurate criticism and disregards his warning? A backhanded slap. With his golden hand.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: After Myrcella's death in Season 5, Jaime backslides into this rationale. In his own words: "fuck everyone in the world who isn't us."
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Many people, including Ned Stark, consider Jaime, the Kingslayer, a vile knight beyond redemption after his Bodyguard Betrayal of Aerys. In reality, it was the polar opposite to this trope, but no one other than Brienne knows nor cares at this point.
    • This is Jaime's reaction to Tyrion's murder of Tywin, even telling Bronn he will kill Tyrion if he ever sees him again. When the two reunite in Season 7, he doesn't do it.
    • This is also his reaction to Cersei's decision to renege on her pledge to help the Starks and Targaryens against the living dead, and when she blithely dismisses his concern that whoever wins will come south for them (either the White Walkers just to kill them, or Daenerys and Jon seeking revenge over the fact Cersei betrayed them).
  • Too Clever by Half: Gifted, influential, casually manipulative, and smart-mouthed, he loves to contemptuously upstage chivalric foes but eventually goes too far and overplays his hand. Then he loses it.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Not as a fighter, obviously, but as a commander. Jaime learns from is earlier mistakes and succesfully takes Riverrun from the remaining Tully loyalists and Highgarden from the Tyrells. He also seemed to have recovered from his lost hand as he can best Dothraki in mounted combat.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Especially in his interactions with Brienne, and in Season 4, his more introspective and softer demeanour takes people by surprise. Indeed, when he lapses back into his former swagger, as demonstrated by his confrontation with Loras in "The Lion and the Rose", he fails miserably.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Or more Toxic Incestual Twin Sister Influence. Cersei tends to bring out the worst in him. Cersei's wildfire plot seems to slowly wake him up to this, but he's more afraid of her than hateful of her.
    • Throughout Season 7, he gradually comes to a better understanding of this, which culminates in the finale, when he finds out that Cersei intends to let the Starks and Targaryens fight the Night King alone, and he leaves her for real.
  • Tragic Villain: He knows that he's detested by society, all for a single act that he considered heroic and which saved countless lives.
  • Troll: Jaime gets a kick out of verbally taunting Catelyn, and doesn't seem to mind whether he gets beaten with a rock or bound in a dozen chains so long as he can piss Catelyn off. And when Catelyn decides to free Jaime and have Brienne escort him to King's Landing, he taunts Brienne non-stop through an endless stream of insults. It's amazing that Brienne hasn't strangled him yet. Probably because she swore to get him to King's Landing safely (for a given value of safe) but still, Jaime cannot shut up.
    Brienne: I will NOT let you provoke me.
    Jaime: I already have!
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: By mid-Season 3, his relationship with Brienne approaches that of an old married couple, and when they eventually have a quite affectionate reunion on Season 6, Bronn wonders if they are fucking.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: By never going public with the Mad King's plan to destroy King's Landing with wildfire, Jaime left the door open for Cersei to eventually find and employ it herself. Hundreds if not thousands of people died along with a good chunk of the city, all because he kept silent.
  • Villain Respect: Rivals and peers may usually mock or deride him as a kinslaying, incestuous cripple, but will also genuinely praise or esteem the combat prowess of his Glory Days.
    Euron Greyjoy: When you rushed through the breach and started cutting people down, it was glorious. Like a dance.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Becomes this with Brienne eventually. When he makes fun of her looks in Season 4, it comes across more like friendly ribbing, at least coming from Jaime.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Killed his king to save a city and his father. Crippled a boy to protect his sister. Threatened to kill a man's newborn to end a siege. What's sad is that the consequences of these acts always come back to haunt him.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Jaime's most compassionate acts in his life are known only to Brienne. In the first case he killed the Mad King to save King's Landing from a wildfire explosion that would have murdered hundreds of thousands of innocents, and in the second he lied to Locke to spare Brienne's life.
  • The Worf Effect: Is defeated with almost contemptuous ease by Brienne in the second episode of Season 3, demonstrating just how incredibly good she is.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Mostly because he'd been chained up with inadequate food and exercise prior to his journey with Brienne, making him completely out of practice, and he still has chains on his wrists and ankles when he instigates the fight. In the books... 
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • He seems to regard Lord Eddard Stark as one, especially after Eddard was capable of holding his own in a fight against Jaime.
      Jaime: Brave man that Ned Stark, but terrible judgment.
    • However, he also clearly has a lot of resentment for the "Honorable Ned Stark" for how he thinks he wouldn't even give him a chance to explain why he killed Aerys, and judging him as being a dishonorable wretch for this genuinely well intentioned and heroic action, despite Ned not being as squeaky clean as others believed.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Throws Bran Stark out of a window in the first episode after the boy witnesses the twincest. He "hoped the fall would kill him".
    • During the siege of Riverrun, he threatens to kill Edmure Tully's son if Edmure doesn't get Riverrun to surrender.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: When Cersei threatens to have him killed as a traitor if he leaves to aid Jon and Daenerys, Jaime flatly calls her bluff, saying "I don't believe you" and storming out past Gregor Clegane. All Cersei can do is stare forlornly after him.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: When Walder Frey gloats about retaking Riverrun and refers to himself and Jaime as "two Kingslayers", Jaime is visibly disgusted and lashes out at him with a Shut Up, Hannibal!.
  • Zero-Approval Gambit: Killed King Aerys, sacrificing his good name and honor in the eyes of the people, to prevent him killing every single person in King's Landing.

    Tyrion Lannister 

    Ser Kevan Lannister
"I did not return to the capital to serve as your puppet."
Played By: Ian Gelder

"Both Baratheon brothers have taken up against us. Jaime captured, his armies's a catastrophe."

Lord Tywin's younger brother and second in command. Uncle to Cersei, Jaime, and Tyrion, and father to Lancel, Martyn, and Willem Lannister.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the books, he's described as being a little chubby and having round shoulders.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the books, Kevan is blonde, whereas TV Kevan has Gelder's gray hair. Doesn't help him look like he's younger than Tywin, even though Gelder is actually younger than Charles Dance.
  • Ascended Extra: His scene in 5x02 alone is more memorable than all his previous screentime put together. Many viewers should be excused if they take this as a Remember the New Guy situation.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: One thing that makes him dislike the Sparrows more than Cersei: they took Lancel and he misses his son.
  • Badass Grandpa: He is a 'Ser' in the army, for a reason.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Considerably more mild mannered than Tywin, he can hold his own in tirades and has actually schooled Cersei when she assumed him as a Yes-Man.
  • The Bus Came Back: After two seasons of being absent, he returns, in an understatedly triumphant fashion, in the first episode of Season 5. He is briefly Put on a Bus again after he storms out from Cersei's puppet council and goes back to Casterly Rock, but returns again to serve as Hand of the King when Cersei falls from grace.
  • Co-Dragons: When Tywin is short one Kingslayer or The Mountain, Kevan is his main man for consulting war strategy regarding Robb Stark.
  • The Cassandra: Early in Season 5, he tells Cersei that the Sparrows are dangerous fanatics, and should not be given power or treated lightly. She doesn't listen.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Usually he's nothing short of a gentleman, but Kevan has no patience for Cersei's bullshit, so he lets the snark fly loose when dealing with her.
    Cersei: There is to be a royal announcement.
    Kevan: There is.
    Cersei: I was not informed.
    Kevan (dryly): There is to be a royal announcement. In the throne Room. At this very moment.
  • Demoted to Extra: Has a single appearance in Season 2. Adapted Out of Season 3, whereas in the books he becomes the Master of Laws following the Battle of the Blackwater. Also in Season 4, his interactions with Tyrion as a Go-Between for Tywin and quasi-lawyer are taken over by Jaime Lannister.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Refuses to meet Cersei as soon as he returns to the Capital. In the books, Cersei wasn't allowed to meet anyone until they got a forced confession from her. But Qyburn comes and meets her before so apparently she does have visitation rights.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Kevan was killed alongside the High Sparrow, the Faith Militant, the Tyrells, and countless other people in the explosion of Great Sept.
  • Foil:
    • To Ned Stark. The younger sibling of a family who ends up in a position of power after the death of his brother. Like Ned Stark, he's also a highly honorable and uncrompromising man of justice who ends up as a loyal, if reluctant, Hand to a buffoon King.
    • Also to Renly Baratheon. Both of them are competent politicians in their own right. But while Renly is confident on his potential as a king to a fault by openly berating his older brother Stannis in public, Kevan knows his place as the younger brother of a leader and devotedly serves as his subordinate.
  • Honest Advisor: He often questions his brother Tywin's orders candidly but respectfully. Although he refuses the job, it's clear he would be one for Cersei. Being an experienced soldier and a member of her family, he's no Yes-Man.
    Kevan: I did not return to the capital to serve as your puppet. To watch you stack the Small Council with sycophants.
  • Minor Major Character: A senior officer and member of the family who is given a very limited role, as Tywin employs him all over the kingdom. Late in Season 5, he is appointed Hand of the King, despite having barely appeared since Season 1, except from two episodes at the start of the season.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Kevan is the first Hand since Ned to have this attitude towards his King (rather than manipulate him).
  • Nice Guy: Much more mild-mannered than his elder brother, though definitely not a pushover.
  • Number Two: To his brother, Lord Tywin.
  • Rank Up: Kevan is appointed Hand of the King by Grand Maester Pycelle after Cersei is arrested by the Faith.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: Drops an epic one on Cersei in the small council chamber.
    Kevan: I returned to the capital to pay my respects to my brother, and to you, and to serve the King. I did not return to the capital to serve as your puppet. To watch you stack the Small Council with sycophants. Sending your own brother away—
    Cersei: My brother has left the capital to lead a sensitive diplomatic mission.
    Kevan: What mission?
    Cersei: That is not your concern as Master of War.
    Kevan: I do not recognize your authority to dictate what is and is not my concern. You are the Queen Mother. Nothing more.
    Cersei: You would abandon your king in his time of need?
    Kevan: If he wants to send for me, I'll be waiting for him. At Casterly Rock!
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • In "Fire and Blood", Kevan is willing to make peace with the Starks since the Lannisters only went to war with the Starks and Tullys because Catelyn humiliated Tywin by kidnapping Tyrion, which pales in comparison to their bigger problem of Robert's brothers challenging Joffrey's claim to the throne. As Tyrion explains, the peace deal would have worked if Joffrey hadn't killed Ned, destroying any chance of Robb stopping his war efforts.
    • In Season 2, he advises Tywin to tell Joffrey and Cersei to flee King's Landing before Stannis attacks, and regroup at Casterly Rock. Tywin completely rejects this idea, and while it would be politically disastrous for the Lannister family if they fled, it is clear that his refusal is largely because of his own pride.
    • In Season 5, he's the only person to speak out against Cersei, pointing out that she is stacking the council with her own sycophants, and refuses to act as her puppet. He states he is loyal to the King, but only to the King, not his mother.
    • In Season 6, he purposefully locks Cersei out of Small Council meetings. Considering Cersei's scheming is the sole cause of the entire Sparrow crisis and one of the primary causes this entire war is occuring, one can see why that'd be a wise move.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Refuses to be a puppet dancing on the strings of Cersei, quits the Small Council the very moment he's appointed Master of War, and returns to Casterly Rock, declaring he's willing to return if the King calls for him.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Is far nicer than his brother, as demonstrated by his relief in seeing Tyrion back safe and sound in "The Pointy End" — a stark contrast to Tywin's own reaction.
  • Spare to the Throne: Is this to his elder brother Tywin.
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: In King's Landing most people are utterly terrified of Cersei's monstrous, resurrected henchman. Kevan Lannister, however, is completely unimpressed and treats him more as a nuisance than a threat.
  • Token Good Teammate: Compared to the rest of Tywin's bannermen. He's the brother who inherited some of Lord Tytos' mild traits.
  • Underestimating Badassery: On the receiving end of this. Cersei thinks that he'll be a Yes-Man to her due to his loyal service to Tywin. She's surprised to learn that he ain't a pushover.
  • Undying Loyalty: He follows the King's commands, no matter what they are.

    Ser Lancel Lannister 

See Game of Thrones - The Faith of the Seven for tropes associated with Lancel Lannister.

    Martyn and Willem Lannister 

Played By: Dean-Charles Chapman & Timothy Gibbons

The younger sons of Ser Kevan Lannister. Taken hostage by the Northern armies and held at Riverrun.
  • Ascended Extra: In the books, they are just mentioned. Now, they have two scenes. In an amusing sense, Dean Charles Chapman is this. He went from one of the Lannister twins to King Tommen himself.
  • Children Are Innocent: They — or at least Martyn — believe the tales that Robb turns into a wolf and devours the flesh of his enemies.
  • Child Soldiers: Squires, to be exact.
  • Composite Character: Martyn takes the place of his cousin Tion Frey, who is a Lannister on his mother's side.
  • Death by Adaptation: While Willem Lannister meets his end in the books, his twin Martyn is also killed in the show, instead of Tion Frey. This is in keeping with the show's substituting the Frey descendants of Tywin's sister Genna with Lannisters to avoid the explanation of there being Freys both on the Stark and the Lannister side.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Probably the only Lannisters where this trope applies, rather than that other one.
  • I Have Your Wife: Averted, because they are rather worthless hostages when compared to Sansa.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Instead of going through the trouble of finding twin actors or having one actor play the two brothers, they are made into younger and older brother.
  • Revenge by Proxy: In revenge for the deaths of his sons (one in battle, the other at the hands of the Kingslayer) Lord Rickard Karstark and his men murder the twins despite them only being guilty of being born Lannisters.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: They are two small, sacrificial characters. Their murders lead to Robb losing the support of House Karstark, to an apparently renewed alliance with House Frey and to the Red Wedding.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Tommen grew up to look identical to his cousin Martyn in the next season. But given how much incest is in their family, can anyone blame them?

    Ser Alton Lannister
Played By: Karl Davies

Another cousin to the main three, captured by Robb Stark and used as a negotiator.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Of Jaime, since he got to squire for him when he was younger.
  • Canon Foreigner: Partly substituting Cleos Frey, to avoid spending time explaining his connection to the Lannisters. Although Cleos didn't get killed by Jaime. Alton winds up dying earlier in the show than Cleos, who managed to last until A Storm of Swords.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Killed by Jaime, his own older cousin, after telling him that he's his number one fan and that he would do anything to help him.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Is not mentioned after his death, neither by his murderer nor his jailers. All we see is his bloodied face. The only reference is vague, when Jaime tells Cersei about how he 'murdered people' in order to make it back to her. Averted in "The Mountain and the Viper"; when talking with Tyrion before the trial by combat, Jaime brings up cousin-killing, and looks rather awkward and guilty while he and Tyrion then chat about another deceased cousin of theirs, called Orson. In "Home", when Jaime lists his sins, he mentions that he killed his own cousin.
  • Hero-Worshipper: The sheer depth of his admiration for Jaime is apparent in nearly his every word, which only makes it more shocking and tragic when Jaime kills him in a bid to escape captivity.
  • Mauve Shirt: He exists mostly as just a device, but he does get some decent character-building prior to his brutal death.
  • Mysterious Past: How he's related to the main three is not explained.
  • Mythology Gag: When Jaime is trying to locate Alton in the family tree, he asks him if his mother is "the fat one", only to correct himself by saying "No, there is only one fat Lannister. If she was your mother, you would know it." The book counterpart to Alton, Cleos Frey, is the son of Genna Lannister, an aunt of Jaime that is notoriously obese.
  • Nice Guy: No wonder he's just a distant cousin.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Killed in the first scene where he is given real dialogue.

    Lady Joanna Lannister 

Played By: N/A

Cersei Lannister: You've always been funny. But none of your jokes will ever match the first one, will they? You remember? Back when you ripped my mother open on your way out of her and she bled to death?
Tyrion Lannister: ...She was my mother, too.

The wife of Tywin Lannister and the mother of Cersei, Jaime, and Tyrion. She died giving birth to Tyrion before the beginning of the series.
  • Death by Childbirth: She died giving birth to Tyrion. Tywin and Cersei loathe Tyrion, and regard him as some sort of murderer because of it.
  • Kissing Cousins: Joanna was actually Tywin's first cousin, though such marriages actually aren't unusual among the aristocracy of the Seven Kingdoms. The practical result is that her surname was already "Lannister" even before she married Tywin. In part, this also informs how much of a hypocrite Tywin is. He plans to force all three of his children to marry against their will to secure political alliances, demanding that they put the good of the family above their own personal happiness. Problem is, Tywin himself married for love — marrying a first cousin meant he didn't secure a marriage alliance with another powerful Great House.
  • The Lost Lenore: For Lord Tywin; she was the only thing that gave him any real happiness.
  • Missing Mom: For Jaime, Cersei, and Tyrion.
  • Morality Chain: She seemed to serve as this for Tywin and Cersei, who both loved her dearly. From the books... 
  • Posthumous Character: She died long before the events of the series.

     Lord Tytos Lannister 

Played By: N/A

"He was a good man. But a weak man... a weak man who nearly destroyed our House and name."
Tywin Lannister

The late father of Tywin and Kevan Lannister. He was a kind and generous lord, but his time as the head of the Lannisters was a period marked by decline for the House due to several poor investments, which nearly bankrupted the family. He also allowed himself to be openly mocked at court, which eventually resulted in the rebellion of the vassal House Reyne of Castamere and Tywin's rise to infamy as he personally put down the rebellion in his father's place, completely eradicating House Reyne in the process.

    Reginald Lannister 

Played By: Patrick Fitzsymons

"We've worked through the night, my lord. Perhaps we'd profit from some sleep."

An officer in the army of House Lannister. He is a distant relative of Lord Tywin and is sent home to the Westerlands for insubordination.
  • Canon Foreigner: There is no such Reginald Lannister in the books, as the Tywin at Harrenhal subplot was entirely original to the series.
  • Get Out: As told to by Tywin Lannister for his blatant disrespect.
  • Nepotism: As usual in Westeros, but Reginald is a peculiar case that openly annoys his benefactor.
    Reginald: We've worked through the night, my Lord. Perhaps we'd profit from some sleep.
    Tywin: Yes, I think you would, Reginald. And, because you're my cousin, I might even let you wake from that sleep! Go! I'm sure your wife must miss you.
    Reginald: ... My wife's in Lannisport...
    Tywin: Well, then you'd better start riding. (beat) Go, before I change my mind and send her your head! If your name wasn't Lannister, you'd be scrubbing out pots in the cook's tent. Go.
  • Too Dumb to Live: It's an absolute miracle (aided by the fact that his surname is Lannister) that Reginald is still alive after his ridiculous behavior at Tywin's war council. He begins eating when Tywin hasn't started eating, keeps eating as Tywin speaks (both are signs of disrespect that even Amory Lorch doesn't dare engage in) and then makes a sarcastic comment directly to Tywin's face! Anyone in Westeros with half a brain knows to be afraid of Tywin at the best of times. Reginald is missing half that brain. Tywin outright promises him that he will kill him if he doesn't Get Out.
  • Upper-Class Twit: It's clear that Reginald has spent his life in easy comfort, acting entitled and irritable to the point of bitching to Tywin.

    Orson Lannister 

Played By: N/A

"It filled me with dread. Piles and piles of them, years and years of them. How many countless living, crawling things smashed and dried out and returned to the dirt? In my dreams I found myself standing on a beach filled with beetle husks, stretching as far as the eye could see. I woke up crying, weeping for their shattered little bodies."
Tyrion Lannister

A deceased cousin of Jaime, Tyrion and Cersei, who was brain-damaged from infancy.
  • Almighty Idiot: He was God among the beetles he smashed. A common theory is that Orson is a metaphor for a mindless God/nature/evolution.
  • Animal Motifs: His name Orson means "Bear Cub", which clashes with the Lion theme of the family but also supports his blind, animal-like nature.
  • Butt-Monkey: He was the only Lannister even less respected than Tyrion. In fact, Tyrion often picked on Orson and was one of the most vocal bullies, since tormenting the mentally ill was the only time Tyrion could feel like All of the Other Reindeer.
  • Canon Foreigner: There's no counterpart to Orson in the books. The closest thing he has is Tyrion's joking claim that his father locked up "drooling cousins" deep within Casterly Rock for being embarrassments.
  • Childhood Brain Damage: His wet nurse dropped him on his head as an infant.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: According to some interpretations, Orson represents the blind randomness of a world that has no higher purpose. We can try to look for things like "reasons" or "purpose" as much as we want, or we can make up our own. In the end, the world goes on grinding all the little living creatures into the dust while we search for meaning.
  • Foil: To his cousin Tyrion, as they are both Lannisters with disabilities. But while Tyrion is an extremely intelligent dwarf who dislikes killing, Orson was mindless and lived only for senseless violence.
  • Posthumous Character: He died years ago, when he was kicked in the chest by a mule.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Tyrion has spent several years wondering why Orson was obsessed with smashing beetles in the garden. Fans of the show seem to believe Orson represents either the author George R. R. Martin himself (he senselessly kills his characters while the fans wonder why), or the random cruelty of the Gods, or the meaningless nature of the universe.
  • Shadow Archetype: Orson (the actual character, not what he metaphorically represents) sounds like he was the Lannister equivalent of Hodor, though more tragic and disturbing than everyone's favorite Gentle Giant.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Tyrion spent several years in intellectual contemplation, wondering why Orson killed all those insects, and trying to find a deeper meaning or purpose for their deaths. He couldn't find one.

    Ser Stafford Lannister 

Played By: N/A

"Using some vile sorcery, your brother fell on Stafford Lannister with an army of wolves. Thousands of good men were butchered."

An officer of House Lannister, and one of Tywin's many cousins. Killed at the Battle of Oxcross by the Northmen.
  • General Failure: As with most Lannister commanders not named Tywin. Even though the Lannister forces had surrounding Oxcross completely under lockdown, they failed to account for the Stark direwolves, allowing Robb to get the jump on him and his men with the help of Grey Wind. From the books... 
  • In the Back: How he was killed. Rickard Karstark was the one who ended Stafford's life when he personally drove a spear through him.
  • The Ghost: He doesn't even appear onscreen. Not alive, anyways. He's certainly among the many Lannister casualties shown in the battle's aftermath.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Doesn't even get any screen time before being killed. The same is true of the books, as he's only mentioned briefly before and after the battle.