Characters: Game Of Thrones House Lannister

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House Lannister

Renly Baratheon: You have to give it to the Lannisters. They may be the most pompous, ponderous cunts the Gods ever suffered to walk the world, but they do have outrageous amounts of money.

Tywin Lannister: 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.

Tyrion Lannister: A toast, to the proud Lannister children. The dwarf, the cripple, and the mother of madness.

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 Tywin and Cersei 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/King of Beasts: 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 long-deceased Lyanna Stark 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 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. 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.
  • 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.
    Tyrion: Lets raise a toast to the proud Lannister children! The Cripple, the Dwarf, and the Mother of Madness.
  • 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.
  • Blondes Are Evil: Two characteristics of the Lannisters are their blonde hair and their ruthlessness/lack of empathy for anyone outside their family.
  • 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. More derogatively, it's also said that "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 weapon. From the books... 
  • Deadpan Snarker: Tyrion and Jaime, almost to a fault. Tywin and Cersei also get in on the action occasionally.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 Lancaster 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 charactersnote .
    • Their home, the Westerlands, bears a small resemblance to South Africa as well (lots of gold, lions, a huge mountain behind the main port city.)
    • 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.
  • Fatal Flaw: One trait common to each member of this house is a fundamental inability to just shut up when they really, really should shut up, 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 are 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.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: An issue that many within and without of the Lannister family are starting to take note of. Tywin is an undisputed master of the game of thrones who has defeated all enemies of his family. However none of his children or grandchildren are seen as being near his level and holding onto the gains he has made for his family. This is becoming more of an issue since Tywin is getting older and the family has begun to turn on itself after the Purple Wedding.
  • Leitmotif: The instrumental for 'The Rains of Castamere' (a song that was written in series about Tywin's ruthlessness) 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, signaling the now inevitable and final collapse of the Lannisters.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Owing to the setting they're in, the Lannisters still come across as assholes, but given how bad other people in the setting are, they can come across as sympathetic on a few occasions. There's also the fact that the Lannisters never wanted the War of the Five Kings or 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. From the Lannisters perspective, the Starks were being unnecessarily belligerent, judgmental and short sighted. Ned Stark's execution was the result of Joffrey's whim and definitely something neither Tywin nor Cersei intended.
  • Massively Numbered Siblings: In sharp contrast to the Starks and the Baratheons, the Lannisters have several siblings and 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.
  • Mock Millionaire: In Season 4, Tywin admits to Cersei that the western gold mines that made the Lannisters so rich have dried up, 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.
  • 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: They had nothing to do with Jon Arryn's death, the Starks thinking they were Always Chaotic Evil naturally assumed that they were involved in it especially once they unearth the parentage of the Royal Children.
  • 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 has come at great cost. The war has not only left the family bankrupt, but also in massive debt to the Iron Bank of Braavos. With their gold mines tapped out and their military spent from fighting and losing so many battles, the Lannisters are in a very weak position. The only thing that is going for them is that no one knows how bad their situation really is.
  • 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:
    You don't form alliances with people you trust.
  • Redshirt Army: The Lannister army loses 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: Oh, dear lord.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Jaime and Tyrion get by on Tywin's and Cersei's reputation (Tyrion threatens some Night's Watch recruits to inform his sister the Queen about their treason) 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.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Pride.
  • 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 is Cersei's and Jaime's son and nephew, Tyrion's double nephew, Tywin's double grandson, and his siblings' brother and cousin. It only gets more complicated when marriages are arranged with the Tyrells.
    • Tywin is also the cousin of Jaime, Cersei, and Tyrion, in addition to being their father.
  • 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.
  • 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 his 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. The 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 it's more sympathetic members, like Tyrion 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 North (which is sparsely populated), 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, they still suffered heavy casualties and are tapped for manpower, leaving them in a weak position to garrison Westeros.
  • Won the War, Lost the Peace: The Lannisters come on top of the War of Five Kings and 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, and most of their money 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 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. He resumed the post under his grandson, King Joffrey, and gained 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. Also a capable battle commander, he led the fight against Robb Stark in the War of the Five Kings.
  • Abusive Parents: While he's never explicitly revealed to have been physically abusive to his children, his emotional abuse of all three is horrific. Every conversation he's had with them is a variation of the general idea "Gods, I can't believe how much you absolutely suck". On the one hand, he's not wrong, since his kids are all screwed-up, but he's more than likely to blame for how screwed-up they are with his methods of child-raising. He is particularly vindictive to Tyrion, making it no secret that he hates him and if not for the fact that he has Tywin's last name, he'd have killed Tyrion the very day he was born.
  • The Ace: A darker than usual example, but he is the Lannister that sets the standard for all the others. He is as 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.
  • Adaptational Badass: He is quite badass in the books; but while the book version was willing to somewhat meet Joffrey halfway, this version takes zero shits from his grandson. Tywin mentions he received wounds in battle multiple times, and his appearance in "Blackwater" implies he's a Frontline General, while in the books he's more strategically oriented and prefers to wait and command from the reserve.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Tywin is not nearly as cruel or ruthless as his book counterpart. He is still both those things, but not as much, and gets some scenes to demonstrate he has his good side too.
    • When Arya acts as his cup-bearer, she brings out a softer and paternal side to him in scenes not in the books. His 'disowning' of Jaime is not as harsh as in the book, either. In this version, he just seems disappointed that Jaime's not making much of his life. Also when he meets Oberyn Martell, unlike the book version who tries to protect Gregor (because a Nigh Invulnerable Killing Machine is hard to replace) by trying to pass Elia's killings to someone else, here Tywin admits that Gregor was behind the killings, only that he did not order Elia's death and certainly not her rape. He merely asks Oberyn to wait after the trial before getting access to Gregor.
    • When facing Tyrion in the moments before his death, in the novel Tywin is still arrogant and mocking towards him. In the show, he tells Tyrion that yes, he's wanted him dead, but he admires that Tyrion has lived, telling him he truly is a Lannister. While it could easily be argued he's saying these things because he doesn't want to make the man holding a crossbow in his face angry, it's still better behavior than he showed in the book.
    • A considerable improvement is the backstory between Tywin and Tyrion concerning Tyrion's first wife, Tysha. Jaime eventually reveals to Tyrion that she wasn't a whore he hired after all, she really was a farm girl they saved from bandits that fell in love with Tyrion. When Tywin found out Tyrion was marrying a commoner, he believed she was a Gold Digger because no woman could ever truly love Tyrion, so he made Jaime lie to Tyrion and say Tysha was a hired whore. The gang-raping of Tysha by Tywin's soldiers was mostly done to humiliate them and squash any happiness Tyrion might have known with her, and Tysha went along with it because Tywin threatened to kill her if she didn't. This was apparently Adapted Out of the show, and being it's one of Tywin's most despicable moments, he comes off a lot nicer without it than with.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Not to say he isn't a huge jerk in the books as well, but in the show he experiences this by proxy due to Tyrion undergoing Adaptational Heroism. 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 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, he puts on a cold, unsmiling, and stern front when dealing with everyone else 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.
  • Ambition Is Evil:
    • 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.
    • This trope is also part of the reason why he doesn't get along very well with his children — in his eyes, they've done nothing with their lives without his help or name. Tyrion is intelligent, Cersei is beautiful, Jaime is an excellent swordsman, and all three can be manipulative and cunning when called upon. However, Tyrion was content to spend all his time drinking and whoring until Tywin appointed him Hand and later Master of Coin, and Cersei's marriage to Robert was done because she was a female in a high-ranking house and she spent the next seventeen years doing nothing with her position. Jaime is the only one who showed any ambition and followed through on it, and Tywin notes that all he ended up becoming is a glorified bodyguard to an insane king that Jaime eventually betrayed, anyways. This comes up again in Season 4 when he tries to get Jaime to retire from the Kingsguard and take over Casterly Rock for him, but Jaime refuses and Tywin is visibly frustrated that Jaime is once again turning his back on his family and a chance to do more with his life.
  • 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.
  • 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 othersnote  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: We're introduced to Tywin while he's calmly skinning a massive stag he just hunted; and judging by the blood on his face and armor in "Blackwater", it is evident he fought right beside his soldiers.
  • Badass Baritone: Thanks to Charles Dance's magnificent voice and dulcet tones.
  • Badass Beard: Stubble, but still.
  • 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 reign 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: Is a grandfather in-universe (to Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen).
  • Badass Longcoat: A black leather one in Season 3.
  • 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.
    • Similarly, he "rewards" Tyrion, who carried out his job as Hand of the King in Tywin's stead with extreme competence and success on all fronts, including 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)...with almost disowning him for sleeping with a whore, dismissing his successes as Tyrion simply doing what he was supposed to have been doing anyway, and finally engages in an exceedingly cruel (and completely undeserved) "Reason You Suck" Speech against Tyrion as being a worthless freak who does not deserve to bear the family name and who is nothing but an embarrassment. What a dick.
  • 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 take Tyrion's demand for inheritance of Casterly Rock well and does not tolerate the slightest insubordination from his children.
  • Big Bad: From the viewpoint of most of the other factions in the series until Tywin dies at the hands of Tyrion. As the patriarch of the Lannister clan, Tywin is the mastermind behind his family's seizure of power in King's Landing and is responsible for plunging all of Westeros into war, first when house Lannister unleashes a campaign of terror upon the Riverlands and later as the real power behind Joffrey's tyranny and the Iron Throne. As the story unravels, it's revealed that Tywin was not the primary cause of the whole conflict.
  • Big Damn Heroes/Villainous Rescue: Twice!
    • At Harrenhal, when he stops the wanton torturing and killing of prisoners through Pragmatic Villainy, enslaving them instead.
    • When he and the Tyrells save King's Landing from being overtaken by Stannis' troops in "Blackwater", a straight example of The Cavalry.
  • Blatant Lies: Likely the case when Oberyn asks him if he denies involvement in Elia Martell's murder and he answers, "Categorically."From the books... 
    • His claims that he wouldn't let Tyrion be executed (while Tyrion was aiming a crossbow at him). This was despite him 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's shocked expression after hearing that is priceless.
  • 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.
  • 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... 
  • 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. He really shows his hand at this in Season 3 once he's Hand and can start turning his attention to consolidating Lannister power once he's off the battlefield.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • He's not above using subterfuge and treachery when more direct approaches fail. 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.
      Explain to me why it is more noble to kill 10,000 men in battle than a dozen at dinner.
    • 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.
    • He's quick to sell out Gregor Clegane, one of his most effective men, to get Oberyn under some degree of control.
  • Comically Serious: He is very snarky, but his face is set into a nigh-permanent frown of contempt. His interactions with Tyrion during his wedding, as him 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.
  • Composite Character: His intro of butchering a stag is actually from Randyll Tarly, Sam's father. And his later scene in Harrenhal, keeping around Arya as a cupbearer, is from Roose Bolton.
  • Control Freak: Of the highest, most unhealthy order, in that he wants to control everything and everyone — if Tywin had his way, the Lannisters would rule the Seven Kingdoms, he would control the Lannisters as usual, and everyone else would be kissing his ass out of fear or respect. Considering he's Surrounded by Idiots and knows it though, this behavior isn't always inapt.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: His audiences are completely one-sided and anyone who dares to argue with him gets verbally demolished. The only exception has been Arya Stark, and to a certain degree, Lady Olenna. 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 leadersip and (to the best of his and everyone else's knowledge) family line.
  • Dead Kids 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 fealty.
  • 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." 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; the resulting glare clearly terrifies absolutely everyone and Joffrey's balls appear to retreat upward into his ribcage.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: What makes Tywin so feared is his utter lack of mercy toward his enemies. 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.
    • It also should be noted that many of his "The Reason You Suck" Speech to his children are delivered after one of them begins to display a hint of insubordination. He essentially psychologically tears them apart the moment they try to smart-mouth him.
  • The Dreaded: Probably the most feared person in the series. When people talk of him, it often sounds more like he's a force of nature than a high lord. Even a vicious madman like Joffrey would think twice before crossing Tywin, according to Cersei. Tyrion concurs, defining Westeros as "Seven Kingdoms united in fear of Tywin Lannister". When Joffrey actually summons Tywin for a report on his activities, it's abundantly clear that he does indeed fear him.
    • After his death, Jaime expresses his fear to Cersei that with their Fathers death, rival houses will take his demise as an opportunity to move against House Lannister and take everything their father had built for them.
  • Dragon-in-Chief:
    • Hierarchically, Joffrey is about as close to a Big Bad as the show has (outside of the White Walkers), but since Tywin is out in the field acting as a military surrogate for Joffrey, many people (both in-universe and in real life) view him as a Big Bad figure. Once he settles in King's Landing and starts serving as Hand of the King, Tywin's status as de facto ruler of the realm is even more clear, as unlike his children he does manage to completely nullify Joffrey. His status as the real power in the land 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 to King Aerys until he resigned. And when Robert's Rebellion tilted in favor of the rebels, Tywin became The Starscream and slaughtered Aerys' grandkids.
  • Enraged By Idiocy: He's perpetually unamused, given that his standards are inhumanly high, has no tolerance for incompetence and Joffrey's rule has been a long parade of follies and disasters.
    Madness, madness and stupidity!
  • 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 from.
    • When Tyrion asks him about inheriting Casterly Rock (And at this point he IS the rightful heir), Tywin lashes out at him blaming him for his wife's murder, calling him stupid - despite organizing the defence of Kings's landing and actually keeping Joffrey and Cersei in control, which was the entire point of him becoming Hand - and claiming he would rather die than make Tyrion - the one most suited to lead House Lannister in the future - the heir. Makes you wonder how much he REALLY cares about his family's future.
  • 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 also shows zero hostility to his brother Kevan, and generally regards him as a good lieutenant and advisor, even though Tywin may have the final word.
    • He genuinely loved his late wife, and holds Tyrion in such high contempt partly for causing his wife's death.
    • When Joffrey is choking and on the ground, Tywin (in an uncharacteristic moment of paternal concern) swiftly moves to Tommen and covers his eyes.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Played with. See Pragmatic Villainy. He isn't disgusted by the torture, but by the waste of resources.
    • Despite despising Tyrion, Tywin is not thrilled when somebody else mistreats his son. He admits that he didn't kill Tyrion the day he was born, even though he badly wanted to, because it would mean killing a Lannister.
    • Tywin has zero patience for Joffrey's stupidity or cruelty and wastes little time putting him in his place.
    • Tywin dismisses Cersei's assertions that Ser Barristan Selmy was an old man who wasn't fit to protect her son, reminding her that it was not on Barristan's watch that Joffrey died and Joffrey's dismissal of him was "as insulting as it was stupid."
  • 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.
    • Tywin ordered the murder of Elia Martell and her children seventeen years ago. In the short term, this appeared to be an astute and intelligent political decision as it curried favour with Robert, who hated Targaryens with a vengeance but perceived himself as a hero. Thus, by slaying the Targaryen children, Tywin did what Robert wanted, but allowed him to keep his hands clean and avoid having to order the murder of children himself. However, in the long term, this action cemented the fact that the Martells would never be friends to the Lannisters ever again, and that they would never forgive what was done to their kin. This seeming inability Tywin has to understand that his forceful and merciless approach and his policy of pursuing power through fear may create more enemies than friends in the long run appears to be a recurring trait, and is arguably one of his defining character flaws.
    • 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.
  • Evil Chancellor: Relatively speaking. After back-to-back runs at being The Good Chancellor to a pair of evil kings in Aerys and Joffrey, now that Joffrey is dead and Tommen is king, the alignment has switched 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: Especially compared to the sadists and idiots that make up most of his army. But 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:
    • In a private moment, he enjoys a smug satisfied expression watching Ned Stark's sword 'Ice' melted into two Valyrian swords and then 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 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: Even in his old age, he continues to play the game of thrones while remaining by far one of its most brutally effective players.
  • Evil Overlord: Deconstructed. 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 reverent to the Iron Bank (calling it "a temple"), he's not going to consider bribing them or getting in their bad books, that's way more foresight than most overlords ever show.
  • Exact Words: Near the beginning of Season 3, Tyrion insisted he be rewarded for saving King's Landing. In "Kissed By Fire", Tywin points out this demand when ordering Tyrion to marry Sansa Stark.
  • Expy: He's based in part on Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, known as the "Kingmaker" and The Man Behind the Man during the War Of The Roses, with also some aspects of King Edward Longshanks
  • 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.
  • Famous Last Words: "You're no son of mine." towards Tyrion.
  • 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.
    • The lack of empathy towards others also sets him up for making the one mistake his son didn't; he trusted and promoted the openly over-ambitious Littlefinger, a man Tyrion knew he couldn't trust, even after Tywin orchestrated the Red Wedding which killed Catelyn. So while Tyrion allied himself with Varys to successfully defend Kingslanding and later save his life after escaping jail, Tywin favored Littlefinger in the decision to ally with the Tyrells...who Littlefinger promptly allied with to kill Joffrey.
    • His tendency to underestimate others also bites him in the ass on several occasions: he doubts Robb's ability to lead men into battle, which results in casualties among his troops; and he doubts that Tyrion will follow through with shooting him on the toilet.
  • Fiction 500: Is often called the richest man in the Seven Kingdoms; King Robert owes 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 drying up and with most of the Lannister's wealth spent financing Joffrey's time on the throne during the War of the Five Kings.
  • Foil: Tywin is essentially what 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.
  • Four-Star Badass: Has never lost a war, as he proudly remarks to Arya and is a cunning and gifted military strategist.
  • Freudian Excuse: The reason why he's such an hardass is because his father's magnanimity nearly lead 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, yes:
    • His twenty-year reign as Hand of the King to Aerys II Targaryen was considered the most stable and prosperous period Westeros had experienced since Aegon's Landing. Keeping a guy commonly known as "the Mad King" in check is really something. After Aerys fired him, things went to shit pretty quickly.
    • He settles back into the role as Joffrey's Hand and shows his competence once again. His role in Season 3, outside of chewing out Cersei and Tyrion, consists of actually running Westeros while Joffrey indulges his psychopathy (and every other of his whims, to boot) and getting awkwardly turned on by Margaery Tyrell's pandering to that selfsame psychopathy. After the War of the Five Kings is officially over, he tries to get Westeros back on the road to its former glory. He's still a huge asshole, though.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Seems to always be wearing some sort of black leather outfit when he appears, if he's not in battle garb.
  • Humiliation Conga: He goes through this big time in season 4. First, he is forced to concede to the Tyrells in order to avoid bankruptcy after the war drained his house's finances, then he has to make amends with the Martells, who despise his family with a passion, due to the looming threat of Dany and her army. Then Joffrey dies on his wedding day. Then his plan of getting Jaime to renounce the Kingsguard in order to be named his heir falls through. Then Ser Gregor accidentally admits to murdering Elia and her children to the entire court during his duel with Oberyn, destroying any chances of reconciliation with the Martells. Then, Cersei reveals that her children were the product of incest with Jaime, to Tywin's shock and disbelief. And finally, Tywin gets offed by Tyrion, the son he had constantly abused, belittled and tormented, while sitting on the privy no less.
  • 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.
  • 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 is a huge reason why they are so flawed.
    • Majority of his actions which are considered "best for the family" often boils 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.
    • Case in point, consider that 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 (he didn't have someone specific in mind for Jaime yet, but told him he needed to marry). Tywin himself married for love, to his first cousin Joanna Lannister - because she was a minor Lannister cousin she brought NO new wealth, lands, or armies with her.
    • He also never remarried despite the fact it could bring his House political merits or give him opportunity to sire more Lannister heirs beside his current ones, who fill Daddy with disappointment, but he fully expects his children to marry and do as he commands in order to broker alliances. He sees more sense in pushing into marriage and reproducing a) his forty year old daughter who is already the Queen Mother b) his son who's been sworn to celibacy since more than two decades ago, so Tywin seriously could have seen coming the possibility of being left with no male heir besides Tyrion and trying to do something about it years ago. So, not that thoughtful of the interests of the clan if it would cost Lord Tywin something in his personal life.
    • Constantly condemns Tyrion for sleeping with prostitutes, but is revealed in his final episode to have no problem bedding them himself. Namely, 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. 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, it seems that Tywin genuinely never ordered Gregor to kill Elia, but he thought that punishing Gregor would be an admission that he was indirectly at fault for letting it happen, so instead he did nothing).
    • Tywin callously tells Tyrion that he sees nothing immoral about wiping out Robb Stark and his army through betrayal at a wedding feast, despite being under a flag of truce and protected by guest right, killed by his own hosts. What goes around comes around, however, and Tywin's grandson King Joffrey is killed weeks later at his own wedding with poison. If Tywin sees the irony, he refuses to openly admit it.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: For entirely selfish reasons, Tywin is not thrilled when somebody else mistreats Tyrion, as no one messes with a Lannister publicly.
    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: If the eyes are windows to the soul, then Tywin's two chips of glacier should give you an idea of the icily rational way he views the world.
  • 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 kills him.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: He views Tyrion as this. And it is especially grating for him given that Jaime can't inherit due to being a member of the Kingsguard and Cersei being a woman, thus second to Tyrion in line to inherit Casterly Rock. Tywin is willing to do anything short of outright murder to prevent Tyrion from getting his birthright including humiliating and discrediting him in a Kangaroo Court to force a False Confession so as to send him to the Wall as an act of "mercy". His refusal to accept Tyrion's worth and honor his considerable accomplishments has proven to be a rare political mistake, one which Ser Davos Seaworth brilliantly exploits before the Iron Bank of Braavos, for whom House Lannister's global standing and credit rests entirely on Tywin. To them, he's a highly competent and dependable 67 year old man with no heir remotely in the same league, so they concede to Davos, hedge their bets and back Stannis, bringing a dangerous enemy back in the game of thrones.
  • Irony: What we have here is a man who is absolutely obsessed with his legacy and the idea of his family line dominating Westeros. The man he wants to inherit Casterly Rock is part of the Kingsguard (and refuses to leave it) and is thus incapable of doing so. The rightful heir, who has all the leadership skills and intelligence necessary to rule, is hated by Tywin and ends up killing him partially for this same reason, afterwards fleeing Westeros. That leaves his daughter to inherit, who is a poisonous influence on everyone around her and not nearly as smart as she believes she is. To make matters worse any children she could have would not have the Lannister name, so Tywin's Lannister line would end and Kevan's line is now the main one. Meanwhile, the Starks, the family Tywin wants to eradicate, still have four children alive and active, with Rickon in hiding who could pass on the family name - plus Jon, if he's ever legitimized. Tywin has once again proven he is REALLY good at ending family lines (like with the Reynes), yet it is quite doubtful this scenario was what Tywin intended.
  • It's All About Me: Tyrion calls him out on this, noting that he 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 the great personal sacrifice he made by not killing Tyrion as a baby and the humiliation he has to endure watching Tyrion wear his sigil like he's normal.
    • Another is, as shown in his fatal flaw, the fact that while a Lannister will "always pay his debts" in regards to getting revenge, Tywin often dismisses the idea that others will want revenge on him because he sees his actions as being the final ones, instead of starting new feuds. This is despite, as above, Tyrion trying to warn him about how the North will see the Red Wedding.
  • I Want Grandkids: As long as they're male grandkids from his eldest son. Ironically, he 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.
  • 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.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The worst thing about Tywin's insults, is that he is very often right. 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. The irony that Tywin as a father is responsible for most of these failings is lost on him.
  • Just a Kid: Invoked by Tywin on the verge of war with Robb.
    Tywin: Green boy. One taste of battle and he'll run back to Winterfell with his tail between his legs.
    • Ironic that he would fall for this, seeing as how The Rains of Castamere suggest Tywin's own enemies once thought the same of him.
  • 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 he made Robb Stark and his men die. Feathered with crossbow bolts by someone they least suspected would have the nerve to kill them. In fact, almost every aspect of his death is a consequence of his actions: the crossbow used to kill him was owned by the mad king he put on the throne, Tyrion's desperate straits was due to his allowance of Cersei's grudge, the life time of mistreatment for Tyrion and his insults to Shae created Tyrion's hostility, and his Pragmatic Evil political moves like the Red Wedding destroyed even the most basic negotiating ability he tried to use. Tywin's actions and manipulations led to an armed, angry, and desperate enemy armed with a crossbow confronting him after he demonstrates his untrustworthiness. To top it off, Tywin drilled it into his children that they should never make idle threats - so when Tyrion threatened to shoot him if he said the word "whore" one more time, he should have damn well realized he was utterly serious, instead of daring him by arrogantly saying "whore" again.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • He manages to zigzag between this and Pet the Dog with his treatment of Tyrion, often several times in the same scene. On the one hand he never hesitates to tell Tyrion he considers him a drunken, lecherous gremlin who killed his mother and has only so far been saved from death or estrangement by the fact he's Tywin's blood son. On the other hand he 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.
      [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 it.
      [To Jaime]: Keep it. A one handed man with no family needs all the help he can get.
    • He chooses to give a lecture to Tommen (a Pet the Dog moment by itself) right next to Joffrey's body 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.
  • Lack of Empathy: Treats everyone, even his own children, as his personal chess pieces. If you wonder who Joffrey inherited this from, it's all Tywin.
  • Large and In Charge: Tywin is 6'3" 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, whom he still bosses around on account of being his liege lord).
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Being a nearly professional dog-kicker for all his life, Tywin finally gets bitten back by his 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 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, and in a rather humiliating manner.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Invoked in the Season 4 finale, when Tyrion is pointing a crossbow at him. Tywin really doesn't believe that Tyrion has it in him to kill him. When Tyrion does shoot him, it's obviously partly to prove that he can, damn you.
  • 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.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: The History and Lore videos cites this as his reason for betraying Aerys, the fact that the King refused to allow Prince Rhaegar to marry Cersei, spurning the man who was running the kingdom for him and insulting a vassal of one of the oldest houses of the kingdom. 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 Clan 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 - but not before putting two fatal crossbow bolts into 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 drying up and most of the Lannisters' wealth spent backing Joffrey in the War of the Five Kings.
  • Narcissist: While a brilliant statesman and a highly skilled military strategist, he is also extremely vain and is insensitive to the needs and feelings of others in pursuit of his ambition to safeguard his legacy. Additionally, he expects nothing less than total obedience from those around him and singles out those who fail to meet his expectations for withering contempt (in the case of his family) or elimination (in the case of everyone else).
  • 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.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: For all his skill at using Flaw Exploitation to great effect, he has effectively squandered all of his advantages over petty family disputes and childish grudges. Tywin's abuse of Tyrion, his only competent heir, and refusal to properly credit him publicly, has hampered his credibility in the eyes of the Iron Bank of Braavos, who have no faith in Cersei, Jaime or Tommen and so lend a loan to Stannis Baratheon, bringing a dangerous enemy Back from the Brink. His insistence to wage a war despite a gold shortage has driven the kingdom into debt and has allowed opportunistic adventurers like Littlefinger to usurp him to become The Man Behind the Man. In the end, all of these flaws come back and kill him, casting any doubts on any great future Lannister legacy.
  • 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-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 unnecesary 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".
  • 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 to the Iron Throne until he's looming over the little shit. For the rest of the conversation Joffrey is visibly sinking back into the throne and looks terrified that Tywin may well strike him, or worse.
  • 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 distaste for whores, this is probably very justified.)
  • Odd Friendship: Maybe not full friendship, but even though he eventually left her in the hands of Gregor, he is quite amused by Arya and has a number of casual and open conversations with her, despite her being a prisoner and his cupbearer. He sees her as someone who is actually intelligent enough to have a meaningful conversation with, in contrast to his usual company.
  • Offing the Offspring:
    • Tyrion speculates that his father is putting him on the vanguard of a battle to invoke this. Tywin is not amused to see his son still alive in the aftermath.
    • In "Mhysa", he coldly tells Tyrion that he intended to kill him on the day he was born (both for being born a dwarf and for killing Joanna in the process) but he stopped himself because Tyrion was ultimately still a Lannister. Comes off as an odd combination of petting and kicking the Dog in context.
    • It turns out that he's not willing to do this outright. He tells Jaime, that he intends to declare Tyrion guilty in his trial for regicide, which is normally an instant death sentence, but provided Tyrion confesses, he will be offered a mercy and sent to the Wall to join the Night's Watch. Needless to say, provided Tyrion did go through with this deal, its unlikely he'd survive long with the taint of regicide and the bitter cold of the North, not to mention that Tywin knew that a Wildling army is approaching there, as he admits to Oberyn Martell.
    • As of "The Mountain and the Viper", Tywin has the legal mandate to officially sentence Tyrion to death and he does it without a second thought.
    • However, in "The Children" Tywin states he would never execute his own son, because he's a Lannister. Considering the circumstances of such statement (with him being on the wrong end of a very angry Tyrion armed with a crossbolt), it's difficult to tell if he was being truthful or not.
  • Old Soldier: Tywin has fought in at least two previous wars.
    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. This is shown both in his treatment of Arya during her time as his cupbearer, and his naming Tyrion as acting hand when he realizes Tyrion is the only member of his war council politically astute enough to realize the ramifications of Jamie's capture and Ned's execution.
  • 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 Five Kings Reenactment." Specifically because of the Take Thats at Robb and Renly.
  • 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 — only going to war after his 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 (even Cersei, who technically outranks him), 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 his son Tyrion.
  • The Perfectionist: Comes up a lot. 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). 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 Tyrion and Arya, 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 (Jaime was a prisoner and Cersei was clearly unable to control her own son), but it was still a big sign of respect and trust.
    • Also, to Arya while she's his cup-bearer. 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. 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: Downplayed and 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 also seem much more reasonable in comparison to Joffrey's, who wants all homosexuals put to death. All in all, Tywin's opinion on gay men border on Pitying Perversion.
    • Cersei assumes he doesn't let her 'contribute' because she's a woman, but that isn't why: it's because he (quite correctly) states that she isn't as smart as she thinks she is.
  • 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 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, but not because he cares about them in any way. As he points out to Joffrey, if you crush people who submit, no one will be willing to surrender in the future. From the books... 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • "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 he 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 Four he suddenly becomes on the receiving end, first from Cersei - who interrupts his speech to her - who informs 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.
  • Real Politik: 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 he'll even sell out his own attack dog Ser Gregor 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 their purposes. He was a very capable Hand to the Mad King, for nearly two decades.
    • 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 (that is, head of the treasury). Cersei on the other hand, who he tells her is "not as clever as she thinks she is", he tries to keep her influence on matters low.
    • 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).
    • 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.
    • He is fully aware that Daenaerys will eventually bring her 3 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... 
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!:
    • Implied to be a philosophy of his in particular, and the Lannisters in general.
    • He does seem to have two unbreakable principles that he's cracked into the skulls of all of his children and of the entire Seven Kingdoms: "A Lannister never breaks his word" and "A Lannister always pays his debts." Of course, he rarely needs to give his word or get into debt in the first place (Note that those two can easily be given a more sinister spirit).
    • However, he seems more than willing to break the second principle when the debt is owed to Tyrion (in this case basic gratitude or even acknowledgement of the fact he did his job well). From Tywin's point of view, he paid off his debt to Tyrion by arranging a marital alliance with the heir of the North, so what if Tyrion has a problem with being asked to exert his Marital Rape License on a girl who's been tortured for two years.
  • Selective Obliviousness: He genuinely never believed the "rumors" about Cersei's children all being Jamie's. He only finds out because Cersei told him point-blank to his face to spite him.
  • Silent Snarker: Tywin's Facial Dialogue is enough to convey his utter contempt for any person.
  • So Proud of You: Thoroughly trampled upon. His children are, in descending order: Queen Regent of the Seven Kingdoms, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, and the royal Master of Coin — not to mention his grandson is the King himself — and he's not impressed one rat's ass by any of them. As noted under Ambition Is Evil, this is due in part do the fact that most of it has been accomplished with his help or his name, and they do little with their positions other than what he thinks is their natural expected duties in those positions. To wit, he has these words for his children and says them to them.
    [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.
  • 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 battle 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 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. Most of his 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...."
  • 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 will probably become one of Westeros' better kings (unlike Joffrey, who was already a lost cause before he came under Tywin's influence). Remember that Tywin was Hand of the King to Aerys Targaryen for 20 years, and despite that king's madness, those years are regarded as some of the best in living memory.
  • Tall Blond and Snarky
  • 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, plus Robb's personal missteps, proves decisive in the Riverlands theater. Robb, on the other hand, 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: He names a millennial dynasty as his legacy to the Lannisters after he has achieved complete victory.
  • Tempting Fate: He sarcastically asks if Tyrion is going to kill his own father, clearly thinking Tyrion wasn't so cold-blooded or perhaps brave enough. A few seconds later, Tyrion proves him very wrong.
  • 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 (of King's Landing), which is ironic considering the previous time he led an army to KL was to sack it. From the books... 
  • ‹bermensch: He has a grand vision for the Lannister family, values competence and intelligence over titles (for instance he respects Arya, but not Joffrey) and dominates every room he enters with his presence.
  • Underestimating Badassery: His arrogance often leads him to assume that his foes are incompetent 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 him brutally assassinated.
    • More subtly, on 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. And, most
  • Undignified Death: Tywin Lannister, the Lord of Casterly Rock, Hand of the King, architect of the Red Wedding, and most feared man in Westeros..... dies by getting shot by his abused and loathed son Tyrion with two crossbow bolts whilst he was in the privy with his pants down. 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. Nothing stands in the way of his family name, and ultimately, any of his kin are only tools or pawns with which to achieve his goals.
  • 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's 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. 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.
  • Unwitting Pawn: In spite of his hyper awareness, intelligence, experience, ruthlessness and fearsome reputation, 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 had Catelyn killed and partially because it would plunge the Seven Kingdoms into yet more chaos, which was a goal he [[ObviouslyEvil stated aloud to Tywin and kidnapped Sansa Stark from Kingslanding, giving Littlefinger an avenue for control of yet another of the Seven Kingdoms.]]
  • Villainous Breakdown: When Cersei directly confronts him with her and Jaime's incest; his 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 lie obvious to everyone but himself.
  • Villainous Widow's Peak: A sharp blonde one, as per Lannister genetic style. 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 he 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 (and he couldn't prove Tyrion wasn't his son); Tywin considered it going above and beyond that he didn't kill his son, raised him and acknowledged him as such.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: The Kingslayer himself turns into a little boy in his father's presence. Tyrion doesn't fare much better. Nor does Cersei.
    [To Jaime] You going to say something clever? Go on, say something clever.
  • 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 can't inherit the titles and lands of House Lannister due to being a sworn brother of the Kingsguard and despite his exhortations to ask him to abandon the post, Jaime is determined to reclaim his honor, something which Tywin regards as pointless.
    • According to Peter Dinklage, much of Twyin's frustration as a father comes from the fact that his ideal heir is diffused across his three children with each of them having only one of the three traits he values in a person: Jaime is a great warrior, Tyrion is a master strategist, and Cersei is absolutely ruthless.
  • Wicked Cultured: As one would expect of such a superb politician, military strategist and massively rich upper-class patriarch, Tywin is very well-read, particularly when it comes to history.
  • Worthy Opponent: Overall, there are only three people in the series who have managed to hold their own against him, and he shows a certain respect for each of them: Lady Olenna, Oberyn Martell and Arya Stark, particularly given how young she is. He also gains respect for Robb Stark, seeing him as an excellent battlefield tactician. 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.
    • Also, while his hatred and contempt for his son is very evident, he still (ever so grudgingly) is aware of his intelligence, perception, and cunning, which is why he was willing to name him hand in his stead. Also while his naming him master of coin in season 3 initially seemed an insult, season 4 reveals he is seriously worried about the financial situation of both Westeros and the Lannisters and thus naming Tyrion to this roll shows he still respects his abilities, even if he will never admit it.
    • At Harrenhal, during a meeting with the main officers under his command, he dismisses their overly optimistic comments regarding Robb Stark. He fully acknowledges that Robb is an effective military leader, is incredibly popular with his men, and flat out states that Robb is not going to lose through conventional means.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Discussed by Lady Stark, 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.
  • 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: Says as such regarding Tyrion. He was wrong.
  • Zerg Rush: His method for fighting Robb's forces is to continue to send wave after wave of enemies at him. Although Robb wins every battle, Tywin has a greater number of forces. Naturally, this comes back to bite him in the ass.

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

"Everyone who is not us is an enemy "

Tywin Lannister: I don't distrust you because you're a woman. I distrust you because you're not as smart as you think you are.

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, she becomes Queen Regent to Joffrey. Later to Tommen.
  • Adaptational Heroism: 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.
    • Two of her greatest Kick the Dog moments from the second book, ordering the deaths of Robert's bastards and Tyrion, are done by Joffrey instead.
    • On the above note, 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 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 it 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 the way for her.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the books her hatred of Tyrion is because of a prophecy that her younger brother will be the cause of her downfall. The show removes that part of the prophecy and instead implies that Cersei blames Tyrion for the death of their mother.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. Between Cersei and Tyrion, it seems like a safe bet that the Lannisters are genetically predisposed to alcoholism. From the Books... 
  • 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: Her despised brother Tyrion is this to her in Season Two and the feeling is very mutual. This carries on to Season Three 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 Four, 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.
  • Arranged Marriage:
    • With Robert. She initially saw it as a Perfectly Arranged Marriage up until Robert came to her drunk and called her by his late betrothed's name on their wedding night.
    • Tywin commands her to marry Ser Loras. She's not amused.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 agrees:
    "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.
    • She does not react well to Myrcella being shipped off to Dorne, even though Tyrion points out it's for her own safety.
  • 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. It should be noted that in this case, it could be said she's justified in her decision. 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 Wannabe: Cersei plays the game well during Robert's reign, but after his death she just can't keep up. 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.
  • 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.
  • Blondes Are Evil: Despite how sympathetic she can come across, Cersei is still a Lannister at heart: golden hair and sharp claws.
  • Break Them by Talking: After 40 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.
  • 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.
  • Brother-Sister Incest / Twincest / Villainous 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 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.
  • Christmas Cake: The Tyrells are reluctant to marry her specifically because she's too old.
  • Corrupt Politician: "When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die."
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dumb Blonde: While Cersei isn't a complete moron, Tywin's assessment of her was perfect when he said 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 lost control of Joffrey almost immediately after he became king, and her attempts to dispose of Tyrion were laughable failures.
  • Enfant Terrible: Was no more charming when she was younger, as Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour reveals below.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She genuinely loves her children and twin brother... but not enough not to hop into bed with Lancel while Jaime's away.
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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 and is comfortable in her station in life, while Cersei is trapped in an Arranged Marriage and yearns for even more power.
  • Evil Is Petty: Oh, is Cersei ever petty. 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. Cersei is noticeably smiling during the ultra-humiliating play of the War of Five Kings.
  • Evil Matriarch: Of the Lannisters-Baratheons.
  • Expy: Book counterpart aside, Lena Headey seems to strongly take after Rome's Atia. Cersei herself is based on several queens with poor reputations - Queen Isabella, She-Wolf of France and from the War Of The Roses - Margaret d'Anjou and Elizabeth Woodville.
  • 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.
  • Freudian Excuse: Her hatred for Robert stems from him using her as a Replacement Goldfish for Lyanna.
  • 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 — even though her words about Brienne flitting about from one lord's service to another's at will were meant as an insult, she can barely keep the bitterness out of her voice. And then she gets markedly less subtle when she accuses Brienne of being in love with Jaime.
  • Hates Small Talk: Cersei hates chat that doesn't get to the point.
  • 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 rule 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.
  • Heel Realization: It's begun to dawn on her as of "A Man Without Honor" that doing everything in her power to protect and prop up Joffrey isn't such a good idea any more. She more-or-less admits to Tyrion that she made him a monster, figuratively, and literally, and the guilt is starting to eat away at her.
  • 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, who takes over it anyway.
  • Hoist By Her Own Petard: 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. 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 neither.
  • 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 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.
  • Hypocrite:
    • She calls Margaery a harlot and a whore, despite herself having committed adultery with her brother. She also despises Margaery for manipulating the king and trying to become a power behind the throne.
    • 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 anyway? Fine. That is, 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 three children: he focused on his firstborn son Jaime, who would have been his lawful heir had he not later joined the Kingsguard, but ignored Cersei as a woman (and also ignored and hated younger son Tyrion, but so did Cersei). Cersei herself has three children, and it genuinely never occurs to her that she did the exact same thing with her own three children, playing favorites by focusing on her firstborn son Joffrey. At least Tywin had the excuse that Jaime was one of the finest swordsmen in Westeros: Joffrey had no redeeming values whatsoever, and was just a petty, cowardly, vicious idiot. Cersei was more obsessed her idea of Joffrey than the actual person. For that matter, Joffrey wasn't even very polite or loyal to Cersei. Meanwhile, ask yourself: how much did we ever seen Cersei interacting with her younger children, Myrcella and Tommen? She ignored them just as Tywin ignored her.
    • She looks down on and tries to insult Ellaria Sand for being a bastard, but all three of her children are illegitimate.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. She mentions to Catelyn and later discusses with Robert how their first child died shortly after birth due to a fever.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Cersei is widely praised as one of the most beautiful noblewomen of Westeros.
  • 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 Stannis.
  • It's All About Me:
    • 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, surrounded by servants, with several bodyguards which she obviously thinks is so much worse than Jaime being a prisoner, dragged from camp to camp, losing his hand, 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 several others, and 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.
  • 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.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • An almost literal incident, when she has Sansa's direwolf killed because Arya's direwolf — who attacked Joffrey to defend her mistress — is unavailable. 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.
    • 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.
  • Kissing Cousins: With Lancel.
  • Lady Macbeth: She's behind some of Robert and Jaime's callous or outright evil decisions.
  • Large Ham: Especially when drunk.
  • 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 brutally changed that. Her relationship with Jaime doesn't seem to bring out the best in her either.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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" above.
    • She is greatly angered when Tyrion arranges for a marriage between Myrcella and House Martell (as it likely reminds her of her own marriage with Robert), 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: Much like her father, she considers herself vastly superior to almost everyone around her and expects treatment commensurate with her bloated sense of self-worth. Additionally, she displays a pronounced lack of empathy as evidenced by her inability to view her own children as individuals with thoughts and feelings entirely separate from her own.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: She feels like she is suffering under this in the male dominated Westerosi society. 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.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Her attempt to sway Prince Oberyn against Tyrion inspired him to volunteer to be Tyrion's champion in his trial by combat against Ser Gregor Clegane, whom Oberyn has wanted dead for decades, giving him a real chance to survive, where, before, he had none.
  • 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.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • 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. Her plan fails when her son 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.
    • And 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... 
    • Though also occasionally subverted as she sometimes lets her pride get the better of her, leading her to make stupid and short-sighted decisions, such as withholding the plans for the city's defense from Tyrion just to spite him.
  • 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: [hits her]
    Cersei: I shall wear this like a badge of honor.
  • Princess Classic: She seemed to have been this when she was young but the double standard between her and Jaime embittered her.
  • "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.
  • 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.
  • 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 (the damn queen). Which has led to the present situation, where Cersei's completely justifiably being denied power due to her incompetence.
  • Rule of Symbolism: At the dinner table in "Valar Dohaeris", she and Joffrey are positioned at the opposite ends, while the Tyrell siblings are seated next to each other. (To maintain symmetry, Margaery and Loras would normally have been placed across from each other.) Guess which family gets along harmoniously and which one is dysfunctional.
  • 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 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's poisoned Joffrey.
  • Screw Yourself: Her incest with Jaime is, according to the cast and crew, 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, screwing herself. To Cersei, it's not incest, it's incredibly metaphorical masturbation.
  • 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 form 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 - are 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, they get of their roles everything Cersei couldn't: Margaery is a popular queen and gets to manipulate even Joffrey, and Olenna is the head of her family, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: She has no qualms posthumously calling Renly a "degenerate" in "Dark Wings, Dark Words".
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Young!Cersei looks strikingly similar to her daughter, Myrcella.
  • Teens Are Monsters: In The Wars To Come, when Maggy the Frog refuses to tell her fortune, a teenage Cersei threatens to have her eyes gouged out.
  • 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.
  • 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, and then she has a...rather uncomfortable sexual encounter with Jaime next to her son's corpse while she's mourning.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ungrateful Bitch: 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Wham Line: From her father:
    Tywin: You'll marry Ser Loras.
    • She herself gets her own back on Tywin in The Children:
    Cersei: Everything they say about Jaime and me is true. Your legacy is a lie.
  • What an Idiot: invoked Tyrion and Tywin seperately note this about her. Despite having some cunning in plotting, Cersei is far less intelligent than she thinks she is. She shows herself in several instances to be a terrible ruler and often makes mistakes out of spite or carelessness. Apparently, 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. Her understanding on the actual military threats posed by Stannis Baratheon and Robb Stark is likewise tenuous at best. Of course, a lot of these may be due to her rapidly becoming a not very functioning addict.
    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.
  • With Us or Against Us: "Everyone who is not us is an enemy."
  • Women Are Wiser:
    • She is also 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.
  • Wicked Cultured: As could be expected of a rich young woman from a noble house, Cersei recieved an excellent education.
  • Your Cheating Heart: First cheats on Robert with Jaime, then on Jaime with Lancel.
  • 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.

    Ser Jaime Lannister 
Jaime: "By what right does the wolf judge the lion? By what right-?!" (Jaime seizes).
Brienne: "Help us! The Kingslayer!"
Jaime: "Jaime. My name's Jaime."

Lord Tywin: "You're blessed with abilities that few men possess. You're blessed to belong to one of the most powerful families in the kingdoms, and you're still blessed with youth. What have you done with these blessings, eh? You served as a glorified bodyguard for two kings — one a mad man, the other a drunk...I need you to become the man you were always meant to be. Not next year, not tomorrow. Now."

Twin brother of Cersei, and older brother of Tyrion. A member of the Kingsguard, and Lord Commander after the forced retirement of Ser Barristan.
  • The Ace: Generally considered to be one of the greatest swordsman 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...
  • Adaptational Badass: In regards to losing his sword hand, Jaime is still shown to be a somewhat able swordsman while sparring with Bronn. In the books, not so much.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • Adaptational Villainy: He gets quite a few more Kick the Dog moments than in the books
    • 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 understandable.
  • 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?
  • Arrogant Swordsman Guy: A gifted man full of hubris because he's one of the best swordsmen in the Seven Kingdoms. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. Somewhat justified by the high premium that is (at least publicly) placed on honor.
  • 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.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: In the beginning, he fit the "villainous blonde guy" fantasy archetype to a T: handsome, vain, prideful, sharp-witted, with dark blonde hair. Eventually it gets broken down as a facade and the real Jaime can be... complex.
  • Break the Haughty: Despite numerous forces attempting to break him down (see Humiliation Conga below), 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 (first placed into that position by the Mad King, but is content with it as he can be close to his sister). 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. Jaime's laziness leads to him having few real accomplishments. 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. As a swordsman he's practically a Living Legend. As a member of the Kingsguard, he is a Butt Monkey.
  • 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 / Twincest / Villainous 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 King Joffrey, his "nephew", 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 telling his true reasons 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 as well. And in Westeros, this is the only thing worse than being a kingslayer.
  • 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.
    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.
  • 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.
    It's a good thing I am who I am. I'd have been useless at anything else.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: The death of the Mad King at his hands. Turns out instead of switching sides at the last minute, the real reason he killed him 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.
  • 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;
    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 King: Towards Brienne.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Jaime's impulsive actions backfire on him from time to time, and when they do his family members don't hesitate to chew him out for it: good examples being Tywin in season 1, and Cersei in the season 5 premiere.
  • The Dog Bites Back: It's been implied that his murder of Aerys was a case of this. From the books... 
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
    • 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 Cersei can't harm her.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Ser Loras Tyrell. They're both arrogant, highly-skilled warriors, Lord 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • Gaydar: He claims to have known that Renly was a "tulip" from the moment the boy first arrived at court.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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 practically starts 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 Turn: It's complicated, but this appears to be his general trajectory.
  • 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 BSOD: 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.
  • 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.
    If your gods are real, and if they're just, why is the world so full of injustice?
  • Honor Before Reason: He finds Bronn's Combat Pragmatist tactics in poor taste.
  • 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.
  • I Have Your Brother: Has been captured by the Starks, who plan to use him as a hostage against Cersei. From the books... 
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: After he loses his hand, this happens to him both figuratively and literally.
  • 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!)
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk -> 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.
  • 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. Cat 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 and indeed hated him.
  • 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.
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: His interaction with Brienne, particularly near the end of Season 3.
  • 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.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Tries his hand at this with Locke and loses it. Afterwards, he edges more towards Guile Hero territory.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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 Oathbreaker: 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.
  • 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.
  • OOC 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Pragmatic Hero: A very dark version. He's perfectly willing to kill a child to protect his family, or stab the king he was meant to protect to save hundreds of thousands of lives.
  • 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 [sic] 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.
  • 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.
  • Ship Tease: Between him and Brienne in Season 4. It's much less subtle than in the books.
  • 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 on being a man without honour, to which he points out Ned wasn't entirely honourable by fathering a bastard, then points out she failed to uphold the Tully words because of her hatred for Jon Snow.
  • 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.
  • 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 lain 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    "Brave man that Ned Stark, but terrible judgment." — Jaime on the man, after receiving a letter demanding that Tywin appear at Kings Landing to explain the actions of Gregor Clegane.
    • 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".
  • 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 
"Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you."
Played By: Peter Dinklage

Tywin Lannister: You are an ill-made, spiteful little creature full of envy, lust and low cunning. Men's laws give you the right to bear my name and display my colors, since I cannot prove that you are not mine. And to teach me humility, the gods have condemned me to watch you waddle about, wearing the proud lion that was my father's sigil, and his father's sigil before him. But neither gods nor men will ever compel me to turn Casterly Rock into your whorehouse.

Varys: Tyrion Lannister is one of the few people alive that can make this country a better place. He has the mind for it, he has the will and he has the right last name...

The youngest Lannister sibling, brother of Jaime and Cersei. He has dwarfism. Serves as acting Hand of the King and later as Joffrey's Master of Coin, chief treasurer of the Seven Kingdoms, until Joffrey's assassination, with Tyrion being the victim of a rather obvious frame-up. After a rather blatantly biased trial, Tyrion demands a trial by combat to determine his fate, only for his champion, Oberyn Martell, to be killed by Gregor Clegane during the trial. Following this, Tyrion is sentenced to death by Tywin. The night before his execution he is freed from his cell by Jaime, only to flee Westeros with the help of Varys after killing Shae and Tywin.
  • Abusive Parents: Tyrion suffers under one during most of his life, as Tywin's ascendancy keeps hurting him well into his adulthood.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: He is repeatedly described as horribly ugly in the books, while Peter Dinklage is quite attractive. His mismatched eyes have also been removed, and a grievous injury suffered later in the series has been changed from a cut off nose to a large (and admittedly rather hideous, although Margaery finds it attractive) scar. On the other hand, he appears to have put on some years in the adaptation; Tyrion is the younger sibling of Jaime and Cersei but looks older than both (which is sensible, considering Dinklage is 44, while Coster-Waldau is 43 and Headey is 40). His facial deformity in the books probably translates to looking older than his years onscreen.
  • Adaptational Heroism: While he is still far and away a much better person than Tywin or Cersei in both mediums, in the books Tyrion is not quite as noble as his television counterpart.
    • He is almost as egocentrical as his father, openly loves power and authority, and is a bit more concerned with his family's actions from the viewpoint of how it affects their image than the actual morality of those actions.
    • He unconsciously treats Shae as little more than a slave who has no say in anything outside of the bed, and has a few moments where he gets physically violent with her (though he feels awful about them). When he weds Sanda he does desire her, but won't force himself on her. Also, his killing of Shae happened in cold blood and was essentially a spiteful act of vengeance for her turning on him during his trial, but here he's essentially forced to do it to prevent her from exposing Tywin's death and is genuinely remorseful afterwards. Shae did grab the knife first as well, Tyrion was mainly acting in self defense.
    • In the books, Tyrion has his hilltribes abduct Tommen when Cersei captures Alayaya (the prostitute Roz filled in for as the one Cersei thought was Tyrion's lover in place of Shae), and he warns Cersei that any harm inflicted on Alayaya will be returned on Tommen. This is why Tywin is so spiteful when Tyrion awakens from the Battle of Blackwater; Tywin heard Tyrion threatened his nephew with bodily harm over a whore.
    • Perhaps the most striking contrast, TV Tyrion does not have a bard flat-out murdered by Bronn and given to a stew cook in Flea Bottom for threatening to expose Shae.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In terms of battle prowess alone, the adaptation makes a bigger point of Tyrion being Minored in Asskicking. In the way to the Vale, for instance, Tyrion kills several dozens of Tribesmen using ambushing tactics and An Axe to Grind, while in the show he barely manages to kill one of them with a shield. Of course, by the Battle Of Blackwater Bay Show!Tyrion Took a Level in Badass, but he's still lagging behind Book!Tyrion in the same battle.
  • The Alcoholic: He's definitely very high-functioning, but that doesn't change the fact that he's almost never seen without some kind of booze. Tywin is particularly annoyed by this and tends to withhold Tyrion's cups during their interactions. By season 5, Varys is trying to keep him functional, as the first thing Tyrion does when he gets out of the crate in which he crossed over to Essos is grab a bottle of wine and drink until he pukes.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: No matter what Tyrion does, all of the heroic actions he did to protect King's Landing during the Battle of Blackwater Bay, nobody stands in his defense in his trial for the crime of regicide. Not one kind word, with the public regarding him as an evil dwarf and everyone automatically believing Cersei's rather obvious scapegoating and lying witnesses:
    Tyrion: I'm guilty of a far more monstrous crime. I'm guilty of being a dwarf.
    Tywin: You are not on trial for being a dwarf.
    Tyrion: Oh yes I am! I've been on trial for that my entire life.
  • Almighty Janitor: A literal version, Tyrion tells Varys that at the age of 16, Tywin Lannister assigned his son the job of running the sewers and cisterns of Casterly Rock, Tyrion revolutionized it and made it perfect.
  • An Axe to Grind: He prefers to fight with an axe, probably because his stature would make using a sword extremely awkward.
  • And Starring: In Season 1.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Tyrion confesses to childhood pranks like putting goat shit in his uncle's boots, and masturbating into a pot of turtle stew "that I do believe my sister ate, or at least I hope she did!"
  • Anti-Hero/Anti-Villain: While he is mostly a good person at heart, in the most technical sense, Tyrion is loyal to, and furthers the goals of, the 'villainous' House Lannister. He recognizes that the family's path to power doesn't need to involve stepping on the heads of every other noble house in the realm, and that trying to do so will have consequences. In the simplest terms, Tyrion is a good man and a good ruler who fights for the Lannisters because they are his family. Until his trial, where a mixture of not being defended by anyone for a crime he did not commit and being betrayed by Shae, the woman he loved, makes Tyrion finally snap after years of mental and emotional abuse. Once Tyrion escapes from his cell with the help on Jaime, he proceeds to kill Shae in self-defense as well as murder his father before fleeing Westeros.
  • Apologetic Attacker: He sobs out an "I'm sorry" just after strangling his former lover Shae to death, once he finds her in Tywin's bed and she attacks him.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Played with. He is known by several derogatory nicknames ("imp", "dwarf", "half-man") and he dislikes them all. While it appears that he continues to so dislike, "imp" has been used in affectionate tones as well (by Bronn for instance). As for "half-man", after Tyrion led a sortie against enemy troops, his troops used "half man" as a war cry.
  • Arranged Marriage: Tywin orders him to marry and impregnate Sansa to stop the Tyrells from marrying her to Loras. He chooses not to impregnate her yet, but when she is ready.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: He and Shae have the most positively adorable scene in "Dark Wings, Dark Words" that drips with this trope.
  • Awful Wedded Life: His brief "marriage" to Sansa was becoming a kind of quasi-friendship but the Red Wedding ruined that forever and Tyrion is at a loss at what to do with her since she doesn't speak to anyone and regards Tyrion as complicit in her family's massacre.
  • Badass Bookworm: Who would expect him to beat a highwayman to death with nothing but the point of a kite-shield?
  • Badass Army: Had his own personal force of mountain clansmen, who had proven to be the Lannisters' most effective front-line offense and defense.
  • Badass Boast: "I will hurt you for this. A day will come when your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you will know the debt is paid."
  • Batman Gambit: The way he fishes The Mole in the Small Council. He feeds each member a different version of the same story and tells them to not tell Cersei, so when he is confronted by Cersei over one of the versions he knows who's the one spilling the beans to her. Even better, he tells his actual plan (to marry Myrcella to Trystane Martell) to Pycelle, whom he obviously suspects most of being Cersei's spy. He's right. And hilariously, Tyrion tells the most ridiculous version to Varys (that he plans to marry Myrcella to Theon Greyjoy), because Tyrion clearly suspects him the least. Varys, of course, sees through Tyrion's gambit immediately, but says nothing, due to their budding friendship (and also because he's almost certainly as interested as Tyrion in learning the identity of Cersei's spy).
  • Beard of Sorrow: Grows a rather impressive one in Season 5, following his killing of Tywin and subsequent exile from Westeros.
  • Because I'm Good at It: The reason he gives for carrying on with his lifestyle of plotting and scheming, even though Shae begs him to leave with her after "Blackwater"; He's lost his authority, been denied any kind of reward for all his hard work and he's been targeted for assassination more than once, but he likes playing the game.
    I can't. I belong here. All these bad people are what I'm good at — out-talking them, out-thinking them, it's what I am. And I like it. I like it more than anything I've ever done.
  • Benevolent Boss: Just ask his squire Podrick Payne.
  • Berserk Button: When Joffrey threatens Sansa yet again during her wedding, Tyrion is PISSED. He's also brimming with Tranquil Fury when Cersei has Ros roughed up after (incorrectly) deducing she's Tyrion's lover. Even though she's not, Tyrion is clearly appalled at her treatment and promises to help her.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Has this towards most younger characters who are in similarly disadvantaged situations to his own. Just watch him talk to Sansa, Podrick, or Bran. He runs the gamut from cool older brother to protector, and even seems to be trying to correct Joffrey until the little pissant becomes a lost cause.
  • Blackmail: How he turns Lancel into his mole, by threatening to tell Joffrey that Lancel is playing bedwarmer to Cersei.
  • Brains and Brawn:
    • How he views his relationship with Jaime: "My brother has his sword, and I have my mind".
    • His initial role with Bronn and the Hill Tribes. Later on, Tyrion displays some talent for violence and Bronn's own brand of cleverness shows up.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: He's very fond of this verbal structure.
    Tyrion: "What do you want, Bronn? Gold? Women?... Golden women?"
  • Bookworm: "My brother has his sword and I have my mind"
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: During "Blackwater", by a member of the Kingsguard, though this isn't a perfect example in that the betrayal is somewhat tangential, (i.e. the king's bodyguard attacks the king's right-hand man.) Meanwhile Tyrion's own bodyguard (squire, technically), Podrick Payne, shoves a lance through the attacker's face. Tyrion learns later that Joffrey and not Cersei was the "mastermind" of this half-assed, highly conspicuous plot.
  • Born Lucky: He outright claims to be this. Key word: Claims.
  • Break Her Heart To Save Her: To Shae, in "The Lion and the Rose". It backfires. Horribly.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: While most of the court of King's Landing cannot stand him, it's clear to everyone that Tyrion is ridiculously competent at whatever he turns his attention to. During the Battle of the Blackwater, Tyrion not only planned the defense of King's Landing, but also was responsible for wiping out nearly all of Stannis' fleet in one fell swoop. From The Books... 
  • Butt Monkey: He spends much of Seasons 3 and 4 being on the receiving end of jokes and undesirable tasks, chiefly because he's the Token Good Teammate and Only Sane Man who doesn't think killing your enemies in underhanded brutal ways and expecting people to live with it is realistic or healthy in the long run. He complains to Shae at the start of Season 4 for essentially reduced to being the Lannisters' PR man when it comes to dealing with Sansa and Oberyn Martell while receiving nothing but scorn from his father, sister and nephew. By the end of Season 4, we only know of two allies he can really count on, barring potentially Sansa: Jaime and Varys.
  • Byronic Hero: The lighter end of this trope. While he might not be physically attractive, he is quite charismatic, very passionate, driven, jaded, and emotionally unstable.
  • Character Tics: Has a penchant for whistling when he's happy, and gets happier if this sign of his incoming presence is annoying somebody else.
  • The Chessmaster: Showed off his skill in this throughout his entire stint as Hand of the King, politically outmaneuvering any possible rivals and even getting one ahead of Littlefinger at one point. There was also his brilliant tactical planning at the Battle of Blackwater.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Despite his infamous habit of whoring, Tyrion has so far been shown to treat all the women he sleeps with well, and is disgusted whenever he sees them being treated badly. Given his disgust for people who treat weaker people badly and his personal history this makes perfect sense. He outright refuses to sleep with Sansa when they're supposed to be consummating their marriage until she's ready. And if she's never ready? His reaction says it all.
    Tyrion: "And so my watch begins."
  • Clear My Name:
    • Accused of an attempt on Bran's life, because Littlefinger claims that the dagger found on the assassin belonged to Tyrion. Tyrion beats the charges thanks to Bronn winning the Trial by Combat.
    • Tyrion is in the wrong place at the wrong time during a wedding, is accused of killing Joffrey and faces a trial for it.
  • Cool Uncle: To the younger two of Cersei's children, at least. To Joffrey... well, Jaime may be known as the Kingslayer, but Tyrion is shaping up to be the Kingslapper.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Death by Childbirth: His mother died giving birth to Tyrion. Part of Tywin and Cersei's animosity stems from it, as they consider him some sort of murderer because of his tragic birth.
  • Death Glare: If looks could kill, Joffrey would have dropped dead when he asked Tyrion to kneel during "The Lion and the Rose". Not that he lasted much longer than that anyway. Later, at the end of Tyrion's trial, when he demands a trial by combat, he shoots Tywin a look of pure, seething hatred.
  • Depraved Dwarf: Subverted. Despite his bad reputation and taste for booze and whores, he's a much better person than his siblings and is a fundamentally decent guy.
  • Despair Event Horizon: In "The Laws of Gods and Men", Tyrion crosses this when Shae testifies against him and humiliates him. He's reduced to a seething mass of rage.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: At Tyrion's wedding to Sansa, Joffrey insults Tyrion when he continues abusing (and threatening to rape) Sansa even though she should now be untouchable due to being under Tyrion's marital protection and being Joffrey's aunt by marriage. Tyrion reacts by loudly and furiously threatening to castrate him in public, despite the king's reputation for insane brutality (and, true to form, Tyrion comes out unscathed, at least physically). In the end, he doesn't get to foreshorten Joffrey, but neither does Joffrey get to have his way with Sansa. Indeed, it's the only time in the series where Joffrey ultimately doesn't get what he wants.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Tyrion has been treated like crap ever since the Battle of the Blackwater, as he was maimed in an assassination ordered by his nephew, rejected by his father, unappreciated for his efforts and forced into a betrothal he didn't want. So when Joffrey tries to organize a bedding for him and Sansa with a rape-y undertone, Tyrion publicly threatens to geld him with a knife which leads to a Stunned Silence.
    • After being treated like dirt by him for almost his entire life, Tyrion kills Tywin before fleeing Westeros.
  • Do Wrong, Right: Tyrion can't resist making aside, snarky comments and after-action reviews about inept assasinations and transparent frame-ups:
    • He denies any involvement in the attempt on Bran's life, pointing out he'd have to be an idiot to give the assassin his own blade.
    • When Joffrey tries to have him killed, Tyrion can understand the king wanting him dead, but not the stupidity of having a Kingsguard murdering the Hand of the King in full view of his own army.
    • Tyrion takes some intellectual offense at being accused of an assassination so half-assed that it blatantly makes himself the primary suspect.
      I would like to think if I were arranging a royal assassination, I'd plan it in such a way that I wouldn't be standing there gawking like a fool when the king died.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: After holding the fort for the family during a brief but good chancellorship, he brings himself to ask his father for some recognition and consideration, but Tywin rewards him with a callously devastating "The Reason You Suck" Speech instead.
  • Enraged By Idiocy: Usually vents it with derision when it comes to people of average intelligence and below, Tyrion has a limit and takes out his wrath on Joffrey.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Tyrion is disgusted by Janos Slynt murdering a baby, and revokes his title and sends him off to the Wall. Tyrion, while a member of the closest thing to a "villainous" faction in this series, fits this trope rather than Even Evil Has Standards due to being a good person at heart.
  • The Exile: After escaping through the help of his brother Jaime and Varys, both he and Varys escape to an unknown destination after Tyrion kills Shae and Tywin.
  • Expy: He's one of several in the series to Richard III (along with Ned Stark, Stannis Baratheon and Theon Greyjoy) but Tyrion comes closest to the rhetoric splendour of William Shakespeare's Richard III.
  • Fatal Flaw: His inability to shut his mouth. He has on more than one occasion gotten himself into as many bad situations as he has out of them because of his mouth.
  • Foil: To some extent, Ned Stark who served as The Hand in Season 1. Ned showed what happened when you applied Honor Before Reason in politics refusing to make any compromise whatsover. Tyrion is not a Corrupt Politician at all, but he accepts the demands of Realpolitik far better and is able to curtail the excesses and machinations of the King and Cersei far better than Ned, as Varys noted. Of course, while Tyrion manages to get better results, he's not able to escape his reputation and his father's shadow, though he does survive for a little while, before ending up, like Ned, as a scapegoat for the Lannisters, even given the same opportunity to join the Night's Watch and escape execution.
  • Four-Star Badass: Proves himself to be quite the strategist and a capable commander in Blackwater. Bonus points for leading a counterattack.
  • Frame-Up: Is framed for Joffrey's poisoning, even though Tyrion looks extremely confused after his nephew's death. It's ultimately a rather poor job, considering that anyone who knows Tyrion would know that, if he did have Joffrey killed, he'd be smart enough not to be holding the poisoned goblet and looking on in Stunned Silence not five feet from the victim.
  • Freudian Excuse: In "Baelor", it's revealed that when Tyrion was sixteen, Jaime hired a whore to pretend to be rescued from rapists and sleep with him. He fell madly in love and married her, but a fortnight later Tywin found out and cruelly told him the truth, and then forced him to watch as she was paid to have sex with/be raped by his entire garrison. It's not difficult to see how he became a wee bit cynical, particularly regarding his family or why he seems more comfortable hiring sellswords and prostitutes than seeking out real friends and lovers.
  • Friendly Rivalry: With Varys. Though the two of them get to Vitriolic Best Buds or as close as they can be in the world with Varys even considering him the Big Good for King's Landing in Season 2.
  • Friend to All Children: He has a soft spot for kids (even the children of the enemies such as the Starks), and especially his younger nephews. Except for Joffrey.
  • Genre Savvy: To an exceptional degree. As soon as he sees a slightly unruly crowd in King's Landing, he has guards quickly escort his nephew Tommen to safety before Joffrey angers the mob into violence.
    Cersei: What to do you know of warfare?
    Tyrion: Nothing. But I know people. And I know our enemies hate each other almost as much as they hate us.
  • The Good Chancellor: Joffrey's much needed counterbalance. In no small part, the Lannister banner was narrowly sustained thanks to his brief but brilliant stint as acting Hand of the King. Varys even commends him on his turn as the Hand noting that he did better than both Jon and Ned because while they "disdained the game", Tyrion played it well and succeeded in reigning in the king far better than his predecessors.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Thanks to the above Bodyguard Betrayal, he sports scars that look somewhere between Anti-Hero Scars and Evil Scars. Margaery comments that they actually lend a dashing look and don't detract from his appearance (in contrast to the scars he receives in the books — see Adaptational Attractiveness).
  • The Grotesque: As explained by Oberyn Martell, when Tyrion is first born all anyone in Casterly Rock, particularly Cersei, can talk about is the monstrous appearance of the youngest Lannister. It is claimed that he is a hermaphrodite with a claw, a red eye, and a tail. While he is not this in actuality, his dwarfism alone is certainly enough for him to be tragically mistreated in the archaic society in which he lives.
  • Guile Hero: Although his being a Lannister may cause other characters to see him in a more villainous light, there is no doubt of his incredible ability to charm, manipulate, bluff, and talk his way out of a bad situation. For example: laying the groundwork for Bronn to champion him a full episode before he even knew there'd be a trial by combat. He's also able to talk his way from a situation where he's likely to be murdered by hill tribesmen to getting said hill tribesmen to serve as his bodyguards.
  • Had to Come to Prison to Be a Crook: He is falsely accused in Season 4 of killing his nephew, the King and is sentenced to death by his own father, who fully knows he's innocent but wants to get rid of him anyway. When freed by Jaime on the night before his execution, he pays one final visit to his father and commits a double homicide that will almost certainly taint his reputation for the rest of his life.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Come Season 5, and poor Tyrion is still clearly devastated over his murder of Shae.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: He's dismayed when he discovers that the people blame him for Joffrey and Cersei's actions, who he has actually tried to stop, mostly because he is a dwarf. Not only that, he is also framed for Joffrey's death, and submitted to a Kangaroo Court where all his achievements are discredited and his personal lifestyle mocked at which points he publicly expresses contempt for his unjust reputation, deciding that he no longer cares about his reputation or trying to be a "hero" to gain the acceptance of a pack of ingrates. When he's eventually released by his brother, he decides to murder his father out of vengeance, righteous anger and hatred, permanently tarnishing his reputation in the eyes of Westeros.
  • Hyper Awareness: Likely inherited from his father; Tyrion is very adept at reading people quickly. In "The Old Gods And The New", he actually sees the riot coming just by looking over the crowd and tries to get everyone to safety before it sparks.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender: Played with. Tyrion tells Varys that because of his dwarfism and his father's hatred for him as an Inadequate Inheritor, he never expected to have real opportunity for his talents and his tenure as Acting Hand of the King is the only real chance he has had to apply himself in a meaningful way.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: He's openly told so by Lord Tywin, who disregards that Tyrion is his lawful heir and laments that he cannot disprove Tyrion's lineage.
  • Indy Ploy: Half his gambits simply seem to come completely off the top of his head, and he gets away through a combination of quick wits, a razor tongue, extensive knowledge of everyone's weaknesses, and sheer balls. The other half are meticulously planned out deceptions.
    • Of note is when he blackmails Lancel into becoming his mole. There's no indication that he even planned it. Lancel shows up at his door, and in the middle of the subsequent conversation, Tyrion just seems to decide; "I need a mole. You fit." (blackmail ensues).
    • Pulls off a masterful one against Cersei in "The Prince of Winterfell", when she tells him that she's captured his whore, and then brings her out so Tyrion can see she's really alive. Thing is, it's actually Ros, not Shae, but Tyrion plays along and pretends she really is the one he loves, keeping Cersei ignorant about Shae. You can actually see the wheels turning in his head as he figures out how to play this.
  • In-Series Nickname: Often referred to insultingly as "The Imp" and "Halfman," not that he's all that insulted, and he's the first to admit that he's a dwarf or to make jokes about becoming "Quarter-Man". His Hillman allies even take Half-Man as a battlecry as do the Kingsguard during the battle of Blackwater. Shae calls him "My Little Lion". The one nickname he's seemed actually bothered by is "demon monkey", and only because he's blamed for the King's atrocities by the angry mob.
  • In Vino Veritas: When Tyrion is exceptionally drunk he lets hidden sides of himself rise to the surface. He tells Shae and Bronn about his disastrous first marriage in a very depressed tone, and at the drunkest he's been on screen he angrily threatens to castrate Joffrey when pushed too far.
  • Irony: You probably figured it out by now, but Tyrion, the child Tywin hates the most, is out of his siblings the most similar to daddy. See Like Father, Like Son.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's cynical, sarcastic, crude, drunk, and a lover of whores, but he is also one of the kindest characters in the series. Witness his interactions with his niece Myrcella and nephew Tommen, Jon Snow, Bran Stark, and Sansa Stark.
    Tyrion: I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples, bastards, and broken things.
    • In his own ticked off way, he even seems to be trying to help Joffrey to become a better ruler for a while (yes, the "help" does involve a lot of smacking, but at least the smacking comes with advice that is actually useful, and that Joffrey actually seems to listen to every now and then). Eventually, however, he (and everyone else, for that matter) gives up on him as a lost cause.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Tyrion has clearly snapped by the end of his trial, but his murders of Tywin and Shae cement how far he's gone from the noble anti-hero he once was.
  • Kangaroo Court: The court being convened against Tyrion is composed of three judges, two of whom will almost certainly vote for his conviction and a sentence of death: Lord Tywin Lannister, Lord Mace Tyrell, and Prince Oberyn Martell.
  • Kid with the Leash: Essentially how Tywin views his relationship with the wildling clans.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: Not done for the usual reasons but when he encounters Shae in his father's bed chambers he strangles her to death after she pulls a knife on him. Afterwards, he apologizes to her corpse and admits to his father that he still loved her.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Despite his cynical outlook of the world, Tyrion still tries to do the right thing.
  • Laser-Guided Karma/Reality Ensues: For the longest time, Tyrion got away with slapping Joffrey around and having an acid tongue because of his previous position as King's Hand and for being a Lannister. This tragically changes after Joffrey's assassination. Tyrions less than pleasant relationship with his fellow nobles makes him a very easy scapegoat with many using his personality flaws against him.
  • The Leader: During the Defense of King's Landing arc of Season 2, Tyrion is The Leader of the defenses with his own crew with Bronn as his Number Two and The Lancer and Varys serving as The Smart Guy. He graduates to Big Good when he leads the armies in battle against Stannis giving them a Rousing Speech that unleashes a Heroic Second Wind.
  • Licked by the Dog: His nephew and niece clearly loving him is our first clue that he is a rare decent Lannister, and he is shown to adore them in return. There's also Podrick's adorable Undying Loyalty towards him.
  • Like Father, Like Son: His dad being more of a jerk aside, out of Tywin's 3 kids, Tyrion is easily the most similar to him. Both seem to possess Hyper Awareness, both are cunning and adept at forging alliances, both are capable commanders AND politicians who have low tolerance for idiocy, which they express in different ways. The massive irony is that, of all Tywin's children, Tyrion is by far his worthiest successor (and, indeed, is his legal heir, Jaime being barred from inheritance as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard), and yet Tywin and Tyrion hate each other more than anyone else (overlapping with You Are What You Hate, because each sees too much of himself in the other). From the books... 
  • Love Makes You Evil: He's implied that he expects this to happen to him at some point.
    Tyrion: I'd kill for you, you know that? I expect I'll have to before this is over.
  • The Man Behind the Man: He becomes this for Joffrey in Season 2 as his acting hand of the King and is notably somewhat of a good guy example. He then gets ousted from the position by his father, Tywin Lannister in "Blackwater" and even while he was the man behind the man to Joffrey, meanwhile Tywin was the man behind the man to him. This causes the smallfolk of Kings Landing to hold him personally responsible for the city's ills even though Joffrey started the war.
  • Marital Rape License: Ultimately declines to exercise his with regards to Sansa.
  • Maternal Death? Blame the Child: Tywin seems to actively loathe Tyrion for killing his beloved Joanna, and the fact that he's a stunted dwarf doesn't help matters. Cersei shares in this disdain for Tyrion, blaming him even when they were both kids and wishing death upon him for his "murder".
  • Meaningful Look: In "Second Sons", he raises his glass in pity to Loras, and his eyes say, "You're next to get married." Loras, who is already quite frustrated from the day's events, sighs and turns his head away.
  • The Mentor: He serves as this to Jon briefly in his period of adjustment with the Night's Watch, he's also one to Podrick Payne.
  • Minored in Asskicking: His best and preferred weapon are his mind and his tongue but he has killed someone with just a shield. Tyrion's definitely taken some night classes since becoming Hand of the King, to the point where he leads the defense of King's Landing in the Battle of Blackwater.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: A notorious whoremonger and party animal. He settles down considerably after hooking up with Shae. Tyrion's penchant for whores later comes to be used to paint Tyrion in a negative light during Tyrion's trial for Joffrey's murder.
    "Drinking and lust; no man can match me in these things. I am the god of tits and wine."
  • My Family Right or Wrong: "My dear brother, you wound me. You know how much I love my family." Of course, while he's being entirely sarcastic when he says it, he does tend go along with what's expected of him in the end — if not exactly in a manner the rest of his family approves of. This becomes a source of conflict for him after Sansa's Heroic BSOD following the Red Wedding and when he meets Oberyn Martell. Both of them lost family members to atrocities ordered and/or enabled by his father and King Joffrey and he's torn between obvious sympathy and compassion for their plight and his loyalty to Lannister hegemony. This ends up backfiring on him spectacularly since his public disapproval of his nephew leads people to accuse him of disloyalty in his Kangaroo Court trial. He then decides once and for all that he will no longer be a loyal Lannister retainer and shoots his father's plans to save face and send him to the Wall. When the trial by combat ends in failure for him, he's released by Jaime so as to flee Westeros, but before he leaves he burns his final bridge by killing his father.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: He immediately feels remorse for killing Shae, and he is clearly upset while he's strangling her.
  • Nay-Theist: He seems to hate the gods almost as much as his father.
    Tyrion: The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are the gods such vicious cunts? Where's the god of tits and wine?
    Varys: In the Summer Isles, they worship a fertility goddess with 16 teats.
    Tyrion: We should sail there immediately.
  • Never Heard That One Before: Expressed through facial dialogue whenever he's told to keep a low profile or some other variant of "stay low."
  • Noble Fugitive: After escaping his cell with the help of Jaime and Varys, Tyrion proceeds to flee Westeros after killing Tywin and Shae.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: His life story in a nutshell, but especially in "Blackwater".
  • Noodle Incident: Tyrion's confession about the jackass and the honeycomb in the whorehouse, part of one of his Poke the Poodle incidents from his youth, is interrupted by an indignant Lysa, and we never hear the rest, despite Lord Robin wanting to know the end.
  • Not So Above It All: The usually cool and snarky Tyrion finally loses it when Joffrey's stupidity nearly gets them all ripped apart by a mob in "The Old Gods and the New".
    Tyrion: We've had vicious kings and we've had idiot kings but I don't know if we've ever been cursed with a vicious idiot for a king!
    • In "The Laws of Gods and Men", he completely snaps after Shae's betrayal, where the abuse and humiliation he's been through his whole life reaches it's tipping point and in a rage calls out the entire court for being ungrateful for all he did for them as acting Hand of the King, wishing that he had just let Stannis kill all of them.
    • In "The Children", he kills Shae, and then coldly shoots his father with a crossbow.
  • Odd Friendship: With Jon Snow, who bond on the road to the Wall in Season 1, despite their families hatred for each other.
  • Only Sane Employee: Bordering on Only Sane Man. Tywin acknowledges this by appointiThe Old Gods and the Newng him "Hand of the King" in his stead.
  • Oh Me Accents Slipping: Peter Dinklage's American accent leaks through at times.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Look Not So Above It All above.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Given that Westeros is just a few degrees off a Standard Fantasy Setting, Tyrion's being a human with dwarfism counts as an aversion.
  • Pet the Dog: Occasionally has moments of these. He designs an adaptive saddle for the crippled Bran to allow him to ride a horse, gives friendly advice to Jon Snow, protects Sansa from Joffrey and condemns the massacre of Robert's bastards. In "The Lion and the Rose", he is the only person trying to cheer up Jaime (by spilling wine on purpose, to show that it does not matter, and then by finding him a trusty swordsman to train with), instead of kicking him while he's down.
  • Poke the Poodle: He presents several pranks he played as a child as crimes worth confessing before court.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Unlike Ned or Jon Arryn, Tyrion does enjoy playing the game of thrones, and tries to play it well.
  • Pride: Believes that having too much pride is foolish and it's better to wear your flaws openly;
    Tyrion: Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armour, and it can never be used to hurt you.
    • Despite this, it does stick him that his father doesn't acknowledge any of his skills and contributions, even denying him the seat of the ancestral house which is his by right. He admits this to Jaime who chides him for his spiel during his trial, noting that there's only so much he can stand up to abuse before snapping.
  • Promoted to Opening Titles: Sort of. Peter Dinklage has always been in the opening ("...and Peter Dinklage"), but as of Season 2 he is billed first, as opposed to Sean Bean, who was demoted to head on a spike at the end of the first season.
  • Really Gets Around: His love of whores is infamous. Just look at his opening scene. Once he marries Sansa, however, he stops sleeping around, much to Shae's chagrin.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He is given nearly the same twice, first by Cersei, then by Tywin. Both blame him for the death of their mother/wife.
    • Gives a very much long awaited and well deserved one to the entire court of King's Landing during his trial, calling them out for all their ungratefulness for the Battle of Blackwater and their betrayals, among other things.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Jaime's more hotheaded red and also to Joffrey's sadistic red.
  • Refuge in Audacity:
    • His confession to the court and most of the times he saves his own life by talking his way out of danger. He even notes that he's always been lucky.
    • This is how he seemingly gets away with all but openly insulting Joffrey to his face; as noted above, he even threatened to kill a Kingsguard if he spoke again, in court, in front of the King himself!
    • During "The Old Gods And The New", he not only gets away with calling Joffrey an idiot to his face, he then slaps him again (while he's king) and then waves his hand in front of Joffrey, saying "And now I've struck a king! Did my hand fall from my wrist?"
    • In "Second Sons", after threatening to castrate Joffrey in front of everyone, he pretends to be more drunk than he really is in order to defuse the situation, which works due to some unexpected help from Tywin to smooth things over.
    • When Joffrey starts demanding that Tyrion join the humiliating dwarf joust in "The Lion and the Rose", Tyrion retaliates by challenging Joffrey to join instead. Not only does he sarcastically claim that the show so far has been a poor imitation of the King's bravery in the field of battle, but he also warns Joffrey that one of the dwarf performers — specifically the one playing the part of Joffrey himself — might just try and rape him.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: This is his own self-effacing protest when Tywin names him Master of Coin. While he's one of the brightest political minds in Westeros, he hasn't got a clue when it comes to economics. See Bronn and Pod: he has no idea how much he's even paying the former and is legitimately surprised to learn he's not even paying the latter. He does pick up on Littlefinger's shady dealings with the Iron Bank of Braavos, though, with him expressing concern that the Kingdom has a bigger problem to deal with after the War.
  • Rousing Speech: Both times he is forced to go into battle.
    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!
  • Sad Clown: His joking, fun loving nature masks the Trauma Conga Line of abuse he suffers from both his father and society. This becomes apparent in his trial, where he's not at all funny, but deadly serious and frightening.
  • Sanity Slippage: Season 4 shows him facing this as he suffers betrayal and humiliation in a Kangaroo Court, feeling more powerless than he ever did and finding his father at his most unmerciful moreover. He finally snaps at his trial giving a bitter speech about his oppression as a dwarf and then upon being released by his brother, he pays a final visit to his father and murders him, after finding his lover Shae in his bed.
  • Scars Are Forever: Is badly wounded by Ser Mandon Moore of the Kingsguard during the Battle of Blackwater, leaving a hideous wound. Tyrion ends up with three pretty serious scars (one on his forehead, one on the bridge of his nose, and one on his right cheek), but they're far less serious than those in the book, in which his face is virtually hacked off and he loses his nose entirely, an outcome indirectly alluded to by Cersei.
  • The Scapegoat: For Joffrey's murder. Tywin uses him so he can get a show of justice, not actually caring if Tyrion is innocent or not. Margaery and Loras go along with it to protect Olenna, the actual poisoner.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Like father, like son. His go-to solution in problematic situations is to attempt to buy his way out. However, his particular skill is offering money in a charismatic and audacious way, which allows him to win the loyalty of those he pays off.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Although he of course didn't actively try to kill his mother, he will undoubtedly be viewed as this by Cersei following his murder of Tywin.
  • A Shared Suffering: For once, his empathy is reciprocated by Cersei after their father begins to command her around, making her miserable too, the treatment that Tyrion has enjoyed his whole life.
  • Shield Bash: He kills a man by this method.
  • Short Blond and Snarky
  • Spoiled Brat: Bronn accuses Tyrion of this, and from the perspective of an amoral sellsword raised in the gutter it's certainly true. You're part of the richest, most powerful family in the Seven Kingdoms, married to a beautiful Princess Classic and due to inherit half of Westeros (albeit the colder half) — who cares if you're the No Respect Guy, your sister hates you and your father's always been a cunt?
  • The Strategist: Both in the political game and in a battle, as he showed off during the Battle of Blackwater. Indeed, so brilliant was his defense, that despite limited resources, small number of troops and facing backstabbing from his own side, he successfully held the City's defenses and kept Stannis from breaching the gate long enough for his father and the Tyrells to relieve them.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: His favorite tactic. When he's put on trial, he delivered a hilarious monologue, which made the nobles of the Eyrie more sympathetic to him and convinced Bronn to come over to his side. His talking also keeps him from being killed by Shagga, and gets him faithful soldiers too.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: In "The Laws of Gods and Men", after Shae testifies against him, Tyrion declares his hatred for the people of King's Landing and says that he wishes that he truly were the monster they think he is. In The Children, he tells his father that he is Tywin's son, right before killing him.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The highwayman on the way to the Eyrie is his first kill. By the time he leads the defense of King's Landing against Stannis, he has taken several.
  • Tragic Hero: Tyrion's open animosity towards Joffrey really comes back to bite him when he is tried for Joffrey's murder. When Jaime offered him a chance to falsely confess his guilt in order for Tywin to spare him and send him to The Wall, Tyrion refused and demanded a Trial of Combat out of pride and anger, which nearly gets him killed and Tyrion ultimately is forced into exile.
  • Tranquil Fury: On the rare occasions Tyrion gets very angry he shouts, such as when he struck Joffrey after the riot in King's Landing. But when his anger is driven by pure hatred he speaks much more calmly, as when he threatened Cersei after discovering that she was torturing Ros, and when he promised to geld Joffrey if he insisted on a bedding at Tyrion's wedding. Further, when Joffrey calls him a "little monster", he replies:
    Tyrion: Oh, "monster". Perhaps you should speak to me more softly, then. Monsters are dangerous and, just now, kings are dying like flies.
  • Troll: Which is also his biggest weakness. Tyrion's Fatal Flaw is that he just can't help snidely mocking people even in situations where it would be a really bad idea to do so. Some of these return as tragic Call Backs in "The Laws of Gods And Men" when the likes of Ser Meryn and Maester Pycelle use these snide remarks as testimony against him in his regicide trial, acting as though they were legitimate threats and actions, rather than the humorous quips they really were.
  • The Unfavourite: Un-favouritism is too mild a word. When he was born, his father thought about abandoning him to die in the sea. In the present day Tywin wouldn't be unhappy if he dropped dead and actually displays disappointment when his son shows up alive after being in harm's way. Tyrion tries to take it in stride.
    [To Jon Snow]: All dwarves are bastards in their father's eyes [...] If I had been born a peasant, they might have left me out in the woods to die. Alas, I was born a Lannister of Casterly Rock.
    [To Cersei]: Father will be furious... Must be odd for you, to be the disappointing child.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Bronn and to some extent with Varys.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy:
    • Tyrion's expression when Tywin tells him he's sending him to King's Landing as his substitute 'cause "You're my son." is heartbreaking. From the books... 
    • Seen again in the third season premiere when he wants Tywin to acknowledge his successes as Hand of the King and officially name Tyrion the heir to Casterly Rock. Not only does Tywin deny him both but he gives Tyrion a "The Reason You Suck" Speech instead.
  • White Sheep/Token Good Team Mate: To the Lannister family. For his flaws, a decent man, and one of the terribly few adult Lannisters who is neither evil nor a moron and the only one non-Lannisters actually come to like note  on a personal level.
    Peter Dinklage: The "Good Bad Guy" or the "Bad Good Guy."
  • Wicked Cultured: He's very well-read.
  • Worthy Opponent: Tyrion doesn't hate his adversaries and isn't above recognizing and praising their virtues, what allows him to analytically assess'em, unlike the more dismissive Lord Tywin. Despite his tense interactions with the Starks, Tyrion acknowledges Robb's good qualities, and despite Catelyn trying to have him executed, he acknowledges that she's a fierce woman who loved her children and he regards their fates as a terrible crime. This is used against him during his trial. Several witnesses imply or outright state that he was a traitor because he did not express visible (or any) pleasure at the deaths of Robb and Catelyn. Quite the opposite, in fact. Because, a loyal Lannister would take joy in the deaths of their enemies, no matter how despicably they were killed.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Strangles Shae to death. Justified since she did pull a knife on him first before he even had the chance to consider a less violent option. He is immediately remorseful nonetheless.

    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.
  • The Bus Came Back: After two seasons of being absent, he returns, in an understatedly triumphant fashion, in the first episode of season 5.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Genre Savvy: In Season 5 he quickly calls Cersei out on excluding Tommen from the small council meetings as she turns him into a Puppet King and stacks the council with Yes Men loyal to her.
  • Honest Advisor: 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. Tyrion is surprised when Kevan is not appointed acting Hand.
  • Number Two: To his brother, Lord Tywin.
  • "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?
    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 is 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. note 
  • 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.
  • Token Good Teammate: Compared to the rest of Tywin's bannermen. He's the brother who inherited some of Lord Tytos' mild traits.

    Ser Lancel Lannister 
See Game Of Thrones Independent Characters 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.
  • Character Death: Lord Rickard Karstark murders them both in a Revenge by Proxy.
  • 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.
  • The Quiet One: Willem.
  • 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.
  • You Look Familiar / 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.
  • Character Death: Jaime murders him in captivity to help an escape attempt.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Posthumous Character: She died long before the events of the series.

     Lord Tytos Lannister 
Played By: N/A

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

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.
  • Nepotism: As usual in Westeros, but Reginald is a special case due to Tywin's assertion that "If [Reginald's] name wasn't Lannister [he'd] be scrubbing pots in the cooks' tent".
  • 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.

     Orson Lannister 
Played By: N/A

Tyrion Lannister: 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.

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.
    '"Tyrion reminisces about his brain-damaged cousin Orson, whose one joy in the world was crushing beetles in the garden. The young Tyrion was deeply troubled both by the senseless deaths of all the insects, and his inability to understand what was in it for his cousin. (...) The mystery remains unsolved; what troubles the siblings is that it may well be unsolvable. If there is a God at all, "The Mountain and the Viper" suggests he's some kind of cosmic Orson, killing things at random for no rhyme or reason."
  • 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

Lancel: 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.
  • Character Death: He's killed by Robb's men at the Battle of Oxcross.
  • 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. [[labelnote:From the books...]]Tyrion thinks very little of his uncle, and most are well aware that his son Devon would make a far better commander.
  • 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, anyway. 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.