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[Book Spoilers] TV Tywin


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#21 Paurush

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 02:08 AM

It is hard to understand why people go on calling Tywin a villan ! He is too ignorant and proud to be one. I really dont think he knows (what we all know) that his grand son is born by incest between his own son and daughter. To him he is fighting for his grandson's rightful claim to the iron throne and all those who oppose him are simply power hungry snakes.
So for Tywin he is riding on the same righteous boat that Stannis is riding for all the wrong reasons ! He simply thinks his actions (no matter how cruel ) are means to righteous cause !
So i believe even the book Tywin is same as the TV one just that instead of a camera in the book we see him through highly biased POVs of other people (mostly Tyrion ) who dont get along with him at all !

The TV series is doing much more justice to Tywin as a character then readers have done in the book !

Edited by Paurush, 08 May 2012 - 02:10 AM.


#22 The Monkey

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 04:32 AM

Yeah, the show has reached its limit of one-dimensional villains in Joffrey, I'm glad they changed him.

#23 Bambi

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 05:10 AM

I don't feel like Tywin would be out of character, i just feel we see those sides of his personality which weren't explained in the book but were hinted in some way. Although we haven't seen Tywin in the books doing things like we see in the movie, i always pictured him a character like this. The first moment i actually disliked him in the book was before his death when Tyrion revealed him with Shae.

#24 Fylimar

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 06:23 AM

IMHO he is very similar to book Tywin - there were a lot of hints from memories of his family, that he had emotions and sometimes showed them. But, as people already mentioned, most of the memories are through his children and they all have a grudge by then for him in some form (Tyrion and Jamie don't need explaining, Cersei felt left alone by her father - first, because he wanted to marry her again and then he died and left her there with a mess) - so their POV weren't that kindly to him.
And I think, that he didn't know about Jamies and Cerseis incest and Jamie trying to kill Bran, so he felt, that he has all the rights of Westeros to act as he did in the books. Maybe it ocurred to him later, therefore his wish to marry Cersei off far away from KL, but I don't remember, if that is ever mentioned somewhere in the book.

Well, Dance did a great performance, as ever. Ans Maisie too - she is quite talented. Someone mentioned, that he wanted a 'Tywin and Arya Show' - I would love that :-)

#25 Rockroi

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:19 AM

The complexity of the story beguiles simplicity in titles and labels, ie "Villain". Certainly Tywin's aims and goals are opposite those of the family the reader is (forced) to identify as the hero, the Starks. But Tywin's overall goals are not evil in the sense that they are destructive for destruction sake; he is not simply out there to kill, maim and torture for the sake of the actions alone. He is ruthless, he is violent and he is extremely proud. He's also smart, fair, dutiful (and that duty would be preserving the honor and power of his house).

I find Tywin to be an incredibly complex man and an extremely effective leader in extremely violent and ruthless times. Households are not allowed to defy their liege lord, hence Castermere and the Tarbecks; if you fight a war, you fight to win (and then help your enemies back to their feet.... a part of the sentence people always neglect to remember); bad people work for him (and Ned and Robb had Roose Bolton). Its a dangerous world out there.

And when your son marries a commoner you have to teach him a lesson. Period. That is not how you do things. Tywin's response was barbaric and its not something anyone in this day or age could condone (and I won't either), but back then? I'm only saying that Tywin Lannister is not a villain for one or two bad acts.

#26 Manfryd Lothston

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:39 AM

It is hard to understand why people go on calling Tywin a villan ! He is too ignorant and proud to be one. I really dont think he knows (what we all know) that his grand son is born by incest between his own son and daughter. To him he is fighting for his grandson's rightful claim to the iron throne and all those who oppose him are simply power hungry snakes.
So for Tywin he is riding on the same righteous boat that Stannis is riding for all the wrong reasons ! He simply thinks his actions (no matter how cruel ) are means to righteous cause!


He had no qualms about rebelling against the "rightful" Targaryen king, and brutally murdering (through Jaime, Lorch and Clegane) the king and his "rightful" heirs, including a little girl and a baby.

He also had no qualms about terrorizing the peaceful people of Westeros during the war of the 5 kings. He was the one who unleashed the Mountain and brought the Brave Companions to Westeros.

And calling Tywin ignorant is... just completely out there. He may have willingly ignored some of the accusations against his beloved family (to the protection and prosperity of which most of his efforts were inclined), but that does not make him ignorant, only selective in perception. Which is a common trait in great men and great dictators alike.

#27 Tadco26

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:53 AM

Tywin specifically sent the Mountain, Ser Amory and the Bloody Mummers out to rape and pillage. They put whole villages to the torch, raped the women and mutilated them, and butchered the children and left them unburied so that the corpses would attract wolves and wild dogs all in an effort to provoke the Stark/Tully forces to attack him at Harrenhal as the Blackfish noted.
Catelyn says: "When Edmure hears this he will rage."
Blackfish: "And that will be just as Lord Tywin desires. Even terror has its purpose, Cat. Lannister wants to provoke us to battle."
"Robb is like to give him that wish," Catelyn said fretful. "He is a restless cas a cat sitting here, and Edmure and the Greatjon and the others will urge him on." ...
Brynden Blackfish arched a bushy grey eyebrow. "More fool they. My first rule of war, Cat- never give an enemy his wish. Lord Tywin would like to fight on a field of his choosing. He wants us to march on Harrenhal."

One might argue that is a sound tactical move if you are completely heartless to all the victims that will die in the process in, but he certainly knew what he was doing when he gave the orders.

#28 WhiteWalder

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 09:39 AM

Dance just looks and sounds like Tywin when I imagined him, not to mention his acting job.

#29 Reposado

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:10 AM

And when your son marries a commoner you have to teach him a lesson. Period. That is not how you do things. Tywin's response was barbaric and its not something anyone in this day or age could condone (and I won't either), but back then? I'm only saying that Tywin Lannister is not a villain for one or two bad acts.


When the one or two acts involve the sacking of a city? When the lessen involves gangrape? You can be a villain with being a moustachioed top-hat wearing villain. There pursuing goals. Then there is pursuing goals in a villainous manner. Tywin is a villain, regardless of how charismatic he is.

#30 Rob Snow

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:39 AM

I think the TV Tywin is very different from the books, but I'm willing to enjoy a different take on him given Dance's great performance. They are succeeding at humanizing him. But when you rack up the Rains of Castamere, his wedding "gift" to his son Tyrion, his actions with the Mountain and Bolton, how Robb gets his at the Red Wedding ... well there's a reason people think him a villain. And it's not for being practical.


I am with you. The fact that D&D are showing you a kinder gentler Tywin, is going to make his machinations in orchestrating the Red Wedding all the more jarring.

Of course based on all the plot changes that have taken place so far this year, it will probably be Joffrey who orders the Red Wedding. /bang.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':bang:' />

#31 Knight Of Winter

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:56 AM

But how can Tywin not be viewed as a villain? He directly oposses every trait and characteristic that make human beings actually human. He has no moral compass at all, and puts all his energy towards one goal - maikng house Lannister more powerful. For this goal Tywin is willing to do literally everything - let people be killed, let people be tortured, let more people be killed, let women be raped and even sacrifice happiness of other members (some of them are his own children) of House he's trying to lead.

Every action Tywin takes is about achieving his only goal most efficiently. For example:

1) he wants to scare River-lords and reduce their wealth --> he sends Gregor to pillage, torture and kill their peasants. Not the decision any decent man would make - but most efficient.

2) he wants to diminish the value of captive Starks have captured --> he gives up on Jaime as his son. Again - the most efficient course of action.

3) he wants to teach his son a lesson --> so he has his wife gang-raped by his garrison. Well, it made Tyrion hate him for the rest of his life - but he sure learned his lesson.

4) he wants people to fear him --> thus he is willing to keep people such as Gregor Clegane and Amory Lorch at his side...

5) ...among many other examples such as RW, him ordering killings of Rhaegar's children...


For further explanations and elaborations about Tywin's character, let me just say that I wholeheartedly agree with post quoted below (original thread is here: http://asoiaf.wester...an-in-westeros/):

I ranted a bit about Tywin Lannister in the morality thread, and to my surprise, no one took me up on it. Perhaps some even thought I was kidding. Oh no, ladies and gentlemen, absoloutely not.

Tywin Lannister has a special mix, in both his public actions as a politician and a military commander, and, crucially, in his private life as Lord and father, of utter callousness for human life, a flagrant disregard for justice, duty, loyalty or honor, completel lack of any personal code, a twisted, oft indulged cruelty and no redeeming tragic background to excuse any of it. It is this combination, I contend, that pushes him to the very top - worse than Gregor, Theon, Bolton or Frey - of the huge of heap of terrible people in westeros.

I often see Tywin characterized as efficient, cold, measured, rational, unemotional, controlled, pragmatic. Whne discussing Shae turning up in his bed, its generally viewed as blatant reversal of characterization. It even has a vast conspiracy theory to explain it. In this thead, he was a clear majority to be the Hand.

Are you people reading the same books i'm reading!??!?!

Tywin is a rabid, petty lunatic, just waiting to go off. I'd rather have the bastard love child of Joffrey and Viserys as my Hand. Shae - a cheap, trashy whore who was his son's - is surprising, but completely in character. The man, to quote Stephen Fry, has the attitude to sex of the catholic church - like the anorexic or the morbidly obese to food.

He keeps constantly on hand people like Gregor and Vargo Hoat, is completely uncritical of their actions, and is always willing to use them. His tactics in war are incredibly dirty and underhanded. He will rape and pillage and torture as a tactic. Flying false banners. Pay off his enemies allies. Send assasins. He is a liar, a cheat and a traitor again and again. He will not blink to murder children.

As for being Hand...he gave the kingdom peace? The kind of peace that exploded into a rebellion that swept up half the realm at the drop of couple of roses. He was flagrantly disloyal, at the end, of course. But before that - he was utterly unreliable. We saw how much he cared about the kingdom, how willing he was to leave it in Aerys mad hands the moment it no longer served his pride and the aggrandizment of his family - not to mention broke his tyrannical iron grip over his son - he was outta there.


And then theres Tywin - the father. Jaime and Cercei - good god, just look at that duo. One of the only few good things we ever hear about Tywin was that he smiled for Cercei. Good job parenting there, considering she was murdering her friends as a preteen. Jaime waited a few years at least to start tossing children from heights.

And now Tysha. She was raped by an entire garrison, to teach his son a lesson. This isn't measured, rational, unemotional. Its bizzare. Cartoonish. over the top. A piece of pure, gleeful theater of torture and cruelty, topped off with the lies, the money, forcing Tyrion to go last. This is what he did to his son for daring to fall in love with someone he found inappropriate. Thats not how anyone with a shred of maturity, or a concience, would deal with the situation.


He never smiles. For fucks sake, can you get more petulantly, melodramtically, arrogantly emo than that?



On a side note, I do agree Show!Tywin does not differ much from his book counterpart, and that Charles Dance is doing magnificent job of portraying him.

#32 Mad Queen

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:02 AM

I just don't like Tywin getting chatty with his cupbearer. That's something I don't think ANY of the lords would do, least of all Tywin, who is so proud. It feels wrong to me. Remember that Roose Bolton completely ignored Arya and when she asked him a question, he was surprised and then threatened to have her tongue cut out.

#33 Blisscraft

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:22 AM

I agree that TV Tywin is more "human" than the books. However, Dance is wonderful. I think her captures the spirit of Tywin perfectly.

#34 Queen Regent

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:23 AM

I think Charles Dance is portraying Tywin perfectly! Sometimes I think he knows that she is Arya, but then other times I don't think he really does. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out. I think Little Finger was eyeing her pretty hard, he knew he knew her from somewhere, but maybe couldn't remember from where?

#35 Rob Snow

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:35 PM

I agree that TV Tywin is more "human" than the books. However, Dance is wonderful. I think her captures the spirit of Tywin perfectly.


Dance definitely humanizes Tywin, but I think most of that job was done by having him at Harrenhall and onscreen much more than he was in ACOK.

Tywin's ample screen time really allows the viewer to contrast him with Tyrion, who is operating in a similar capacity to his dad in King's Landing. It also brought meto the conclusionthat they more alike than they are diffrent.

They both do not suffer fools; the both have a soft spots for the Stark daughters; and they both, at least at this point, place family above all else

Of course the similarities kinda end there as Tywin has a sociopath streak in him that Tyrion can't hope to match.

#36 bibappu

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:45 PM

In every scene concerning Tywin and Arya they show how ruthless and almost cruel he is with his men and even family members, as opposed to how fond he is of Arya. I was a little disappointed when I saw Tywin going all "cool grandpa" with her, but I certainly find believable that he finds her at least intriguing.

#37 Prince of Dragonstone

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:06 PM

Tywin taking a liking to Arya can be explained in the context that the character of Tywin is intrigued by competence and especially by intelligence. We learn that he is surrounded by fools (which greatly explains why he kept losing battles to a young boy). So for him to encounter someone that is naturally sharp witted AND merely a cupbearer? Well how could he NOT be a little intrigued?

#38 Jamie Lannister

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:31 PM

Eh, I like it in that it's an excuse to see more of Dance's rather inspired Tywin. I suppose Roose can take Harrenhal over after Tywin rushes off to the Blackwater, and explain as much to Jaime and Brienne in S3.

#39 Milgod morghulis

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:43 PM

TV Tywin is even better than book Tywin.

I don't think, in any way, he is nicer. He says it like it is, just as he did in the books. I don't see this 'nicer' Tywin, maybe I'm seeing something else. You have to remember what we would have read about Tywin up to now. We wouldn't of had all the extra evil crap yet.

#40 Sand11751

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 02:04 PM

His smiles personally creep me out. Even in his caring for his family and his insistence on curing Jaime's dyslexia, there's no warmth in Tywin. When Arya said "Anyone can be killed" the look on his face literally said, "Bitch, you better not mean me," which is of course what she meant to convey. He tolerates Arya because she does what she's told. He can smile at her all he wants, but the effect will never reduce the threat of menace he conveys. Arya is too smart to think otherwise.