The Latest News
Connect with Us

Notable Releases
From the Store
Game of Thrones Stannis Baratheon Pint Glass
Game of Thrones Stannis Baratheon Pint Glass
HBO US
Featured Sites
License Holders

Jump to content


Photo

Rereading Tyrion IV (ASOS)


  • Please log in to reply
403 replies to this topic

#1 Lummel

Lummel

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,399 posts

Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:37 AM

Ladies, Gentlemen and Others

Welcome to rereading Tyrion IV.

This is simple thread with simple rules.
  • Don't over anticipate - don't have whole posts discussing future events. Yes, allude to or mention or bring in the future, but please keep the focus on the present chapter.
  • Be relevant. If you are drawing parallels or bringing in other material don't be shy, please show how this relates to Tyrion and his story.
  • It is a reread not a general love or hate Tyrion thread. The intention is to be critical. To pull apart the POV and the story. To question the honesty of the narrators and wonder about what GRRM is doing with the character and why he made certain decisions.
  • The only requirement in taking part is that you find Tyrion and/or his story interesting. But it certainly helps if you reread the chapters too. /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />
  • No roughhousing, sniping or punching below the belt, we want a clean orderly discussion here!
Aside from that we are half way through the reread at the start of ASOS. The reread is hosted by Butterbumps!, Ragnorak and myself. We aim to introduce two chapters of the book each week. The previous threads can be found here: Tyrion I, Tyrion II and Tyrion III.

Please feel free to bring critical perspectives, special knowledge, other information from outside GRRM and his works to the reread if it is relevant and adds to the discussion.

ETA there was a bit of a round up of the first two books here. Please feel free to delurk and join in!

Edited by Lummel, 05 December 2012 - 06:48 AM.


#2 Lummel

Lummel

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,399 posts

Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:37 AM

Well we are now at the beginning of ASOS. The book begins with Jaime, released from Riverrun and heading into freedom, Catelyn arrested as a consequence and Arya escaping from Harrenhall. We might say that new directions in life are the theme of these first few chapters as we move in to

Tyrion I ASOS


Overview
Tyrion gets a visit from Bronn and is taken by Bronn and Poderick to visit Tywin. There is some infodumping as Tyrion and us are updated on the latest news and opinions (Stannis, Robb the Tyrells, Renly's ghost). Then to continue the metaphor of rebirth and early childhood Tyrion is helped to dress and carried “like a babe in arms”. Tyrion might be said to speed through his childhood since he asks to be acknowledged as heir to Casterly Rock. Tywin says no.


Observations
  • “any visitor might be another of Cersei's catspaws, sent to finish the work Ser Mandon had begun” - given that Tyrion is alive this is a rather unlikely fear
  • '“He's feeding worms,” said Bronn with his usual tact...Ser Addam gazed at the sellsword with distaste. “Lord Tywin is stubborn where his blood is concerned. He will have the lad, alive or dead, and I mean to oblige him.”' Family first.
  • “Some battles are won with swords and spears, others with quills and ravens”
  • “A dead enemy is a joy forever” this reminds me of “A thing of beauty is a joy forever
  • “A Lannister pays his debts” - the Lannister leitmotiv, sadly appropriate for what will happen in ASOS
  • “Men's laws give you the right to bear my name and display my colors, since I cannot prove that you are not mine” - sometimes taken to assert that Tywin has doubts over Tyrion's paternity and therefore a plank in the Tyrion a secret Targaryen theory. The use of “Men's laws” is interesting suggesting that divine laws might judge things differently, whether because of divine knowledge or a profounder justice is debatable.


Analysis

Power
Just a note that the power structure has been rearranged. We learn that Bronn has been knighted and his fancy clothes show that he is on his way up in the world, the clansmen have been driven off or have gone home and that the City Watch is now led by Addam Marbrand. Tyrion is down to relying on Pod and promises. A second son's lot is not a happy one. All he built up over the course of ACOK has been knocked down in a few days.

Family life

“How can I scourge an eight-year old boy?” But if I don't, Cersei wins.

There is a sense of Tywin putting the children in their places in these chapters. The father has come home and he is ending the squabbles. Cersei is put to work organising the wedding, Tyrion is to recuperate and then be given a job. The tussle between Cersei and Tyrion is put into context by Tyrion trying to explain his threat before his father:

“To save a whore's virtue, you threatened your own House, your own kin? Is that the way of it?”
“You were the one who taught me that a good threat is often more telling than a blow...”

In the context of Tyrion XII ACOK that power play made sense, at least to me, fro the point of view of the drama of Cersei and Tyrion. But here as Tyrion pleads before his father (before The Father, before his conscience, his idol?) it comes across as ridiculous. I can't help look back over the whole Cersei – Tyrion struggle and think it was all silly. But there was nobody to say 'wait until your father comes home!'. The automatic, mindless competition between the two siblings is a damning comment on their relationship.

A chip off the old block
“Tyrion hated weakness, especially his own. It shamed him, and shame made him angry”
“Tyrion knew how much his father despised weakness.”

The two reflect each other. The son has internalised the values that he believes his father holds. Tywin tells Tyrion that some battles are won with ravens, but in a mere few lines we are reminded that Tyrion also won a battle with ravens in setting up the Dornish alliance. When Tywin appears to balk at sacrificing Gregor Clegane Tyrion reminds him “The woods are full of beasts”. While Tywin notes that Tyrion has learnt that “every lord has need of a beast from time to time”. The two are exchanging Tywinisms. It is no surprise on one level that Tywin dismisses Tyrion's desire for his father's praise. At the same time however, Tyrion is not Tywin's alter ego, he is the son eager for the approval of the father. One who not only parrot's his father's lessons but seems to be living by them too.

Casterly Rock
We could break down the seven or so paragraphs about the inheritance and discuss every word, maybe we should.

This a hugely significant moment. Its a hinge. All kinds of doors are opening and slamming here.

If we go with the rebirth in battle, accelerated childhood idea from the last few chapters then this could be a natural conclusion. The inheritance of Casterly Rock. The promise of being able to take over from the father.

Way back in the first thread I asked about the issue of the inheritance. It is a huge issue as obvious and inescapable as the rock. Jaime is in the Kingsguard and can't inherit. But the issue has been submerged “I knew the answer before I asked...I must have known. I must always have known”. This is the first time that Tyrion raises it and he will regret it “Tyrion...took a shaky step towards the door. Later, he would reflect that he should have taken a second, and then a third. Instead he turned.”

Perhaps I am being too Freudian about this but look how the mother lies between them. Their mutual loss has divided them rather than uniting them.

ETA grammar (for a change) and a link and then some bullet points

Edited by Lummel, 05 December 2012 - 09:04 AM.


#3 Lyanna Stark

Lyanna Stark

    Metaphysically Inferior

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23,779 posts

Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:57 AM

The Cersei/Alayaya complaints do seem almost teenagey and petulant when brought in front of Tywin, don't they? Tywin's ripping apart of Tyrion here for causing rifts in the family is also sort of interesting, since Tywin is trying to do a "the lone wolf perishes but the pack survives" on his own family, only instead of like the Ned through love and understanding, he does it through force.

It's also telling how Tywin's "sharp lessons" work: he has Alayaya whipped. Not Tyrion. I think this is incredibly informative of Tywin, in that he teaches his family "sharp lessons" not by whipping *them*, but by removing or hurting that they hold dear. It leaves him in the clear when it comes to the clan, the house, the family, but he can transgress in any way against other people. they don't count (another twisted version of "the lone wolf perishes but the pack survives"?).

The inheritance discussion about Casterly Rock is likewise interesting. Tywin recognises that Tyrion ought to get some position and be useful, but when it comes to Casterly Rock, a woman stands in the way, and it's not Cersei, but his mother! This is a fantastic observation. It makes me wonder: would Tywin had been so upset about it had Joanna originally not been a Lannister?

Also, since their loss is dividing them, not uniting them, it's Tywin here who defines when the lone wolf dies and the pack survives, i.e. only when he says so.

#4 Lummel

Lummel

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,399 posts

Posted 05 December 2012 - 06:14 AM

Hmm I'm rather impressed that this worked...multi-posting from the previous thread!

Lummel, bgona´s post, which was either inspired by this post or we need to invite Milady of York in person to join us.

So that's where Der Zwerg came from!

Hubris, yes another one of those words where the meaning has to be defined first, but I think you´re actually right and it´s quite simple - Martin aplied it in more than one way. I don´t know about gods though, since they´re only real in the perception of believers and I think neither the Lannisters nor Martin can be counted amongst those.
Looking at the Ancient Greek origin in the english wiki, I glimpse for the first time some reason in the gruesomeness of the Tysha story, which irritated me a lot. In the german wiki homer is said to use it in a way that reminded me very much of the Mountain and the ravaging of the riverlands, I think I´ll have to come back to that.
I also have more greek history concerning Tyrion´s name as well as his duality and the battle of the Blackwater and I want to say something about Tysha, but I think I can´t wait till the story is told the third time.

That original definition of hubris is fascinating, I hadn't come across that before. It really does shine a different light on things. It is as though not only does a lannister repay their debts, but they enjoy repaying their debts too.

I look forward to seeing something more on the battle of the Blackwater and Tyrion's name!

(Lummel, I miss Uncat by the way his typing errors and praising me for theories I didn´t make really were encouraging)

I miss her too. I saw her post recently and sent her a PM but I haven't had a reply /sad.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':(' /> she was a good poster with some fantastic spelling mistakes.

...I never picked up on the newborn baby imagery before but now it stands out to me and I wonder what Martin meant by this. Often, rebirth or newborn imagery points to a significant character change, the individual is being remade in to something new, whether for good or bad. I wonder what Martin is telling us with Tyrion's character here? In GOT, he seemed to be largely a man of leisure, accompanying his sibling to WF and then heading to the Wall. His final chapter changes that as he sheds that old identity and prepares to don a new one as Hand.

A newborn's world is very limited, vision is fuzzy so he is dependent upon a mix of instinct, sound, smell and touch. Comfort comes in the form of mother and her breast, it's literally the first attachment a child will make. Yet, Tyrion as a new born child is denied this. His mother is forever lost and Shae can only provide an illusion. Also, just like a newborn, Tyrion is waking up in to a new world. He's been moved, his father is Hand, all he has built up is gone. So, in essence, he is starting anew all over again.

a substitute but not a nourishing one. He is buying Shae as a mother substitute (putting the tit into substitute since AGOT /laugh.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':laugh:' />), maybe that explains something of the mixture of feelings and how extreme they get. The desire for comfort and security but also that SHE must never mock him. The sexual nature of the relationship puts us deep into Freudian territory which was what I was driving at here. I will be interested to see if we get an answer on that. Because potentially that could really pour oil on the burning animosity between Tywin and Tyrion's relationship over Joanna.


...I'm in the same camp as you. It wasn't apparent on my first read through of the series, which was more superficial than I care to admit. It was during a subsequent pass that I could step back and question what I was reading on the pages. My take is that Tyrion has always been less sympathetic than we realize, the change is not him but the circumstances he finds himself in. In one of his first chapters, he takes a fur from Benjen to keep warm but his thoughts about it are so very Lannister-like.It's a minor matter yet it tells us just how much his path leads him to CR. Again in the Vale, he brings the fingers of Marillion. In this series, that doesn't particularly stand out as a horrible crime yet its the same thing we saw earlier, just with slightly bigger stakes. And so on through Clash during his time as Hand as he clashes (see what I did there?) with his sister, LF, Joffrey, and others.

To go back to the newborn symbolism, I think, ultimately, we are still waiting to find out what Tyrion grows up to be, whether that moral compass changes direction or not.

Well I'm going to be off the internet for a couple of days so I'll leave you to defend the camp, dig the latrines, stake the ditches and stand guard until I get back /wink.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />

I am not sure that the moral compass will change or that Tyrion will have an epiphany and turn into a Davos or an Elder Brother. But this kind of question comes down to what you think the book is about and what Tyrion's role is in the story.

One thing about the "rebirth" imagery in this chapter is that it can/could/will give rise to a "real" monster. In the beginning, Tyrion seems a man "more sinned against than sinning." The fact that he is "deformed, unfinished, sent before [his] time into this breathing world, scarce half made up, and so lamely and unfashionable that dogs bark at [him] as [he] halts by them---" creates a lot of sympathy. His "first" birth causes the death of his mother and yet, how is that really his "fault," but most of his family still balmes him for her death. What will this rebirth cause? Will it be his fault, too?

Fault is a big question and often a very divisive one on the boards. If this was a tragedy we would be happy to say that it was fated. That certain outcomes were inescapable. If we take the character and put him in certain situations why are we surprised at the outcomes? Should we be?

#5 Lummel

Lummel

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,399 posts

Posted 05 December 2012 - 06:33 AM

...It's also telling how Tywin's "sharp lessons" work: he has Alayaya whipped. Not Tyrion. I think this is incredibly informative of Tywin, in that he teaches his family "sharp lessons" not by whipping *them*, but by removing or hurting that they hold dear. It leaves him in the clear when it comes to the clan, the house, the family, but he can transgress in any way against other people. they don't count (another twisted version of "the lone wolf perishes but the pack survives"?).

It is like Pate the whipping boy that Cersei introduces to punish Tommen in AFFC (I wonder what the job advert for that looked like? 'Wanted. One boy for whipping, tough buttocks an advantage.')


The inheritance discussion about Casterly Rock is likewise interesting. Tywin recognises that Tyrion ought to get some position and be useful, but when it comes to Casterly Rock, a woman stands in the way, and it's not Cersei, but his mother! This is a fantastic observation. It makes me wonder: would Tywin had been so upset about it had Joanna originally not been a Lannister?

Well. If you want to go Freudian then no. It's just the competition for the mother between the father and the son. And isn't the Rock a bit maternal with all those windowless womblike rooms and chambers contained with her? Strong and secure, reliable like a mother too?

On the other hand this is the chapter with "A new Lannister era". For me there is this slightly selective breeding, we're like the Targaryens edge to the Joanna-Tywin marriage. This is very intense. Tywin says "the gods have condemned me to watch you waddle about wearing that proud lion that was my father's sigil and his father's before him". Tyrion is like a stain on the purity and ideal self image of the Lannister race/gens. A judgement on the hubris (modern sense) of the house.

Equally if the Rock does symbolise the Mother/wife for Tywin then the fierce condemnation of turning her into a whorehouse makes sense. The subtext could be 'this is my cousin, my wife, your mother, Lannister-woman and you will whore her out!'. The intensity of feeling really burns through, it all seems related - mother, wife, lover, rock. Wasn't Joanna the rock in Tywin's life, the stability and security that Tyrion desires and believes that he has to buy with tarnished silver?

#6 Ragnorak

Ragnorak

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,786 posts

Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:25 AM

Wonderful write up, Lummel. The newborn analogy is just brilliant.

He woke to the creak of old iron hinges.


This first made me think of Damphair and the theory of him being molested.

"The sound came softly, the scream of a rusted iron hinge."


While I think there are some interesting parallels there especially with the Tysha story, we won't get that line until next book. It is also a contrast to his initial entry into Kings Landing.

The sounds from the gatehouse took them by surprise. Chains rattled as the portcullis was drawn upward, and the great gates opened to the creak of iron hinges. “Who told them to open the gate?” Joff demanded. With the troubles in the city, the gates of the Red Keep had been closed for days.


There we had a Tyrion arriving, dressed in his shadowskin cloak, with the full backing of Tywin and he has a confrontation with one of Cersei's children before going to the Tower of the Hand to claim it as his own. Here he only has a bedrobe, he has lost Tywin's backing, and the confrontation over Cersei's children plays out quite differently.

Lord Tywin stared at him, unblinking. “Mummers and monkeys require applause. So did Aerys, for that matter. You did as you were commanded, and I am sure it was to the best of your ability. No one denies the part you played.”


While this line combined with the comment about Tyrion being his fuel the Aerys bastard theory, I am more interested in what it says about Tywin's view on ruling as well as its implications for the relationship between Tywin and Aerys during his prior tenure as Hand. Tywin does go on to deny the part that Tyrion played. LF is wholly credited with teh Tyrell marriage, Cersei is credited with teh wildfire (despite its specific use to destroy the fleet making it obvious that it too was Tyrion's idea.)

We also have Tywin's implicit view of LF's contribution here. According to Tywin Harrenhal was the seat of Kings and the notion of Slynt sitting with that title was the height of folly. Now it is just an empty title.

Granted the pomp and circumstance of the grand ceremonies Tywin arranges to have himself the center of are not exactly the same thing as applause, but the man certainly requires a bit of recognition of his own.

“The part I played?” What nostrils Tyrion had left must surely have flared. “I saved your bloody city, it seems to me.”
Most people seem to feel that it was my attack on Lord Stannis’s flank that turned the tide of battle. Lords Tyrell, Rowan, Redwyne, and Tarly fought nobly as well, and I’m told it was your sister Cersei who set the pyromancers to making the wildfire that destroyed the Baratheon fleet.”


It would seem to me that those who fought "nobly as well" orchestrated the entire event, arranged for Tywin's transportation, created the ploy that turned most of Stannis's forces to their side, and saved him from a humiliating defeat by Edmure. (Being held back from crossing a river isn't exactly all that humiliating unless of course you're a Tywin losing to an Edmure.)

We should remember this line and this conversation in general when Tyrion is finally offered his reward.

You shall have your reward, but it shall be one I deem appropriate to your service and station.

Given that Tywin is fairly clear about what that station is

“You ask that? You, who killed your mother to come into the world? You are an ill-made, devious, disobedient, spiteful little creature full of envy, lust, and low cunning.


I also think this scene is a parallel to the aftermath of the Greenfork. In both scene's it is Tyrion goes to Tywin after the fact and the two play out in much the same ways.

More later, a rather long work day calls...

#7 Lummel

Lummel

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,399 posts

Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:17 AM

yes the creaking hinge reminded me of damphair too. It's a period of change, new doors opening, other doors closing, uncertainty and fear of change - particularly for Tyrion who has lost a role and is yet to find a new one.

Tywin and Tyrion seem to mirror each other in the business of wanting acknowledgement and appreciation too. With the difference that Tywin can have the grand entrance, ride into the throne room like a conqueror while Tyrion can only dream about it (Tyrion XV ACOK)!

It suggests too that Tywin and Tyrion are rivals. Only the top dog gets the applause. The rest of the pack have to wait their turn?

#8 Blisscraft

Blisscraft

    Metaphorically Speaking

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,389 posts

Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:19 AM

Fault is a big question and often a very divisive one on the boards. If this was a tragedy we would be happy to say that it was fated. That certain outcomes were inescapable. If we take the character and put him in certain situations why are we surprised at the outcomes? Should we be?


Perhaps, I should have emphasized "blame" instead. "Blame" is certainly what Tyrion gets from Tywin and Cersei with regard to his mother's death. Whether Tyrion was the cause of her death is irrelevent. He is the one to blame. In that regard, Tyrion is the emotional "whipping boy." Although, I'm not so sure Tyrion's "emtional" buttocks are tough enough to withstand the beatings.

Ragnorak, it's interesting that you bring up the iron hinges. It seems that iron, by its nature is strong, but it's not as strong as steel. Also, iron rusts. Maybe Tywin is rusting and rusty. Or maybe the Lannisters are and they just don't know it. Later in the text, we learn of Tywin's desire to acquire a Valeryan steel sword like the other great houses. Tywin "steals" Stark's Valeryan steel sword, Ice and has it reforged.

#9 Lyanna Stark

Lyanna Stark

    Metaphysically Inferior

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23,779 posts

Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:13 AM

There we had a Tyrion arriving, dressed in his shadowskin cloak, with the full backing of Tywin and he has a confrontation with one of Cersei's children before going to the Tower of the Hand to claim it as his own. Here he only has a bedrobe, he has lost Tywin's backing, and the confrontation over Cersei's children plays out quite differently.


This is a great point. Tyrion has lost his trappings of power: both his cloak, his outfit (we see him commenting on Tywin now wearing the "Hand" necklace) and his station in that Tywin has usurped his chambers. All really driven home in that Tyrion has to appear in front of Tywin in a bedrobe instead of something properly stately. Poor Tyrion here, his clothing really helps emphasise his weakness more.


Regarding the purity of birth angle Lummel brought up, I wonder here if Tywin is not aware that Cersei's children may in fact be Jaime's, and he just doesn't care. It truly means a 100% Lannister on the throne after all. Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen are after all Baratheons, not Lannisters, but Tywin certainly acts here as if Cersei's children were Lannisters, through and through.

I've always thought that Tywin's marriage to Joanna indicated that he was after a bit of Targaryen-style purity by marriage. The pragmatic thing would have been to marry into another powerful family and make allies, yet as a sign of contempt for everything not Lannister, Tywin chooses a Lannister bride, too.

Edited by Lyanna Stark, 06 December 2012 - 06:51 AM.


#10 Ragnorak

Ragnorak

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,786 posts

Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:34 PM

Tyrion's injuries.

In his first battle Tyrion only injured his elbow. Here he injures his shoulder at the arm and his face. The arm is that which we use to wield tools which applies to both. In the first case his ability to elbow was damaged and in the second his ability to shoulder was wounded. Idioms like to rub elbows or standing shoulder to shoulder come to mind. In the first case, as we saw with the meal, Tyrion was not capable of rubbing elbows with Tywin's inner circle. Here he is certainly not standing shoulder to shoulder with his family as would be expected in this type of political conflict.

Hideous though his face might be, the worst of his wounds was the one at the juncture of shoulder and arm, where his own mail had been driven back into his armpit by an arrow.


His injury was caused by his own protection from an unseen attacker out of reach. I also noted the similarity of his injuries to the Hound's in his own rebirth scene.

His arm, Arya thought, and his face. But he was the Hound.


As an unrelated side not to Lummel on the Hound and Northern associations, the weirwood/Old Gods scenery in that scene is prevalent even down to Dondarrion looking like a one eyed Bloodraven descending a weirwood staircase.

There is also the parallel between the Hound always fixating on Sansa looking at his face and this bit from Tyrion.

Perhaps he would dream of Tysha again. I wonder how she’d like my face now, he thought bitterly.


I suspect the Hound parallels are mostly part of Martin's toying with Beauty and the Beast with Sandor and Tyrion rather than a specific illumination of Tyrion's character but I still found the similarities interesting.

Tywin, Tywin, Tywin

This post battle confrontation is very much a mirror of the one following the Battle of the Green Fork.

His father’s eyes were on him, pale green flecked with gold, so cool they gave Tyrion a chill. “Did that surprise you, Father?” he asked. “Did it upset your plans? We were supposed to be butchered, were we not?”

Even with the windows of the solar shuttered against the night, the chill in the room was palpable.


In both cases Harrenhal and its new lord, the Hound and dogs/beasts in general, Littlefinger, and the spectre of Jaime's captivity come up. Addam Marbrand shows up at the end of his confrontation at the Green Fork and before it in this chapter. In addition Tywin is clearly exchanging letters regarding the Red Wedding (which is already unfolding given Duskendale) so we have another example of Tywin not sharing his plans with Tyrion.

Another part was remembering the battle upriver, and wondering if he was being sent to hold the left again.


Especially given the parallels I suspect the answer to that is "Yes."

Several of Tywin's values are illuminated here. He sent Tyrion to KL to rule despite Cersei being the current Regent. Either he values Tyrion's abilities far greater than Cersei's, he was setting Tyrion up to take the blame for an inevitable defeat rather than Cersei, or both. Robb was sacking the Westerlands but by his own admission to Edmure lacked the force to take Casterly Rock. Renly (and then Stannis) clearly had the forces to take KL. Tywin chose Casterly Rock over the Iron Throne. The image of a secure Westerlands matters more to him than the image of a Lannister on the Iron Throne. He also chose to confront Robb who he claims to fear less than Stannis and has a smaller army. Of course the Baratheons were striking at the seat of the Lannister's new power while Robb was destroying the heart of the illusion of all Lannister power.

“King’s Landing. I am sending you to court.”
It was the last thing Tyrion Lannister would ever have anticipated.
He reached for his wine, and considered for a moment as he sipped. “And what am I to do there?”
“Rule,”
his father said curtly.
Tyrion hooted with laughter. “My sweet sister might have a word or two to say about that!”
Let her say what she likes. Her son needs to be taken in hand before he ruins us all. I blame those jackanapes on the council


Does Tywin really blame the council? Cersei is Regent and he says her son must be taken in hand (literally by the Hand.)

He pointed a finger at Tyrion’s face. “If Cersei cannot curb the boy, you must. And if these councillors are playing us false…”


It seems that despite having suspicions about the counselors Tywin knows the issue is Joffrey and Cersei's inability to control him as his Regent. Since Cersei is the real issue Tywin has to send a Lannister to carry the full weight of his authority. He still could have sent Kevan instead of Tyrion. Tyrion goes from being unfit for his own command to being Tywin's choice to rule the Kingdoms in two chapters. Granted he fought well, figured out Tywin's battle plan and showed an understanding of the consequences of killing Ned, but given Genna's assessment of Tyrion, his performance with the drains at Casterly Rock, and Tyrion's academic knowledge of history and warfare I suspect Tywin always knew he was capable. Tywin also knows the nature of the relationship between Cersei and Tyrion. Assigning Tyrion instead of Kevan is as much a disciplinary measure against Cersei as it is a show of his raw value of their respective abilities given the existential crisis to House Lannister (though part of it may be the extent to which Tywin truly relies on Kevan.)

So none of the conflict that played out between Tyrion and Cersei can really be any great mystery to Tywin. He intentionaly set it up to play out that way. As upset as he claims to be at Tyrion's threat to his own family over a mere whore's honor, he has to know that Cersei took the whore into custody as part of the power play between the two that Tywin himself deliberately set in motion. While I'm certain his anger over the whore is quite real, his supposed ignorance over the true reason for Tyrion's threat is not. Tyrion was taking Joffrey and Cersei in hand per Tywin's instructions and Cersei was lashing out at Tywin's vicarious grip. He can't not know this. Cersei tattling about Tyrion's whore is one thing but having her in a dungeon tells a story. So one aspect of Tyrion being sent to "hold the left" again is Stannis but the other is Cersei. Tyrion was always going to fight and beat Cersei but lose in Tywin's eyes at the end. She's a queen and he's a pawn.

He steepled his fingers under his chin. “Why did you dismiss Ballabar?”
Tyrion shrugged. “Maester Frenken is not so determined to keep me insensate.”
“Ballabar came to the city in Lord Redwyne’s retinue. A gifted healer, it’s said. It was kind of Cersei to ask him to look after you. She feared for your life.


The steepled fingers is not a casual gesture for Tywin. That Pycelle was not treating Tyrion is no mystery to either the reader or Tywin. Why Tyrion threw a man who has been Tywin's piece for decades into the Black Cells never comes up. We can assume he heard a "why" from both Cersei and Pycelle. This seems to be Tywin's way of probing Tyrion for answers on that subject. Note how he brings the subject back to Cersei after Tyrion's casual dismissal. We know that Cersei tattled on Tyrion. I suspect Tywin wants a little tattling on Cersei here. Tyrion's only response is “Doubtless that’s why she’s never once left my bedside” which really boils down to the issue of him not being loved.

Tywin also has a pattern of responding to Tyrion with seemingly reasonable responses that deny or obfuscate an obvious truth.

The Red Keep is overcrowded with wedding guests. Once they depart, we will find you more suitable accommodations.

Don’t be impertinent. Cersei has a royal wedding to plan, I am waging a war, and you have been out of danger for at least a fortnight.

A wounded Jaime would be in the Tower of the Hand and both Tywin and Cersei would rarely be far from his side. This is a son of Tywin Lannister wounded in leading the defense of Kings Landing-- Tywin isn't willing to oust some lord in favor of accomodations for a Lannister? If it were Jaime he'd be happy to tell Mace Tyrell to sleep in an outhouse.

Jaime would never be so foolish as to remove his helm in battle.

Even if true this only serves to deny the actual and unquestionable valor Tyrion did in fact display.

You did as you were commanded, and I am sure it was to the best of your ability. No one denies the part you played.

Except for a begrudging acknowledgment of the chain and a simultaneously criticized recognition of the Dorne alliance Tywin denies every part Tyrion played. A Dorne/Lannister alliance was a diplomatic impossibility and denied the Starks and Stannis an invaluable ally.

To save a whore’s virtue, you threatened your own House, your own kin? Is that the way of it?

While on its face this sounds as credible an offense as Tywin phrases it, as I said above he had to know. Back in GoT Joffrey was "her son" and "the boy" who needed to be curbed and taken in hand with some lessons Tyrion had taken from Tywin before he ruined House Lannister. Now Joffrey is Tywin's grandson and threats against him are incomprehensible and irrational. We saw similar rationalized criticism of Tyrion in GoT with "I am not inclined to trust my plans to a man who consorts with sellswords and savages" from a man sending Gregor and the Bloody Mummers out to rape and murder. The pattern will continue later.

Littlefinger

Whose notion was it to make this Janos Slynt a lord? The man’s father was a butcher, and they grant him Harrenhal. Harrenhal, that was the seat of kings!

An empty title, so long as Roose Bolton holds the castle for Robb Stark, yet Lord Baelish was desirous of the honor. He did us good service in the matter of the Tyrell marriage. A Lannister pays his debts.


How maleable-- from the seat of kings to an empty title. Granted the "jackanape" known sarcastically as "our friend Petyr" wasn't the lowborn son of a butcher but hardly of high enough birth or so longstanding a House to merit the seat of kings. Slynt only got the castle. Tywin is giving Petyr the whole of the Riverlands making him in effect a king of 300 years ago to go along with the seat. Are we to believe Tywin Lannister thinks that Lord of one of the Seven Kingdoms is an empty title? Can we assume Lord of the Riverlands and a seat of kings is a reward Tywin deems appropriate for LF's "service and station?" Could LF's duel with Brandon for Cat's hand have something to do with a Rains of Castamere like appointment to punish the Tullys? Is this wise? LF boasted of bedding Lysa and she is an available marriage opportunity. Isn't LF marrying Lysa (a Tully to give him real loyalty among the River Lords) and having the might of two of the Seven kingdoms a fairly obvious and foreseeable potential threat? Clearly he is being less than honest with Tyrion referring to a High Lord of one of the Seven Kingdoms as an empty title. In any case this really was Tyrion's idea and LF was more of a messenger so it is one more case of someone denying the role Tyrion played.

A lord and his beasts

He lent honor to any man he served. Can anyone say the same of the Hound? You feed your dog bones under the table, you do not seat him beside you on the high bench

“Or have you grown so fond of Gregor Clegane that you cannot bear to part with him?”
“Ser Gregor has his uses, as did his brother. Every lord has need of a beast from time to time… a lesson you seem to have learned, judging from Ser Bronn and those clansmen of yours.”
The woods are full of beasts,” he reminded his father. “The alleyways as well.”
True. Perhaps other dogs would hunt as well. I shall think on it. If there is nothing else…”


Tywin did seat his beast Gregor at the high table and in his war councils. He also made Bronn a knight (He had liked that “by your lord father’s command” not at all.) and his men sent Tyrion's savages away. We have Tyrion giving Tywin's beast away in exchange for Dorne and Tywin sending a taking Tyrion's beasts away. Is that a deliberate response on Tywin's behalf? Jumping ahead slightly we know Tywin does not think this is true and he isn't really going to think on it.

Not to…?” Tyrion was shocked. “I thought we were agreed that the woods were full of beasts.”
Lesser beasts.” Lord Tywin’s fingers laced together under his chin. “Ser Gregor has served us well. No other knight in the realm inspires such terror in our enemies.”

We have yet another example of Tywin posturing with a rational front to Tyrion that obfuscates the real truth.

Final Thoughts

Addam Marbrand is very cordial with Tyrion. He is also quite open with what he discussed with Tywin and even shares Tywin's mood. He even shares his troubles with Tyrion as if Tyrion might have some influence on the matter. There is also no mention of him reacting negatively to Tyrion's scar either. Is this because he was a childhood friend of Jaime's or does Marbrand have some respect for Tyrion in his own right? One thing in particular that struck me is that he does not come off as someone who knows Tyrion had been disinherited by Tywin. Quite the opposite. Although Tywin states his intent is for Tyrion to never get the Rock has he actually told anyone?

“You ask that? You, who killed your mother to come into the world? You are an ill-made, devious, disobedient, 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. To teach me humility, the gods have condemned me to watch you waddle about wearing that proud lion that was my father’s sigil and his father’s before him. But neither gods nor men shall ever compel me to let you turn Casterly Rock into your whorehouse.”


Genna said to Tywin that Tyrion was his true son. This assessment of Tyrion explains his reaction. Given the idea that Tyrion is a bit of a mirror or the embodiment of Tywin what does this tell us about him? Does Tywin view Tyrion as his own harsh lesson from the gods? One thing that struck me is that Tywin, who seems to be a man that answers to no one, always feels compelled to answer to the charges that come from Tyrion even if he doesn't do so honestly. Later he just ignores the Aerys comment from the King and sens him to bed with some dreamwine, but when Tyrion places such accusations at his feet he seems compelled to respond or justify himself. It seems to be a certain power Tyrion wields over Tywin. It seems the approval dynamic is at least partially two way.

The other thing that really struck me about this passage is that Tywin is planning the Red Wedding here. We see that he feels compelled by the laws of man to tolerate Tyrion as his own and compelled by the gods to learn some measure of humility from Tyrion's birth and possibly the loss of Joanna (or at least accept it as a punishment for lack of humility.) He expresss this while planning to violate guest right which seems to be about the highest law of gods and men we encounter in these books and one that transcends specific religions.

#11 Elba the Intoner

Elba the Intoner

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 858 posts

Posted 06 December 2012 - 04:47 PM

Ragnorak that was a great post! To sum it up in just 4 words - Tywin is a hypocrite.

#12 Winterfellian

Winterfellian

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,466 posts

Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:46 PM

Great opening for Tyrion's story in the third book. Ragnorak, I really liked your assesment of the Tywin-Tyrion-Cersei dynamics.

On a similar note one of the lines I find particularly interesting in this chapter was:

How can I scourge an 8 year old boy (Tommen)? But if I don't Cersei wins.


We know that originally Tyrion's threat was simply a bluff by playing the part of the monster Cersei believes him to be. He was even surprised by the fact that Cersei would actually believe him capable of harming his own nephew yet we see him at least entertaining the possibility just so that Cersei doesn't win. I think this way of thinking is not only the culmination of the back and forth both the Lannisters siblings have been engaged in ACOK but also a more corrupted evolution of Tywin's original command in AGOT: to help keep Cersei in check. Outweighting Cersei's authority when she's screwing up has now translated into don't letting Cersei win. If Tywin was knowingly set them up to antagonize each other, well mission accomplished. They are irrevocably on different sides, despite being in the same family, which makes Tywin's decision to set them against each other even more perplexing.
The interesting aspect to analyze is how did Tyrion reach that conclusion. My first thought is a line from Thoros of Myr:

War makes monsters of us all


Thoros follows to explains how he and his companions had set out as "King's men" and now they are something else, something more corrupted. Tyrion set out as a Lannister men and the the King's men but the horros of war blurred everything to the point that in his early attempts to wake up he doesn't even remember what he and the others were fighting for in a black and white world full of death.
We know that the monster aspect has been emphasized through the desfiguration suffered because of his battle wounds, being the most physically striking the one caused by his sister's catspaw. I read earlier the connetion between Tyrion's condition and that of a rebirth/newborn. What if this rebirth is that of a a more "monstruous" for lack of a better word, side of Tyrion? The corruption of Tywin's original order into a more destructive interpretation of it is an indication of Tyrion's own transformation.

Edited by Winterfellian, 06 December 2012 - 06:49 PM.


#13 Lyanna Stark

Lyanna Stark

    Metaphysically Inferior

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23,779 posts

Posted 07 December 2012 - 04:18 AM

Great ripping apart of Tywin Ragnorak.

He really doesn't come across as half as consistent and well thought out as one would think. Instead, he's almost as wilfull as Cersei. His contradicting himself and bullshitting Tyrion is also interesting.

Genna said to Tywin that Tyrion was his true son. This assessment of Tyrion explains his reaction. Given the idea that Tyrion is a bit of a mirror or the embodiment of Tywin what does this tell us about him? Does Tywin view Tyrion as his own harsh lesson from the gods? One thing that struck me is that Tywin, who seems to be a man that answers to no one, always feels compelled to answer to the charges that come from Tyrion even if he doesn't do so honestly. Later he just ignores the Aerys comment from the King and sens him to bed with some dreamwine, but when Tyrion places such accusations at his feet he seems compelled to respond or justify himself. It seems to be a certain power Tyrion wields over Tywin. It seems the approval dynamic is at least partially two way.


The reflection that Tywin seems to have a need to respond to Tyrion's accusations is interesting. I wonder if Tywin, despite being dismissive, still recognises his youngest son's intellectual capacity and therefor when Tyrion accuses him of something, he takes it more seriously than when it comes from someone else? On the other hand, do we see anyone but Tyrion accusing Tywin of anything? (bar Joffrey's comment about Aerys) Cersei rages a bit, but doesn't really contradict him. Kevan is a yes-man. Jaime just stands his ground, but Tyrion actively queries Tywin. He also uses sarcasm and a mocking tone against Tywin at every possible opportunity.

It's also interesting that as you say, the snark, sarcasm and posturing way of speaking goes both ways. In that, Tywin and Tyrion are alike.

Addam Marbrand is very cordial with Tyrion. He is also quite open with what he discussed with Tywin and even shares Tywin's mood. He even shares his troubles with Tyrion as if Tyrion might have some influence on the matter. There is also no mention of him reacting negatively to Tyrion's scar either. Is this because he was a childhood friend of Jaime's or does Marbrand have some respect for Tyrion in his own right? One thing in particular that struck me is that he does not come off as someone who knows Tyrion had been disinherited by Tywin. Quite the opposite. Although Tywin states his intent is for Tyrion to never get the Rock has he actually told anyone?


An important point, I think. Tywin's view seems to be that the internal Lannister politics and the face they show to those outside of the immidiate family are two very different things. This is shown in how Tywin constantly devalues Tyrion to his face, but officially Tyrion carries Tywin's seal of approval. I think there is a huge disconnect that many readers miss here on how people in Westeros view Tyrion, which includes the picture that Tywin wants to project; and then on the other hand the internal Lannister family struggle where Tyrion is often in opposition and where there is scheming left right and centre. Judging by Addam Marbrand's reaction here, we can probably safely assume that people in general do not see Tyrion as a Desdichado and that Tywin's view on Jaime being the designated heir isn't generally understood. After all, Jaime is a Kingsguard and can formally not inherit, even if Tywin in true Tywin style ignores this little tidbit.


EDIT: It makes you wonder if Tywin is not also bullshitting Tyrion completely when he claims Lollys is the best marriage offer he has got for Tyrion. Even if Tyrion is a dwarf, he is also the formal heir to Casterly Rock by Westerosi law, being Tywin's oldest male heir that hasn't joined a celibate order and is marrying material. It seems highly unlikely that no ambitious lord would have approached Tywin with an offer of a daughter of marriable age apart from Lollys. Especially since Tywin completely disregards Oberyn's reputation when he considers having Cersei marry again.

Edited by Lyanna Stark, 07 December 2012 - 05:00 AM.


#14 Ragnorak

Ragnorak

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,786 posts

Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:45 AM

Thank you, all.

Winterfellian, "If I don't Cersei wins" is a great observation. There is clearly affection between Tommen and Tyrion and especially as the story progresses we see what a sweet child Tommen really is. This war with Cersei has escalated to an all consuming vendetta. Her threats to what she thought was his whore amount to a similar situation to what Tywin did to Tysha. While I'm sure that fueled Tyrion's response it isn't paramount. This is Yaya and not Shae and his thoughts jump to how she was learning to read and not Tysha. I think your Thoros analogy is an accurate one. The conflict itself has become its own reason to continue the conflict eclipsing the original intent and all reason.

Lyanna, I think the Lollys answer is mostly "yes." He mentions offering Tyrion to Dorne as well but we get that whole story from Oberyn (where he originally denied an Oberyn/Cersei, hmm...) His other marriage offers were likely in a similar vein. More on that when we get there lest we suffer the Wrath of Lummel. This seeming need Tywin has to respond to Tyrion has been nagging at me for some time. I had forgotten Tywin said Tyrion was his punishment from the gods and I suspect that is a large part of it. There's also a half-baked idea in the back of my mind connecting this to Aemon's "giant" comment. Tywin was the topic just prior to his making the observation.

I especially liked the Tyrion as a newborn metaphor but I didn't specifically see anything that jumped out in that regard. The entire Casterly Rock exchange is actually about his real birth. He has been obscessed with his father's approval and here we see Tywin lash out in a way that shows the utter futility of that quest. There is no coming back from "you murdered your mother by being born" and "your mere existence is a punishment from the gods." This does create a clean, or at least honest hard truth, slate for a new start but I don't see any signs of him embracing it. I suppose "I always knew" is an internal acknowledgment and

“What I want…” His throat felt raw and tight. What did he want? More than you can ever give me, Father.

is a pretty huge internal realization. I just don't know what to connect these to within the rest of the chapter that seems like a sign of rebirth other than the washing away of the illusions of his past life.

ETA
Flagged for follow up when we get there:

You are done with whores. The next one I find in your bed, I’ll hang.”


Tywin has a funny way of "hanging."

Edited by Ragnorak, 07 December 2012 - 08:58 AM.


#15 Blisscraft

Blisscraft

    Metaphorically Speaking

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,389 posts

Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:29 AM

I hate to go against the flow, however, when I reread this chapter was struck by how much Tyrion has fallen into self pity. Maybe this is the point of him hearing the hinge creak. Hinges represent turning points and as Lummel said above openings and closings; changes in perspective. In this chapter, Tyrion plunges into bitterness.

From the beginning, Tyrion seems to be counting his losses. First, when Bronn enters appearing to be all cleaned up and shiny, newly knighted by Tywin. Tyrion sees he lost the opportunity to give Bronn the knighthood. What he fails to see is that for Bronn, it makes no difference. Bronn is a sellsword still. (At this point, I found myself musing over a line from the film, "Gone With The Wind." Mammy tells Scarlett: "You can dress a mule in feathers and fine harness and its still a mule.").

From this moment on Tyrion dwells upon his losses. Ironhand and the City Watch; Shagga and the Mountain Clans; the Kettlebacks; Tommen at Rosby; the Hand's Guard. He thinks bitterly, "Is this what triumph tastes like."

Tyrion dwells upon his misery at not being fully acknowledged for his role in saving the city. As he descends from Maegor's Holdfast down to the drawbridge, he thinks, "They spit on me and buy drinks for the Tyrells." Also, when the serving girl sees him he thinks, ". . .and look, he's uglier than ever. Run, tell your friends."

At the drawbridge, when Trant at first refuses to lower it, Tyrion relies upon the "magic" in the name Tywin. He's looking for his father to somehow ameliorate his suffering and loss. Addam Marbrand, in reference to the search for Tyrek, affirms Tywin's loyalty to his family when he tells Tyrion and Bronn, "Lord Tywin is stubborn where his blood is concerned."

Upon entering the Hand's Solar, "the chill in the room is palpable." It's not a "good" omen for Tyrion in his state of sorrow and self pity. He's not going to get "warm fuzzies" from his dear old dad. Tyrion thinks, "What sort of lies has Cersei been telling him?" Tyrion assumes that his father will believe Cersei over him. Tyrion assumes the worst. It's a self fulfilling prophecy in this situation because that's exactly what Tywin gives him. Tywin asks Tryion what he wants and Tyrion thinks, "More than you can ever give me."

It comes as no surprise that Tywin is intolerant of Tyrion's present state of self pity. At some level, Tywin shows great restraint for most of the meeting. However, Tywin's loyalty to his famlity as a whole is offended by Tyrion siding with Alayaya over Tommen. Tyrion doesn't seem to get how disloyal and stupid his threats to Tommen are to Cersei and the rest of the Lannisters.

Tyrion remains focused upon what the great job he did as "acting" Hand. "I saved your bloody city" and he wants, "some bloody gratitude." Tyrion acts as if he's been supplanted by Tywin as Hand, even though from the beginning he knew he was merely keeping the seat warm for Tywin. Tyrion acts as if his ideas and sacrifice were what kept KL from falling to Stannis which is not the case. It was a team effort, but Tyrion is not a team player. It's this lack of humility, in addition to Tyrion's self pity, that Tywin despises. It's no wonder Tywin blows his stack when Tyrion asserts his desire for CR.

#16 the Scorpion Knight

the Scorpion Knight

    Defender of Randyll Tarly and Ravager of Littlefinger

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,646 posts

Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:40 PM

It also looks that tyrion's generation of lannister is less able of working together then tywin's
(remember tygett wanted a live indipendand of tywin and gerion left and kevan played the yes-man)

another theory considering tyrek: may he used the opurturnity to escape his relatives? (they forced him to marry a babe and being called the wet nurse must have hurt his ego

#17 Fire Eater

Fire Eater

    Ghost Haunting Valyria

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,018 posts

Posted 07 December 2012 - 04:05 PM

@Blisscraft

I agree a lot with what you said, but I thought it was mainly Tyrion's being a dwarf and his mother having died birthing him that are main reasons that Tywin despises him as revealed by this exchange:

But Tommen . . . why would I want to harm Tommen? He's a good lad, and mine own blood."
"As was your mother."

#18 the Scorpion Knight

the Scorpion Knight

    Defender of Randyll Tarly and Ravager of Littlefinger

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,646 posts

Posted 07 December 2012 - 04:41 PM

or that tyrion unknowingly reminded him of his own repressed vices

#19 Ragnorak

Ragnorak

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,786 posts

Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:02 PM

I hate to go against the flow, however, when I reread this chapter was struck by how much Tyrion has fallen into self pity. Maybe this is the point of him hearing the hinge creak. Hinges represent turning points and as Lummel said above openings and closings; changes in perspective. In this chapter, Tyrion plunges into bitterness.

From the beginning, Tyrion seems to be counting his losses. First, when Bronn enters appearing to be all cleaned up and shiny, newly knighted by Tywin. Tyrion sees he lost the opportunity to give Bronn the knighthood. What he fails to see is that for Bronn, it makes no difference. Bronn is a sellsword still. (At this point, I found myself musing over a line from the film, "Gone With The Wind." Mammy tells Scarlett: "You can dress a mule in feathers and fine harness and its still a mule.").

From this moment on Tyrion dwells upon his losses. Ironhand and the City Watch; Shagga and the Mountain Clans; the Kettlebacks; Tommen at Rosby; the Hand's Guard. He thinks bitterly, "Is this what triumph tastes like."

<snip>


I love the self pity assessment and I think it is dead on. Tyrion's notion that the office of Hand was his to keep is also as off base as you describe it-- outright delusional is probably an accurate assessment. His attitude toward losing it matches a tantrum fitting the newborn imagery.

Where we differ is really on Tywin. Tywin's stated primary objection to Tyrion getting Casterly Rock is that he will turn it into his whorehouse. It seems as close to an explosive response as we get out of Tywin-- almost a legal hearsay exception of an excited utterance so I take it as reliable. He also blames Tyrion for Joanna's death. My take is that Tywin's refusal of the Rock goes far deeper than Tyrion's current mood or actions. I suspect it isn't only Joanna but also his father's replacement of his own mother with a Tysha-esque figure that made Tyrion's marriage so much more objectionable to him. Whatever the real root, I took it to be a longstanding issue that transcends recent events and this immediate exchange.

I don't want to go overboard giving Tyrion credit for saving the city. It was going to fall without an army showing up to save it no matter what. I think we're supposed to infer that Tyrion's efforts would have held the walls at least temporarily (like past sunset)-- Lancel says as much to Cersei about pulling Joffrey back to the Keep. Bronn's tale of Bywater's death seems to relay the same thing. Tywin chose to go save the Westerlands from Robb Stark and leave Kings Landing to its fate at the hands of Stannis. Tywin only showed up because the Tyrells fetched him. They had arranged transportation for him and had the whole plan ready to go while he was still probing Edmure's forces. It was Tyrion's idea to propose the marriage that won the Tyrells. He is given no credit for it by Tywin while LF is raised to a Lord Paramount of one of the Seven Kingdoms for it.

I also think Tywin is more than a bit stingy with his praise regarding Dorne. Given Elia's brutal rape and murder a Lannister alliance with Dorne is a virtual impossibility yet Tyrion found terms to keep them out of the camp of any of these other Kings. Consider Tywin's view here of what it would mean to lose Dorne:

“Well and good,” announced Pycelle. “Let Stannis rot in Lys, I say. We are well rid of the man and his ambitions.”

“Did you turn into an utter fool when Tyrion shaved your beard? This is Stannis Baratheon. The man will fight to the bitter end and then some. If he is gone, it can only mean he intends to resume the war. Most likely he will land at Storm’s End and try and rouse the storm lords. If so, he’s finished. But a bolder man might roll the dice for Dorne. If he should win Sunspear to his cause, he might prolong this war for years. So we will not offend the Martells any further, for any reason. The Dornishmen are free to go, and you will heal Ser Gregor.”


This is after the Red Wedding where he thinks Stannis is the only real outstanding opponent. For avoiding this possible fate while both Stannis and Robb were on the field and the Vale was still somewhat questionable Tyrion gets:

I am told we have you to thank for our Dornish alliance as well.

I mislike giving House Martell a hostage, but I suppose that could not be helped.”

“Would that a council seat were all Martell came to claim,” Lord Tywin said. “You promised him vengeance as well.”


Not exactly the same as being awarded one of the Seven Kingdoms because he was desirous of the honor if we were to compare the gratitude Tywin displayed toward LF against that which he expresses to Tyrion.

My focus was really on Tywin. If I gave the impression that Tyrion was well balanced and reasonable here, that was far from my intent. If he really wanted the Rock he should have asked to be Castellan and made it his in everything but name, but he's really after emotional gratification not titles. I also don't think Tywin should be pleased with the threats to a Lannister over Yaya's treatment, just that he knows they were made because Cersei was resisting Tywin's choice to use Tyrion to correct her folly. Consider later when Tywin thinks Joffrey requires a "harsh lesson." He isn't exactly above threats to his own grandson either. The whole situation is beyond dysfunctional, but Tywin is just as much a part of the dysfunction as Tyrion and Cersei despite his more controlled and rational veneer. At least that's my take.

I also confess I harbored secret hopes that you would elaborate on the symbolism of Tyrion's wounds. I thought of shouldering burdens and the loss of a nose reflecting his instincts being cut off by his obscession with Cersei but I know there's something good there that I'm just not seeing.

#20 Kittykatknits

Kittykatknits

    Member of the Oppressive Matriarchy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,421 posts

Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:39 PM

I didn't think it was possible for either my love of the Starks or extreme dislike of Tywin to increase, but this re-read has been successful at both. I've loved the last several posts.

Upon entering the Hand's Solar, "the chill in the room is palpable." It's not a "good" omen for Tyrion in his state of sorrow and self pity. He's not going to get "warm fuzzies" from his dear old dad. Tyrion thinks, "What sort of lies has Cersei been telling him?" Tyrion assumes that his father will believe Cersei over him. Tyrion assumes the worst. It's a self fulfilling prophecy in this situation because that's exactly what Tywin gives him. Tywin asks Tryion what he wants and Tyrion thinks, "More than you can ever give me."

I've been dwelling on the idea of Tyrion experiencing a re-birth quite a bit and what it means for Tyrion. The bolded line has me thinking further on the death of Joanna. A newborn child is born in to a world that is cold, alien, inhospitable. The secure and familiar womb may be gone forever but a mother while quickly take her child and bring him to her chest. Some may be familiar with the science behind kangaroo care and the purpose it serves. But, this important first action serves to bring her child back to the secure and familiar. The mother's body will warm and regulate a newborn's body temperature and her skin gives off a familiar smell.

Often times the first few months after birth is called the fourth trimester as much of the time is spent helping the baby to finish their development and prepare them to interact with the outside world. It's not unusual for a mom to carry her child much of the time (and discover just how much she can accomplish with just a single hand) and sleep next to him at night. The child can begin to experience the world, but do so from a secure place.

However, Tyrion is denied all this. His mother died at his birth and, once again, there is no mother present at his re-birth. Joanna is dead and Shae is a poor and false mother substitute. Tyrion may be carried in someone's arms but it is not the secure refuge of his mother, allowing him to slowly view and come to terms with a brave, new world.

Tyrion's is now faced with something alien. Just as a child loses the security of the womb, Tyrion has lost the security of Bronn, the Mountain Men, his position as Hand, his rooms, everything. As he enters to meet with his father, Tyrion notes that the room is chilled, in the same way that a newborn enters a cold world. There have been some brilliant posts already explaining both Tyrion and Twin's interactions here so I'm not going to expand on them. However, what stands out to me is the exchange regarding Joanna. We already know that she is dead but Tywin blames his son for his death and by doing so, he's also denying the relationship between Tyrion and his mother. In this context, it makes sense that Tyrion is struggling with what has happened. There is nothing to help him prepare for it and nothing to help him understand the world he is living in.