LittleScorpion

Was Joanna Lannister crazy?

33 posts in this topic

So far nothing in the text indicates that Joanna was crazy. What is interesting is that Jaime notes that Cersei had the same look as Aerys did, when the Tower was burned. I think that GRRM focuses on how much power and fear for the ones you care about can change a person.

 

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She'd stood with one hand on her breast, her lips parted, her green eyes shining. She is crying, Jaime had realized, but whether it was from grief or ecstasy he could not have said.

The sight had filled him with disquiet, reminding him of Aerys Targaryen and the way a burning would arouse him. 

 So far the only family which is linked to insanity is House Targaryen, and it seems that its members can either be too good or too bad. 

I think that it is very ironic that Cersei exhibits traits similar to Aerys, of all people.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Danelle said:

 So far the only family which is linked to insanity is House Targaryen, and it seems that its members can either be too good or too bad.

An hereditary madness. Cersei and Joffrey are both affected. Tyrion said such things as:

"Cersei is as gentle as King Maegor, as selfless as Aegon the Unworthy, as wise as Mad Aerys. "

"Not Robert the Second," Tyrion said. "Aerys the Third."  (speaking of Joffrey)

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Well don't they say Lord Tywin ruled the kingdoms but it was Lady Joanna who ruled Lord Tywin?

Sounds completely possible that like Cersei, Joanna was an extremely controlling person who couldn't bear to not be the one with power. 

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Joanna was not crazy, on the contrary she was the level headed sane one amidst men she made crazy for her.

Joanna will prove to have the same motivations and methods as Cersei. The difference between the two will be primarily competency. Joanna was the player of the game of thrones, whereas Cersei is relatively bad at it.

Cersei is incompetent in comparison for a few reasons, she's not as smart as she needs to be, she can't accept the patriarchy and thus won't accept ruling silently through a man, and she doesn't understand that love is the key, for love she instead substitutes sex and fear.

Joanna could make Tywin smile. It didn't matter she had aged and her tits had sagged, though he talked a good game Aerys couldn't keep himself from her when in her presence.

This is all in the over-arcing scheme of things about Sansa and the game of thrones. Cersei is the bad player of the game of thrones to contrast against Sansa, the coming good player of the game of thrones. The best player since Joanna, the other Lady Lannister. Fitting then Joanna's lessons reach Sansa.

The mistakes Cersei has made Sansa will not, as Joanna didn't. And it is articulated here.

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"The night's first traitors," the queen said, "but not the last, I fear. Have Ser Ilyn see to them, and put their heads on pikes outside the stables as a warning." As they left, she turned to Sansa. "Another lesson you should learn, if you hope to sit beside my son. Be gentle on a night like this and you'll have treasons popping up all about you like mushrooms after a hard rain. The only way to keep your people loyal is to make certain they fear you more than they do the enemy."

"I will remember, Your Grace," said Sansa, though she had always heard that love was a surer route to the people's loyalty than fear. If I am ever a queen, I'll make them love me.

And so Sansa will, as Joanna did. Consider Sweetrobin and Harry.

Spoiler

Sansa's physical appeal is a part of their attractions, but nowhere near the whole deal. She's not pulling Harry by pushing up her tits and sticking them in his face. She has gone for the heart, naturally and without calculation in SR's case, with calculation for Harry.

As Joanna did. And in contrast to Cersei.
 

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"No." Osney touched her golden hair. "The thing is, the best lies have some truth in 'em . . . to give 'em flavor, as it were. And you want me to go tell how I fucked a queen . . ."

She almost slapped his face. Almost. But she had gone too far, and too much was at stake. All I do, I do for Tommen. She turned her head and caught Ser Osney's hand with her own, kissing his fingers. They were rough and hard, callused from the sword. Robert had hands like that, she thought.

Cersei wrapped her arms about his neck. "I would not want it said I made a liar of you," she whispered in a husky voice. "Give me an hour, and meet me in my bedchamber."

"We waited long enough." He thrust his fingers inside the bodice of her gown and yanked, and the silk parted with a ripping sound so loud that Cersei was afraid that half of the Red Keep must have heard it. "Take off the rest before I tear that too," he said. "You can keep the crown on. I like you in the crown."

The actions of a man in lust, not in love. Tyrion would have never acted like that with Shae, but Shae also knows the power of love as Cersei doesn't, she never gave Osney any reason to love her but plenty of reason to lust after her. And when push comes to shove Osney proves himself disloyal. Though to be fair it'd have taken an awful lot of love to stay true given what he was put through.

Joanna obviously gave Tywin every reason to love her. As Cersei didn't with Robert, despite her understanding that's exactly what he wanted.

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A half smile flickered across the queen's face. "Robert's trueborn son and heir. Though Joff would cry whenever Robert picked him up. His Grace did not like that. His bastards had always gurgled at him happily, and sucked his finger when he put it in their little baseborn mouths. Robert wanted smiles and cheers, always, so he went where he found them, to his friends and his whores. Robert wanted to be loved. My brother Tyrion has the same disease. Do you want to be loved, Sansa?"

"Everyone wants to be loved."

 

She just wasn't willing to play that game like her mother, like a good player does. Thankfully for Sansa Tyrion has the same disease.

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10 hours ago, BalerionTheCat said:

An hereditary madness. Cersei and Joffrey are both affected. Tyrion said such things as:

"Cersei is as gentle as King Maegor, as selfless as Aegon the Unworthy, as wise as Mad Aerys. "

"Not Robert the Second," Tyrion said. "Aerys the Third."  (speaking of Joffrey)

So you think that Joffrey inherited the madness from Cersei? I think that they are quite different, Cersei has a plan whereas Joffrey is driven by pure malice, hence Ned Stark's execution. Cersei harms people that she deems dangerous to her or useful to her plans, while Joffrey never seems to have any plan whatsoever. 

While Joffrey's behaviour is remiscent of Aerys, Cersei is the one who is more alike the Mad King, since both of them were initially very beautiful, had a promising future but gradually alienated themselves from their family and friends.

If there is a hereditary madness though, do we have evidence of other crazy Lannisters apart from Cersei and Joffrey? It should be noted that Cersei's behaviour is greatly influenced by Maggy's prophecy, Varys' attempts to enhance her paranoia and the abuse and humiliation she endured from her father and her husband.

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 Robert had laughed so hard he'd spit ale all over Cersei's silken mantle. 

 

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“I will not marry again!”

You will marry and you will breed. Every child you birth makes Stannis more a liar.” Their father’s eyes seemed to pin her to her chair. “Mace Tyrell, Paxter Redwyne, and Doran Martell are wed to younger women likely to outlive them. Balon Greyjoy’s wife is elderly and failing, but such a match would commit us to an alliance with the Iron Islands, and I am still uncertain whether that would be our wisest course.”

“No,” Cersei said from between white lips. “No, no, no.”

As for the Lannisters it is clear that they not really approve of Joffrey and his attitude.

 

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 "And I want Robb Stark's head too. Write to Lord Frey and tell him. The king commands. I'm going to have it served to Sansa at my wedding feast."
"Sire," Ser Kevan said, in a shocked voice, "the lady is now your aunt by marriage."
"A jest." Cersei smiled. "Joff did not mean it."

 

The relationship between Cersei and Joffrey is indeed a complicated one, she was clearly the only person to actually love him. On the other hand Joffrey wanted to impress his father, but incidents like the killing of the cat can hardly be attributed to a trait inherited by his mother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just for fun, let's list the definitive features of the classic Targ type:

  • The most beautiful of people
  • Hair bright as metal, eyes like jewels
  • Looks as kings and queens 'should look'
  • Readily chooses fire as a weapon
  • Loves fire
  • Tendency to vicious insanity (as if the gods tossed a coin)
  • Tendency to fall passionately in love with a sibling

Have I missed anything?

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4 hours ago, Danelle said:

So you think that Joffrey inherited the madness from Cersei? I think that they are quite different, Cersei has a plan whereas Joffrey is driven by pure malice, hence Ned Stark's execution. Cersei harms people that she deems dangerous to her or useful to her plans, while Joffrey never seems to have any plan whatsoever.

Not all bad Targaryens were alike. And IMO Joffrey was not driven by malevolence. He believed beheading Ned was stern but merciful. Compared to the usual traitors' fate. See the Defiance of Duskendale or the tourney for Lord Butterwell marriage. IMO both Cersei and Joffrey are unaware of how evil they are. Both believe they are rightful in their actions.

4 hours ago, Danelle said:

do we have evidence of other crazy Lannisters apart from Cersei and Joffrey?

There are no crazy Lannisters. Cersei got it from Aerys. I liked Makk way of saying it:

On 22/09/2017 at 3:49 AM, Makk said:

Cersei inherited madness from her father :P And Tywin was an arsehole but perfectly sane.

There are plenty of other evidences, like use of the Valyrian word valonqar in Cersei prophecy. Only Jaime is her valonqar, not Tyrion.

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On 2017-09-22 at 3:17 AM, LittleScorpion said:

So Cersei is nuts, this is something I'm pretty sure we all can agree on. Though her father Tywin was a tough, unloving guy, he never came off as particularly unhinged like his daughter is. And since we know next to nothing about Joanna, I started thinking Cersei might have inherited her madness from her mother. Am I grasping at straws to kill time till Winds, or is it possible that Joanna is meant to be a darker character than we imagined?

I know there's nothing in the text necessarily supporting this, but the absence of information might be just as valuable. Tywin never talks about her, could he be protecting his late wife's reputation? Also, since we don't have any documentation of Joanna doing anything crazy, could we attribute that to her early death? Cersei's already far older than her mother ever was, and her psychosis seems to be a fairly recent thing (I know she pushed Melara down a well, but I don't think she had an actual mental break till somewhere around ASOS). Maybe Joanna didn't live long enough to fully snap like her daughter did?

Most mental illness isn't hereditary. You are more likely to develop mental illness from trauma or being neglected or abused than from genetic factors. The one that is often hereditary is schizophrenia and thats not what Cersei has. If she did she would hallucinate (hear and see things that aren't real) and in her POV there isnt anything pointing that direction.

 

The most trauma Joanna possibly could have caused is the unlucky circumstances in which she died, in that Twin turned to complete stone leaving the children emotionally orphaned, in how she discovered twincest just before dying leaving them with a sense of relief (=huge guilt) in her dying. 

All things massive trauma imo.

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As much fun as this conversation about characters in a book is to watch I think there may be an element to Cersei's bent we may be overlooking.    Cersei was born into extreme wealth in a time when that was really something.   Not like today when everyone has a computer or microwave or TV or the ability to go buy a piece of gold jewelry.   Her parents were 1st cousins, a sign however clear of a propensity for elitist if not purist bloodline preservation.   That's illegal where I live.   Her father was a rock star, famous the world round for his intolerance as well as brutality.    Someone earlier said there was no sign of madness in Tywin.   I suggest a look back on Tywin's many crimes against humanity if not the 7 Kingdoms.   One does not order the annihilation of 2 entire families of his own region nor determine that the rape of a reigning princess and the brutal stabbing of a 3 year-old then bashing against a wall of an infant with a completely stable mind.    Don't confuse madness with stupidity.   

I submit the loss of the nurturing parent at an early age coupled with the imperfect sibling that brought shame to her family in her father's eyes, the loneliness that must have forced she and her twin into unnatural closeness and the sheer weight of perceived perfection that had to stem from being Tywin Lannister's child all contributed to Cersei's  mentality.   

Cersei has a great deal to work out.   To paraphrase her famous brother, there are no other women like her.    Margaery Tyrell seems to flourish under the pressure she's lived with and Danaerys Targaryan seems to take her royalty with a sense of entitlement that is very different from Cersei's.   Cersei almost seems to hate everyone who loves her and everything she has.    She enjoys hurting and plotting more than ruling or playing.    I'm not sure she's mad.    I think if she is it may have surfaced after the walk of shame.    Where people like us would have been embarrassed or humiliated the walk only seems to kindled a worse sense of vengeance in Cersei.    And her boozing can't possibly be helping.  

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Isn't it an earlier female Lannister who was slightly nuts though? Not Joanna but an earlier ancestor of hers?

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On 22/09/2017 at 3:17 AM, falcotron said:

 

He was always absolutely sure that Jaime would come around and reject the Kingsguard to become his heir—an unprecedented move, and one that Jaime had made abundantly clear wasn't happening.

He asked him once, when he was a grown ass adult rather than the teenager who idolised the Kingaguard, who had just lost his sword hand and had years of shame for being the most dishonourable Kingsguard in the history of its tradition. 

It is not crazy to think that a one handed Kingsguard member would not jump at the chance to become the Lord of the Westerlands. If anything Jaime rejecting it is the crazy one. 

 

On 22/09/2017 at 3:17 AM, falcotron said:

Meanwhile, he refused to accept the possibility of Tyrion being his heir,

He make him his heir in AGOT when he positions him as his stand in Hand. It is only after Tyrion threatens the lives of his grandchildren does he tell him that he will never inherit the Rock. Thanks to Tyrion's awful relations with the current Queen mother and the current King it is not hard to see why Tywin needed to enforce this ruler if he truly meant it. 

On 22/09/2017 at 3:17 AM, falcotron said:

 

but never made a move to disinherit him, bribe him into exile, or do anything else that would prevent it. He even went on to make plots—like marrying Tyrion to Sansa—that make any such moves impossible. Nor did he consider grooming Tommen and leaving a will to place him ahead of Tyrion. He just assumed that things would happen the way he wanted, even though they clearly weren't going to.

He thought he'd be able to convince his first born to reclaim his position. I don't think that is crazy. 

On 22/09/2017 at 3:17 AM, falcotron said:

He couldn't see the incest happening under his own nose.

It didnt happen under his own nose. The twins were split apart from the age of 9, often being in different realms.

Thogh how does this make him crazy? Robert is certainly not crazy and he lived under the same roof as then without noticing it. 

On 22/09/2017 at 3:17 AM, falcotron said:

 He was the last to see the signs of madness in Aerys.

Citation?

On 22/09/2017 at 3:17 AM, falcotron said:

 

He failed to see any danger in Littlefinger,

 

The first thing he literally tells Tyrion after making him his Hand was not to trust Littlefinger and Varys, 

On 22/09/2017 at 3:17 AM, falcotron said:

 

even though Tyrion could spot it almost right away.

Tyrion did not spot it, he was told by Cat that Littlefinger had framed him, something he does not share with his father and something he ignores, putting Littlefinger in place of power. 

On 22/09/2017 at 3:17 AM, falcotron said:

 

He childed Tyrion for visiting whores while doing so himself,

He chided Tyrion for falling in love with them, making them his paramours. When making him his no2 he  asked Tyrion one thing, don't take this whore you have just met to Kings Landing, Tyrion decides to ignore his father, bring her, fall in love with and consequently be blackmailed over her while willing to harm his own family in a bid to keep her safe. 

Tytos and Tyrion both put their paramours over House Lannister, Tywin did not want to trust the fate of House Lannister to another Tytos. 

On 22/09/2017 at 3:17 AM, falcotron said:

 

Also, the whole thing about never laughing because he believed all laughter was at his family's expense—that's not normal.

eh? He thought all laughter was at his familiies expense? All laughter? Come on, it helps if you don;t randomly make up shit to make a point, your whole argument loses all credibility. 

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Clinically crazy? Probably not. 

Pissed that she was forced to marry her cousin because he was obsessed with blood purity and was prejudiced, all so he could claim a power grab and money? Sure, I can see that. 

Cousin marriage is listed along with other relations as incest

Edited by The Fattest Leech

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11 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

He asked him once, when he was a grown ass adult rather than the teenager who idolised the Kingaguard, who had just lost his sword hand and had years of shame for being the most dishonourable Kingsguard in the history of its tradition. 

 

11 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

He thought he'd be able to convince his first born to reclaim his position. I don't think that is crazy. 

I'm confused... When @falcotron said Tywin was sure he was going to get Jaime to reject his position in the KG you stated "he asked him once". But then, while still replying to the same post, you state he thought he'd be able to convince Jaime to leave the KG, which is what falcotron said and you disagreed with. 

So, which is it? 

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