Regarding Tywin: Just because something isn't repeatedly brought into the forefront doesn't mean they are being whitewashed. We have heard the stories about what he has done, and unfortunately for the medium of television, there isn't that much time to go back and revisit told stories. You might wish people to have stronger reactions to characters by having them portrayed in a particular light, but that doesn't mean that's the only interpretation. What I get of Tywin is a brilliant man, who is utterly ruthless and brutal in his goals, but effects those goals in a strategic manner. The challenge of the TV medium is that the audience must believe the character you are presenting, and to achieve that you must add in aspects of the character which are familiar to the audience. Consider what happens when you build up only the negative aspects of a character in order to create a villain. I don't think that many members of the audience can relate to the characters of Ramsay, Joffrey, The Mountain, or Locke, and as such there isn't much the audience expects from those characters. Complicated characters like Tywin are challenging to write as you must get the audience to 'buy in' to what the character is doing in order to avoid just seeing a villain to be killed off in the name of 'good'. Now, regarding Cersie: She is also a complicated character, and you can't have her just jump into a sea of suspicion and paranoia right from the getgo and evoke the strongest emotions from the audience. The audience has to see her human side, they have to see her as a recognizable person, flawed, but understandable, and they MUST have some sympathy to her. It doesn't have to be a lot, but there must be enough. What this does is basically draw the audience in and makes her descent into paranoia that much more compelling and impactful. It also provides a contrast. In television, you don't have that long to develop the various nuances, and the subtleties can often be lost if you try to show a transition from grey morality to greyer morality. That's why they are making these characters more sympathetic now, because it gets the audience to become more emotionally invested in the outcome.